Good luck getting the kids to sleep Christmas Eve

Our “Santabomb” doesn’t appear to be the big storm system that everyone had anticipated. That is to say, there won’t be a massive snow storm covering a huge swath of the country. Instead, the best threat for significant snow will be confined to the western Great Lakes, and even then will be too wet to accumulate with any significance. So there aren’t many travel usses expected out of this system, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be Christmas issues with the complex. First, let’s take a look at the thunderstorm outlook on Christmas Eve:
The only thing that could keep a kid awake more than the anticipation of Santa coming in the morning is that same anticipation with thunderstorms. Most of the thunder will be over night, but everywhere shaded on green on this map has a chance for a stray rumble of thunder overnight into Christmas morning. And it’s not just thunder. Take a look at the current GFS depiction of what things will look like in the wee hours of Christmas morning:
heavy rain xmas
That’s a whole big batch of rain in New England and the mid-Atlantic, and a lot of children worried about whether or not Rudolph will be able to land on their roof safely. Meanwhile, Santa will be wondering when those kids will be going to bed so he can drop off their presents!

Wet snow rides the chinook

I say in the title there was a Chinook, but Cheyenne didn’t really feel the very warm temperatures that are often associated with brisk west winds. And they were brisk, reaching 35mph on Sunday. Saturday was a drier day, but Sunday brought some mixed precipitation in the evening. The brisk northwest wind coming over the northern Rockies was able to bring enough moisture over the mountains to provide an inch of snow at the airport and a little bit of rain. Victoria-Weather was the only sucker to believe in the power of mechanical heating, but the National Weather Service was able to hit the temperature and precipitation forecast better than anyone.
Actuals: Saturday, High 46, Low 26
Sunday, .05 inches of rain, 1 inch of snow, High 47, Low 29

Grade: B

Baltimore, Maryland

There is an interesting week coming for the east coast. How early will the nasty weather arrive in Baltimore?

At 554PM, ET, Baltimore was reporting a temperature of 35 degrees with clear skies. There was a weak wave off the coast of New England producing some clouds, and a developing system off the Carolina coast that promised to enhance overnight and bring some thunderstorms to Florida and Georgia tonight. Baltimore was safely between the two systems with no threat of shower activity in the short term. As the low off the Carolinas develops, however, there will likely be a few showers tomorrow morning.
A deep trough developing over the center of the country will generate an overriding onshore flow in the mid-Atlantic that will cause moisture to languish in the mid Atlantic through the day tomorrow. The trough will feature a dissipating surface low over the Great Lakes, which will be responsible for keeping Baltimore cloudy on Tuesday as well as Monday. The shower activity will begin to diminish late on Tuesday as the base of the upper level trough taps into the Gulf of Mexico. A strong surface system, the well advertised “Santabomb” will initially draw moisture away from Baltimore and give the area a break on Tuesday night.
Tomorrow – Scattered showers, heavier in the evening High 38, Low 28
Tuesday – Rain earlier and warmer, High 49, Low 33

TWC: Tomorrow – PM Showers, High 40, Low 31
Tuesday – Cloudy 48, Low 38

AW: Tomorrow – Cloudy with occasional rain followed by a steadier rain High 40, Low 27
Tuesday – Mainly cloudy and milder with areas of drizzle High 49, Low 35

NWS: Tomorrow – A chance of rain, mainly after 9am. Mostly cloudy, High 37, Low 30
Tuesday – A chance of rain. Cloudy, High 47, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny in the morning…then becoming cloudy High 35, Low 30
Tuesday – Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. High 45, Low 35

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Areas of Rain High 37, Low 34
Tuesday – Cloudy with Chance of Light Rain High 48, Low 36

The high on Monday may well come at midnight as the flow switches to come strongly from the south. I doubt it. But it could.

Longview, Washington

We’re headed out west for this weekend weather outlook. We’re going to the Columbia Gorge for this one. Sounds like some fun.

At 135PM, PT, Longview was reporting a temperature of 52 degrees with overcast conditions. A ridge was working its way on shore, with temperatures climbing back up into the 50s, but the leading edge of the warmer weather, which is at the nose of a strong North Pacific jet, is producing quite a bit of rain. Much of the lower Gorge was seeing rain, though it was beginning to clear out around Astoria, and Longview was simply windy, but not reporting rain. There is still a great deal of rain in the Cascades and towards Portland, and there is more on the way.
The moist flow being pumped into the Pacific Northwest will continue until the jet begins to form a trough in the Plains, and the promised ridge really starts to take shape out west. This will lead to persistent rain through the day tomorrow, again, with much of it falling at the higher elevations to the east of Longview, which will finally begin to taper off late on Sunday. There will be some remnant clouds with the potential for some drizzle through Monday morning as well. By the end of the day Monday as Christmas looms later in the week, the sun will come out, and Longview, along with the rest of the Columbia Gorge, will be able to dry out.
Tomorrow – Rain, tapering off late. High 55, Low 46
Monday – Some light showers in the morning, with sun before sunset. High 48, Low 41

TWC: Tomorrow – Showers, High 54 Low 47
Monday – High 52, Low 43

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy with occasional rain High 55, Low 48
Monday – A morning shower in the area; otherwise, cloudy High 49, Low 44

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain. High 53, Low 45
Monday – A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy High 50, Low 43

WB: Tomorrow – Rain. High 55, Low 47
Monday – Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain in the morning…then a slight chance of rain in the afternoon.High 50, Low 45

WN: Tomorrow – Cloudy with Rain High 54, Low 46
Monday – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Showers High 50, Low 43

I should note that everyone has non standard lows for Sunday, with it cooling off before midnight as clouds begin to thin. For now, here’s the radar. It’s a little damp.

The Week Ahead 12/21/14-12/27/14

Christmas time is a-comin, and Victoria-Weather will have you a-covered. We’re going to be forecasting as scheduled this week, because weather doesn’t stop for the Holidays.


Sunday – Baltimore, Maryland
Tuesday – Rochester, Minnesota
Wednesday – Ann Arbor, Michigan; Road Trip from Rochester to Ann Arbor
Friday – Bridgeport, Connecticut
Saturday – Florence, Alabama

Cheyenne, Wyoming

We’re cruising into Christmas week, and we will definitely get there. First, we have a stopover in Cheyenne.

At 353PM, MT, Cheyenne was reporting a temperature of 35 degrees with clear skies. Continued troughing in the northern Plains has led to brisk winds spilling over the Laramie Range, and high wind watches are out for the mountains. Cheyenne seems to be in a shielded location, as they are presently reporting calm winds. Still, breeze west winds suggest a warm night, particularly since it seems unlikely that the wind will stay calm forever.
A vast and strong jet moving into the northern Rockies will also bring along a great deal of moisture into the region. While most of the shower activity will be confined to the more mountainous regions, by Sunday afternoon, it’s certainly a possibility that Cheyenne will see some scattered rainfall. The biggest issue with this system will be very gusty winds as the jet noses into the northern High Plains.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 49, Low 28
Sunday – Increasing clouds, with some light rain possible late, snow in the mountains, and very windy, with gusts to 40mph possible High 54, low 30.

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy/wind: High 43, Low 29
Sunday – Mostly cloudy/wind: High 46, Low 29

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine High 45, Low 28
Sunday – Mostly cloudy and increasingly windy High 48, Low 27

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 46, Low 24
Sunday – Partly sunny (rain mixing with snow after 5pm) High 49, Low 25

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy. High 45, Low 22
Sunday – Mostly cloudy. Windy High 50, Low 25

WN: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 46, Low 23
Sunday – Windy with Isolated Snow Showers High 50, Low 25

Models are currently proving unable to match the warmth produced by the chinook winds in Cheyenne, and I believe in their ability to heat things up, even if it’s briefly, this weekend. I believe in the power of mechanical warming! Anywho, here’s the satellite, showing off some clouds in the center of the state.

Sarasota, Florida to Norwich, Connecticut

This is a bummer of a trip. Sarasota to Connecticut? In December? Boo. Of course, with Christmas on the way and Haunakkah already here, this is probably a fairly common trek, with retirees coming up north to visit family for the holidays. The drive will take us 2 1/2 days and cover 1315 miles. If you don’t want to work out the math, that would be an average pace of 65.1mph, which is actually pretty good, considering the high traffic areas we will be driving through. Friday and Saturday will see us cover 521 miles, leaving the rest for a short drive on Sunday.

DAY ONE (Friday)
As if to tease us as we leave Florida, we will cover the entire stretch of the Peninsula without a drop of rain and only a photogenic smattering of cumulus clouds. The threat for denser clouds will be possible right as we cross the border into Georgia. Things will clear out a bit again as we pass Savannah, and mostly clear skies will greet us in Gable, South Carolna, which is east of Sumter and our destination for Friday night.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
By the time we head out the door on Saturday morning, a wave moving through the southeastern US will have arrived in South Carolina. Expect some light showers for the rest of our drive through the Palmetto State, but nothing more ominous than that. Some of those showers may linger all the way to Fayetteville in North Carolina, and it will be drizzly and cloudy, potentially, as far north even as Richmond. When the precipitation clears we will be north of a boundary that has been lurking for the last several days. Fully within the trough, the temperatures will be cooler, despite some sunshine. Get your jacket out when we stop for the night in Perryville, which is in northwest Maryland.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
Unfortunately, it will be significantly colder on Sunday in the mid-Atlantic than it was on Friday in Florida, and even on Saturday in the Carolinas. Fortunately, it will be dry, if a bit cloudy throughout New Jersey, New York and southern New England. It will be cloudy and chilly when we check in with the family in Norwich.

Murky Milwaukee

An area of low pressure slowly sludging its way through the Great Lakes rendered Milwaukee dreary this week. Not only was there the rain that we saw as the forecast was issued, but also MORE rain on Tuesday. Some snow mixed in at the very end of the event, and there were a few flurries into early Wednesday morning. Clouds took their time departing, as seems to be the case with every system in the winter. Victoria Weather had the best phrasing in the forecast, but we don’t consider phrasing in our verification. Accuweather, despite suggesting some sun yesterday drew level with us for the top spot in Milwaukee.
Actuals: Tuesday – .10 inches of rain, trace of snow, High 44, Low 29
Wednesday – Trace of snow, High 29, Low 21

Grade: B

Great Lakes Storm Possible for Christmas?

You might have read some rumblings over the last couple days about a big storm to hit the Eastern US around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The guidance over the last couple of days has been pretty steady with producing a low-pressure system along the East Coast before it swings inland and intensifies, somewhere over the Eastern Great Lakes. Today the guidance showed a hiccup in the recent trends, making it a bit weaker and farther to the east. The subsequent run took it back to what it had been before, but it does give us something to think about as we head into the next couple of days and continue to hone in on just what exactly this possible storm could do. Now, this isn’t a post to make everybody freak out and change all of their travel plans for the holiday, because there is still MUCH uncertainty over what path this system might take if it does develop as advertised. Instead, just keep this in the back of your mind for the next few days and be sure to check back in on the evolution of this forecast.

For what it’s worth, here is the latest forecast for 1AM Christmas morning: Pretty snowy in portions of northern New England, and very windy over the Great Lakes region with that intense pressure gradient. And I suppose another system pushing into the Rockies, but that pales in comparison to what’s out east.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Clarksville, Tennessee

Instead of the last train, we’re just going to take a car to Clarksville. This will only be a day trip, lasting nearly 9 hours and covering 553 miles. Our pace will be 63.1mph, and our mood will be “good”.

The weather this week is going to be very active, and even through the day Wednesday, a system will be churning through the Great Lakes, bringing snow and clouds, and another wave will be developing in the Lower Mississippi Valley and will be producing some thunderstorms later on this week. For our drive, though? Nothing. It’s going to be a great trip, and we will only need to worry about a few clouds infiltrating Clarksville just as we arrive.

The official blog of Victoria-Weather