Sunday, July 15, 2018

Major Pattern Shift Coming...

For several weeks we have seen a large upper ridge (high) centered from the central plains through the Ohio Valley to the east coast.   Temperatures have been well above normal summer highs, but that is about to change.  Computer guidance is shifting the upper high back over the Southwestern states with a deepening east coast trough.  That should start a parade of cold fronts coming out of Canada and the worst heat of this summer maybe over for many places from the Great lakes into the Northeast.   Unfortunately it’s way too soon for those fronts to have much effect on us down South except to increase our rain chances as fronts stall over us or nearby.   With the MJO in the unfavorable (sinking air) phase, it’s highly unlikely any tropical development will happen, however, that’s how Hurricane Alicia formed back in 1983.   A frontal boundary pushed off the LA. Coastline down about 100 miles south of Grand Isle.   A swirl developed along this boundary and quickly organized into a Tropical Storm & then a Cat. 3 hurricane.  Fortunately for us, it moved westward and slammed into Houston doing lots of damage to the glass towers of downtown.  Don’t see anything like that happening, but we always watch summer fronts that push down towards us.   With higher rain chances coming, hopefully we’ll seen highs less hot?  Otherwise, it’s July, it’s hot, it’s humid with mainly daytime heating type storms.  One thing that is not “normal” is the position of the surface Bermuda High/Atlantic Ridge.  Usually the axis of the ridge is to our north giving us a SSE wind flow.   Lately, the axis is way down over the central Gulf producing a SW thru NW surface flow.  If you do any fishing, you know a “west wind is not the best”.  In fact, west winds usually mean muddy waters/poor visibilities so it’s really hard to get the fish to bite.  That will be the problem for those who want to fish this week.  The Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo is the following weekend ( July 26-28th) so hopefully the SE flow will be back by then?  Stay tuned!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Tropics Going Quiet...

Besides the remains of Beryl trying to reform well off the East Coast, the Tropics are likely to go quiet for the next 10-20 days.  None of the computer models are showing development, plus the MJO (Madden-Julian oscillation) has gone into the unfavorable (sinking air) phase.  Typically July is not an active hurricane month and it is August 15th thru October 1st when, historically, we have the greatest chances to have a tropical threat,  So we have a long way to go before cold fronts start coming and we say good bye to the 2018 hurricane season.   We take it one month at a time and, so far, June & July have been  nice to us.


Watching the various weather programs this evening reminded me of how difficult it was to keep the viewer engaged when the weather was so boring or the same day after day.  We have a large upper ridge centered over the Ohio Valley with clusters of storms rotating around it.   One of these days we’ll get some storms rotate on the underside of this ridge increasing our rain chances, but that appears unlikely before early next week.   I heard thunder this afternoon and could see the dark clouds to the south, but no rain fell at my location.  Coverage looked to be only about 10% this afternoon which is far below normal for summertime.  I expect Saturday & Sunday to be no different so if you get wet, consider yourself to be the fortunate ones. 


On a serious note, if you have to work or play outdoors during our summer heat, remember to stay hydrated.  3 & ½ hours in the sun today playing golf I drank two 12 oz Powerades & I didn’t have to pee!   By hole 15, I wasn’t feeling tired, but my head was in a fog.   The sun can really play a number on our bodies, especially if you’re a senior like me.  So pay attention to what your body is telling you.   Heat exhaustion & heat stroke are real dangers if you’re not careful.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2 Weeks Away...

Every Summer since the early 80s, late July to me means heat, humidity scattered storms & the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.    The 2018 Rodeo begins 2 weeks from daybreak tomorrow (July 26-28) and hopefully will be blessed with decent fishing weather.  Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser is this year’s President with Jim Henderson being “Admiral of the Fleet”.   I will co-MC the awards ceremony with Jim on Saturday night (July 28th) in the air conditioned Pavilion on the east end of the island.   You can register to fish the Rodeo ($25) for one, two or all three days.   Motel space is limited on the island so don’t wait until the last minute.   If you register, you are entered to win a 22 foot fully rigged boat & trailer or a Garmin GPS navigation system,   Not a fisherman?  No problem.  You can win the boat or GPS system by just registering for the Rodeo.  Go to  Each night in the Pavilion are local bands & great food & drinks.   The weigh station is at the east end of the island at Sand dollar Marina.  Break up the boredom of Summer and spend some time fishing the beaches of Grand Isle.  Many families also set out crab traps along the beach and often do really well.   I’m pumped hoping I can get back on the leader board and win a prize (2nd place Sheepshead) like I did back in 2014.  Time to wet a line Gang.


Weather-wise, another day of spotty, slow moving storms.  With the center of a large upper ridge staying well to our north, we should see clusters of storms fire off each day on the underside of the ridge.  The usual question is where/location?   Sometimes we can track these clusters/disturbances on satellite loops.  Sometimes they just erupt during daytime heating.  What a challenge for local forecasters.   I don’t have that stress anymore!


Chris is booking towards colder waters of the north Atlantic and will likely transition to an extra-tropical storm by tomorrow.  The remnants of Beryl  could reform once they past northward out of the Bahamas.  The issue I see is she would move over waters churned up by Chris so development will be restricted.  Regardless, she will not threaten the U.S.   No models show any development during the next 10-14 days besides Beryl & Chris.   Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Chris Cranks Quickly...

After sitting for 2 days churning (upwelling) cooler water to the surface restricting development, Chris started his move to the NE this morning and buda bing, explosive development over the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream.  This is hurricane # 2 and it’s only July 10th.   Tonight’s satellite loop shows a classic hurricane and I’m sure Chris will be upgraded from a Cat. 1 (85 MPH) to a Cat. 2 (100+) on the next advisory.  Doesn’t matter since he’s heading to the NE away from the U.S.   The remains of Beryl are still churning thru the Turks & Cacaos islands tonight.  NHC still thinks he could make a comeback, but again, Who cares since she’ll be well east of the U. S.?   With the MJO going into the unfavorable (sinking air) phase, I expect the next 3-4 weeks to stay quiet in our part of the World.   That should get us into August when, hopefully,  El Nino will strengthen creating more wind shear over the Caribbean & Atlantic basins.   Right Now we are running way ahead of normal regarding the “average date” of the 2nd hurricane.  Usually that doesn’t happen until early August.   A quiet few weeks would get us back to “normal”.


Today’s rain coverage was noticeable less than yesterday’s.   I’m glad I’m retired since satellite loops don’t really show why tomorrow will be more active.   We remain of the underside of a large upper ridge and storm motion will be from the NNW to the SSE tomorrow.    I suspect since today’s coverage was roughly 20%, getting back to our “normal” 30-40% on Wednesday will be a no brainer.   Stay tuned!