1 AM EDT Wednesday Update:
What's left of Hilary is an area of rain in southern Canada which is now rotating mainly north and east of Michigan. There is also some residual moisture in the West that is leading to a few widely scattered showers and t-storms. Massive mudslide traps people near Los Angeles.
Here’s storm reports from Tuesday. There were no tornadoes and no reports of severe hail. Wind gusts hit 86 mph at Triol UT, 73 mph at Rudyard MT and 62 mph at Tucson AZ.
Death Valley CA – the lowest and hottest place (in the summer) in N. America had an all-time wettest day ever. Another interesting fact…the high temperature Saturday in Death Valley was 77. The average high temperature for Aug. 20 is 116. So, the high of 77 was a whopping 39 degrees cooler than average. Dewpoints rose to near 70.
So far this month, Death Valley has had 7 days that were warmer than average and 13 days when temperatures have been cooler than average. Two days were exactly average.
Phoenix AZ escaped the heavy rain, but did have a cloudy day with a high of 91 and that was 14 degrees cooler than the average high of 105 for the date.
Here’s some rainfall totals from S. California. These were record rainfalls for any day in August. The 3.18″ in Palm Springs represents 69% of the average rainfall for the entire year.
More rainfall totals: Mt. Wilson 8.06″, Leona Valley 6.97″, East Pasadena 5.74″, Beverly Hills 4.80″, UCLA 4.26″, Cuyamaca 4.11″,
In Nevada, Bristlecone had 6.00″ of rain.
Here’s a nice satellite loop of Hilary, key messages in Spanish, the forecast arrival of strong winds, tropical storm force wind probability, the latest discussion, the public advisory and the forecast advisory. Here’s surface weather observations from California, Arizona and Nevada. Here’s the latest San Diego NWS forecast discussion.
Look at the map above showing forecast rainfall over the next 6 days. There’s a huge hot and dry airmass over the Central U.S. with occasional showers and thunderstorms rotating all around it. Showers and thunderstorms will affect Florida, south Texas and much of the West. A couple of cool fronts will bring a chance of a shower or storm to the Great Lakes and Northeast.
Here’s forecast high temperatures for the U.S. Sunday PM. You can see the heat dome over the Southern Plains, with 110 expected in Dallas (29 degrees hotter than Las Vegas. The heat spreads east with upper 80s to near 90 in lower Michigan. Significantly cooler than average from the Southwest into the Rockies and Upper Midwest.
While Hilary may cause tens of millions of dollars in damage, there is a positive side to the storm. Rain from Hilary will continue to fill reservoirs in the Southwest. This is the water level of Lake Mead, which is the lake behind the Hoover Dam between Nevada and Arizona.
The lake level has been rising with the snowmelt this summer and is now 20.82 feet higher than it was one year ago. It’s still 165.75 feet below full pool. After a 3-year La Nina, which usually brings dry weather to the Southwest, we have flipped to El Nino, which often brings above average precipitation to the Southwest.
A final note: We have a Beach Hazards Statement and Small Craft Advisories tonight from Holland north to Leelanau County. Do not swim near or jump off the piers and breakwaters. With a general southwest wind, Grand Haven State Park and Pere Marquette State Park in Muskegon will see dangerous currents on the south side of south facing piers and breakwaters. Waves should increase this midday and afternoon to 2-5 feet and southwest winds could gust to 20-30 mph.
For much of West Michigan, this Saturday AM was the coolest AM since mid June. Low temps. Sat. AM included 38 at Leota (Clare Co.), 40 in Mio, 42 at Coldwater and Cadillac, 43 at Baldwin, 47 at Hastings and Coldwater, 49 in Ionia and 51 in Gr. Rapids.
Fourteen of the first 20 days of August were cooler than average. We’ve had 7 straight days with highs in the 70s – the average high temperature is still in the low 80s. This month has been cloudier than average with 52% sunshine and we’re 0.54″ above average for rainfall so far this August.
We saw a nice crescent moon in the west this evening.
ALSO: I’ll be at the Whitecaps game Sunday PM. Turning fog into clean water.