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Kirstie Zontini: Hurricane season off to quick start

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:45 AM


            More than one million people in Ohio lost power during a wind storm in September 2009 that was a leftover of Hurricane Ike. The storm hit Ohio and the northern Miami Valley hard. FILE
More than one million people in Ohio lost power during a wind storm in September 2009 that was a leftover of Hurricane Ike. The storm hit Ohio and the northern Miami Valley hard. FILE

By Kirstie Zontini

Tropical Storm Cindy brought heavy rain and strong winds to the central Gulf coast last week and was the third named storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Before Cindy was Tropical Storm Bret and Tropical Storm Arlene.

The National Hurricane Center, part of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, tracks these storms. It is an organization with the purpose of saving lives, property and improving economic efficiency when dealing with tropical cyclones. It’s the agency that issues watches, warnings, forecasts then post analysis of tropical development for the United States similar to what local National Weather Service offices do for other types of weather hazards.

Hurricane season began in June and there have already been two named storms this month. The National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Season Outlook for this year is predicting an above- normal or near-normal hurricane season. According to the NHC, there is a high probability of 11 to 17 named storms this year, of those storms, five to nine could become hurricanes, and two to four could become major hurricanes.

Starting this year, the National Hurricane Center has also updated some of their weather products. Storm surge from tropical development like hurricanes can be deadly and pose one of the biggest threats to property. This year, Storm Surge Watches/Warnings can be issued. A Storm Surge Watch is, “the possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours.” A Storm Surge Warning is, “the danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours.” Both can help residents and local agencies prepare for this threat in the event of a tropical cyclone.

Another update is watches, warnings and advisories issued for “potential” tropical cyclones. This was seen during the development of Tropical Storm Cindy which threatened land. Advancements in forecasting has allowed the NHC to issue Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings before a disturbance takes on the complete characteristics of a tropical cyclone. Potential tropical cyclones will follow a numerical order. We already had three potential tropical cyclones so the next one will be called Potential Tropical Cyclone Four.

According to the National Hurricane Center, they will also issue experimental Time of Arrival of Tropical Storm Force Winds graphics. These forecasts can help with preparations for coastal communities while a tropical cyclone is developing or is already being tracked by looking closer at the timing of strong winds.

We don’t often get impacts from hurricanes or tropical storms in the Miami Valley but with hurricane season running through November, your Storm Center 7 team will keep you updated on the latest tropical development.

Kirstie Zontini is a Storm Center 7 meteorologist. Eric Elwell, Storm Center 7 Chief Meterologist will return.

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Dayton hits first heat wave of 2018

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 11:40 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:53 AM

A stretch of warm days is needed but how warm and for how long?

In the Miami Valley, a heat wave is classified as three consecutive days or more at or above 90 degrees, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Dayton saw two 90 degree days in a row in May and this weekend, we added two more. It officially hit 92 degrees Monday making this stretch an official heat wave in Dayton. The airport climbed to 90 degrees Saturday and 92 degrees Sunday and Monday.

RELATED: The UV index explained

The most recent heat wave was July 23-25, 2016. The last heat wave Dayton experienced in June was June 10-14, 2015. That stretch produced five days at 91 degrees! 

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Flash flooding threat today with afternoon storms; hot and humid pattern continues

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 4:24 AM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:19 AM

A hot, humid and stormy day is expected Tuesday. Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about our severe threats.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Few downpours north this morning
  • Hot and humid again
  • Storms Tuesday/Wednesday increase flooding threat

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today: Some passing showers are moving through this morning before sunrise in the far northern Miami Valley, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. We’ll see dry time for most of the area during the morning commute. It will be warm and muggy again tonight with highs in the upper 80s and the heat index in the mid-90s. It will be sunny with scattered clouds. Isolated storms will redevelop this afternoon. Passing showers and storms will move through in the afternoon and into the evening. There’s an increased threat for flash flooding during the evening commute. An isolated strong storm could produce strong wind gusts as well.

>> The UV index explained

>> How to prevent heat-related and life-threatening illnesses during extreme heat

Wednesday: There will be dry time early. Highs will reach the mid-80s and it will still be muggy. Some passing showers and storms are possible in the afternoon with localized heavy rain being the main threat. Showers and storms will move south into the night.

>> FLOODING: Know your risks

Thursday: A boundary to our south should keep the rain chance in the far southern Miami Valley. We’ll see a brief break from the heat and humidity with highs around 80, which is normal. Most will stay dry.

Friday: There will be dry weather early. Clouds will increase and scattered showers and storms will return through the day and evening. Highs will be in the mid-80s. The flash flood threat continues.

>> Cloudy with a chance of podcast

Saturday: Highs will be in the low-80s and it will be muggy. It will be mostly cloudy with a passing shower or storm. It will dry out into the evening.

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WPAFB Tuesday Weather: Storms with gusty winds, hail possible today

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 1:49 AM

A false alarm in a building led to a temporary gate closure Wednesday night in Area B, a base spokeswoman said.
Staff Writer
A false alarm in a building led to a temporary gate closure Wednesday night in Area B, a base spokeswoman said.(Staff Writer)

A stormy pattern will set up across the area over the next 48 hours as a slow moving cold front moves into the region, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

RELATED: Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Expect showers and storms to become more numerous during the afternoon and evening hours today and again on Wednesday. While the overall severe weather threat is marginal, one or two storms could produce gusty winds and some hail.

>> Humid air puts region at risk for potential flash-flooding

The main threat from the heavier storms will come from locally heavy rainfall which could lead to flash flooding. The added clouds and rain should hold temperatures in the 80s for highs through midweek.

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Dangerous heat to last into the new week

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 8:03 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 4:46 PM

5 Day Forecast with Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell


It will be quite hot and humid with mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will reach near 93 degrees, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. The heat index will be between 95 to 100 degrees by late afternoon. While most will stay dry, an isolated pop-up strong storm cannot be ruled out.

>>WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST:

- Air Pollution Advisory until Monday

- Heat index near 100 again Monday afternoon

- Storms to bring locally heavy rain by Tuesday

 >>5-day forecast

This Evening: A hot and humid evening is in the forecast with a slight chance for a pop-up storm. Any storms will quickly dissipate after sunset. Temperatures will fall through the 80s after sunset.

Tonight: Skies will become mostly clear. It will remain warm and muggy with a low around 73 degrees.

Tomorrow: Another hot day is in the forecast with the humidity making temperatures feel more like 100 degrees. Actual temperatures will top out in the lower 90s under mostly sunny skies. There is a slight chance for a pop-up late day storm. Chances will increase late Monday night. 

Tuesday: Skies will be partly cloudy with an increasing chance for scattered showers and storms developing, especially during the afternoon. Some of the storms could produce locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Highs will top out in the upper 80s.

>>LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans

Wednesday: Numerous showers and storms will be scattered across the Miami Valley. Some of the storms could produce locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Storms will taper down after sunset. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

Thursday: There is a chance for a few storms early in the day and then again toward late evening or at night. Otherwise partly cloudy skies are expected with a bit cooler, less humid air arriving. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

Friday: Scattered showers and storms will return by the afternoon with highs in the middle 80s.

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