Monday, August 31, 2009

A major hurricane -- in the Pacific


Danny is gone, and we are still watching a few areas in the Atlantic.  However, a major hurricane is just to the west of Mexico.

Hurricane Jimena is a borderline category five hurricane with winds just under 150 mph (winds over 155 mph are category 5).  It is moving toward the Baja California peninsula.  It will weaken slightly, but still may be a cat 3 or 4 storm during landfall.  The remnants will push north through western Mexico, and will affect the southwest USA with rain by the weekend.

You can track tropical weather with our WTOL Hurricane Tracker.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Record Low Possible

For the first day of September,  near record lows are possible for Tuesday morning.  All conditions are favorable for temperatures to plummet.  Here is what we look for when we are expecting a cold night:

1. Clear skies: This allows for good radiative cooling (all the heat from the day escapes due to no cloud cover)

2. Light winds: This limits the mixing of air in the atmosphere  allowing the lowest layer to cool the most.

3. High Pressure:  This brings dry air.  Temperatures cool faster when the air is dry verses a higher moisture content. 

All three of these ingredients have come together which will result in temperatures to drop into the low and middle 40s during the end of August. 

RECORD LOW: 41° degrees set in 1967 at Toledo Express Airport

Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekend outlook

The storms that moved through during the afternoon and evening continue to work east of the area.  Some 2"+ rain totals occurred, as well as some gusty winds and large hail.  We did have a few severe thunderstorm warnings, and a few local storm reports of tree limbs down.

The storm system responsible is tracking away from the area, and cooler air will spill into the area over the next 48 hours.  A secondary cold front will pass by Saturday afternoon.  A slight chance of a shower is possible with the front and some afternoon heating.

Sunday's highs will struggle to break 70° in most areas, and our far northwestern cities may not exceed 65°.

Lows Sunday and Monday nights will dip into the mid and upper 40s away from the lake.  These lows will be about 12 to 15 degrees below normal, and will flirt with some record lows.

A gradual warm-up will occur as the upcoming week progresses.

We continue to watch tropical storm Danny.  He has been weakening quite a bit, and the forecast track remains similar to the ones issued the past few days.  The center of Danny may graze Cape Cod, but most land areas will not see the brunt of the storm at all.  Gusty winds and high surf will affect the eastern seaboard.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Latest On Danny

The 5 pm update for Danny from the National Hurricane Center has reduced the intensity forecast of the storm.

Previous forecasts included a few hours featuring Danny gaining minimal hurricane status, but it appears as Danny gets a little bit more to the west, the environment will not be conducive for major strengthening.

The forecast track still keeps the majority of Danny offshore.  However, heavy surf and gusty winds will hit the eastern seaboard, especially coastal New England.  Bill did this the other week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danny Forms

The National Hurricane Center announced at 11 am today that the system we spoke about yesterday is now a tropical storm.  Danny is now the fourth named system this year.  (Insert reference to the song Danny Boy, or to Ted Knight in Caddyshack here ["How about a Fresca?  Hmm?]).

The official track from the NHC keeps the center of Danny offshore quite a bit.  It will graze coastal New England later this week.  High surf and gusty winds will pound the northeast as Danny flirts with category one hurricane status.

Check out the WTOL Hurricane Tracker for the latest information and track.  A special section is dedicated to Danny, and this also appears above the 7-day forecast on the main weather page.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tropics Update


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring two areas of disturbed weather.

The first is across Central America and is mostly over land.  The forecast is for little additional strengthening.

The second area is just north of the Caribbean and east of the Bahamas.  The NHC has been watching this one very closely, and has sent an aircraft to investigate it.  Some strengthening is forecast the next few days.  If the storm hits winds of 39 mph or higher, it will be named Danny.

Various computer models take the center of the system close to the Atlantic seaboard, and a few bring it on land near the Carolinas.   We will continue to watch it the rest of the week.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekend Cool Down

Much cooler & less humid weather will set up over the area this weekend, keeping highs in the low/mid 70s and lows in the low/mid 50s.  Highs may struggle to get out of the 60s in our northwest counties.  This is more typical of mid-September or late May.

Normal high this time of year is 80°, normal low is 60°.   None of the forecast temps are near any records. 

This weekend will be quite the departure from the last two.  Last weekend (Aug 15-16) had highs of 88° on Saturday and 94° on Sunday.

The weekend before that (Aug 8-9) featured a 85° high Saturday and 94° Sunday.

Previous cooler highs:

  • 79° - Aug 7

  • 69° - July 22

Previous cooler lows:

  • 58° - Aug 14

  • 57° - Aug 6

  • 52° - Aug 3

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Severe Weather Risk

severe risk2

Evening update:

Scattered storms that developed east of I-75 have pushed out of the viewing area.  This prompted a few scattered warnings for thunderstorms that had the potential of producing hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph.  A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 10 pm tonight for our eastern counties; however the main threat has passed for strong or severe storms.  This watch will likely be allowed to expire early. 

Early afternoon update:

Scattered storms are developing in some areas.  Some additional storms will fire up through late afternoon and early evening.  Storms will be scattered -- so not all areas will be affected.  A few of the storms could be strong.

Noon update:

The National Weather Service is evaluating our area for a possible watch. 

11 am update: 

The first line of showers & thunder has passed through the northern half of our viewing area.  Clouds will break for some sun.  A few storms are beginning to develop in northeast Indiana up through Hillsdale county.  These will continue to develop and track northeastward.

6 am post:

Storm clusters will track into the area today from the west.  The time frame of mid/late morning through the afternoon is the best chance for the area to see rain and storms.  A cold front will pass through late this evening, so some thunderstorms are possible until then.

As the mugginess continues to increase, this will create an environment for storms to unleash heavy rainfall. 

Some of these storms could be severe with strong winds and large hail.  Updated watches and warnings, when they occur, will be posted on our weather page.

Hurricane Bill -- Thursday update

Hurricane Bill continues to waffle between category 3 and 4 status.  His track continues to be between the US and Bermuda.  Check out our Hurricane Tracker for more.

The Bahamas, Bermuda and the eastern US seaboard will see strong, high waves through the weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hurricane Bill Update


(photo from NOAA)

Hurricane Bill is still way out in the Atlantic, but his future path is being watched closely already.  The storm should gain category 3 status and stay that strong for awhile.

We look at a whole host of computer models, and they all trend north of the Bahamas and east of the USA.  Bermuda looks like they may see the brunt of Bill over the weekend.

The eastern seaboard is not out of the woods yet, but each computer model run suggests a track away from the US.  A strong cold front will pass through our area Thursday into Friday, and that may be enough to push Bill farther into the Atlantic away from the shore -- but that means it will be closer to Bermuda.

Check out our WTOL Hurricane Tracker.  Under the big map is a special section for Bill.  One of the choices in that section is "model predictions".  This will show the range of the computer model solutions.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Heavy Monday Rainfall



Some bands of strong thunderstorms rolled through the area during the afternoon and evening.  With the high humidity levels, these storms had a lot of water to work with.

A corridor of heavy rain stretched from greater Toledo southwestward into Putnam and Defiance counties.  Areas shaded in orange picked up 2 to 3 inches of rain (there were even some isolated higher totals).  There was another smaller band of heavier rain in northern Williams county.

Elsewhere, areas shaded in the yellows received between 1 and 2 inches of rain.  Areas in green picked up between 1/2 and 1 inch of rain.

An Eco-Idea

The New Englander Rain Barrel Company stopped by a couple weekends ago and there are still stuff available!!! 
If you are interested in either a rain barrel or compost bin contact Katie Swartz.  She has both available and they are in the Toledo area.

Contact Info:


If you would like to learn more about these head to

[caption id="attachment_169" align="alignnone" width="551" caption="New Englander Rain Barrel"]New Englander Rain Barrel[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_170" align="alignnone" width="574" caption="Bio-Orb Composter"]Bio-Orb Composter[/caption]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Tropics Are Restless

Early Monday morning featured three named tropical systems.

1)  Tropical Storm Claudette -- formed early Sunday morning and made landfall around 2 am EDT today in the Florida Panhandle.  Claudette will continue to weaken over the next 24 hours.

2)  Tropical Depression Ana -- formed late last week in the eastern Atlantic.  It has been in a weakened state the last few days.  It should remain a weak system as it tracks from the eastern Caribbean into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  Latest forecast models suggest a landfall later this week near Florida.

3)  Hurricane Bill -- formed Saturday morning and became a hurricane at 5 am today.  Bill will track to the west and northwest, possibly affecting the eastern USA or Bermuda by the weekend or early next week.

You can track tropical systems with the WTOL Hurricane Tracker HERE.

The website for the National Hurricane Center can be found HERE.

The storms were named in the order they formed -- so that is why the storm affecting the southeast is named with a C.

The names for tropical systems are from 6 lists that cycle over the years.  When a large storm creates damage (Andrew, Katrina), the name is retired and replaced.  

The names alternate male & female during the season, as well as season to season (ie, 2010 season will feature the A storm being male, Alex).   There are different sets of names for the Pacific.  You can see the list of names HERE.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are called cyclones when they occur west of the international dateline (Indian Ocean and western Pacific).

Record High Sunday

Toledo Express Airport hit 94° at 3:42 pm Sunday.

That tied the record from 1987.

Highs across the region ranged 90° to 95°

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rain Stats Updated

High pressure will dominate our weather the next few days, keeping things dry.  The next chance of rain looks to be early next week -- Tuesday and Wednesday.

We are still in that part of summer where we really  need about an inch of rain each week to keep things green and crops healthy.

Thunderstorms from Tuesday did provide decent rain to some parts of our viewing area, but not all.

Toledo Express Stats:

August precip:  0.70"   -0.46" below normal

Total this year:  25.16"   +4.59" above normal

Perseid Meteor Showers

The meteor showers hit their peak this morning.   See more details at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The season's first tropical storm?

The tropics are finally starting to get a little active.  We are watching two little cloud clusters in the Atlantic and near the Caribbean.

The National Hurricane Center has designated the system in the eastern Atlantic as Tropical Depression # 2 of the year.  It is forecast to strengthen over the next few days.  Once the winds reach 39 mph, it will be named Tropical Storm Ana.  As of right now, it should not affect any land areas in the next few days.pic3

Monday, August 10, 2009

Minor Temperature Swings

A weak cold frontal passage, plus a little dip in the jet stream, will allow slightly cooler and less humid air in today into Thursday morning.  However, temps will jump back into the upper 80s by the end of the work-week, and hit or surpass 90° this weekend.  The humidity will also increase a bit as it heats up.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Is Dew Point??

Dew point, and how it relates to your comfort

A lot of times on the newscasts, we refer to the dew point. It can be a confusing number, but there are some aspects of it that will be beneficial to you, especially in the summer.

The dew point is the temperature at which the current air will saturate. This number goes up and down depending upon the air mass. But unlike relative humidity, it is a more reliable number.

Relative humidity is the humidity value of the air, relative to the current temperature. You know that 100% relative humidity in the middle of summer feels totally different than 100% humidity in the winter. Both values are accurate in their situation. In the winter, the cold air won’t hold as much moisture….so, 100% humidity then means the cold air is saturated.

But, in summer, the warm/hot air can hold a lot of moisture…so the 100% humidity value for that temperature can be extremely uncomfortable.

Here is a guide to know what dew point means in the summer:

Values in the 50s:

Very comfortable. If the air temperature is pretty warm, say in the upper 80s, but the dew points are in the 50s, you won’t notice any muggy feel in the air at all.

Dew point around 60:

This is when you start to notice the air isn’t as comfortable anymore. It isn’t muggy, but this is the level when most people start to notice a little jump out of the true comfort zone. People with respiratory ailments will start to notice this jump, and may find breathing a little more difficult than normal.

Dew point around 65:

At this point, the air is starting to get pretty humid. With dew points in the mid/upper 60s, our bodies start reacting to it. It takes longer to cool off, since the humid air won’t allow sweat to evaporate off your body easily. Think about it like this: if you hang a wet towel up in a steamy bathroom, or you paint a room when it’s really muggy, it takes a long time for that object to dry out. Also, for people with respiratory problems, higher dew points like these start making breathing more difficult, and create the need for using oxygen.

Dew point around 70:

This is the level when most people start using words like muggy, tropical, sultry, etc.
This is how it feels along the Gulf Coast and areas like Houston in mid-summer. When combined with hot temperatures, dewpoints in the 70s create high heat index values, and contribute to heat exhaustion or heat stroke for those exposed to the heat and humidity.

Dew point around 80:

Not commonly achieved in the US, but dew points of 80 are akin to a rain forest climate. We occasionally see dew points this high in the southern USA during extreme situations in the summer. In our part of the world, some mid/upper 70s dew points do occur at times during the summer, but are more exceptions versus typical.

A shorter and quicker guide:

Below 60 - nice. Around 60 - a little humid. Around 70 - very muggy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hot & Humid This Weekend



After only two 90° days this year (94° on June 25, and 93° on June 24), and a very cool July, we should see a significant change this weekend.  Ninety-degree weather will return to the area, along with muggy conditions.

We are still running behind last year's levels, and WAY below 2007's hot summer.  By this point in 2007, we had achieved a total of 18 days with 90° or hotter.  That summer would see 6 more 90° days by the end of the season.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 2009 ~ Record Cold

July of 2009 will go down as one of the coldest on Record!  Here is the final standings for the month reported for Toledo:


It was the coldest July since 1965!  It was not just here in northwest Ohio, several other locations in the region broke or came close to record cold temperatures. 

Cincinnati, Lima, Fort Wayne and South Bend all broke the record for the all time coldest month on record!  Dayton had its second coldest and Columbus squeaked in with its fourth coldest July on record.