Volcanic eruptions have occurred in several regions of the world in recent days. In addition to Mount Etna in Italy, there have also been eruptions in Costa Rica and Mexico.
Many volcanoes are currently active. On Sicily, Mount Etna erupted last weekend. It ejected a large cloud of ash and volcanic stones, so-called lapilli. Flight operations at nearby Catania airport had to be temporarily suspended.
Several volcanoes in Central America are also rumbling. In Costa Rica, the Rincón de la Vieja volcano emitted a nearly 2-mile-high ash cloud on Thursday. After a quiet phase, the volcano's activity has increased again since April. The authorities called on people not to approach the volcano.
Footage from the scene of Etna's eruption last weekend.
The 6,200-foot-high mountain is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes and is located in the northwest of the country, about 165 miles from the capital San José.
In Mexico, too, a volcano has been very active for weeks: Popocatépetl, 50 miles southeast of Mexico City, covered several villages with a layer of ash. Classes were canceled at hundreds of schools and flights were canceled.
As the last few days of May approach, this means that the official start of hurricane season is about to start. It seems like we will remain without tropical activity until to end of the month of May and possibly for the official start of the hurricane season on June 1. Of course, this changes later. Let’s discuss it!
This time of the year is infamous for pieces of energy left over by fronts spinning up into tropical systems. For the second part of this (short) week, we will be turning our eyes to the northwestern Caribbean/Bahamas region. As there will be a front exiting the U.S. there could still be some energy left behind by this front which could try to develop into a tropical system. Although there are some models hinting at this possibility, there are still plenty of question marks about the overall weather setup with several days in between.
As far as tropical waves are concerned, there is not much to worry about. There are some, but these are traveling closer to the Intertropical Convergence Zone and are not expected to develop further over the Atlantic Basin.
We will continue to monitor the tropics closely and bring you the next update on Tuesday, May 30. Stay tuned.
The non-tropical coastal storm is making its way inland on Sunday morning, pushing in all the showers over North Carolina and Virginia. Strong winds will persist on Sunday, and we forecast the system to dissipate by the beginning of next week over the same general area.
The rain has been constant since late Friday for coastal North Carolina and the southeastern portion of Virginia, where they have also experienced a few thunderstorms. Rains expanded closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains late Saturday morning, with the storm’s center still over the Atlantic.
Sunday morning’s satellite imagery shows the storm’s center inching closer to land. Winds are still strong over the coast of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. During the last 24 hours, strong winds have been recorded offshore of the North Carolina coast, with a buoy located 6 miles southeast of Wrightsville Beach registering 56 mph winds. But near the coast, the winds were not too far behind. In Federal Point, N.C., a 55 mph wind was registered on Saturday afternoon and the highest wind in South Carolina was recorded at Georgetown Fishing Pier.
Gale warnings expired on Sunday, but there are still small craft advisories in place along the South Carolina coast northward through the Chesapeake Bay. These advisories will start to expire from south to north throughout the rest of the Memorial Day Weekend.
High risk of rip currents
Swimmers should still consider staying off the waters as there will still be a high risk of rip currents through the mid-Atlantic coast southward and covering the entire east coast of Florida. See below how to spot a rip current and the best way to be released from one.
Rain will continue to affect the mountains over North Carolina, and western Virginia with another 3 inches possible. This is where the highest risk for flash flooding may happen. Coastal areas of North and South Carolina will slowly start to see less shower activity late afternoon into the evening and Memorial Day Monday should stay much better, with some periods of sunshine, but still a few thunderstorms in the forecast for coastal Virginia. Coastal areas could receive between half to one inch of additional rain through Monday evening.
The beach is a busy place to escape the summertime heat. There are always people in the water. Thanks to tropical activity offshore and even frontal systems, even those “beach-perfect” days can bring hidden dangers to swimmers (and we are not talking about sharks).
If the warm temperatures are sending you to the beach, make sure to look out for those flags warning you about the risk of rip currents and try your best to stay away from the water. If you must swim, make sure to do so near a lifeguard.
Rip currents are strong channels of water flowing from near the coast out past the surf zone that can pull the strongest swimmer into the deep waters. During hurricane season, especially peak hurricane season, rip currents can become more common as the tropical systems approach or pass the coastline bringing strong wind and wave activity. But rip currents can occur along all coasts, during any season.
Among all surf zone fatalities, 80 percent are caused by rip currents, and the victims are mostly men between the ages of 10-29. Rip currents result in at least 100 American fatalities each year and half of all fatalities occur along the Gulf Coast states and eastern Florida coast.
It is best if you avoid going in the water when there is the risk of rip currents, even if there is a low threat. Always check with lifeguards and learn what each flag means.
The good news is that many times rip currents can be spotted when standing on the shore looking toward the water.
Here are a few safety tips in case you are ever caught in a rip current:
Do not panic.
Do not try to swim back to the coast; you will be swimming against the strong current and will become tired quickly.
The current will become weaker as it moves offshore. Swim parallel to the coast.
Once out of the current, you can swim back towards the shore.
This weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer, but it will not mark the unofficial start to hurricane season. The low that we have been monitoring all week has no chance of officially becoming a tropical system. Nonetheless, the impacts of this storm will be widely felt across the Carolinas, Virginia, and other parts of the mid-Atlantic states.
The low-pressure system will continue with its front which will continue to meander around South Florida keeping the instability in place for the Memorial Day Weekend. Much bigger issues will affect the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states as heavy rain, gusty winds, and dangerous seas will be present throughout the long weekend.
Heavy rains have already been affecting the eastern half of the Carolinas and it will only intensify during the next 24 hours. Remember that the low is slowly moving north so this direction will allow for a persistent moisture push through the weekend across the same areas and expanding inland.
Biggest threats ahead
My biggest concerns are the high rainfall, as some coastal areas could get above 7 inches during the entire weekend, gusty winds, and dangerous seas.
It’s a holiday weekend and perhaps there are people that wanted to make their first trip of the year to the beach, but this weekend is not the right weekend to venture into the Atlantic waters adjacent to the Southeast or mid-Atlantic. The seas will be very dangerous from the coast of Virginia southward to the east coast of Florida. Gale warnings are in place extending well offshore.
There is a very high risk of rip currents. Even those who are venturing to lakes should really be careful. There is a lake wind advisory in place for the central portion of South Carolina, including Columbia, N.C.,to Augusta, Ga., through Sunday morning.
Gusts could exceed 40 mph which could produce power outages as trees and powerlines could fall. These strong winds will likely cause beach erosion as the winds will be strong from the northeast. As the low moves closer to land on Saturday afternoon, the winds will shift, and stronger winds will affect the coast but also some areas inland.
The heavy rains and some of the gusty winds will become widespread on Sunday more inland. Although the winds will be winding down, some strong gusts could also affect the Appalachians, especially the Blue Ridge Mountains.By Monday, the low will be dissipating, but there will still be some rain showers affecting the Carolinas, eastern Georgia, and mid-Atlantic states on Monday. Check the WeatherRadar for conditions in your city up to 4 days in advance.