Rounds of rain to usher in cooler conditions across East Coast by Courtney Spamer•A change in the weather pattern this week will not only bring an area of wet weather into the Northeast, but also usher cooler air into the region.A dry pattern has remained stationary across much of the Northeast for the majority of September, and for some locations, much longer.”Portions of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are in an extreme drought, while much of New England to central Pennsylvania are in severe drought,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.The storm bringing in the wet weather will originate in the center of the country. A huge dip in the jet stream will send that rain to the Eastern Seaboard as well as deliver a drastic cooldown in the Midwest.
Rain will progress from West to East on Tuesday and into Tuesday night, with rain likely to continue across eastern New England again Wednesday and Wednesday night.
„Some of the heaviest rain may target places like Hartford, Connecticut, New York City and Philadelphia on Tuesday night, with another round possible late Wednesday,” added Adamson.
Travel delays can be expected and outdoor plans may need indoor alternatives through the middle of the week.
Any wind that accompanies the wet weather could also lead to additional early leaf drop, affecting the foliage later this fall.
Several rounds of rain could be beneficial to the region, helping ease some of the drought distress. But with these two rounds of heavier rain being so close together, flooding could also become a concern.
However, flooding will be most predominant in areas that have received excessive rain over the last several months, like Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Across the mid-Atlantic and central Appalachians, some rivers are just now starting to recede following the heavy, tropical rainfall from Beta. Additional rainfall could cause water levels to rise in some smaller creeks and rivers in the region.
As the wet weather pulls northward into Canada, a new air mass will move into the Northeast in its place. This air mass will not only bring the return of drier conditions, but cooler air as well.
„As the calendar turns to October on Thursday, locations like the Adirondacks of Upstate New York as well as some high ground in northwestern Pennsylvania and the Laurel Highlands may not make it out of the 50s F,” Adamson said.
By Friday, afternoon high temperatures in the 50s will be even more widespread across the interior Northeast, while places east of the Appalachians remain in the 60s.
Although a drastic change from the warmth early this week, temperatures of this degree are right around normal or a few degrees lower than normal for this time of year.
„The core of the coldest air will remain in the Midwest late this week, but temperatures only in the 60s are forecast to extend as far south as Raleigh and Atlanta,” added Adamson.
Chilly air and mostly dry conditions are likely to stick around in the Northeast into next weekend.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
SAN FRANCISCO — California residents, who recently caught a breather from the unhealthy air quality produced by a spate of wildfires this month, are now holding their breath hoping those conditions don’t return.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for nearly all of Northern California as a heat wave hitting the Western states combines with gusty, dry winds to heighten the risk of wildfires in a region already pummeled by the rash of blazes.
A pair of new fires broke out Sunday, both burning quickly through 1,000 acres and forcing mandatory evacuations: The Glass Fire in Napa Valley wine country north of San Francisco and the Zogg Fire near Redding in Northern California.
The weather service said both Northern and Southern California would be exposed to “critical risks for fire weather’’ on Sunday and Monday, but AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossio said that, because of stronger winds, the former is in the most danger.
The state’s biggest utility, PG&E, said it planned to cut off power to 89,000 customers through Monday morning, mostly in the Northern and Central Sierra but also extending to parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, as a preventive measure to avoid igniting fires. The number of affected customers was later reduced to 65,000.
Timelapse video: Zogg Fire burns near Redding, California
Northern California is also the location of the enormous August Complex Fire, which continues to burn about 130 miles north of San Francisco. The largest wildfire in state history has charred more than 873,000 acres and was a major contributor to the dangerous air quality state residents were exposed to for days about three weeks ago and the apocalyptic skies over the Bay Area on Sept. 9.
Rossio said conditions this week won’t reach that level, but air quality “likely will be very poor, especially given this offshore flow. It will probably make things pretty bad for Sacramento, San Francisco.’’
Neither the August Complex nor the Creek Fire, which has incinerated more than 302,000 acres of a forest 60 miles northeast of Fresno, is yet 50% contained. So they continue to spew smoke and foul up the air in their surroundings and, depending on the wind, even hundreds of miles away.
People with respiratory ailments are especially susceptible to that harmful air, said John Watson, a research professor of air quality science at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada.
“The adverse health effects from the polluted days are typically short-lived unless they aggravate an already underlying condition such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease),’’ said Watson, who advised checking the air quality index, minimizing outdoors activities in poor conditions and using air-conditioning units in the recirculate setting to filter the indoor air.
Air-conditioners and fans figure to get a workout this week in California, where cities including Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno and San Jose are expected to reach or approach triple-digit temperatures.
The heat doesn’t by itself set off fires, but with forest vegetation increasingly dry after months without rain, all it takes is a spark.
“When you increase the temperature, you’re also decreasing the dew point and thereby decreasing the relative humidity,’’ Rossio said. “Basically, you’re creating a tinderbox.’’
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Critical risks’ of wildfires in California amid heat wave
The weather pattern is beginning to turn more conducive for fire development across parts of the Western U.S. once again.
High pressure building over the region will cause temperatures to rise and dry gusty winds to develop over parts of the region, especially California.
There are fire weather watches and red flag warnings issued for parts of California, Utah and New Mexico due to the increasing dry and windy conditions.
Temperatures today will be in the 90s across interior California and near 100 in parts of Southern California and temperatures should continue to rise across the region over the next several days.
Today, the most critical fire danger will be parts of northern California as well as Southern California, in particular the mountains north of Los Angeles, as the Santa Ana wind event begins.
Tomorrow the same regions will be in critical fire danger with the danger expanding all the way to the mountains outside of San Diego with wind gusts to 45 mph with relative humidity as low as 7% will be possible as the Santa Ana winds will peak tomorrow.
Fire weather conditions will remain elevated through the much of the rest of the week, though the Santa Ana winds are expected to gradually subside.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the nation, a strong cold front will move through from the Midwest to the East Coast on Monday and Tuesday.
There is increasing potential for widespread heavy rain, possibly capable of producing flash flooding on Tuesday along the East Coast of the U.S., including some of the major metro areas.
Preliminary forecasting shows the potential for over two inches of rain from the Carolinas to New England.
Behind the cold front, much cooler air will sink into the U.S. and by Friday morning widespread wind chills will dominate parts of the central U.S.
- Witnesses saw a bright, long-lasting aurora the night the Titanic sank.
- A new theory suggests that aurora came from a powerful solar storm, which could have interfered with compasses and contributed to the Titanic’s crash.
- But there was only a small burst of solar storm-like activity that night, so it’s probably not the culprit.
- However, the solar storm could have interfered with radio communications as the Titanic sent out SOS signals.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As water flooded the belly of the RMS Titanic, a stunning display danced in the sky above the sinking ship.
„There was no moon, but the aurora borealis glimmered like moonbeams shooting up from the northern horizon,” James Bisset, second officer on the nearby vessel Carpathia, later wrote.
The Carpathia responded to the Titanic’s SOS signal on April 14, 1912, after the ship struck an iceberg. As it approached the lifeboats, the sky was still shimmering.
„The peculiar atmospheric conditions of visibility intensified as we approached the icefield with the greenish beams of the aurora borealis shimmering and confusing the horizon ahead of us to the northwards,” Bisset wrote.
Now, a researcher thinks that display may be indicate another force at play in the ship’s demise: a storm in space that wreaked magnetic chaos on Earth.
The aurora appears when electrically charged particles from the sun wash over the Earth. Our planet’s magnetic field channels these particles to the poles, where they interact with gases in the atmosphere to create dazzling ribbons of pink and green light.
Mila Zinkova, an independent weather researcher, thinks the aurora on the night the Titanic sank could have come from an episode of intense solar activity — a geomagnetic storm.
Such storms can interfere with magnetic and electric technology on Earth. So Zinkova thinks it’s possible that a solar storm may have swayed compasses, steering the Titanic towards doom. She describes the theory in a paper published last month in the Royal Meteorological Society’s journal, Weather.
Other experts say the theory is unlikely, though it is possible that space weather may have hindered efforts to rescue the ship’s passengers.
A big space storm on the night the Titanic sank is unlikely
Lawrence Beesley, a passenger on the Titanic, mistook the aurora for the light of dawn as he awaited rescue on one of the lifeboats.
„The soft light increased for a time, and died away a little; glowed again, and then remained stationary for some minutes,” he wrote in his account of the disaster. „‘The northern lights!’ It suddenly came to me, and so it was: Presently the light arched fanwise across the northern sky, with faint streamers reaching towards the Pole star.”
Despite the brightness of that aurora, however, geomagnetic data from the night show only a small burst of activity in Earth’s magnetic field.
That could account for the aurora that survivors and rescuers saw, but it was „not enough to count as a storm,” according to Mike Hapgood, a space-weather consultant at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK.
What’s more, the small burst came right around the time that the Titanic struck the iceberg. Zinkova’s theory would only be plausible if there had been a geomagnetic storm well before the ship crashed.
„The bottom line is that the timing is wrong to consider space weather as a cause of the collision with the iceberg. The space weather event occurred after the collision,” Hapgood told Business Insider.
But one facet of Zinkova’s theory may be true: Geomagnetic activity could have interfered with radio communications after the shipwreck. There, Hapgood said, space weather may have had „some small effects.”
That could explain why the nearby vessel La Provence never received the Titanic’s SOS signal, and why the Titanic couldn’t receive the Mount Temple’s response to its cries for help.
NASA spacecraft could help predict dangerous geomagnetic storms in the future
Even if there had been a major geomagnetic storm the night the Titanic sank, it likely would not have been enough to tip the scales.
„Chances are that a slight change in compass headings would not have prevented the disaster,” Stephen Frazee, a trustee on the board of the Titanic International Society, told Business Insider.
Instead, historians mostly attribute the Titanic’s demise to Captain E.J. Smith’s decision to sail at full speed through icy waters that night. Other contributing factors include the lookouts’ lack of binoculars and a radio operator’s failure to relay another ship’s ice warning to the captain.
However, geomagnetic storms have wreaked havoc on critical infrastructure and exacerbated other disasters in the past. Two such storms cut off emergency radio communications for a total of 11 hours following Hurricane Irma in 2017. And a geomagnetic storm in 1989 knocked out Quebec’s power for about nine hours. (Electric currents from solar storms can travel down Earth’s pipelines and power lines.)
Even the possibility that the same forces might have played a role in the Titanic disaster, Zinkova wrote, shows that „predicting space weather is as important as forecasting meteorological weather.”
But dangerous solar storms are nearly impossible to foresee. The sun can send billions of tons of material hurtling towards Earth, and the charged particles can reach the planet in under half an hour.
Scientists hope new spacecraft could improve their understanding of these events, though.
In February, NASA and the European Space Agency launched the Solar Orbiter to capture data about eruptions on the sun’s surface. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is also zooming around the sun. It’s designed to measure solar eruptions as they happen, tracing the flow of material from the sun to the Earth in real-time.
The information these spacecraft are collecting could one day help scientists forecast geomagnetic storms before they happen.
Read the original article on Business Insider