National Weather Forecast
On Friday, Elsa will continue to move near the Northeast/New England states, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. Heavy rain will continue with an area of low pressure in southern Texas. Showers and storms will also be expected across the Southeast, Northern Plains, and Upper Midwest.
We are tracking three areas of heavy rain over the next few days. First, the 3”+ possible from the Mid-Atlantic to New England is along the track of Elsa through the end of the week as the system accelerates off to the northeast. Across southern Texas, a system that has barely moved has been producing heavy rain and could produce at least another 3-6” from Thursday into Friday. In the upper Midwest, heavy rain is expected to fall Friday and Friday Night due to multiple rounds of storms.
Praedictix Corporate Weather Briefing: Thursday morning, July 8th, 2021
Tropical Storm Elsa. Elsa has continued to move inland across the Southeast after landfall midday yesterday in Florida, and this morning is bringing heavy rain across the Carolinas. As of the 8 AM ET update from the National Hurricane Center, the center of Elsa was located about 45 miles west of Florence, SC, or 150 miles southwest of Raleigh, NC, and moving northeast at 18 mph. Elsa had sustained winds of 40 mph, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward 115 miles from the center, mainly over the Atlantic to the southeast of the center. A recent report from the Myrtle Beach airport had sustained winds of 41 mph with gusts to 54 mph.
Elsa Forecast. Elsa will continue to accelerate northeastward over the next few days, bringing Elsa over the Carolinas today, near the eastern Mid-Atlantic states tonight, and near/over the northeastern United States Friday and Friday Night. The system will then move over Atlantic Canada Friday Night into Saturday. Some restrengthening is possible over the next couple of days due to upper atmospheric conditions, but the system is expected to become extratropical by Saturday morning.
Tropical Storm Alerts. As tropical storm conditions are expected in the Eastern United States with Elsa, particularly along the coast, Tropical Storm Warnings are in place this morning. As of 8 AM ET, here are the Tropical Storm Warnings in place:
* South Santee River, South Carolina, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey
* Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
* Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach and the tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
* Delaware Bay south of Slaughter Beach
* Long Island from East Rockaway Inlet to the eastern tip along the south shore and from Port Jefferson Harbor eastward on the north shore
* New Haven, Connecticut to Merrimack River, Massachusetts including Cape Cod, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket
Strong Winds. We are still expecting tropical-storm-force winds in association with Elsa the next couple of days, especially along and near the coast. These stronger winds will be possible along the South Carolina coast through the morning hours, and along the North Carolina and Mid-Atlantic coasts later today. They will be possible across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern coasts Friday and Friday Night. In some areas – especially in eastern North Carolina and along Cape Cod – wind gusts above 40 mph will be possible.
Rainfall Potential. Rain, heavy at times, will continue across the Eastern United States the next couple of days as Elsa passes through the region. Across the track of Elsa, the following rainfall totals can be expected:
- South Carolina: Storm totals of 3-5” with isolated 8” amounts
- From Eastern North Carolina into New England: 2-4” of rain with isolated 6” amounts
These rainfall amounts could lead to flash and urban flooding across the region as well as river flooding. Flood Watches stretch from the Carolinas to southern Maine this morning due to the heavy tropical rain threat.
Tornado Watch. Tropical systems typically are accompanied by tornadoes. A Tornado Watch is in place through 9 AM ET for portions of North and South Carolina, including Myrtle Beach and Wilmington.
Tornado Threat. The tornado threat will continue across the coastal Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic today and across coastal New England Friday.
Southern Texas Flood Threat. Separate from Elsa, we have been watching heavy rain and flooding occurring across portions of southern Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast. Yesterday we did see a Flash Flood Emergency for the Rockport and Fulton areas as very heavy rain had led to life-threatening flash flooding. Up to 14” of rain has already fallen in spots over the past few days with the system that is in place across the region, and heavy rain will continue to fall today across the region. Flash Flood Watches are in place, and there is a Moderate Risk of Excessive Rain that would lead to flash flooding.
Potential Rainfall Amounts. At least an additional 2-6” of rain could fall over the next couple of days along the Texas coast, which will likely lead to more flooding across the region.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix
July 2021 ENSO update: La Niña Watch
More from NOAA Climate: “As things stand with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), neutral conditions are currently present in the tropical Pacific and favored to last through the North American summer and into the fall. But forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have issued a La Niña Watch, which means they see La Niña likely emerging (~55%) during the September-November period and lasting through winter.”
Once a Rich Desert River, the Gila Struggles to Keep Flowing
More from Yale Environment 360: “The confluence of the tiny San Pedro River and the much larger Gila was once one of the richest locales in one of the most productive river ecosystems in the American Southwest, an incomparable oasis of biodiversity. The rivers frequently flooded their banks, a life-giving pulse that created sprawling riverside cienegas, or fertile wetlands; braided and beaver-dammed channels; meandering oxbows; and bosques — riparian habitats with towering cottonwoods, mesquite and willows. This lush, wet Arizona landscape, combined with the searing heat of the Sonoran Desert, gave rise to a vast array of insects, fish and wildlife, including apex predators such as Mexican wolves, grizzly bears, jaguars and cougars, which prowled the river corridors. The confluence now is a very different place, its richness long diminished.”
Pacific north-west heatwave shows climate is heading into ‘uncharted territory’
More from Carbon Brief: “The deadly heatwave that hit north-western US and Canada in late June would have been “virtually impossible” without human-caused global warming, a new “rapid-attribution” study finds. The event, which saw temperature records shattered by as much as 5C, has been linked to hundreds of deaths in the Pacific north-west region. The heatwave was “so extreme” that the observed temperatures “lie far outside the range” of historical observations, the researchers say. Their assessment suggests that the heatwave was around a one-in-1,000-year event in today’s climate – and was made at least 150-times more likely because of climate change. The analysis also finds that, if global warming were to hit 2C, a heatwave as extreme as seen last month would “occur roughly every five to 10 years” in the region.”
– D.J. Kayser