Extreme Weather Everywhere In U.S. Except Northeast

From brush fires and drought in California and the Southeast to flooding rains and tornadoes in the Plains to a coastal storm off the Carolinas, there is extreme forms of weather throughout much of the United States on this day. The only area where there isn’t any bad weather is in the Northeast. Remember those recent rains of mid to late April in New York and New Jersey? Well, for now they are just a memory as they have been replaced by seven straight days of sunny weather. Temperatures are also on the increase as the mercury climbed to the mid seventies on Tuesday afternoon, May 8th. Here in Northwestern Middlesex County, we reached a high of 75 degrees after only getting to 64 on Monday. Over these past six days, the high temperature has averaged 69.3 degrees after being just 57 for the whole month of April. So far in the entire month of May, the average high temperature has been 68 degrees.

However, the system responsible for bringing us this great weather has been also the blame for the extreme weather going on in other parts of the country. High pressure entrenched itself in the Eastern third of the country, which created another blocking pattern. As a result, storms that were responsible for spawning 136 tornadoes in the Great Plains from Kansas to Texas, remained there with drenching rains that are forcing the Missouri River to swell near levels reached during the terrible floods back in 1993. Meanwhile, out west in Southern California, wildfires rage in Griffith Park just shy of the well known Griffith Observatory, which was the site for a scene from the great James Dean film, “Rebel Without A Cause.” There are also massive wildfires raging in Georgia and Florida thanks to the regions worse drought in many years. The drought has been so bad in Florida that Lake Okeechobee, which provides water for millions of residents surrounding the Everglades, is drying up.

To add insult to injury for the Southeast, a coastal storm that was an extratropical, or cold core system earlier in the week, has now taken on more tropical characteristics over the past several days, and has a slight possibility of becoming a tropical storm. The subtropical storm is located off the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, and is expected to slowly meander westward toward the Georgia shoreline over the next few days. The system, which has already provided major impacts from North Carolina to Florida in the form of coastal flooding and gale and storm force winds, is expected to weaken. However, waves can be expected to be as high as 8 to 12 feet along the North Carolina coast with minor to moderate beach erosion still expected for a period of time. CNN reported on Wednesday morning that NOAA is going to have hurricane hunter aircraft investigate the system for any tropical development. Sea surface temperatures in the area are running around 77 degrees. A minimum temperature of 80 degrees is required for tropical cyclone formation. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is not scheduled to begin until June 1st, but storms have preceeded the start date in some years including 2003, which had Tropical Storm Ana form in April of that year.