If May 21 is really the start of doomsday, it looks like the weather won't be tipping its hand.
In case you haven't heard, Harold Camping, 89-year-old leader of the ministry Family Radio Worldwide, has predicted that a five-month destruction of humanity will commence Saturday with a rapture, in which believers will ascend to heaven. "Whereas this five-month period will be an enormous horror story for those who have not been raptured, it will be a time of great joy and wonder for those who are raptured," according to the Family Radio website. [Infographic: A Brief History of Doomsday]
The weather on May 21 shouldn't get in the way of any "Rapture parties." There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms in Central Texas, according to the nation's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Okla. That's more like Salvation Day weather than Judgment Day for Texas, which has been praying for rain in the midst of an epic drought and historic wildfires this spring.
Iowa and Illinois also have a slight risk of severe thunderstorms, according to the SPC. The rest of the country should have an uneventful weather day. [Apocalypse Now: The Gear You Need to Survive Doomsday]
Here's the weather.com forecast for the nation's 10 biggest cities on May 21 (all degrees in Fahrenheit):
- New York City: A 40 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
- Los Angeles: Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the upper 50s.
- Chicago: An 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.
- Houston: Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid 70s.
- Phoenix: Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the low 70s.
- Philadelphia: Isolated thunderstorms, 30 percent chance. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.
- San Antonio: Partly cloudy, chance of a thunderstorm 30 percent. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 70s.
- San Diego: Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the low 60s.
- Dallas: Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the low 70s.
- San Jose, Calif.: Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the low 50s.
- Oakland, Calif., where Harold Camping's ministry is based: Morning clouds, followed by afternoon sun. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the low 50s.
- Kiribati, east of New Zealand, the first inhabited place to see the sun rise on May 21: A forty percent chance of rain with highs in the mid 80s.
The SPC has not yet issued a forecast for May 22, should the world not end on Saturday. The hurricane season, however, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, is predicted to be more active than average, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast released today (May 19).