Have surface low pressure systems got you down today? That's to be expected when the skies over NYC are overtaken by the Smoke Monster from Lost and the gods start weeping uncontrollably. It's not just here though: the entire East Coast is going to be hit by a rare “derecho” storm today. In case you have no idea what we're talking about, we've answered some pertinent questions about today's weather below.
What is a "derecho"? It's a really, really, really big thunderstorm. We don't know whether we are emphasizing the "really big" part of it enough, but we're being quite literal: it's a storm that stretches out over large portions of land. And with it comes winds that could reach up to 100 MPH!
Will this derecho destroy NYC? Almost certainly not: meteorologists agree that we are outside the most probable areas where the storm will hit. “New York is on the fringes of the severe weather threat,” said Accu-weather meteorologist Tom Kines. So you don't have to worry about this turning into Hurricane Sandy II: Greasy Lightning, even if the NY Post's alarmist headlines ("'Land hurricane' could lash victims with 100 mph winds") scare the beejesus out of you.
Ha! NYC spits in the face of puny rare thunderstorms! Just because we won't get the full impact doesn't mean it won't be a soggy, gross day. The National Weather Service says that "heavy rainfalls" are to be expected all day, and winds are expected to hit in the upper 30s tonight. They also issued a flood watch for NYC from Thursday morning through Saturday morning. We could get up to seven inches of rain over the next few days, which means we'll almost certainly break the record for most rain in June. But things should be back to normal by Saturday, latest.
Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of our parents? Hold up there stranger. Let's not get melodramatic all of a sudden—it's not like we're seeing Jesus in a dog's butt or anything. It's not so bad out there right now, and maybe we're being a little paranoid, but NWS says we're due for "hazardous" conditions later.
Am I an idiot for forgoing a rain poncho for a casual, hoodless sweater? Yes you are. You're even stupider for not bringing an umbrella with you. How hard is it to carry an umbrella? Just because you've never been able to hold onto one for more than five consecutive hours in a row doesn't mean you should reject the whole concept.
To better get you in the mood for today, go ahead and start listening to eight consecutive hours of rain sounds.