Will Barry Develop in the Atlantic? Severe Thunderstorm Threats and Wildfire Update
Monday, June 17th, 2013
This weather is for fish! June has been a fairly wet month for some, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. Radar estimates of rainfall through the first half of the month are tipping the scales at 5″ to 8″ or more, thanks largely in part due to Tropical Storm Andrea earlier this Month. Thanks to Chris Smith from Northern Idaho for the fishy photo below!
Precipitation Past 14 Days
The image below shows pockets of heavy rainfall across the nation, with the heaviest blob over the Eastern Seaboard. Note how the Southwest has seen little precipitation so far this month!
U.S. Drought Monitor
The U.S. Drought Monitor released it’s latest drought map last week (New update every Thursday) and showed that the central and western part of the country is still in a deep drought. The latest rainfall has helped, but we still need more and quite a bit more out west!
“This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw some improvements along the Eastern seaboard as the first storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season – Tropical Storm Andrea – made landfall over Florida late last week bringing strong winds, heavy rain, and thunderstorms to the region. Post-Tropical Cyclone Andrea moved up the East Coast on Friday and Saturday combining with a cold front to deliver heavy precipitation and flooding to the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. Across the Great Plains, scattered shower activity led to some modest improvements in areas of drought over the eastern halves of Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. In the Midwest west of the Mississippi, continued shower activity led to improvements in drought areas of western Iowa and southwestern Minnesota. In the South, modest rainfall led to minor improvements over portions of the Texas Panhandle, central and southeast Texas, and northwestern Louisiana. Out West, unseasonably hot and dry conditions were felt late last week and during the weekend as record-breaking heat gripped Arizona, California, and Nevada. Some relief from the heat came to the region late Sunday afternoon and Monday as showers and thunderstorms developed over northwestern Nevada and northern California. In Alaska, unseasonably warm temperatures, reaching the low 70s, were observed in south-central Alaska; southeast Alaska, the Interior, and western Alaska experienced below-normal temperatures.”
Rainfall Needed to End Drought
This is an interesting graphic. It shows much rain (precipitation) is needed to end the drought across the country. It’s a little disturbing to think that there are places that need 6″ to 12″+ of rain to end the drought. Note the near 4″ to 5″ near the Las Vegas region… Keep in mind that Las Vegas typically only sees 4″ to 5″ of precipitation per year!
NOAA’s CPC Drought Outlook continues to show promise for those in the central part of the country. Unfortunately, the drought outlook for folks in the western half of the country, it doesn’t look good where drought conditions may persist for quite some time.
“Latest Seasonal Assessment – During the past three weeks (since May 16), an active weather pattern, consisting of a series of slow-moving storm systems tracking across the northern tier of the Nation, brought ample rainfall to the Pacific Northwest, the northern thirds of the Rockies and High Plains, much of the Great Plains, Midwest, Delta, Great Lakes Region, New England, and southern half of Florida. 3-week temperatures have averaged below normal in the Northwest , northern Rockies and Plains, and upper Midwest. Since May 1, the heaviest rains (more than 7 inches) have fallen on parts of the northern High Plains, the middle Mississippi Valley, central Great Plains, the upper and lower Delta, parts of Florida, and the southern Appalachians. In contrast, drier conditions were observed in the Southwest, the southern Rockies and High Plains, portions of the Southeast, especially Alabama, the eastern Ohio Valley, and the mid-Atlantic.”
NOAA’s HPC 5 day forecast brings another batch of heavier rain across the southern half of the nation (except the Southwest). Several rounds of showers and storms will be responsible for this soggy outlook. There is also another slow moving low pressure system in the Pacific Northwest that will be responsible for heavy pockets of rain along the Canadian boarder over the next few days.
Severe Threats Ahead
June can be a pretty active time for showers and thunderstorms and we’ll have no shortage of thunder potential this week. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted strong to severe thunderstorm potential over the few days.
Check out some of the stormy pics from this weekend below…
Severe Threat Monday
Severe Threat Tuesday
2013 Tornado Drought
Even with the recent spike in severe weather, 2013 is still lacking in the tornado department. According to the Storm Prediction Center, the first 16 days of June has seen 92 PRELIMINARY tornado reports. June typically sees nearly 250 nationwide.
2013 National Tornadoes
According to the SPC, there have been 573 PRELIMINARY tornadoes across the nation so far this year. On average, there should be closer to 1000!
Average U.S. Tornadoes By Month
On average, the number of national tornadoes begins to decline in June. It can still be a very active month, but we’ve typically seen the peak by now. Big domes of hot air in the central part of the country during the summer months is generally the reason for the decrease in tornadoes and overall severe weather reports during the summer months.
Tracking the Tropics
Say hello to Tropical Depression #2 in the Atlantic Basin, which developed on Monday just southeast of Mexico. The track takes this thing over eastern Mexico and then back into the Bay of Campeche before making landfall with Mexico again later this week.
This was a picture from Bacalar, Mexico as a band of showers and storms was rolling in on early Monday. Looks like a pretty nasty cloud there huh?
Tracking the Tropics
The latest from the National Hurricane Center keeps this storm across Mexico and well away from the U.S. mainland. It appears that the biggest threat with this storm will be heavy rain and inland flooding.
The Black Forest wildfires in Colorado continues… Here’s the latest from inciweb.org
“The Black Forest Fire started on Tuesday, June 11th. The cause is undetermined. It is located in the northeast section of Colorado Springs, within the city limits. Rich Harvey’s Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team took over management of the fire on Wednesday June 12th at 6 a.m.
This wind driven fire moved very quickly the first day. The current assessment has determined 482 structures have been destroyed and 17 were damaged. Several thousand residents were evacuated. As areas cool down and have been cleared of potential safety hazards, some residents are being allowed to return to their homes. Safety assessments of structures are ongoing. A few resources have been released as firefighters continue to make progress toward their containment objectives.”
(Image below courtesy inciweb.org)
“BLACK FOREST – The Black Forest Fire is 65 percent contained, has destroyed 483 homes and damaged 17. It has consumed more houses than 2012’s Waldo Canyon Fire – making it the most destructive fire in state history. More than 3,600 homes in the area remain untouched, and fire crews are working around the clock to keep it that way. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department is expected to release the names of the two people who died in the blaze on Monday. An investigation is underway into the cause of the wind-driven fire. All that is known at this point is the blaze was not started by lightning. Four burglaries and one impersonation of a fire official or police officer was reported in the Black Forest Fire area, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Sunday. Some mandatory evacuations for the Black Forest Fire were lifted Saturday night. Residents to the north were allowed to begin returning home at 8 p.m. Saturday. They’ll remain under pre-evacuation and must be ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
Royal Gorge Fire
inciweb.org is reporting that the Royal Gorge Fire is now 100% contained!
“Royal Gorge Fire is 100 Percent Contained – Cañon City, Colo. Today, fire crews finished mopping-up the fire perimeter. The Royal Gorge Fire is 100 percent contained as of 6 p.m. this evening. Smoke may continue to be visible in the fire area due to isolated pockets of unburned fuel inside the containment lines. This is the final update for the Royal Gorge Fire from the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team B. Command of the fire will transition back to the local unit on Monday at 6 a.m. Local fire resources will continue to monitor the fire as necessary. For further fire information, please contact Denise Adamic, BLM Public Affairs Specialist, at (719) 269-8553. The Royal Gorge Fire Information line will not be staffed as of 8 p.m. Sunday. The final size of the Royal Gorge Fire is 3,218 acres. The majority of the fire was in the City of Cañon City (2,156 acres); with additional acreage on private lands (561 acres) as well as lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (501 acres).”
Image below courtesy inciweb.org
Thanks for Checking in, have a great rest of your week!
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