The SI Weather
27Aug/14Wed

1:00 PM | Northern lights, an update on the Iceland volcano, and mysterious lights from the Napa earthquake

Discussion

Northern Lights
aurora_WY
[Northern lights earlier today as seen in Devil's Tower, Wyoming; courtesy spaceweather.com]

A coronal mass ejection (CME) reached the Earth’s upper atmosphere early today sparking bright auroras around the North and South Poles and in high latitudes. In fact, reports of northern lights have poured in today from across the northern US including such states as Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Idaho, North Dakota and Washington. The CME that instigated today’s display was launched toward Earth on August 22nd. According to “space.com”, the solar wind speed did not change much when the slow-moving CME arrived. However, the storm cloud was still “effective” because it contained a south-pointing magnetic field that opened a crack in Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind is pouring in to fuel the on-going display. High latitude sky watchers should remain on alert tonight for auroras as solar wind conditions continue to favor geomagnetic activity.

aurora
[NOAA POES satellite data shows the extent of this morning’s "statistical aurora oval" well down into the mid-latitudes; courtesy NOAA Space Prediction Center].

Iceland Volcano
Earthquakes are rocking Iceland’s Bardarbungo volcano, adding to concerns that magna movements may trigger an eruption that could hinder air traffic. Two earthquakes measuring over 5.0 shook the volcano under the vast Vatnajokull glacier earlier today and over 500 quakes have hit the area since midnight. Scientists say that 50 million cubic meters of molten rock has moved in a 24 hour period. If it continues to head north, it could link up with the Askja system and trigger a large eruption. In 2010, Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano erupted and sparked a week of international aviation chaos. Some 100,000 flights were cancelled after aviation officials closed Europe's air space for five days out of fears that volcanic ash could harm jet engines.

2010_iceland_volcano
[The ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010 created a major disruption for air travel]

Mysterious Lights
Mysterious flashes of light in the sky were reported by several people during last Sunday’s magnitude 6.0 earthquake in the Napa region of northern California. Witnesses said the strange phenomenon looked like lightning and similar flashes of light have been reported in earthquakes around the world from Japan to Peru. One scientist called this phenomenon “earthquake lights” and suggested they are a consequence of the stresses building up deep below the earth that cause an electric current to flow to the surface and burst through the earth. This typically happens before or during an earthquake. Most reports said there were one to two seconds between the light flashes. Research continues in this area - many seismologists do not believe such things are real.

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27Aug/14Wed

7:00 AM | Quite warm and humid today, but more comfortable air returns for Thursday and Friday

6-Day Forecast

Today

Mostly sunny, quite warm and humid, slight chance for a late day shower or thunderstorm, highs near 90 degrees

Tonight

Slight chance for an early evening shower or thunderstorm; otherwise, partly cloudy skies, mild, lows by morning in the upper 60’s

Thursday

Mostly sunny skies, quite nice with lower humidity, low 80’s

Thursday Night

Mostly clear, cool, near 60

Friday

Mostly sunny, still pleasant, near 80

Saturday

Mainly sunny, more humid, low 80’s

Sunday

Partly sunny, quite warm, humid, chance for showers and thunderstorms, upper 80’s

Monday

Mostly cloudy, not as warm, humid, still the chance for showers and thunderstorms, mid-to-upper 80's

Discussion

High pressure will push off the coast today and a weak cool front will approach from the west. Heat and humidity will build up noticeably ahead of the front throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and there can be a widely scattered late day or early evening shower or thunderstorm, but no significant rainfall is expected along the I-95 corridor and it could actually remain completely rain-free during this frontal passage. Another refreshing air mass will push into the region for Thursday and Friday, but then the humidity will climb this weekend as this next high pressure system moves off the coast and there will be an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms as we progress through the holiday weekend.

Video

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27Aug/14Wed

7:00 AM | Very warm and humid today, but more comfortable air returns on Thursday and Friday

6-Day Forecast

Today

Mostly sunny, quite warm and humid, slight chance for a late day shower or thunderstorm, highs near 90 degrees

Tonight

Slight chance for an evening shower or thunderstorm; otherwise, partly cloudy skies, turning a little cooler late, lows by morning in the low-to-mid 60’s

Thursday

Mostly sunny skies, quite nice, noticeably lower humidity, low-to-mid 80’s

Thursday Night

Mostly clear, cool, low 60’s

Friday

Mostly sunny, still pleasant, low 80’s

Saturday

Partly-to-mostly sunny, warmer and more humid, chance for showers and thunderstorms at night, mid-to-upper 80’s

Sunday

Partly sunny, hot, humid, chance for showers and thunderstorms, near 90

Monday

Mostly cloudy, not as warm, humid, still the chance for showers and thunderstorms, mid-to-upper 80’s

Discussion

High pressure will push off the coast today and a weak cool front will approach from the west. Heat and humidity will build up noticeably ahead of the front throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and there can be a widely scattered late day or early evening shower or thunderstorm, but no significant rainfall is expected along the I-95 corridor and it could actually remain completely rain-free during this frontal passage. Another refreshing air mass will push into the region for Thursday and Friday, but then the humidity will climb this weekend as this next high pressure system moves off the coast and there will be an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms as we progress through the holiday weekend.

Video

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27Aug/14Wed

7:00 AM | Today will be the warmest day of the work week, but refreshing air returns for Thursday/Friday

6-Day Forecast

Today

Mostly sunny, quite warm and humid, slight chance for a late day shower or thunderstorm, highs near 90 degrees

Tonight

Slight chance for an early evening shower or thunderstorm; otherwise, partly cloudy skies, turning a little cooler late, lows by morning in the lower 60’s

Thursday

Mostly sunny skies, quite nice with noticeably lower humidity, low 80's

Thursday Night

Mostly clear, cool, mid 50’s

Friday

Mostly sunny, still pleasant, near 80

Saturday

Partly-to-mostly sunny, warmer and more humid, chance for showers and thunderstorms at night, mid 80’s

Sunday

Partly sunny, quite warm and humid, chance for showers and thunderstorms, upper 80’s

Monday

Mostly cloudy, not quite as warm, still the chance for showers and thunderstorms, low-to-mid 80's

Discussion

High pressure will push off the coast today and a weak cool front will approach from the west. Heat and humidity will build up noticeably ahead of the front throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and there can be a widely scattered late day or early evening shower or thunderstorm, but no significant rainfall is expected along the I-95 corridor and it could actually remain completely rain-free during this frontal passage. Another refreshing air mass will push into the region for Thursday and Friday, but then the humidity will climb this weekend as this next high pressure system moves off the coast and there will be an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms as we progress through the holiday weekend.

Video

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