What a strange weather day. Nearly 100° inland and mid-90s at the shore. Bradley broke a 45 year old temperature record early. Bridgeport set a record at 5:00 PM then broke it at 6:00! A little late in the day for record breaking warmth wouldn’t you say?
What was even stranger was the volatility of the atmosphere. For the past few days I’ve looked at the numbers and seen a powder keg. I use that analogy because powder kegs usually don’t explode, but they’re always potentially explosive.
Today was that kind of day. Last night I mentioned all we needed was a spark.
Meanwhile we motored through today with nary a cloud over Connecticut. As I prepared my forecast at 3:30 I considered taking the chance of thunderstorms out. I couldn’t do it.
I’m not sure I can explain what it was that kept me ‘on point.’ I suspect it’s experience at work. I’ve seen this kind of thing before… and been burned.
Through the evening broadcasts I kept a chance for thunder in and and sheepishly explained my reasoning. My bosses like me to be confident. It’s doubtful confidence was showing.
Then at 6:25 pm a lone cell popped up northeast of New London. It was tiny, but vicious. On the radar it went from green to deep red in under a mile. This was a cloudburst. In your car you’d see it ahead of you and drive directly into a wall of rain!
A few minutes later the Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Southern New London County. Though the warning was valid until 7:15 it was quickly pulled as the cell collapsed into itself quashing the heavy rain.
It was the only thunderstorm cell that popped this afternoon. A towering cumulus cloud over Wallingford pictured at the top of this post (photo taken by Gil Simmons) never dropped its load.
Mostly what I do is objective. The same numbers produce the same results in my forecast.
Leaving the chance of thunder in was subjective. It was based on my knowledge of the area and formulated in such a complex manner I’m not sure how I knew to do it. I just did.