A cold snap on the way


I don’t make much note of the red and blue lines on these model plots, but today, I will. Faster moving molecules need more space to move around, while slower moving molecules need less space. Faster moving molecules mean the mass in which they are moving around in is warmer. Basically, this means that warm air is greater in volume. Those lines represent atmospheric thickness, and warmer air is represented by the higher numbers and red lines.
As a very rough estimate, the 540 thickness line, on the above map the furthest south line in blue is commonly viewed as the line that represents the rain-snow line. It’s imperfect, as it represents thicknesses through the entire atmosphere, and temperatures at the surface might be warm and they may be very cool aloft, and it doesn’t really work along the coasts. Still, it is a good indication that cold air is coming to the upper Midwest. Oh, and in this case, I think the 540 line will accurately predict a little bit of snow in central and northern Minnesota. For the record, this forecast map is of Friday night. Happy weekend!
Any cold air bad enough, if you ask me, but even worse, the cold air is going to stick around well into the middle of October.

Jonesboro, Arkansas to St. Joseph, Missouri

We’re on the road once again. Today’s trip doesn’t seem very long, but it will be over seven hours to cover the ground between our two cities. The mileage is only 442 miles, and the cause of our slowdown will be winding country roads and a pace of only 60mph. We are going to cover a lot of Missouri, so let’s see what the weather will be like in the Show Me State.


A sharp surface trough is spiraling out of the High Plains, and a cold front will be moving from Kansas into Missouri by the time we start our drive tomorrow. Expect mostly cloudy conditions in northeastern Arkansas, and likely through Springfield, Missouri, with things taking a turn towards the damp north of Bolivar. These autumn systems that are infused with a lot of cooler air, moving into a cooler environment, especially when during the morning, are generally rainy as opposed to stormy, and I would expect a rainy afternoon from Bolivar to St. Joseph, with the heaviest activity likely coming in the last hour of the drive from Kansas City to our destination.
St Joseph

Steubenville, Ohio to Jonesboro, Arkansas

We’re zipping through the Ohio Valley for this adventure, taking about a day and a half to do so. Most of the drive will be in Ohio and Kentcuky, and ALL of it will be fun. The trip covers 742.65 miles, which we will do at a pace of 62.6mph. That means that on the first day, we can expect to get almost 501 miles. Let’s see where we get to.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)
As I said, a lot of our drive will take place in Ohio, and I’m not so sure we can navigate the Buckeye State before rain moves in from the north. The system brining rain south is weakening dramatically and will struggle to carry showers as far as our route. I think the best chance for a stray raindrop will be around Columbus, but it is possible as far east as Zanesville. By the time we pass Cincinnati, we’ll be in the clear, driving through some late season warmth to Nortonville in western Kentucky.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
The short 4 hours we spend driving from western Kentucky to northeastern Arkansas will by idyllic. Temperatures will be warm, scenery will be nice and the skies will be clear. Enjoy Jonesboro

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Off to northeastern Arkansas for a little fun in the sun. It will be sunny, probably, even if it’s not at the beach.

At 1153AM, ET, Jonesboro was reporting a temperature of 86 degrees with sunny skies. High pressure dominated the mid-south, including Arkansas, and there was a vast area of clearing that Jonesboro sat in the center of. A weak upper level trough was moving into the region, but a surface boundary along the Gulf Coast was inducing vigorous northerly flow.
As the trough narrows and moves into the Plains, expect flow around Jonesboro to become southerly. This may lead to a temperature uptick of a degree or two, but more likely, moisture will increase as surface low pressure tries to get organized in the Plains. Dew points presently in the upper 50s will climb into the 60s. No rain is expected, but some morning haze is certainly possible.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 86, Low 58
Wednesday – Morning haze, mostly sunny High 88, Low 60

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 87, Low 60
Wednesday – Sunny High 89, Low 51

AW: Tomorrow = Nice and warm with plenty of sunshine High 86, Low 59
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, very warm and humid High 88, Low 61

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 86, Low 58
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 86, Low 63

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny High 86, Low 58
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 83, Low 63

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 86, Low 57
Wednesday – Partly Cloudy, High 86, Low 63

Looking pretty good in the middle of the country today. Going to be warm, too.

Not in time

Lafayette wasn’t reporting for most of the day on Friday when we put together the forecast, and they didn’t come back to start reporting again until late in the afternoon on Saturday. I wonder what happened? If the weather on Sunday is any indication, they were out enjoying the day. It was 81 degrees with sunny skies. For the record, The Weather Channel had the best forecast on Sunday, but that doesn’t count towards the monthly total. Sorry TWC!
Actuals Sunday – High 81, Low 51

Savannah, Georgia to Steubenville, Ohio

Well, it was a short-lived trip to the Georgia beach. We head back north to Steubenville, OH along a 715 route. No time to waste!



An area of low pressure will start to move out of the Gulf and over the Southeast US, bringing widespread rain and some embedded thunderstorms over southern GA as we start the day. It’ll be a soggy drive as we push through South Carolina, but conditions will improve as we continue through western NC. It’ll be cloudy but dry as we end our day in Wytheville, VA.


It should be a nice start to the way as we make our way into West Virginia. Clouds will increase as we make our way into southeast Ohio, and a few showers might even slow us down over the final few miles as a weak mid-level disturbance over the Great Lakes could kick up some activity in the late evening.


Lafayette, Indiana to Savannah, Georgia

Today we embark on a 2-day, 845-mile trip from Lafayette, IN down through the Ohio and TN Valleys to good ol’ Savannah. Hope you’re looking to one last beach getaway of the season! Let’s see how the trip there will be



Strong high pressure continues to sit over the Northeastern quadrant of the country, keeping every high and dry. The only issue is if there is some morning fog to burn off, but even if there is, it will only last an hour or two after sunrise. As we travel through Kentucky, there will be some cumulus clouds starting to bubble up around midday, and we could even see an isolated shower as we make our way into Nashville. These should be short-lived, however, and of little consequence as we push our way into Chattanooga, our stop for the night.


There’s a disturbance that’s slowly shifting from the FL Panhandle up towards the southern Appalachians, and this is expected to bring some pretty decent rainfall to the Southeast. As we head into Northern Georgia, our trip will slow down some as we hit these showers and thunderstorms, and will continue to have to deal with them as we move through Atlanta. Activity should lighten up some in the afternoon as we make our way into Savannah, but will increase once again during the late-evening and overnight hours after we arrive. Guess the beach will have to wait one more day.


Afternoon Sunshine in the Sunshine State

While most of the country was seeing dry conditions as high pressure took hold over the Central/Eastern US, there was plenty of thunderstorm activity in the Sunshine State. Luckily, it all seemed to dodge Jacksonville to the south and west, making for a couple of nice days in the area. The humidity did rebound on Friday though, so it was a bit more muggy than the previous couple of days, but still, overall it was a pretty nice finish to the work week! Victoria Weather and NWS tied for the top spot!

Thursday: High 81, Low 66.
Friday: High 84, Low 73.
Forecast Grade: B

The Week Ahead 9/28/14-10/4/14

A busy week, zigzagging across the country and finishing off September.

Sunday – Road Trip from Savannah, Georgia to Steubenville, Ohio
Monday – Jonesboro, Arkansas; Road Trip from Steubenville to Jonesboro
Tuesday – Raod Trip from Jonesboro to St. Joseph, Missouri
Thursday – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Saturday – Road Trip from Dothan, Alabama to Nashville, Tennessee

Lafayette, Indiana

We’re pointing the forecast wagon towards Lafayette, Indiana, the town adjacent to my alma mater of Purdue University.

At 536PM, ET< Lafayette wasn't reporting, but locations around the region were reporting temperatures of 80 degrees with sunny skies. High pressure dominates the region both aloft and at the surface, so this was as good a time as any for the observer to take a coffee break.
Perhaps it is a bit more than a coffee break, as Lafayette hasn't reported since early this morning. All the same, high pressure isn't expected to vacate the region for several days. A slight wave aloft, nearly imperceptible in wind vector analysis, is expected to develop across the center of the country, but with little surface borne support, the manifestation of this wave will only be a few high clouds.
Tomorrow - Mostly sunny, High 82, Low 53
Sunday - Partly cloudy, High 79, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow - Partly Cloudy High 81, Low 54
Sunday - Partly Cloudy High 81, Low 55

AW: Tomorrow - Sunny to partly cloudy and pleasantly warm High 79, Low 52
Sunday - Partly sunny; warm in the afternoon High 79, Low 55

NWS: Tomorrow - Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 53
Sunday - Mostly sunny, HIgh 79, Low 55

WB: Tomorrow - Mostly sunny. HIgh 80, Low 53
Sunday - Partly cloudy. High 80, Low 55

WN: Tomorrow - Mostly Sunny HIgh 81, Low 54
Sunday - Partly Cloudy High 79, Low 55

Not bad, even if the resident observer has decided to take the day off.

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