Thursday, June 21, 2012

Star-Gazing For The Solstice!

6:30 AM EDT 6/21/12 (Forecasters Caron S. and Mike) With the Moon coming out of a new phase on June 19, and warm summer nights having arrived, it is prime conditions for star gazing. Also in this time of the year the Little Dipper lies straight upward from Polaris (North Star) after dark. 

TONIGHT IN THE SKIES - On June 21st just after the sun sets make sure you look out for Mercury and a thin crescent Moon. Also you should be able to see the dark side of the moon illuminated by the “Earthshine”. Some of you may know this as the “old Moon in the new Moon’s arms”. June 20th is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. Summer officially begins at the solstice, 7:09 P.M.! On June 21st at dusk, 45 minutes after the sun sets, look to the sky to see a thin crescent Moon, Mercury, Pollux, and Castor. 

HEAT RETURNS – The I-95 corridor will be in the midst of another day of this heat wave on Thursday. For the big cities, Thursday may be even hotter than Wednesday! In the The Capital Region, National Airport hit 98º on Wednesday which was only one degree short of the record of 99º. For Thursday, the record is 98º which was set in 1988. Some areas did in fact break their records on Wednesday. LaGuardia Airport in New York City hit 98º which broke the old record of 96º set in 1953. Salisbury, MD hit 97º on Wednesday which knocked out the old record of 95º set back in 1923. In New Jersey, Atlantic City tied the record of 95º set quite recently in 2010. Let’s see how the records hold up on Thursday! 

Graphical NWS forecast for Thursday's highs. 

TROPICS COME TO LIFE – Tropical Storm Chris has strengthened in recent updates in the Northern Atlantic. It is currently packing winds of 60 mph as it races off to the ENE at 20 mph. Since the only threat Chris poses currently is to the fish and sea trade, theThe Tropical Team is keeping a close eye on a system closer to home. The National Hurricane Center has given a disturbance in the SE Gulf of Mexico a 30% chance of developing into a tropical system within the next 48 hours. This may bring some potentially heavy rain to the Foot's Forecast | South Florida & The Keys zone once again. 

COLD FRONT MOVES EAST – Even though we have the chance for showers and thunderstorms, the Storm Prediction Center has not issued a “Slight” risk yet at this time. Still we do need to be on the lookout for some scattered thunderstorms bringing some rain to areas stretching from North Texas through Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois, then heading into Indiana and Michigan later in the day. Stay tuned to see if anything changes here. 

Total Precipitation Forecast on Thursday from the HPC

QUIET-ISH IN THE WEST – The major concern out west again is the renewed chance for wildfires. The main threat area will be across southern Nevada, where the SPC has announced a “Critical” threat potential for Thursday. Regardless, there will be no shortage of heat once again in the west as we heat to highs in the 100s across portions of the desert Southwest. 

Enjoy your Thursday and stay tuned right here for the latest!

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