Scientific Forecaster Discussion
fxus61 kctp 170813
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service State College PA
413 am EDT Wed Jul 17 2019
---dangerous heat and humidity possible this weekend---
The remnants of once Hurricane Barry will move through the area
today through late tonight with scattered thunderstorms and
localized heavy downpours. Otherwise we will be dealing with
hazy hot and very humid conditions until early next week when
some relief is in sight. Dangerous heat is becoming
increasingly likely this weekend, with Saturday heat indices
easily exceeding 100f over southern and southeastern areas.
Near term /until 6 PM this evening/...
*heavy downpours today due to moisture remnants of former tc Barry.
Boundary layer convergence over eastern Ohio and western PA
maintaining scattered early morning showers and isolated storms
over western third of PA. Isolated showers and storms reaching
into the Laurel Highlands, wc/c/NC mountains as well. This as
deep layer moisture continues to increase ahead of the center of
Barry's tropical moisture remnants, which are focused over Ohio
The airmass will be very juicy with pwats in the 1.75-2" range.
Localized heavy downpours will occur with thunderstorms this
afternoon and evening, and some will produce 1-2"+ in a short
amounts of time. Held off on any flash flood watches at this
time as per collab with southern neighbors at weather forecast office lwx as 3-hr
ffg values of 3.5 to 4.5" coupled with weak- MDT flow from 850
mb to 500 mb reduces the areal threat of flash flooding, but
will likely see ponding of water in poor drainage areas from
efficient downpours this afternoon and evening, especially
across southern and southeastern sections. Wpc has entire area
in slight risk of excessive rainfall, while cams seem to pinpoint
my southeast as the most likely target for locally heavy
It will be a steamy day with highs reaching the low 80s north
and the lower 90s south, with depwoints in the low to mid 70s.
Heat advisory criteria is reached south and east of the lower
susq River Valley.
Short term /6 PM this evening through 6 PM Thursday/...
locally heavy rainfall threat persists into this evening
as the moisture remnants of former tc Barry swing through.
Pooled deep layer moisture over 2.0" precipitable water over my southeast
counties may keep heavy downpours going into the early morning
hours of Thursday over Lancaster and York counties, while drier
air works in from the west elsewhere. The moisture will be
slowest to leave the southeast on Thursday as well where
isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms cannot be ruled
out. Elsewhere, Thursday will be a drier day with lower humidity
but still quite warm throughout. Highs Thu range from the mid
80s north to the lower 90s south.
Long term /Thursday night through Tuesday/...
*excessive heat risk Fri-Sat
Model guidance continues to signal the potential for excessive
heat around the end of the week and into the weekend. Maximum
heat index values peak in the 100-105 range Friday and Saturday.
Heat headlines appear likely during this time and will continue
to highlight heat risk via hwo, social media and dss briefings.
Very warm mid-level temperatures may act to limit/cap T-storms
That said, models hint at the potential for mesoscale convective system activity
propagating along wavy frontal zone on the northern periphery of
summertime upper ridge/heat dome.
New part of discussion below.
I did look over temperatures and dewpoints several times this
shift. Made a few minor adjustments to the temperatures and
I did cut pops back some after early Thursday, and prior to
later Sunday, based on mew model data and a very warm airmass.
Flow is fast and strong across the US and Canada border overall
for mid July, but we are south of the main westerlies. The
airmass is warmer than what we have seen lately. 1991 and 1995
featured such warm air. In this case, the warmest air is
advected toward buf late Friday. Warmest air for central PA is
Friday into Saturday. 850 mb temperatures fcst to be near plus
24 degrees at 850 mb late Friday across Lake Erie. Will be
interesting to see how fast water temperatures come up on Lake
Erie by next week.
A cool down is expected by next Tuesday, as the mean upper level
trough is nearby.
Aviation /08z Wednesday through Sunday/...
mainly VFR flight cats prevailing this morning with showers
confined to the northwest 1/3 of the airspace. Very high
dewpoints and light winds could result in local MVFR hz/br.
Expect scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms with
locally heavy downpours to develop through the afternoon.
Trended tafs to MVFR (vis) given potential for frequent
downpours and very high low level moisture (haze).
Showers should taper off from northwest to southeast into
tonight. MVFR to IFR cigs are probable across the northern and
western airspace with MVFR to low VFR most likely at central and
Thu-sun...mainly VFR with isolated to widely scattered PM