Summer made its presence known in July 2019 with frequent hot stretches, significant rainfall, and severe weather events throughout the month. In fact, the number of days which featured above normal temperatures overwhelmingly exceeded the cooler days. As a result, it was a period that finished above normal in terms of both temperature and precipitation.
SEVERE AND SOGGY FIRST WEEK IN THE MID-ATLANTIC
July began where June left off in the Mid-Atlantic, with an active week of heavy rainfall and bouts of severe weather from Baltimore, MD to Trenton, NJ courtesy of several slow-moving fronts that made their way through the area. The first of these waves pushed through on the 2nd, in the form of a surface boundary which resulted in widespread reports of wind damage in Maryland and southeast Pennsylvania.
The most significant event followed a few days later, with the arrival of a more potent cold front and severe thunderstorms. In this instance, reports of downed trees and wires rolled in from Boston to Washington D.C. The storms were even enough to produce a tornado, which was actually captured by a surveillance camera in Mount Laurel, NJ. Though wind damage was not extensive, one unlucky car was flipped over by the brief spin-up.
The National Weather Service has CONFIRMED that an EF0 tornado touched down earlier this afternoon in Mount Laurel, Burlington County.
The tornado had wind around 70 mph.
A car was flipped over in a warehouse parking lot, as well as two air conditioners blown off a roof pic.twitter.com/v8s0dDAEy3
— PETER PLANAMENTE (@plana_journ) July 6, 2019
This same front proved to be tough to be rid of, as it slowed and became stationary over the Mid-Atlantic. Once again, this meant soaking rains from heavy thunderstorms on the morning of the 8th, with an eye on the immediate downtown of our Nation’s Capital. Given its urbanization and high population, this heavy thunderstorm activity brought significant impacts to the city in terms of flooding. To make matters worse, the event coincided with the morning rush hour, which left many motorists stranded. Washington’s Reagan National Airport collected 3.44” of rain, which was a record for the date, and the 4th highest 1-day July total in its history.
A few more severe weather events producing mainly wind damage dotted the rest of July. While a majority of the impacts were felt in the Mid-Atlantic, New England eventually joined in toward the latter half of the month. A tornado became one of the main stories (interestingly over Cape Cod), which tore the roof off of a hotel in West Yarmouth, MA. New England’s most significant and widespread severe weather episode wrapped up the month on the 31st, when potent thunderstorms brought down 70-75 mph gusts!
THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Along with the active weather during the month, heat waves frequented the entire I-95 corridor through New England, as a more persistent ridging pattern finally took over. While heat and its impacts can vary from region to region depending on tolerance and other factors, a heat wave in the Northeast is met when high temperatures hit 90 degrees or higher for three consecutive days. Baltimore and D.C. naturally were impacted the most by this, averaging high temperatures of 91.7 and 90.9 respectively. While technically three separate heat waves occurred, the one in the middle of the month spanned 12 straight days in D.C. Baltimore managed 11 consecutive days around the same time, and even recorded back-to-back days where the mercury reached the century mark.
The heat was felt northbound as well. Overall temperatures finished 3 – 6 degrees above normal from Philly to Boston. Urban impacts also made for sweltering nighttime numbers as well, especially in Newark which recorded a +7.1 degree departure from normal with an average low temperature of 71.7 degrees.
HOT, RAINY… BUT NOT RECORD-SETTING
While July 2019 certainly was hot at times, historical numbers provide a reminder that it is… summer. The heat did not break records, but it did finish highly in the rankings. Baltimore’s aforementioned 91.7 degrees hit 5th in recorded history at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Boston’s average of 86.6 degrees, though lowest of all the big cities due to its geography, was enough to get Logan Airport to the 3rd warmest on record.
Central Park, NYC
Not much has changed in the tropics since our last update in early July. At the moment, there are no named storms in the Atlantic, but the National Hurricane Center is watching a few disturbances that could show signs of development. We did have a “landfalling” hurricane here in the U.S. on July 13th as Barry moved ashore along the coast of Louisiana. It was a minimal hurricane as winds were briefly sustained at 75 mph. Flooding was the biggest issue for the Gulf Coast as the slow moving storm produced up to 20 inches of rain in Louisiana.
The tropics will get more active this month, which is to be expected as we progress towards the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season on September 10th. Chantal will be the next named storm followed by Dorian and Erin. So far, so good with our original WeatherWorks Atlantic Hurricane Forecast that was sent out in May. We are still expecting 10 – 13 named storms before the season ends on November 30th. Here is the link to the forecast and the original blog post that explains the overall pattern and expectations in the tropics: https://www.weatherworksinc.com/hurricane-outlook-2019
This July was what can be called a typical warm summer month in the Midwest, with plenty of heat and not as much rain as some previous spots for most areas. All locations were a few degrees warmer than average, with Dayton leading the way at 3.8 degrees above-average. Chicago also came in at more than 3 degrees over the norm, 3.1 degrees to be exact. Columbus and Indianapolis both were 2.8 degrees warmer than average for the month, with Cincinnati rounding out the list at +2.4 degrees. Rain varied, though many areas were drier than recent months. Dayton was the wet spot, seeing 5.71" of rain, which is 1.60" above average. Nearby Columbus and Cincinnati were much drier, with 3.22" and 2.41" of rain respectively, both more than an inch below normal. Indianapolis came in with 3.86" (-0.69"), while Chicago came in at 3.94" (+0.24").
As can be expected in a hotter than normal July, the region had plenty of stretches of 90-degree weather. Everyone saw multiple high temperatures in excess of 90 early in the month between the 1st and 5th, with many areas seeing another day or two above 90 around the 10th. The hottest stretch was the third week of the month, when everyone saw several days in which the high temperature topped 90, which combined with tropical humidity levels and very warm overnight lows to result in a sultry week. All cities got into double digits for the number of 90-degree days in July, and all saw more such days than normal.
While no daily record highs were broken, some of the overnight lows were warm enough to break records on July 19th; Indianapolis only dipped to 79 degrees, tying the record for the day. Chicago failed to even bottom out at 80 degrees, with a low of 81, breaking the old record for the date of 78 degrees. This is the warmest low temperature in Chicago since July 23, 2012 when the low was also 81°F.
A disturbance combined with the heat and humidity to spark areas of thunderstorms on July 2nd
With all the heat and humidity came scattered thunderstorms at various points. Many thunderstorms produced heavy rain and localized flooding, though the hit-and-miss nature of the storms prevented more widespread flooding problems. As can be seen by most locations being near-normal for rainfall on the month, these thunderstorms weren’t much more frequent than normal, outside of perhaps the first week of July in Ohio. Some isolated severe weather occurred through the month, though there weren’t any significant outbreaks. The most widespread severe weather occurred on July 2nd, when fairly numerous thunderstorms produced damaging winds across parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Thunderstorms were also fairly numerous on July 20th and 21st across the region as a cold front moved through and broke the heat, with some thunderstorms again producing damaging winds.
— Joey M. Marino (@WxJmar93) July 20, 2019
Lightning results in 28 deaths per year in the U.S. on average, but did you know there are 5 different ways to get struck by nature's hottest phenomenon? At 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, any cloud to ground lightning strike is a threat to human life and should not be taken lightly. In fact, lightning can be fatal from a strike that hit the ground up to 100 feet away, or originated from a thunderstorm several miles away. Let's examine the 5 ways lightning can strike a human.
The first and deadliest way is by a "direct strike". This happens when a person essentially becomes part of the lightning discharge channel and typically occurs if a person is out in the open, unprotected.
The second way to be struck by lightning is by a "side flash". This occurs when a taller object near the victim (such as a tree) is struck, and part of the current jumps to the victim.
The third and most subtle method to be struck is through "ground currents". Though seemingly sublte, this accounts for the most fatalities as the lightning strikes an object and the energy travels outward along the ground. Ground currents can travel from objects such as metal poles and trees.
The fourth way is by "conduction". This is the cause for most indoor lightning injuries. In this method, lightning travels through wiring or plumbing that originates outside. This is why it is dangerous to be in the shower during a thunderstorm.
The last and overall least common way to be struck by lightning is by a "streamer". This essentially is a strike extending from the main lightning bolt. While rare, it can still result in injury or death.
So remember, when outdoors there is NO safe place to be as lightning does not have to directly strike you to be fatal. The only actual safe place to be is indoors (away from plumbing) or inside of a vehicle.
Lightning strike graphics courtesy of NOAA.
There are many types of economies that call California home, but the biggest and most widespread is the agriculture industry. In fact, California is the leading producer of food with nearly $45 billion dollars in agriculture cash receipts! Unfortunately, crops are very susceptible to the weather, especially the cold. Two crops, grapes and almonds, are very prone to freezing temperatures. You are probably asking yourself what makes almond trees or grape vines so susceptible to the cold? The actual tree and vine are not the issue as they are just like any other shrub or tree and can endure the harshness of winter. The main concern is when these plants mature and begin to develop buds. These buds are the livelihood for growers as they will eventually evolve into wine grapes and almonds that we all love and enjoy.
Now you may ask at what temperatures and how long can these buds on almond trees and vines last in sub-freezing temperatures before they die? With almond buds, temperatures that dip to 30-32 degrees will begin the decay process and cause the buds to die within a single night. Let’s say the mercury drops to 27 degrees for an hour or so, almost 50% of the crop can be lost. Now imagine if temperatures drop into the upper teens to lower 20s! This can result in the loss of an entire region of almond crops, costing growers tens of millions of dollars. Wine grapes are a little different as the certain varietals are more or less susceptible to cold temperatures and frost. Regardless, temperatures that plummet below 32°F also become problematic quickly for vineyard owners.
There are a few interesting tools that farmers use to combat the effect of frost on their crops. The first and most common tool that growers use is water! Every orchard and vineyard has a vast network of irrigation pipes and channels. Water is useful because when water freezes, heat is released. This energy will help keep the actual fruit slightly warmer while the layer of ice around the grape remains near 32°F. Overall, irrigating is the most common way to protect crops from perishing with temperatures mainly between 27-32°F.
Another method farmers use to fight frost are helicopters. Helicopters can be a very effective tool to battle frost when a temperature inversion develops over the field at night. A temperature inversion is when the temperature actually increases as you get higher into the atmosphere. Depending on the strength of this inversion, temperatures just above the vineyard can be 5-10°F warmer than surface temperatures. The blades of the aircraft mix the warmer air from above to the surface to fight frost from developing on the bud. Helicopters are usually brought in as a last resort if irrigating can’t fully complete the job. The price for this service for a night can easily be in excess of $10,000!
Overall, all crops are susceptible to the weather, but wine grapes and almonds are especially prone. Growers use a myriad of ways to fight off frost in a wide variety of scenarios. So next time you raise that glass of wine or eat a bag of almonds, think of how much work goes into those tasty treats.
We are over a month into the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season and so far it’s been quiet. We have had only one named system so far (Subtropical Storm Andrea) and it didn’t impact anyone as it developed harmlessly over the central Atlantic in late May. This is not unusual as we only average 2 named storms before August 1st. And again, while Andrea didn’t affect anyone, we may not be as lucky with our next named storm. A storm system is expected to develop over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico this week, and then travel west. As it makes this westward trek over the very warm waters of the Gulf, it is forecast to become Tropical Storm Barry. There is a chance the storm becomes a hurricane before an expected “landfall” somewhere along the Texas and Louisiana coastline early this weekend.
As for the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season, it may take a while to really get going. Reason being, there is a lot of dry air and Saharan dust impeding development of any storms. However, this will likely be temporary, especially as we get into August.
Weatherworks Meteorologist Jim Sullivan says the current forecast for the hurricane season still looks on track. The weakening El Niño will likely “open the door” for the Atlantic to become more active in the coming weeks. This, combined with the diminishing Saharan dust will likely result in the development of “longer track” storms across the Atlantic. We’ll revisit the tropics next month and see how things are evolving as we head towards the core of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Temperatures during the month of June were generally near average across the Midwest, with Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus all ending the month within one degree of their monthly normals. Dayton was the warmest with an average June temperature of 71.5 degrees, while Chicago finished as the coolest location with an average temperature of 67.8 degrees. June was also characterized by a lack of extreme temperatures. There was one cool day on June 13th when high temperatures remained in the 60s across the region, and a spell of above average temperatures near the end of the month that delivered the only 90 degree temperatures in June. Otherwise, high temperatures generally didn’t deviate too far from normal through the month.
As is typical during the summer months, rainfall was highly variable across the region. Dayton and Chicago finished with slightly below normal rainfall with 3.80” and 3.05”, respectively. However, Indianapolis (7.51”), Cincinnati (8.20”), and Columbus (7.04’) all finished with rainfall amounts 3.00 – 4.00+ inches above normal. Rainfall frequency was high in June, particularly from June 8th to 24th where 14 - 15 of 17 days received at least a trace of rainfall from Indianapolis into southwestern Ohio.
The wet weather pattern was accompanied by a number of severe weather and heavy rain events across the region. Severe thunderstorms affected parts of the southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley on June 1st, with some large hail near Chicago and downed trees due to thunderstorms in the Columbus area. Another cluster of storms on June 5th brought tree damage to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati metro areas, with thunderstorms just missing Dayton and Columbus.
Radar image of heavy rain and thunderstorms tracking away from Indianapolis and into Ohio. Another batch follows June 15th - 16th, 2019. Courtesy of College of DuPage.
Around the middle of the month, a frontal boundary became stationary over Indiana and Ohio as waves of low pressure rode along it. Daily thunderstorms (some of which were severe) and areas of very heavy rain leading to flash flooding impacted Indianapolis, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati June 15th through June 21st.
— Vortex Crew (@VortexChasing) June 16, 2019
Video of large tornado southwest of Indianapolis on June 15th, 2019, courtesy of Chris Breeden
The most notable severe weather event was on June 15th. While storms passed just south of the Windy City, several tornadoes struck Indiana, including the Indianapolis metro area. A total of 13 tornadoes were reported in the Hoosier State, with three tornadoes reaching EF-2 intensity (winds as strong as 135 mph). Two tornadoes occurred very close to Indianapolis: an EF-1 tornado just southwest of Beech Grove with estimated winds of 100 mph, and an EF-0 tornado to the east of Beech Grove with estimated winds of 70 mph. Tremendously heavy rain also accompanied the storms, with Indianapolis obliterating their daily record with 3.85” of rain.
This severe weather then pushed east into Ohio and slowly weakened, with a brief EF-0 tornado northwest of Dayton near the Indiana state line. Gusty winds caused some tree damage in the Cincinnati area as well. Heavy rain occurred in Ohio, with Dayton and Cincinnati (1.52” at both locations) setting daily rainfall records for June 15th. Scattered thunderstorms and locally heavy rain continued through the week, with Cincinnati getting another 2.38” (another daily record) on June 16th and Columbus doused with 2.65” (daily record) on the 19th.
The last week or so of June was not quite as active with more dry time sprinkled in, though some severe weather occurred. Severe thunderstorms tracked from central Indiana to southern Ohio on June 23rd, bringing scattered damaging winds with many trees reported down, especially near Indianapolis and Cincinnati. A strong thunderstorm on June 25th brought severe weather immediately north of downtown Chicago, with hail the size of quarters and wind gusts of up to 58 mph. Chicago remained busy on June 26th, 27th, and 28th with more scattered severe thunderstorms with large hail and gusty winds. Meanwhile, strong storms occurred just east of Cincinnati and Dayton with damaging winds on the 28th. After these storms, Chicago, Indy, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati all finished with highs of 90 degrees or better on the 30th as we turned the calendar to July.
Summer has arrived and so has plenty of rain! The past 12 months in particular have been record breakers for many across the U.S. Accordingly, it has become ever more necessary to document just how wet it has been due to the impacts on various projects. Here at WeatherWorks, we are always striving to provide our clients with useful ways to present past data. Our Data & Stats Department is excited to unveil a new product that tailors to that very need!
Our Seasonal Review product provides a rainfall climatology overview which you can request for a number of locations based on region or ZIP code. This includes monthly totals, cumulative amounts over the season, and the number of rain days, all of which are displayed visually in an easy-to-read graph form. A full year’s worth of data can be displayed, which makes the form customizable to your preferences!
In addition, the Seasonal Review can incorporate temperature and snowfall overviews. For temperatures, monthly anomaly charts and daily timelines of maximum and minimum temperatures are depicted over the course of the season and is compared to daily and monthly normals. Unlike our Snowtistics™ product which covers snowfall climatology over many years, the snowfall overview provides a quick snapshot of monthly totals, seasonal cumulatives, and the number of days with various types of wintry precipitation for the previous season.
The Seasonal Review can be utilized to depict how the weather effects your projects. Many have had outdoor work interrupted or postponed due to unwanted stretches of inclement weather. By showing your client the certified data in our report, you can provide reasons for project delays, why deadlines lapsed, and have proof for any additional expenses. The Seasonal Review can even be used to show potential trends that may persist into the near future as well.
Get climatology beyond the snow! If you are interested in our Seasonal Review, feel free to request a report by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 908-850-8600.
Compared to the previous month, severe weather was a bit less widespread in June 2019. However, the same active pattern that we saw in May continued through the first half of the month, with intervals of upper level ridging and troughing. This pattern brought warm-ups followed by cool shots through the first two weeks, especially across New England. By the second half of the month, however, this all started to change. More prominent and longer lasting ridging pushed in increasingly humid and tropical air masses. This allowed temperatures to finally surge well into the 80s and 90s for longer stretches of time across a good chunk of the I-95 corridor. This not only led to a renewed risk in severe weather, but also flooding along the Mason-Dixon line, around Philadelphia, and in southern New Jersey.
The first weekend of June continued with some severe weather, as a series of frontal passages brought showers and thunderstorms. Hail and damaging winds accompanied these storms from Virginia all the way up through the lower Hudson Valley. While temperatures sat in the 70s and 80s across most of the I-95 corridor, a stalled out boundary kept temperatures in the 60s and lower 70s through the first half of the week over much of Massachusetts and northern New England.
Although the severe weather subsided some the following week, it still remained active with daily shower and storm threats in the Northeast. Temperatures as a whole were near average from D.C. to NYC, though slightly below average from Hartford to Boston. Precipitation was also near normal, with most places roughly picking up anywhere from 0.50"-1.00" of rainfall.
— Tony Pann (@TonyPannWBAL) June 14, 2019
By the middle of the 2nd week of June, an active pattern locked in as more disturbances and frontal boundaries became increasing impactful. June 13th started what would be a string of busy weather days, with severe storms dropping heavy rain (1"+ in some areas) and damaging winds across the Mason-Dixon line, southern NJ and around Philadelphia. Two tornadoes also occurred with this severe set-up, with an EF-0 in Gloucester, NJ and an EF-1 in Cecil County, MD.
A ridge of high pressure off the eastern seaboard helped keep this pattern in place during the 3rd week of the month. More disturbances brought daily threats of showers and thunderstorms. Although there were some strong-severe storms between the 16th and the 20th (mainly over the DelMarVa), it was the flooding that became problematic by the end of the week. Slow moving storms brought heavy rainfall from southeast PA into southern NJ, with Philadelphia recording over 4" of rainfall in a short span of time.
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) June 20, 2019
A bit of a reprieve from showers and storms arrived by the last week of the month, though this ridge of high pressure helped to bring in more tropical air masses. This led to not only an increase in humidity, but also an increase in temperature. Areas from D.C. to Philly saw back to back days in the 90s, with even areas near Boston finally seeing back to back days in the 80s. Though most of the week ended up quiet, one disturbance on the 29th led to widespread strong to severe storms from the Nation's Capital through New England.
The storm events during the middle to later half of the month led to near to above average rainfall for many. Philadelphia was the biggest outlier of all the major I-95 cities, as they picked up almost double their monthly rainfall. Temperatures also ended up near to slightly above normal for most of the Northeast, thanks to the end of the month warm-up.
“The key to excelling in the future is by looking at the past." Our goal is to equip our clients with the best tools in the industry Before, During, and After the storm so they can rest assured that their business is well prepared for the season ahead. Snowtistics™ is just one of the many products we offer to aid those in the snow and ice industry.
Whether you need a breakdown for a specific ZIP code or an entire region, WeatherWorks can look 5, 10, or even 30 years back at average monthly or yearly snowfall, magnitude and number of events, and even provide seasonal comparisons. This can make all the difference when it comes to bidding on future work as your business continues to expand.
For those early birds already thinking about next winter, we are offering a special Buy One, Get One on Snowtistics™ reports throughout the month of July. To access this promotion, email email@example.com and mention this article along with the locations you need.
For over 30 years, our services have been relied on by forecast and alert clients. However, did you know WeatherWorks started largely over the airwaves?
Of course, the method of how weather information is delivered has evolved over the years. Yet, radio broadcasting remains an important part of the media landscape, especially to commuters and general radio listeners alike. WeatherWorks has been on the air since CEO Frank Lombardo began the company in 1986. Some of the stations have changed over the years, and on-air meteorologists have been added, but what has not changed is the high quality and reliability of radio broadcasting we provide.
Where Can You Hear Us?
If you live between New York City and Philadelphia, chances are you can hear our meteorologists on several stations. Here is where you can find us on the radio:
Hackettstown / NW NJ: 92.7 FM and 1510 AM, WRNJ
Northeast NJ: 1500 AM WGHT
Central NJ: 1450 AM “Talk Radio,” WCTC
Central NJ: “Magic 98.3 FM,” WMGQ
Orange County, NY: 93.5 FM and 1110 AM, WTBQ
Cumberland County, NJ: 98.5 FM, WZFI (Lift FM)
Tri-State Area and Northeast PA / Southeast NY: “The Bridge,” Multiple Frequencies
Atlantic City, NJ: 94.3 FM, WIBG
Be sure to catch us on any of these great stations if you live in the general vicinity or if you are passing through on your morning commute. And don’t forget, you can always do some exploring on the internet, and listen online via apps such as iHeart Radio, or the station’s websites.