Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tropical Depression Flooding Risk Continues for Mexico

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
June 18,2013; 6:05PM,EST
A slow-moving tropical depression will continue to bring torrential rainfall and the risk of flooding to parts of southeastern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala into midweek.
Because the system's forward speed has slowed and much of its circulation was over land, it could unravel.
The system is forecast to track near the coast of the Mexico states of Tabasco and Veracruz over the rest of the week. Whether or not the system manages to drift over the warm waters of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico (Bah of Campeche) will likely determine its survival status.

According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "A drift back over the warm waters would provide an opportunity for minimal strengthening, perhaps to a tropical storm. If the system remains over land, no regain of strength is likely, and the system, along with much of its rain, will slowly diminish."
In either case, enough thundery rain will fall to cause flash and urban flooding from Belize and northern Guatemala to the Mexico states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Chiapas and Tabasco, spreading to Veracruz and part of Oaxaca as the week progresses. Mudslides are also a concern.
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Daily rainfall will average 2 to 4 inches and much of this region with local amounts of 4 to 8 inches.
Indications continue to suggest that the bulk of the rain will stay south of much of Texas. There is a chance that some leftover moisture is funnel up toward the Big Bend area and into part of western Texas toward the weekend.
"Interestingly, the same parent tropical wave that produced the Atlantic tropical depression could spin up a much stronger system over the Eastern Pacific Basin by next week," Kottlowski said.
That feature could bring torrential rainfall and gusty thunderstorms along part of Mexico's southern coast, perhaps in the vicinity of Acapulco for a day or two, before moving westward into the open Pacific.
According to International Weather Expert Jim Andrews, "During the 48-hour period ending Tuesday morning, Belize City, Belize has received 8.01 inches of rain with 6.10 inches falling on Tela, Honduras."
Farther north from the storm center, Chetumal, Mexico, received 1.89 inches of rain during the 24 hours ending Tuesday morning.

Alaskan Temperatures Soar to the 90s, Challenge Records

June 18,2013; 5:43PM,EST
Some of the warmest weather of the year arrived in Alaska over the weekend and will continue through the first part of the week. The heat is also raising the risk of wildfires.
Folks heading to The Last Frontier should be prepared for hot weather and possibly smoky conditions.
Heat challenged records in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska's two most populated cities, over the weekend. The high in Fairbanks on Sunday reached 88 degrees, falling just a degree shy of their daily record.
Talkeetna was the hot spot in Alaska on Monday, climbing to a scorching 96 degrees. The temperature shattered the highest reading ever recorded for the site. The old record of 91 degrees set on June 26, 1953, was equaled Sunday. The temperature hit 94 degrees at McGrath and 90 degrees at Cordova.

Temperatures are forecast to continue to challenge, and possibly break, records again on Tuesday across parts of interior Alaska.
Temperatures will climb into the upper 80s and lower 90s through Wednesday with the highest temperatures being focused in southwestern Alaska. Meanwhile, cold ocean waters will limit temperatures along the coast to the mid-50s.
In addition to the heat, the weather pattern is also raising the risk of wildfires across the state.
According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, there are currently 29 active wildfires across the state. With the weather pattern not forecast to move much over the next few days, the wildfire threat will remain elevated.
These record-challenging temperatures are due to a northward bulge in winds high in the atmosphere that developed over central Alaska over the past weekend. The strong upper-level winds are known as the jet stream.
This particular jet stream pattern will hold its ground through the first part of the week, allowing the above-normal temperatures to continue.
Temperatures will start to ease a bit during the second half of the week as the jet stream shifts southward.
High Tues.
High Wed.
High Thurs.
Avg. High
Anchorage 80 73 72 63
Fairbanks 88 88 89 72
McGrath 92 86 83 69
This warm air will start to make up for the chilly spring that Alaska has had this year.
April was a particularly cold month, especially for the city of Fairbanks. In April, there was only one day where the city had temperatures that were above normal. When all was said and done, the month of April averaged 14 degrees below normal in Fairbanks.

Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Lada.

Flash Flood Threat From New Jersey to Georgia

June 18,2013; 5:24PM,EST
The risk of flash flooding will expand from the South into the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, threatening Atlanta, Ga., Raleigh, N.C., and Atlantic City, N.J.
An area of low pressure moving from the Tennessee Valley toward the Chesapeake Bay will pull warm, moisture-rich air from the South, providing fuel for heavy thunderstorms on Tuesday and into Tuesday night.
This is the same system that spread flooding thunderstorms farther west on Monday, causing rivers and creeks to jump their banks and roads to close due to high water.

In urban areas such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Richmond, Dover, Del., and Atlantic City, N.J., there is a risk of street and highway flooding, which can cause major delays for commuters.
While the threat of flash flooding reaches from southeastern New England to the Deep South, the heaviest rain will be centered from southern New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula, southward to North Carolina. In this swath, repeating thundery downpours can bring a general 1 to 3 inches of rain.
Heavy thunderstorms elsewhere can still easily produce over an inch of rain in less than an hour, leading to flash flooding. This area extends from southern Ohio to southern Pennsylvania, central New Jersey southward to eastern Tennessee, the rest of South Carolina and northern and eastern Georgia.
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During the mid-afternoon Tuesday, there have been numerous reports of flash and urban flooding over central and southern New Jersey to central Maryland. Earlier in the day Tuesday, similar incidents were reported from south central Pennsylvania to portions of West Virginia and western Virginia.
Locally gusty, drenching thunderstorms were also pushing across southeastern New England.
Many areas in the eastern United States have already received well above their normal amount of precipitation for the month of June.
Some cities that have already topped their monthly average include Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Richmond, Va. and Philadelphia.

With so many areas well above their normal rainfall for the month, flash flooding can occur rather quickly. With the ground already saturated with water, heavy rainfall will easily runoff into small streams, causing them to rise rapidly.
Small creeks can quickly turn into dangerous, fast-flowing bodies of water. Caution should be used when approaching these creeks as well as roadways that are covered with water.
Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Lada