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Transition from severe to tropical season in full bloom

Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st and severe weather season, at least in the United States, never truly ends, but we’re clearly starting to transition from our primary, broader meteorological focus from severe weather to the tropics.

This week has and will feature both severe weather, starting with an exteremely busy day over eastern Iowa and northern Illinois as a potential derecho blasted through the region, creating well over 200 severe weather reports this evening with plenty more sure to accumulate overnight and into tomorrow in the Great Lakes. But the shift from severe weather season to tropical season is on, even with Monday’s strong punch of straight-line wind damage.

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Noted storm chaser Chad Cowan tweeted on Sunday night that Monday “looks like the last chase day of 2014 season”. In the U.S., we get tornadoes all year round, but they’re focused in the late April through mid June (exact timing rough, depends on who you ask) peak season, and from July onwards we tend to see more straight-line wind and hail damage as severe weather shifts further north.

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Now, the attention is on the tropics, and we may have a rare Fourth of July tropical storm working its way up the Eastern seaboard. Right now, it looks like the storm – which would be Arthur, the first named system in the Atlantic this season, could be a moderate tropical storm off the Carolina coastline on Wednesday and Thursday, while eventually speeding up and grazing Long Island and New England later this week (Friday-Saturday) before scooting out to sea. Exact location and impact (think flooding rains) will have to be determined over the next few days, but it’ll be interesting. A Fourth of July tropical storm on Nantucket Island? Not out of the realm of possibility. It bears watching, and stay tuned to WeatherNation for all the latest.

I’ve thrown in some pictures from some of our fantastic viewers from today’s severe weather outbreak in Iowa and Illinois- enjoy and stay safe!

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Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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