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Chilly? Blame Omega Block weather pattern

Published: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 @ 12:47 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 @ 12:47 PM

April was quite a roller coaster as far as temperatures were concerned, with cooler air returning as we wrapped up the month.

However, there were enough warmer days during mid-April to keep the overall temperature average for the month just about half a degree below normal.

Cooler than average temperatures have returned and will likely stick around the rest of this week. Average highs for this time of year are in the upper 60s.

An “Omega Block” in the jet-stream pattern will keep the pattern cool from the Ohio Valley into New England. The pattern is called an Omega Block because the upper-level weather features and jet stream look like the Greek letter Omega.

The pattern can get locked for several days – blocking weather systems from the west from moving eastward. Temperatures are usually cooler than average on the east side of the block, which is where the Ohio Valley will reside for most of this week. This will keep high temperatures in the lower to middle 60s through at least Thursday.

The weather pattern is expected to finally shift into a warmer pattern this weekend as the block slowly shifts east, allowing winds to become more southerly as opposed to northerly. This will allow warmer air that is building in the southern U.S. to shift northeastward into the Midwest and Great Lakes. When that happens, temperatures will rise back in the 70s and perhaps near 80 degrees, with the threat for any frost finally coming to an end.

As far as precipitation is concerned, despite occasional bouts of showers and storms, overall precipitation amounts will likely stay below normal.

For the month of April, the Dayton International Airport, the official measurement location, received 2.95 inches of rain; the average for this time of year is 4.09 inches — which put us more than an inch below normal.

However, the wet winter has our annual precipitation running above average by about three-quarters of an inch.

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Heat builds ahead of Monday’s solar eclipse

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 6:33 AM
Updated: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 6:00 PM

Sunday Afternoon Weather Update with Meteorologist Brett Collar

An isolated shower can’t be ruled out this evening, but most will stay dry, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Overnight, clouds decrease and temperatures drop into the lower to middle 60s.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Temperatures on the rise Sunday, Monday
  • Chance for rain returns Tuesday
  • Cooler, less humid Wednesday, Thursday

RELATED: Total Solar Eclipse Weather Forecast

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini

EXTENDED FORECAST

Sunday: Mostly sunny skies are expected to start the day, with partly cloudy skies for the afternoon. Highs will be in the middle to upper 80s.

>> County-by-county forecasts

5-Day Temperature Trend(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

#SkyWitness7 Great American Eclipse Info

Monday: The day of the Great American Eclipse will be hot and humid. There will be a good amount of sunshine with a few daytime clouds mixed in during the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 80s with some spots in the lower 90s. Heat Index values will be in the lower to middle 90. If you are planning to be outside to watch the solar eclipse, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

MORE: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Tuesday: Showers and thunderstorms return as a strong cold front moves through. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

Yard Work Forecast(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

Wednesday: It cools off and dries out under partly sunny skies and highs in the middle to upper 70s.

Thursday: The day will be pleasant and cooler than normal with highs in the middle 70s under partly sunny skies.

Heat building in as we approach the Great American Solar Eclipse

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 8:52 AM

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar
Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar

Mostly sunny today will become partly cloudy in the afternoon, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. Highs will reach the middle to upper 80s. Clearing is expected tonight with lows in the middle to upper 60s.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Temperatures on the rise as we approach Monday
  • Chance for rain returns Tuesday
  • Cooler and less humid Wednesday and Thursday

RELATED: Total Solar Eclipse Weather Forecast

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar

EXTENDED FORECAST

Monday: A hot and humid day is expected Monday. It’s also the day of the Great American Eclipse. We’ll see a good amount of sunshine with a few daytime clouds mixed in during the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 80s with some spots in the lower 90s. Heat index values will be in the lower to middle 90s. If you are planning to be outside to watch the eclipse, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated!

#SkyWitness7 Great American Eclipse Info

Tuesday: Showers and thunderstorms return on Tuesday as a strong cold front moves through. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

>>> County-by-County Forecasts

Wednesday: We cool off and dry out Wednesday under partly cloudy skies. Highs will only be in the middle to upper 70s.

MORE: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Thursday: We remain pleasantly cooler than normal on Thursday with highs in the middle 70s under partly sunny skies.

Great American Eclipse: How to spot fake glasses, handheld viewers

Published: Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 11:04 PM

Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs and Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini explain how to make a solar eclipse pinhole projector with items you have around the house.

The Great American Eclipse will be an amazing sight to see Aug. 21 when it crosses the country coast to coast — the first time since 1918.

MORE: #SkyWitness7

Locally the eclipse won’t be total, but 90 percent, according to the Storm Center 7 meteorologist team.

RELATED: Get ready for the eclipse

Viewing the total solar eclipse requires specific eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, not regular sunglasses.

It’s dangerous to look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse without adequate eye protection.

WATCH: When will the solar eclipse be visible in your community?

"Even the tiniest sliver of a crescent sun peeking out from behind the moon emits enough light to scorch your eyes,” Ralph Chou, professor of optometry and vision science at the University of Waterloo in Canada told Space.com

Chou said about half of patients diagnosed with eclipse blindness regain full vision in six months. But the other half partially or never recover, he said.

RELATED: What you need to know about the Great American Eclipse

But how do you avoid getting scammed, and potentially blinded, by knockoff eclipse glasses targeting unsuspecting consumers? 

NASA gives advice on what to look for before buying eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers. Safe glasses, solar viewers must meet all the following criteria:

  • Certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard 
  • The manufacturer's name and address printed somewhere on the product 
  • Do not use if it’s older than three years or lenses have tears, scratches or wrinkles
  • Do not use homemade filters or regular sunglasses, even dark ones 

Leading up to the Great American Eclipse next month, the marketplace is being flooded by counterfeit glasses, which can falsely advertise they meet the international standard.

How do you know which manufacturers make safe eclipse glasses and solar viewers?

NASA and the American Astronomical Society said there are five manufacturers that meet the international standard to look directly at the sun.

They are:

  • American Paper Optics
  • Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only)
  • Rainbow Symphony
  • Thousand Oaks Optica
  • TSE 17 

Approved retail chains selling certified glasses are

  • Best Buy 
  • Bi-Mart 
  • Casey's General Store 
  • Hobby Town 
  • Kirklands 
  • Kroger 
  • Lowe's 
  • Maverik
  • 7-Eleven
  • Pilot/Flying J 
  • Walmart

NASA also recommends that whatever recommended safety device you use, give your eyes a few breaks and do not stare continuously at the sun. Keep your special glasses on throughout the eclipse.

NASA: Eclipse 101

Where can you find solar eclipse glasses or solar viewers?

You can purchase the glasses on the manufacturer’s websites or through online retailers. Or, you might be able to find a free pair from your local library. Check your library to find out availability. 

You can keep for solar eclipse glasses for the next eclipse event in 2024, as long as they haven’t been damaged.

YOU NEED THIS: WHIO Weather App

What’s the weather forecast for Monday’s solar eclipse?

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 8:02 AM

Looking towards a hot and humid day for the solar eclipse across the Miami Valley

The Great American Solar Eclipse will take place August 21st, with the Miami Valley enjoying a partial eclipse with about 89% of the sun eclipsed.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipse

The viewing will begin around 1 p.m. with the max eclipse around 2:28 p.m. This means plenty of people will be outside during the peak heating hours of the day.

RELATED: How to watch the Great American Eclipse safely

RELATED: Where to get solar eclipse glasses in the Dayton area

Make sure you DO NOT look directly at the sun even for a few seconds unless you have ISO compliant solar eclipse glasses.

RELATED: Can’t find eclipse glasses? Here are some other options

The day will warm up quickly with most of the eclipse time-frame in the mid to upper 80s. Dew points will be in the 60s so it will feel muggy as well. 

Heat index values can reach the low 90s that day so please make sure you have plenty of water to stay hydrated and take breaks outside if you feel like you are overheating. 

There will be a good deal of sunshine especially early but as the day goes on some high clouds and a few fair weather clouds look to develop. We are lucky that the forecast will stay dry to enjoy the show!