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Current Weather Summary

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For more about the weather, see About the Weather ... below.

Current and Forecast Weather Summary

The hot, stagnant, humid days of Summer are over.  The cleaner, dryer, and cooler air of Fall and Winter cold fronts coming in from the west will be the norm.

Some forecasters are predicting a colder-than-normal winter.  Be warned:  supplies of natural gas and propane gas are unusually low.  If your house is heated by propane or oil, and it is fed from your own tank, keep the tank topped off.  Fuel shortages are expected, and natural gas may become unavailable in some parts of the country.  See this news article for more detail.

For the coming week's weather, see our Seven-Day Weather and Wind Forecast and our Ten-Day Temperature Forecast.

Weather and climate forecasting is not a science.  See these various issues regarding the accuracy of weather forecasting.

Current US Weather

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Current Canadian Weather

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Current U.S. Temperatures     (for Canadian temperatures, see above)

For the ten-day temperatures forcast, click here.

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Infrared Satellite

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Doppler Radar ( in motion )

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Sky Cover

    See also our Sky Coverage Current and Forecast webpage.

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Surface Winds

    See also our Winds Surface and Aloft Current and Forecast webpage.

For a detailed description of Wind Barbs, click here.

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Wind Chill

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Current Jetstream

    See also our Jetstream Current and Forecast webpage.

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Water Vapor

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Relative Humidity

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- chart delayed; will be available soon -

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    Dew Point

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Visible Satellite (not reliable at night)

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Current Snow Cover

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Alaska Doppler Radar

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Hawaii Doppler Radar

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NOAA Weather Advisory Chart (click on chart to see color codes)

    See also our NOAA Weather Advisory Charts webpage.

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National Weather Service 24-Hour Precipitation Forecast and Categorical Outlook

    See also our Two-Day Forecasts, Seven-Day Forecasts, Ten-Day Temperature Forecasts, and our Ten-Day Local Forecasts.

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U.S. 30-day Outlooks - Temperature and Precipitation

 

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World Weather Overview

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About the Weather ...

Air pressure is shown in millibars or inches.  The average air pressure at sea level is 1013 millibars, or 29.92 inches.
 
Any area with a lower value is an area of low pressure.  Any area with a higher value is an area of high pressure.  The further the pressure is from 1013, the greater the speed of the associated winds.
 
Weather charts will also label an area as a low, even if it is above 1013 but it is surrounded by higher air pressures.
 
Low pressure tends to bring clouds and precipitation (rain, sleet, or snow, depending on the temperature).
 
High pressure tends to bring sunny weather.
 
A front is a meeting of two air masses, usually with differing winds, temperature, and humidity.
 
Low pressure areas tend to be part of a front.
 
High pressure areas tend to be the central part of an air mass.
 
Air masses, highs, and lows vary in intensities, and when the differences are minimal, they are not always clearly defined.
 
In the northern hemisphere, winds circulate clockwise around a high, and counter-clockwise around a low.  In the southern hemisphere, circulation is the opposite.
 
Warm fronts tend to lie more or less east-west, and divide two fairly static air masses.  Warm fronts are more common in the summer, resulting in the humid, stagnant air with afternoon thunderstorms so familiar in the South.
 
Cold fronts tend to run more or less north-south and move eastward, with (in the northern hemisphere) the south end trailing, and can stretch for a thousand miles or more.
 
Cold fronts are usually the leading edge of a cooler air mass moving east.
 
A cold front, being an area of low pressure, will generally be preceded by winds bringing warmer southern air northward.
These often include precipitation, due to moisture carried north from the Gulf of Mexico.  As that moisture moves northward, it cools and so condenses (because cooler air can hold less water than warmer air), resulting in precipitation.
 
A cold front will be followed by winds bringing cooler northern air south behind the front; i.e., circulating in a counter-clockwise direction, around the front.
 
The stronger the winds, the greater the temperature swings:  warmer southern air reaches further north before cooling, and cooler northern air reaches further south before warming.
 
Examples are most obvious in the winter, when unusually warm temperatures extend up into Iowa, preceding rain or snow on the leading edge of the cold front, or a cold snap reaches down into the Carolinas, after the passage of a cold front.
 
That pattern is a fairly reliable predictor of the next 2-3 days' weather:  if it is unusually warm, expect precipitation.  The higher the temperature and winds, the more intense the precipitation and the less time it will take to pass through.
 
The quicker and more intense the precipitation, the colder the temperatures and the higher the winds will be when the cold front has passed.
 
The passage of the front will be followed by a gradual return to more seasonal temperatures, until above average temperatures and southern winds again signal the approach of another cold front.
 
Typically, temperatures vary about 25 degrees between the high and low temperatures each day.  If the temperature falls less at night, either cloud cover prevents heat from radiating away, or warm air is moving north from the south.
 
A greater drop in temperature at night or a lesser increase during the day indicates colder air moving in from the northwest:  e.g., an "Alberta clipper".
Air temperature declines about 3℉ / 2℃ per thousand feet rise in altitude, which is why it is cooler in the mountains.
 
Air pressure declines as the altitude rises above sea level, which means you get less oxygen with each breath.  At 11,000 feet, the air pressure is only two-thirds; at 18,000 feet, it is only half.
 
The lowest pressure ever recorded was 867.93 millibars, in the eye of typhoon Tip over the Pacific Ocean on 12 October 1979.
 
The highest air pressure ever recorded was 1085.68 millibars at Tosontsengel, Mongolia, on 19 December 2001.
 
Hurricanes typically form in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, or in the Gulf of Mexico.  Sometimes, an Atlantic hurricane will travel into the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Hurricanes are a counter-clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) swirling of winds around a low-pressure center.  Hurricanes feed on the warmth of ocean water and the heat of the sun, and diminish as they move to the cooler north.
 
Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico will usually travel up the Mississippi River and Ohio River, crossing the Appalachian mountains in Pennsylvania, by which time they will have been reduced to heavy rainstorms.
 
Hurricanes almost never straddle the Appalachians.  If Gulf hurricanes come ashore west of Panama City, Florida, they usually will go up the Mississippi valley.  Hurricanes making landfall east of Panama City will typically pass over central Georgia and the Carolinas.
 
Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean will usually travel up the Atlantic seaboard.  The part remaining over the ocean maintains its strength, but the part over land quickly loses strength, causing the hurricane to hug the coastline.
 
Hurricanes will typically meet up with a cold front as the front moves eastwards across the U.S., and merge with it sometime during the passage of both through the mid-Atlantic states.


Regarding winds and the movement of air masses, the Earth can be divided into three general areas: the polar regions, the temperate zones, and the equatorial regions.  For more about prevailing winds, click here or on the diagram at right.

For a better understanding of the weather, learn about Skew-T Log-P Charts.

Also visit our Aviation Weather webpage for more information about the weather and flying conditions, including links to METARs and TAFs for many airports.

For a better understanding of climate change, see Climate Information & News.

Bothered by all those scary climate predictions about CO2 levels?  See the answers to your questions about CO2, and The Earth is Getting Greener!.

See also our list of External Sources for Weather Information and Education







What is a polar vortex?  Basically, it is when a very cold polar air mass travels down into the temperate zone.

The animated diagram at left shows airflows during a polar vortex (in purple), looking down from above North America.

Weather and climate forecasting is not a science.  See these various issues regarding the accuracy of weather forecasting.




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