Monday Morning Weather Contrasts

The Monday morning satellite picture has some interesting aspects to it.

bigsatNASA Satellite Image

 The eastern U.S. image above shows the clouds from a disturbance over Canada and the Great Lakes, the remains of Paloma over Cuba and the Bahama Islands and the hint of a developing storm over the southern Plains. That developing storm is expected to bring rain to the Mid Atlantic region by the end of the week.

Now, a close up on the Great Lakes and Mid Atlantic.

gtlk21NASA Satellite Image

A low pressure center over Canada is reaching down into the Great Lakes. The northwest flow of cold air is blowing across the warmer waters of the lakes and generating the cloud deck and “lake effect” rain and snow showers. An impulse of “energy” rotating around the low pressure center is enhancing the unsettled weather.

The Mid Atlantic region is on the southern edge of all of this. Clouds have banked up along the western face of the mountains and some light, mixed precipitation was noted overnight. East of the mountains, winds are moving the air down the slope and this dries the air, resulting in generally clear skies. This should hold up through the day. A few clouds may make the trip over the mountain ridges or some instability clouds may develop in the colder air but the general forecast for most of Maryland is fair and chilly.

Next, a brief look at the tropics.

paloma3NASA Satellite Image

The center of what was Hurricane Paloma remains more or less stalled over the north coast of Cuba. Over the weekend, Paloma reached category four strength with winds to 145 mph. The storm began to weaken as it approached Cuba on Sunday. The Cuban land mass is large enough that most hurricanes weaken as they pass over the island. In this case though, strong upper air winds also came into play and literally tore the storm apart. In the picture above you can see that the big thunderstorms have been blown well to the northeast of the lower level storm center which remains stalled over Cuba.

The storm center of what is left of Paloma is expected to drift toward the Bahamas in the weak air flow of the lower levels of the atmosphere. This will result in persistent, squally weather in that region. The storm may actually loop back toward Cuba over time.

The hurricane season is winding down and officially ends on November 30. The winter storm season is just beginning and we’ve already seen a major blizzard in the northern Plains as well as a couple of lake effect snow events. It will be interesting to see if the stormy trend established this autumn continues into winter.

John Collins

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