Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Will the coming heat wave smash records?

It is taking me a while to get back with the weather groove. Now that my transition to new duties has been complete for several weeks it seems that the love for weather and the urge to figure out what is happening is back. 

While my original summer forecast accurately predicted heat and tropical storms in a wild June the incoming heat ridge is OVER THE TOP. One NC Meteorologist is calling for a historic period of triple digit heat.  Weather Underground has been projecting Sunday highs at RDU (during Thurs 6/27/2012) to hit 108!!!  Take a look at the National Weather Service'e Heat Index forecast for Sunday.

When investigating some reasons for the obnoxious heat I found that the biggest driver has been a dive in Global Atmospheric Angular Momentum (AAM).  In its low state, weather is most like La Nina.  Here in the east it means heat and tropical storms. That does not necessarily mean heat 100% of the time but it does indicate dominance of ridging.   Here is the good news.  AAM is at or near a bottom.  The SOI has been in strong negatives (between -34 and -49) for the past 4 days.  This indicates the coming of a rising AAM trend and ultimately cooler summer weather.  I am still confident that the season will end in the normal range despite the torrid heat of the next several days.  Here is the Relative AAM Chart from the NOAA Earth Science Research Laboratory.

Keeping plenty of cool water available when driving would be a terrific idea.  Staying indoors when temps pass 100 is even better.  Be careful not to overwater your gardens.  A quart at the roots of most plants (every other day) + mulch heavily will give the best protection.  If we really hit 104, 108, and 106 (Sat-Sun - source Weather Underground from Wed 6/27) then I have no idea what can keep plants from taking damage other than building a Canopy.   SOAKING leaves invites disease!

Stay cool and please be safe.  Drink more water than you think you need, even indoors.  It is also advisable to run major appliances at night and keep the lights off as much as possible during the day to conserve power for AC use.  We definitely do not want to place Progress Energy in a bind.

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