The coastal low partially reconstituted from Tropical Storm Karen will continue its wandering just off the East Coast, drifting a little bit south. That will keep Virginia in the cool, moist north to northeast flow. For the Roanoke and New River valleys, we’ve been outside its major effects, but well within its secondary effects, which will continue this weekend in the form of gloomy skies — most of the time, maybe some sun peeks at times — and perhaps some scattered drizzle and light rain showers. West of I-77, there will be more sun than farther east. Temperatures will continue bouncing from mostly upper 40s-50s at night (above normal) to 60s-lower 70s in the day (near to slightly below normal). With more sun breaks, this basic temperature regime will continue into early next week, edging up a little as the coastal low slowly unwinds and drifts a bit farther from coast.
But our weather is a walk in the park compared to a number of places around the globe right now.
Consider a few:
* The coastal low has dumped several inches of rain from northern Virginia into southeast Pennsylvania east to the coast. This radar rain total image from the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., shows 6+ inches of rain around Harrisburg, Pa., since Tuesday. But it may be underdoing some of the rain amounts farther south, as Baltimore-Washington International Airport has gone over 5 inches in the last 2 days alone.
* Remember all that snow in western South Dakota last week?2-4 feet in many spots. It started melting fast a couple of days after that storm departed, and a new storm (obvious low-pressure swirl on this satellite picture) has been dumping inches of rain on the same areas in the last couple of days. Needless to say, there are flooding problems.
* The biggest potential weather disaster of all over the next 24 hours is the eastern coast of India as Category 5 Cyclone Phailin approaches. Winds topping 160 mph driving a massive storm surge onto highly populated coastal plains full of poorly constructed homes is likely to spell a disaster of unspeakable proportions. Hopefully the Indian government’s efforts to evacuate the areas most under the gun will yield the saving of many thousands of lives. At mid-evening Friday eastern U.S. time, the central barometric pressure in Phailin was 883 millibars (26.08 inches of mercury). For comparison, the deepest hurricane to hit the U.S., the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, had a central barometric pressure of 892 millibars (26.34 inches of mercury). And as if Phailin in the Bay of Bengal isn’t enough, Typhoon Nari has lashed the Philippines and Tropical Storm Wipha, soon be a typhoon, is active southwest of Guam in the western Pacific. In case you wonder, cyclones in the Bay of Bengal, typhoons in the western Pacific and hurricane in the Atlantic basin and eastern Pacific are all the same kind of storm, just with different regional names.