Summer Showers May Fall as Ice

A “Hail” Caesar Tuesday Ahead

First things first…this week’s weather is turning out to be a far cry from what I forecasted before in left for a long weekend. (I will document my trip down the Country Music Highway last Friday at my blog later this week). To refresh your memory, I had expected low core heat to build this week with temperatures near 90 and mid week thunderstorms. Sure the thunder part looks on target, but my forecasted highs will be as much as 6 to 10 degrees lower than predicted.

Here’s the skinny. The blazing heat wave out west (daily highs above 100 continue week after punishing week from the Dakotas to Big Sky country to the deserts near Vegas and Phoenix) looked like it would bridge eastward this week and baste, broil and bake us. Meanwhile, it appeared a chunk of the Bermuda-Azores high was set to back in from the ocean and provide a pathway for tropical humidity from the Bermuda triangle (area between the 3 geometrical vertices of Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico) to reach us. That apparently set the stage for highs in the 90s with heat indices near 100. NOT!

Instead, a whirlpool in the high atmosphere has settled in between the two heat sources and is now perched directly overhead some 10-20 thousand feet upstairs. That accounts for an unusually cool upper atmosphere this week. Afternoon temperatures this week will range from near 70 at Snowshoe (where golfers at the Raven will need a fall sweater) to zero (0) degrees Fahrenheit at the 20,000 foot altitude (where nobody lives but where jet airplanes willget quite a bump).

Now when the sun comes out to warm our little corner of the world, air temperatures will rise to 80 at the Vinton County junior fairgrounds in McArthur and then walla, clouds will form, tower and turn dark and ominous. A sudden shower or thunderstorm will grace our presence and air temperatures will tumble into the 60s in mid afternoon yet! Given how cold it is upstairs, and how low a freezing level there will be (this week near the 10,000 foot level versus 15,000 on a normal summer day) , instead of just rain, ice may well form in the clouds and fall to earth as hail.

So as the enclosed e-mail from Norma Love of Coeburn, Wise County Virginia shows, there may well be a heavy hail shower in your neighborhood this week.

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