Savannah, Georgia to Kennewick, Washington

In response to yesterday’s 2 hour road trip, we are taking a 5 day trek, slicing through the country for about as long a distance as geography allows. It’s 2754 miles between the two cities, which we will cover at a pace of about 65mph thanks to some freeways through the central Plains. This rapid rate means day one through 4 will tick 520 miles off the odometer, while the 5th day will be even longer. Let’s hit the road, because we have a lot of driving to do.

We’re off! The departure from Savannah will be quite pleasant. The light rain in southeast Georgia will be off shore, and sunny skies a pretty dry, calm day is in store for Georgia and Tennessee, the two states we will spend time in on Wednesday. The biggest issue will be traffic in Atlanta and Nashville, and our day will end in Pleasant View, Tennessee, between Nashville and Clarksville.

Thursday promises to start well, with warm air continuing through Tennessee and Kentucky. A cold front will be moving through Missouri, however, and somewhere between Marion and Mount Vernon in southern Illinois we will see our first bouts of rain and thunder. We will hit the front right around St. Louis, with some strong, potentially severe storms between Maryland Heights and Wentzville in the northwest St. Louis Metro. Heavy rain will continue throughout a large chunk of Missouri. We will finally get out of the rain around the US 66 exit (Sedalia and Marshall) so we should see dry, cooler weather by the time we arrive in Kansas City, where we will stop in the east side of town.

High pressure again. We will be in perfect tornado chasing country, but instead, there will be nothing but sunny skies. The sun will likely make it a little warm, especially as we pass into Colorado, but if that’s our biggest problem, then we should be just fine. The day will end in Limon in eastern Colorado.

The next round of nasty weather will be coming out of the Rockies as we ourselves approach them. We should be fine as we make our way through the rest of Colorado, and even Cheyenne. As we head into the higher terrain of southern Wyoming, we will start to encounter the rain. The strong storms will develop around Cheyenne after we have passed through, but with the wave moving through aloft, there will still be heavy rain to be found in the Rockies. We will find most likely after we have slipped through Rock Springs. Our day will end in rural southwest Wyoming. Reppin’ Exit 28, yo.

Low pressure is still going to be getting organized over the front Range, while low pressure will linger over the Gulf of Alaska. There won’t necessarily be anything going on directly over the Pacific Northwest, but there will be a decent level of instability. Our drive through northern Utah, including Salt Lake City, should be dry, but as we pass through southern Idaho, expect to see clouds gathering on the higher terrain around the Sun Valley. By Boise, and then on through northeastern Oregon into Kennewick, unfortunately, we will probably be dealing with chances for light rain. But hey, 5 days in the car are finally over!

Kennewick, Washington

We are headed for the Pacific Northwest with our forecast today.

At 753AM, PT, Kennewick was reporting a temperature of 48 degrees with light rain. The shower activity extends from around Othello, Washington to Pendleton across the Columbia Gorge. A wave moving ahead of an upper level trough is responsible for the showers in Kennewick at this hour, but this energy is going to get drawn towards a lee trough through the day, allowing for some clearing tonight.
The pattern is fairly shortwaved and will be quickly progressive. As the upper trough pivots through the area tomorrow morning, it will bring about another chance for rain. There will be some very brief upper level ridging through the afternoon, but that is just a sign of a deeper trough redeveloping off of Vancouver Island, and there won’t be any clearing tomorrow night. A cold front will organize off the coast from Washington by Thursday morning, with rain, heavy at times, becoming possible again in Kennewick by Thursday afternoon.
Tomorrow – Scattered showers, otherwise mostly cloudy, High 66, Low 44
Thursday – Light rain early, becoming increasingly heavy. Tomorrow – 65, Low 50

TWC: Tomorrow – PM Showers / Wind High 62, Low 44
Thursday – Showers High 66, Low 49

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy and breezy High 64, Low 42
Thursday – Mostly cloudy and breezy with a passing shower or two High 67, Low 47

NWS: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy High 63, Low 43
Thursday – Rain likely. Cloudy High 66, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. High 60, Low 46
Thursday – Rain likely. High 66, Low 48

WN: Tomorrow – Scattered Showers High 63, Low 43
Thursday – Rain High 66 Low 48

Defining the weather in the Pacific Northwest is so difficult, because it doesn’t show up at the surface like it does in the Plains. And also, the pace of surface weather doesn’t match the upper level flow. I am not convinced in my forecast, I’ll tell you that right now. Here is the current radar with a few showers showing up from the Kennewick area to across the river in Oregon.

Augusta, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia

Just a wee little trip today, as we take a two hour trip through the same corner of the state. The two towns of Augusta and Savannah are 137 miles apart, but with so many towns to drive through, instead of past, as we would do on the interstate, our pace will only be a paltry 57mph. It’s cool though. This should be a beautiful drive.

Flow will be off of the Gulf Stream through the day today and into the morning tomorrow, so it should be steamy as we head out from Augusta. It’s a bit too early in the year to get “sweltering” but it is going to be warm. The front will arrive in north Georgia by the time we leave Augusta, and while it shouldn’t touch anything off by the time we hit Savannah, there will be a little bit of drizzle cropping up over the northern part of the route by the time we get to Savannah, just tin time for lunch. We left at the perfect time! We went in the right direction too, as the particularly heavy rain will stay north of Savannah.

Easter weekend brings the grass stains

The one thing I remember about Easter Sundays of my youth was yellow pants. Like, pastel yellow pants. If I was wearing those things yesterday in Lawrence, with temperatures reaching 80 degrees and the sun shining for most of the day, I definitely would have infuriated my mother with the grass stains on those yellow pants, playing outside with my brother and my cousins. I imagine there were a lot of little boys and girls scolded for messing up their Easter clothes yesterday, wanting to go out and play in that wonderful weather. The top forecaster was The Weather Channel.
Actuals: Saturday – High 80, Low 42
Sunday – Trace of rain late, High 80, Low 52

Grade: B

No Holy Week Surprises this year

Holy Week, the stretch of time from Passover to Easter, is also something of a seasonal benchmark. Easter shows up annually at the end of March or early April (it’s a bit late this year), which means it is among the first weekends of spring.
The beginning of the tornado season begins as soon as we start to get a real clash of air masses, as Gulf moisture starts to rise north and cold air tries to hang on in the Plains. After a quiet winter (on the summer front, anyways), the first outbreak always seems to come as a surprise, but the storm activity can be just as devastating as a May outbreak. Some of the most significant outbreaks have been named the Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1965, and the Easter Outbreak, which devastated Omaha, in 1913.
This year, however, despite the lateness of the holiday, and how deep we are into what should be tornado season, we haven’t seen any significant outbreaks this week, but only some heavy rain in the southeastern US and there was a an outbreak of thunderstorms, but not many tornadoes, in the Missouri Valley on Palm Sunday. There might be a severe storm or two in west Texas, but fortunately, the majority of the country gets to enjoy the holiday in peace, and free of the specter of a tornado outbreak.
Have a happy Easter, everyone.

Spring is coming!

I think one of my favorite shows on television right now is Game of Thrones. Maybe you watch it as well, but the big slogan on the show, without getting too deep into the plot, is “Winter is Coming”. That’s what came to mind when I thought of Dubuque. Well, just the opposite, actually. Temperatures were on the rise, and the sun was out, and it was decidedly less ominous all the way around than it is in Westeros. Even if there are thunderstorms coming for Dubuque in the near future. The NWS and Accuweather had a tie atop the leader board.
Actuals: Friday – High 58, Low 28
Saturday – High 70, Low 35

Grade: A

Lawrence, Kansas to Evansville, Indiana

Back for another single day road trip. It’s a 7 hour drive from Lawrence to Evansville. The mileage is only about 450 miles, but traffic in Kansas City and St. Louis will probably slow us down, it being a high holiday or not. The slower pace will be an average speed of 63.3mph. Let’s cross Missouri and head to the Ohio.

Moisture will be welling northward, right through Missouri and Illinois through Easter Sunday. It’s going to be hot and humid as a result, particularly the farther east we get. It always feels hotter to me when passing through a major metropolitan area, so I imagine it will feel like a scorcher in St. Louis. Still, the sun will be out, there won’t be any precipitation (that will fill in behind us, well after we leave Lawrence) and it might even feel summerlike in Evansville.

The Week Ahead 4/20/14-4/26/14

We have a lot of road trips this week, and it appears that theme for the week is the Peach State.

Monday – Road trip from Augusta, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia.
Tuesday – Kennewick, Washington; Road Trip from Savannah to Kennewick.
Friday – Road Trip from Hinesville, Goergia to Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saturday – Road Trip from Minneapolis to San Antonio, Texas

Dubuque, Iowa to Lawrence, Kansas

Hey, this isn’t such a bad excursion. We have about 7 hours to get our way from eastern Iowa to just west of Kansas City. It’s a 432 mile journey, or so, which means the average speed will be about 64mph. Looks like a pretty good day for driving.


I’ll get this out of the way: it isn’t going to rain for our drive from Dubuque to Lawrence. A weak, mostly dry boundary will set up to the northwest of our route, which will mean a southerly flow, which could be brisk at times. It shouldn’t be so bad that we can’t keep our car on the road, but keep an eye on those big semis in case they catch a draft. It’s going to be pretty nice in Lawrence.

Lawrence, Kansas

In the midst of the Midwest for another springtime forecast.

At 452PM, ET, Lawrence was reporting a temperature of 69 degrees with clear skies. Southeasterly inflow towards a developing area of low pressure over the northern High Plains.
Aloft, there is a double wave pattern, with a stronger wave moving along the US/Canadian border, and another standing wave with very little flow through it over the southern Rockies. The duality of the troughs will cause the pattern to stall north and west of Lawrence, leading to a warm day to begin the weekend. The southern wave will emerge from the central Rockies by Sunday morning, and immediately begin to tap into a wealth of Gulf moisture. The disturbance will bring about some showers and storms to eastern Kansas and Lawrence, but not until late in the evening.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 77, Low 43
Sunday – Partly cloudy through the afternoon, with a few showers and storms late, High 77, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 76, Low 44
Sunday – PM T-Storms High 79, Low 53

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and breezy High 75, Low 48
Sunday – Mostly cloudy High 76, Low 53

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 78, Low 46
Sunday – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny High 77, Low 56

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny. High 76, Low 48
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. High 77, Low 55

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 75, Low 48
Sunday – Scattered Storms High 77, Low 55

I don’t think storms over Kansas will be terrible. There isn’t much forcing for the central Plains. Satellite shows a pretty quite evening in the mean time.

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