BLOG: Quick September Preview

I will do a blog reviewing the Summer season early next week, but I thought today I would do a quick preview of September. First of all, here is what we know:

1) We will continue to lose daylight at a rapid pace in September. The length of our “day” will go from just over 13 hours to under 12 hours. Here’s the sunrise and sunset time in Youngstown on the last day of September: sunsetsept30

2) Our average highs and lows will begin to drop quickly. We start the month with average highs in the upper 70s, but by September 30th, the average high is in the mid 60s: averages

Here is what we THINK we know:

1) September will start quite warm and with a fair amount of humidity to boot. The forecasted upper level pattern late next week shows a ridge of high pressure over the Southeast, which will promote steamy conditions across our region: 500thurs


2) The entire first half of September is likely to be warmer than average. This temperature anomaly map shows the average of the last 7 runs of the CFS (Climate Forecast System) model for September 2-12: sept313While there can be a cool day here and there, the models are clearly pointing toward a warm couple of weeks.

Here is what we are less confident in:

1) The forecast for the entire month. Any monthly outlook is bound to be less accurate than a short term forecast. That said, The long-range models are advertising a warmer-than-average month around Youngstown: septKeep in mind that with the first half of the month likely to be quite warm overall, the second half of September COULD be cooler than average but the warm start could still make the month as a whole above average.

Precipitation-wise….it’s logical to conclude that if the month is warm in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes, and increasingly cooler air masses are trying to invade from Canada….a battle zone will set up somewhere, leading to a wet month in that zone. That’s what the latest models are saying: septrainWhile there is a stronger signal for a wet month in the Upper Midwest, we may have more rain than a typical September here as well.

Have a good holiday weekend! Hope to see you at the fair.


BLOG: Checking in On Summer So Far…and a Look Ahead

Happy Friday! Apologies for the downturn in blog posts, social media posts and “Weather For Weather Geeks” videos over the last couple of weeks. You are going to see some exciting changes in our weather operation soon on 21 News and we have been tied up preparing for those changes over the last couple of weeks.

We are about halfway through August and this morning’s lows were in the upper 40s. Of course, there has been a lot of “buzz” about how cool this Summer has been. We will see what the final numbers are at the end of the month, but since it’s Friday and, who doesn’t love a Friday Weather Statistics Party??….let’s have a look at where we stand.

First, the big picture. Here are the Summer (June 1-now) temperature anomalies for the continent: summerusAs you can see, Summer has been coldest (compared to average) across the High Plains. The Northwest has had a warm Summer.

Here in Youngstown, it’s been a cool Summer, but nowhere near the top of the record books. Coldest Summers (June 1-August 14) on record: 2014avg


Seems strange right?? Well keep in mind, June was actually a WARMER than average month. So that skews things a bit. The numbers look different if we look at JULY 1-now: julyaugavgThat seems more in line with the perception of the Summer as a whole.

What about August so far? Again, the big picture first: augus



aug1-14Interestingly, LAST AUGUST (orange) was colder (through the 14th) than this year (yellow) in Youngstown.

We have certainly had a lot of cool mornings. But again, many years have had more frequent cool mornings. A look at the number of mornings with lows 55 or lower in July and early August:


And, mornings with 50 degrees or below: lowsbelow50

So, bottom line…yes it has been a cool Summer, especially since the start of July. But we have had many, many cooler ones. What about the future? Well, of course we are quite cool now….thanks to that big dip in the jet stream over eastern Canada and the NE US: jetnow

Next week will feature a pretty decent pattern shift. Here’s the expected position of the jet a week from today: jetnextfri Very hot weather can be expected under that ridge in the middle of the country. While the core of the heat is not expected to shift far enough east to give us a heat wave…we can certainly expect some warm weather toward the end of next week into next weekend. There should be at least a couple of days with highs in the mid 80s. Here’s the latest CFS model temperature forecast for the 19th through the 24th: cfs19-24

We have lower confidence when it comes to what happens toward the end of the month. The latest CFS has another cool period: cfsfairBut I am not sure if that is right yet. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading.