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Commissioning Week Weather Outlook (20 May 2016)

  POSTED ON: Friday, May 20, 2016 9:58 AM by Meteorologist A.R. Davies

Executive Summary: Commissioning Week Weather Outlook

  • Saturday: Cold and raw with periods of rain (90% chance). Rain could be heavy at times during the day, but will taper to light showers/sprinkles during the evening. Northeast wind 10-15 mph, gusting to 25 mph. High: 56-60 oF.
  • Sunday: Mostly cloudy with off-and-on showers (50% chance of rain).  Partly sunny skies in the afternoon/evening. Northwest wind 8-12 mph. High: 64-68 oF.
  • Monday: Partly cloudy with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms possible (30% chance).  North wind 5-10 mph. High: 66-70 oF.
  • Tuesday: More sun than clouds. A slight chance for passing showers (20% chance). West wind 5-10 mph. High: 70-74 oF.
  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny and seasonable.  West wind 5-10 mph. High: 74-78 oF.
  • Thursday: Partly sunny and warm with increasing humidity.  Chance for showers/storms Thursday evening (40% chance).  Southwest wind 8-12 mph. High: 76-80 oF.
  • Friday: A slight chance for linger morning showers (20%). Steadier rain could develop in the afternoon/evening (50% chance). Southwest 8-12 mph. High: 76-80 oF.

The Commissioning Week Weather Outlook (above) was updated on May 20, 2016 at 1000 EDT. Continue to check for the latest information. Additional updates will periodically be posted at

Forecast Discussion:

A surface area of low pressure will slide across the Southeast United States on Friday afternoon, before pivoting northward Friday night/early Saturday morning.  As the system moves toward the Mid-Atlantic Coast, it will combine moisture from out of the Gulf of Mexico with dynamic forcing associated with a wave of energy in the upper atmosphere. As a result, periods of steady rain are likely throughout the day on Saturday.  As shown in the simulated radar figure below, light rain will likely begin early Saturday morning with steady rain developing around 0700 EDT.  Pockets of heavy rain with some embedded rumbles of thunder will be possible through mid-afternoon on Saturday, before the rain tapers to passing showers and sprinkles in the evening.  Overall 1.0 to 2.0 inches of rainfall is likely throughout the region, with isolated rainfall amounts approaching 3.0 inches possible.   

Sim Radar

Looking ahead into next week, the pesky upper atmospheric wave of energy will likely linger over the East Coast through Tuesday.  As a result a chance of rain will be in the forecast through Tuesday, but the overall likelihood of rain will decreasing each day.  The figure below illustrates the gradually improving weather conditions through Wednesday of next week.  On Sunday, instability resulting from the lingering upper air energy could result in scattered pop-up showers with isolated thunderstorms.  By Monday afternoon, the upper level wave will manifest itself at the surface as weather system off the Mid Atlantic coast.  Associated scattered showers (and perhaps a rumble of thunder) will be possible throughout the day on Monday.  By Tuesday, the offshore system will have shifted to our north.  The odds are that warming in the mid-levels of the atmosphere combined with high pressure building to the southwest will result in a partly sunny and rain-free day on Tuesday.  However, because of model uncertainty associated with the offshore Low, I will leave a slight chance of rain in the forecast. By Wednesday, the upper air wave of energy and associated surface low pressure system will likely be out of the area.  High pressure will take hold on Wednesday with sunny and seasonable conditions likely. 

Sun thru Tues

Southerly flow will develop on Thursday with warm and humid conditions possible. A cold front will potentially cross the region late in the day on Thursday with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.  As shown in the figure below, the models are projected the front to be just east of Annapolis by 0800 EDT on Friday morning with another slow moving weather system trying to push through Friday afternoon/evening. If the pattern develops this way (we are still a week away and these weather features are still over the North Pacific so uncertainty remains), it looks like there could be window Friday morning through midday with low rain chances (<20% chance of rain).  Furthermore, even if rain were to fall in the "graduation window," a washout seems unlikely.   Fingers Crossed!

grad day

ISSUED: 20 May 2016 at 1000
FORECASTER: Meteorologist A.R. Davies
Disclaimer: This is not an official U.S. Navy weather forecast and should not be confused with the official Navy weather forecast provided by the Fleet Weather Center in Norfolk, VA.  Furthermore, the official U.S. Government forecast for the greater Annapolis area is issued by the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office in Sterling, VA. Click here for full disclaimer.

Category: General Interest


Meteorologist Alexander Davies
Oceanography Department, USNA