Storms and Sun
Hurricane Danielle continues to disrupt the shipping lanes in the Atlantic today, although losing some of her punch. Her northward wobble will take her well east of Bermuda, and eventually a northeastward turn will bring it over colder waters and weaken the storm in the northern Atlantic. Until Danielle is able to turn away from the current path, she is holding up our weather pattern across the U.S. High pressure is stretched out from New York to Missouri, keeping the Ohio Valley very warm and dry. A cold front slipping into northwestern Minnesota and the Dakotas may actually retrograde slightly back to the west, stalled by Danielle’s blocking pattern. Eventually, our pattern will once again become progressive, and a shot of cooler air is expected to shoot down across the northern tier of states.
Tropical storm Earl is racing toward the west at about 21 mph. Winds are currently sustained around 60 mph, and Earl could reach hurricane status(a sustained wind of 74 mph)as soon as tonight. Tropical storm watches have been issued for the Leeward Islands, with approach imminent Sunday night. Behind Earl, a slightly unorganized tropical wave is set to take shape, and could become a tropical cyclone within the next 36 hours. This storm could become Fiona, following a very similar path to Earl. The Atlantic storm season kicked into high gear, as we round the season’s peak and head into fall.
Our broad area of high pressure is keeping a big portion of the country soaked in sunshine. I was checking out the ultraviolet index today, and a number of cities will be experiencing levels considered high or very high. Here’s a chart to help you figure out forecast levels you may see printed in the newspaper or online. Although your UV index may be 2 or less at times, you’re still being exposed to ultraviolet rays through the clouds. UV readings in the low range during winter months is quite deceiving! Ultraviolet strength is doubled when the rays reflect back off snow. Once the UV index climbs into the high range, best to lather up in a sunscreen with an SPF value higher than 15. As the UV index climbs into the very high and extreme categories, the sun becomes even more dangerous. Try and avoid lengthy exposure during the sun’s strongest period, 10 AM to 4 PM. Wear an SPF 15 or greater and be sure to reapply every couple of hours. Keep sunglasses on and maybe even throw on a hat before heading outside. Be sure to find protection in shade, if you must be outdoors during the day.
Play it safe and keep yourself protected, but at the same time, enjoy a little natural vitamin d from that big, yellow-orange ball in the sky!
Meteorologist Bryan Karrick, WeatherNation LLC