Archive for July, 2010

Record Hailstone Pummels South Dakota
July 30, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2010

CONTACT
Susan Buchanan, (301) 713-0622

South Dakota Storm Produces Record Hailstone

NOAA’s National Climate Extremes Committee, responsible for validating national weather records, has declared a hailstone found last week in Vivian, S.D., to be the largest in diameter and heaviest ever recovered in the United States.

Found after a July 23, 2010, severe thunderstorm by Vivian resident Les Scott, the hailstone is 8.0 inches in diameter and weighs 1.9375 pounds (1 pound, 15 ounces) with a circumference of 18.62 inches.
These measurements displace the previous hailstone record for weight, previously 1.67 pounds for a stone in Coffeyville, Kan., in 1970. They also surpass the record for diameter, which was 7 inches for a hailstone found in Aurora, Neb., in 2003. The Aurora hailstone still holds the record for circumference of 18.75 inches.

“I’m just glad nobody got hurt and hope the town will recover soon,” Scott said.

David Hintz, warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s Aberdeen weather forecast office said a local power outage likely led to the hailstone melting some before it could be measured. “Mr. Scott told me the area was littered with large hailstones and the largest had a greater diameter when he first found it. He immediately stored it and several others in his freezer, but a power outage caused some melting.”
After getting Hintz’ notice of a possible record hailstone, personnel at National Weather Service Central Region headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., requested activation of the National Climatic Extremes Committee to examine and judge Scott’s hailstone. Personnel from the Aberdeen office traveled to Vivian to measure and weigh the hailstone, and then turned their findings over to the three-person committee. After a thorough review of the facts, committee members certified its record-breaking status.

Information about the National Climatic Extremes Committee and existing weather records may be found at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/ncec.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

_________________________________________________________
Susan Buchanan
Acting Director of NOAA Communications & External Affairs

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More Storms On The Way?
July 29, 2010

Thursday is heating up. A cold front is approching and temperatures ahead of the front had already jumped into the 90s by 11:00am.

Southwest to west winds ahead of the front are moving moist air into the area as well as the heat. The late morning satellite image shows the clouds associated with the front reaching from the northeast U.S. across the Ohio River Valley.

Because of the convergence of heat, humidity and the cold front, scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for the area today.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has included the Mid Atlantic region in an area that has a slight risk for severe storms today. You can track any storms that do develop on our Interactive Radar by clicking the link below.

http://www.wbaltv.com/interactive-radar

John Collins

40th 90° Day and counting…
July 29, 2010

The heat of this summer is fast becoming as impressive as the snow from last winter.  With a high of 94° on Wednesday, BWI-Marshall registered its 40th day this year with temperatures at or above 90°.  A sharp contrast to the summer of 2009 when the max temperature hit the 90s just 13 times.  Still, we would need another two weeks (14 more days) of 90° temperatures to reach the all-time record which is 54 days set in the scorching hot summer of 1988.  The normal number of 90° days in August is 7 and typically there are another 3 days with temperatures in the 90s in September.  So, a normal finish to the summer would leave us a few days short of the record.  But, this summer has been anything by “normal”, at least so far.  Stay tuned!

Tom Tasselmyer

Storms Break Heat Wave … Sort Of
July 26, 2010

A line of strong thunderstorms has broken the worst of the most recent heat wave. The line of storms moved eastward at up to 60 mph, generating wind gusts in the 60 and 70 mph range. There was considerable damage to trees and power lines. Because of the storm’s rapid forward speed, rain totals were relatively low at less than an inch recorded in most areas.

Temperatures dropped sharply as the storms passed through. A record 100 degrees was hit at BWI-Marshall Airport at 2:23pm. In little more than an hour readings had fallen into the 70s west of the Bay.

The air mass behind the front will bring temperatures down to a more normal range for the season. Humidity levels will be much lower and it should be more comfortable.

Statistics from this summer’s exceptional heat are impressive to date and are listed below.

John Collins

Heat Wave High Points
July 24, 2010

As of Saturday morning, some significant statistical highlights associated with this summer’s heatwave.

  • 38 … 90 degree or warmer days. This is a record for the early part of a summer season.
  • 5 … 100 degree or hotter days (Saturday’s high will likely make it 6 days).
  • 83 degrees … Saturday morning hourly low temperature. It will likely be in the low 80s at midnight so the the record high minimum temperature for the date (77 degrees) would be broken.
  • 77 degrees … The record high minimum temperature for Sunday. This record could very well be tied or broken as well.
  • 54 days-1988 … the record number of 90+ degree days for an entire year.We still have the rest of July, August, September and October to break this one.

Keep Cool.

John Collins

The Heat Continues
July 22, 2010

Hot summer temperatures will spike this weekend, followed by a cooling trend, of sorts, next week.

Humidity levels will also jump up through the weekend so discomfort levels will be quite high.

The record high temperature for Baltimore for Friday is 102 degrees (1991) and probably will not be tied or broken but Saturday’s record high of 97 degrees(1987) could very well be met or exceeded. Sunday’s record high of 99 degrees (1934) is probably safe but it might be close.

By Sunday, temperature and humidity levels will begin to drop off a little but it looks like afternoon highs next week will remain above the seasonal average, which is in the upper 80s.

The tropics are active and Tropical Depression 3 has developed in the Atlantic.

The storm is expected to strengthen to Tropical Storm force and would be named Bonnie.

The projected track takes the storm into the warm Gulf of Mexico waters and toward the northern Gulf coast by the weekend.

John Collins

Another Week of Heat
July 19, 2010

Unseasonably warm temperatures and high humidity levels will affect the region for yet another week this summer.

It has been an interesting year so far. Record winter snow, a recent, unusually strong earthquake and now a continuation of the streak of hot weather. The numbers so far this summer look like this …

The high temperatures this coming week will add to the numbers above but probably fall short of the records.

John Collins

Lightning Strikes NOAA Weather Radio
July 16, 2010

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
610 PM EDT THU JUL 15 2010

…EXTENDED OUTAGE OF PIKESVILLE ALL-HAZARDS NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER…

AS OF TODAY…THE PIKESVILLE ALL-HAZARDS NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER KEC-83 ON 162.400 MEGAHERTZ HAS BEEN TURNED OFF TO AVOID POSSIBLE DAMAGE TO THE TRANSMITTER. TECHNICIANS HAVE DETERMINED THAT THE TRANSMITTER COULD FAIL IF OPERATED EVEN IN A DEGRADED LOW POWER
OUTPUT MODE OWING TO A RECENT LIGHTNING STRIKE THAT DAMAGED THE ANTENNA.

A SPECIALIST WILL BE ON SITE THIS WEEKEND TO ASSESS REPAIRS NEEDED TO THE PIKESVILLE ANTENNA. THE PIKESVILLE NOAA WEATHER RADIO COULD BE OFF THE AIR FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD BEFORE REPAIRS ARE COMPLETED…POSSIBLY UP TO TWO WEEKS.

Drought Conditions
July 9, 2010

The combination of two recent heat waves and a lack of rain have been rough on gardens and farms across the region.

The summer has been hot. 16 days in June hit 90 degrees and warmer with two of those days hitting 100 degrees. July has seen 4 days with 90 or warmer with three of those reaching 100 degrees or higher.

The heavy snows and rain of this past winter and early spring filled up the reservoirs and water tables across the region but the recent lack of rain is beginning to take its toll on soil moisture. Rainfall at BWI-Marshall Airport is running 3.92 inches below average for the period of April 1 through July 8.

Source: CPC/NOAA

The entire region is abnormally dry at this point and the most recent data shows that much of Maryland is experiencing Moderate Drought Conditions (yellow highlighted area) with the area around Calvert County experiencing Severe Drought Conditions.

Relief may come for some areas in the form of scattered thunderstorms over the next few days.

John Collins

100 times 5
July 8, 2010

For the 5th time this summer the temperature hit triple digits in Baltimore, topping out at a recording breaking 101° Wednesday afternoon at BWI-Marshall.  It is the most 100° days we’ve had in a season since the sizzling hot summer of 1988 when the century mark was reached 7 times.  Today was the third straight 100° day and the fourth record high broken in the last two weeks.  It looks like the heat will begin to gradually back off tomorrow.

Tom Tasselmyer