Star Date 21 June 2016 Tuesday

Captain's Log
It's another scorcher today in the desert Southwest as record-breaking temperatures top out in the 110s. Several places have already broken records this week including Death Valley, CA with 126F; Las Vegas with 115F; and 116F in Phoenix. The extreme heat will continue through at least Thursday helping to make this the hottest 4th week of June in 25+ years for the Southwest region.

Elsewhere we have a cold front draped across the Northeast into the Mid-Atlantic and back through the Midwest with showers and thunderstorms firing up along this front Tuesday. On Wednesday we'll have to watch for a significant threat of severe storms in the Great Lakes region, including northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, northern Indiana, and southwest Michigan. Damaging winds, large hail, and a few tornadoes will threaten the region. The severe weather threat will shift into the Mid-Atlantic on Thursday. A cold front over the weekend will start making its way across the North Central U.S. bringing the threat of another round of showers and thunderstorms. Overall, this week is forecast to be the 2nd driest fourth week of June in 25+ years for the U.S. as a whole.

The Summer Solstice occurred Monday night at 6:34 pm eastern time and temperatures this week are on point as it will feel very "summery" across most of the nation. Much of the South will see high temperatures in the 90s, except the desert Southwest where temperatures top the century mark. Temperatures will be more variable across the North with highs generally ranging from the 70s to 80s with a few 90s here and there.
The other big news in weather this week is the development of our 4th storm of the season, Tropical Storm Danielle. She quietly formed in the far southwestern corner of the Gulf of Mexico early this week and made landfall in Mexico with very heavy rain. Some of the moisture from Danielle reached Deep South Texas helping to fire up showers and thunderstorms across the region on Monday. If some short-range forecast models are to be believed, we may see another tropical system in the Caribbean as early as later next week, but we wouldn't hang our hats on that forecast just yet.

We were already off to a record fast start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season with Tropical Storm Colin a couple of weeks ago, the development of Danielle was even more record-setting. This was the first June ever (in the history of record that goes back a little over 150 years) with a 4th ("D" named) storm. We're only a mere 21 days into the Atlantic Hurricane Season and we have a long way to go before the end, which is November 30th. La Nina is waiting in the wings as we're currently in a neutral phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation cycle. We expect that La Nina will develop during the summer. La Nina tends to favor tropical development in the Atlantic. As we warned in our Seeds of Success Episode 3 video, this season is forecast to be especially active with 18+ named storms and a high likelihood that a strong hurricane makes landfall somewhere in the U.S. So hold onto your hats folks, the hurricane season is just warming up!