Weekend Outlook: June 4-8, 2020

Lots of changes are coming over the next few days, but overall, we’re not expecting anything too significant.

It is a fantastic early June afternoon across the region. Loop provided by the College of DuPage.

We’ve got a sunny and warm afternoon in progress, with a frontal boundary stalled out to the south and high pressure trying to build in from the north. That front will start to lift northward again tonight, bringing some clouds back in along with the threat for a few showers and possibly a rumble of thunder. It will also bring more humid air back in. This will set up a very warm and humid Friday. A few showers and thunderstorms may pop up during the afternoon, but they’ll be widely scattered, and probably won’t be that strong.

Dewpoints will rise into the upper 60s across the region Friday afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Saturday could be a different story. It will be another warm and humid day to start, but a cold front will move across the region. This front will likely produce showers and thunderstorms, some of which could be strong, but a lot will depend on the timing of the front. If it moves through in the morning or around midday, we’ll just have some garden-variety showers and thunderstorms in the morning, then we’ll start to dry out in the afternoon. If the front doesn’t move through until mid-to-late afternoon, then the atmosphere may have more time to destabilize, and we’ve got a better shot at some stronger thunderstorms. Right now, we’re leaning towards an earlier passage of the front, but obviously we’ll keep an eye on it. High pressure then builds in for Sunday and Monday with much drier and cooler conditions, though some low clouds may move in from the ocean on Saturday.

Conditions have become abnormally dry across parts of the area, the first step towards a drought. Image provided by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

As for the tropics, Cristobal is still over land, southern Mexico to be specific, and has weakened to a tropical depression. It will continue to produce heavy rain and flooding across the area, but the current forecast calls for it to move back over water on Friday or Saturday, and head northward while strengthening. It will become an increasing threat to the central Gulf Coast by late in the weekend. We’ll have a full blog post about Cristobal and the threat to the Gulf Coast tomorrow.

Current Forecast for Tropical Depression Cristobal. Image provided by the National Hurricane Center.

Thursday night: Becoming mostly cloudy with a chance for some showers, possibly a thunderstorm. Low 60-67.

Friday: More clouds than sunshine, showers and thunderstorms are possible during the afternoon. High 79-86.

Friday night: Partly to mostly cloudy, some lingering showers along the south coast. Low 62-69.

Saturday: A mix of sunshine and clouds, chance for some more showers and thunderstorms. High 79-86, cooler along the south coast.

Saturday night: Becoming mostly clear and less humid. Low 53-60.

Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 66-73, coolest along the coast.

Sunday night: Becoming mostly clear. Low 49-56.

Monday: Sun, sun, and more sun. High 72-79, a little cooler along the coast.

Tropical Depression Three Develops

Yesterday was the first day of the official hurricane season in the Atlantic. It also saw the formation of the third system of the season.

Tropical Depression Three developed in the Bay of Campeche Monday afternoon. Loop provided by NOAA.

Tropical Depression Three developed in the Bay of Campeche Monday afternoon. The system is the remnants of Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda, which moved into southern Guatemala on Saturday. It has been producing heavy rainfall across portions of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and southeastern Mexico since Friday, and that will likely continue for another couple of days as the system mills around in the Bay of Campeche. As of early Tuesday morning, the system was centered about 100 miles west of Campeche, Mexico with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph, and was moving toward the west at 5mph. Conditions are favorable for additional strengthening, and the system could be upgraded to Tropical Storm Cristobal on Tuesday. Since this seems likely, the government of Mexico has issued a Tropical Storm Warning from Campeche to Puerto de Veracruz.

Rainfall totals of 10-20 inches and locally heavier will likely produce flooding and mudslides across the region this week. Image provided by WeatherBell.

This season is the 6th one since 1851 that has seen 2 named storms form before June 1 (1887, 1908, 1951, 2012, and 2016 are the others). If this system is named in the next few days, it will be the earliest we’ve ever had a “C” storm in the Atlantic. The previous record was June 5, 2016, when Tropical Storm Colin was born.

The forecast for the system is fairly straightforward for the next few days. The system should mill around in the Bay of Campeche, producing heavy rainfall across southeastern Mexico and neighboring countries, with some strengthening likely. This will produce significant flooding, and mudslides in mountainous areas. As we get into the latter half of the week, things gets significantly more complicated. There are two distinct scenarios presented by the various computer models at this time. The first option is that the system turns northward, and moves across the Gulf of Mexico, heading towards the northern Gulf Coast towards next weekend while strengthening. The second option is that the system moves into southeastern Mexico and dissipates, then a new storm forms near or north of the Yucatan Peninsula, and heads northward later in the week. Either way, residents of the Gulf Coast should pay attention to the progress of this system as as the week goes on.

The 51 members of the ECMWF Ensemble show a wide range in the location and strength by thr end of this weekend for what is currently TD 3. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Most of the forecast models do not show this system reaching hurricane strength before moving towards the Gulf Coast, but a few do. This is consistent with early-season storms that impact the United States. Since 1851, only 18 hurricanes have made landfall during the month of June in the United States, and only one (Audrey in 1957) did so as a major hurricane. A hurricane hasn’t made landfall in the United States before July 1 since Hurricane Bonnie came ashore as a minimal hurricane near the Texas/Louisiana border on June 26, 1986. The earliest in the season that a hurricane has ever made landfall in the United States was June 9, 1966, when Hurricane Alma made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.

Weekly Outlook: June 1-7, 2020

June has arrived, which means that we are now officially in meteorological summer. It also means that Hurricane Season has officially begun in the Atlantic.

June is starting on a rather cool note with some frost across portions of Northern New England. Image provided by WeatherBell.

We start the week off on a cool note with high pressure at the surface and upper-level trough of low pressure moving across the region. This trough may help produce a few pop-up showers this afternoon, but will also help keep temperatures well below normal today. Another cool night is expected tonight, but not as cool as it was this morning. By Tuesday a warm front will be moving towards the area, with clouds streaming in ahead of it, and possibly a shower or two.

Warmer air moves in on Wednesday as low pressure heads toward the St. Lawrence Valley. With the warm air will be some shower activity and possibly a thunderstorm or two. We’ll remain warm and humid through Thursday and into Friday before another low pressure system passes north of the region. This will bring in more showers and thunderstorms late Friday and Friday night.

Dewpoints will rise into the middle to upper 60s by Friday afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

A cold front moves through early Saturday, but we’ll remain on the warm side with developing sunshine during the afternoon. Drier air will filter in behind the front, then high pressure builds in for Sunday with cooler conditions.

Over the weekend, we published our annual look at the upcoming hurricane season, which also contained some stats about how overdue we are for a storm up here, or, as a colleague said “me thinks our clock be tick’n!” We’ve already had 2 named storms this season (we’re still not convinced that “Bertha” was actually a tropical storm), but another system could be brewing in the Bay of Campeche. Conditions will be favorable for a system to develop later this week, and a majority of the forecast models do show a system developing, but they don’t agree on how strong it could get or where it could go. Obviously, we’ll keep an eye on it, and if it develops, we’ll keep you updated, but it will likely have little to no impact up here, except for possibly some rain as whatever is left of the system moves through, but that would be a good 10 or more days away, if at all.

The 51 members of the ECMWF Ensemble show a wide range in location and strength of a potential tropical system in the Gulf next weekend. Image provided by Weathermodels.com.

Monday: Early sun, then clouds develop, with a chance for a few afternoon showers. High 59-66.

Monday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 43-50.

Tuesday: Thickening clouds, a few showers are possible late in the day. High 66-73.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Low 51-58.

Wednesday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, chance for a few showers, especially along the south coast. High 73-80.

Thursday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 77-84.

Friday: Becoming partly to mostly cloudy, chance for a few showers. High 79-86.

Saturday: Morning showers, then becoming partly to mostly sunny. High 77-84.

Sunday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 67-74.