Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/19 - 3:15pm - The Last Day of Spring

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer as the summer solstice occurs at 7:09pm EDT. The summer solstice put simply is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere because the north pole is tilted toward the sun. The sun will be directly overhead at 23.5 degrees north latitude or the Tropic of Cancer, located on a line that runs between Cuba and Florida. Meteorological summer, the three month period that meteorologists consider summertime in weather terms, started on June 1st with hurricane season.

I'll tell you that it's been pretty warm in Europe over the last couple of weeks. My family and I enjoyed a very nice trip around the Mediterranean Sea and traveled to Italy, Croatia, Turkey, Monaco, and Spain. I'm still a little jet-lagged from the marathon flight between Barcelona and Philadelphia we were on Sunday, but I'm slowly acclimating to Eastern Time again. Crazily enough, a tornado touched down in Venice, Italy last week well after we had left port on our ship. Thankfully there were no injuries, but some damage was done in a place that rarely sees tornadoes. Read more about what happened here.

The heat we had in Europe followed me home to Louisville (not meteorologically of course) and now we're experiencing quite a heat wave. High temperatures are expected to be at or above 90 degrees for most of the week here, but we may get a small break on Thursday night/Friday morning thanks to a cold front approaching the area. This thing may run out of steam just as it's nearing the Ohio River late on Thursday so rainfall chances could be slim with this.

If it continues to chug along further south than expcted we could have some storms around during this timeframe. Areas in Western Kentucky and Northwest Tennessee do need the rain, but unfortunately this won't be enough (if it happens at all) to assuage much of the drought in that region. The US Drought Monitor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has portions of this area under a moderate to severe drought. 

In just four days I'll be heading to Denver to join Storm Chasing Adventure Tours for one more week of storm chasing this year. It's been a whirlwind of a summer break for me so far with three weeks of storm chasing and two weeks of travel in Europe under my belt, but I'm definitely excited for another week of chasing! It looks like storms may fire up early to mid next week in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Wyoming as an upper-level disturbance inches onshore from the Pacific. It's a bit far out for specifics at this point, but I think moisture and upper-level support during this time might be decent if this disturbance comes onshore in time. The limiting factor may be capping (warm air) aloft since temperatures may be a little high up there. It'll be interesting to see how this develops over the course of the week!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook so that you'll be ready to receive my instant storm chasing updates next week!


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