Odessa, Texas

It’s a very quiet pattern across the country, except the lower Mississippi Valley. Does any of that wet weather spread over towards west Texas? Only one good way to find out.

At 953AM, CT, Odessa was reporting a temperature of 60 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. High pressure over the center of the country stretched its southwestern component to west Texas, though the anti-cyclonic flow was pulling the upper level moisture into the region, which was contributing to the clouds over Odessa this morning, as well as a few showers closer to I-10.
 One area to monitor will be the tropics. With high pressure likely to remain in place over the center of the country through Monday, the continued east to west flow through Texas will work to incorporate tropical moisture into the region. Tropical Storm Willa in the Pacific is expected to become a hurricane over the next few hours, and will aid in the consolidation of wet weather moving through south Texas as it flows towards Willa. It’s unlikely that much, if any rain can reach Odessa through Monday evening, but it will mean more clouds through the forecast period.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 63, Low 45
Monday – Mostly cloudy, High 64, Low 47

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy High 61, Low 49
Monday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 67, Low 48

AW: Tomorrow – Rather cloudy, a passing shower or two High 63, Low 50
Monday – Times of clouds and sun High 64, Low 49

NWS: Tomorrow – Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, High 65, Low 48
Monday – Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, High 68, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. High 60, Low 49
Monday – Mostly cloudy with isolated showers, High 65, Low 48

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with isolated showers, High 65, Low 48
Monday – High 68, Low 49

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 59, low 47
Monday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 59, Lo2 46

The ridge in the center of the country is going to be really good for the Ohio Valley, but it will be a bit more interesting on the flanks of that ridge. Here is the radar with some showers over Fort Stockton and Pecos.

The rain in Maine

Low pressure kept streaking across New England this week, but the most recent rounds merely grazed Portland. Not much ultimately reached the ground on Tuesday or Wednesday, the first at the tail end of activity from a cold front, and Wednesday’s bout affiliated with wrap around flow, with only a hundredth measured on either day of the forecast period. We were the only outlet with rain in the forecast both days, and were near the top of the temperature forecast, collecting the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – .01 inches of rain, High 57, Low 42
Wednesday – .01 inches of rain, High 58, Low 39

Grade: B-D

St. Cloud, Minnesota

I’m not sure that there is a historical figure named St. Cloud, but I do know that there are two towns in the country named after him. We’re going to check out the one in Minnesota today.

At 1053AM, CT, St. Cloud was reporting a temperature of 51 degrees with clear skies. St. Cloud found itself this morning on the back side of a ridge of high pressure centered over the Ohio Valley, with low pressure developing in the Canadian Prairies. The position is allowing St. Cloud the sunny skies today, but is also leading to a brisk southwest wind, and warmer temperatures today than have been seen of late. 
The area of low pressure in the Canadian Prairie is going to get stronger as jet streaks in Canada and the US phase together overnight. The associated cold front is forecast to pass through central Minnesota in the wee hours tomorrow morning, bringing about a threat for some isolated showers and storms in the pre-dawn hours, though southeast of St. Cloud. Cooler temperatures will prevail with the northwesterly flow. Moisture wrapping around the strong area of low pressure will filter into Minnesota on Saturday morning, with a chance for a stray flurry, again ending before noon. Saturday will be cool and brisk, with mostly cloudy skies. 
Tomorrow – Windy, with clouds and temperatures dropping through the day, High 60, Low 41
Saturday – Early flurries, cloudy and windy, High 44, Low 32

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies with gusty winds developing during the afternoon. High 59, Low 43
Saturday – Windy with a few clouds from time to time. High 43, Low 31

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny; breezy High 60, Low 42
Saturday – Some clouds, then sunshine; windy (early showers) High 42, Low 31

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 60, Low 44
Saturday – A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, High 44, Low 31

WB: Tomorrow – Breezy, Mostly sunny, High 56, Low 43
Saturday – Much colder, partly cloudy with 40% chance of snow showers in the morning, then mostly sunny, High 43, Low 35

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 60, Low 48
Saturday – Windy with snow showers possible, High 37, Low 32

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until afternoon and breezy starting in the morning, continuing until evening. High 59, Low 45
Saturday – Breezy starting overnight, continuing until afternoon, and partly cloudy starting overnight, continuing until morning.  High 44, Low 31

WeatherNation doesn’t go far enough with their hourly forecasts, which is why there is an 11 degree discrepancy between the high and low from Friday and Saturday. Doesn’t make much sense otherwise. Here is a very empty satellite, at present. 

Portland, Maine to Reno, Nevada

We’re not quite crossing the country, technically, but driving from Maine to western Nevada qualifies as “almost”. It’s a 5 ½ day trip from Portland to Reno, covering almost 3000 miles, putting us at a pace of 67.6mph. we’ll lose most of that time in New England, because I-80 will be very forgiving through the center of the country. Expect 541 a day, which will be pushing it on Day One, but easy in subsequent days.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Cool high pressure has infiltrated New England, but that’s only going to last today. Expect a little post frontal trough to rotate through the eastern Great Lakes into tomorrow, and intercept our course in the mid afternoon. The particular concern this time, is that temperatures are going to be chilly enough that snow flurries aren’t out of the question, and starting in Herkimer, New York and continuing west through the Finger Lakes, there will be a chance for some light flurries until we arrive in Dunkirk, south of Buffalo. We’ll potentially have snow on the ground as we call it a night in western New York.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The nice thing about our burst of snow on Wednesday is that it will move very quickly to the east. We’ll be in clear skies by the time the sun rises on Dunkirk, and high pressure is going to set up across the Great Lakes and central Plains by the end of the week. There won’t be a threat for any showers, storms, or maybe even clouds throughout the day. We’ll make t to Ottawa, Illinois by day’s end.

DAY THREE (Friday)
The drive west on Friday will be a bit more tenuous. There are the early indications of a cold front developing just west of the Mississippi, though nobody is completely sold on the precipitable impact for our route. If we see any wet weather, it will come quickly between the Quad Cities and Des Moines. After Des Moines, expect blustery conditions and a noticeable drop in temperature. We’ll stop between Lincoln and Kearney, in Shelton, Nebraska, where it will be cooler but dry.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
If we thought we had high pressure on Thursday, well, the ridge setting up on Saturday will really knock our socks off. It’s going to be so stable in Nebraska and Wyoming as the weekend gets underway. We’ll reach Table Rock in south central Wyoming to end the day. Good luck finding a spot to stay, but it’s going to be extremely tranquil, wherever we go.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
The monsoon season isn”t quite over in the southwest, but it is seriously slowed down. Showers are going to work their way north into Nevada, but a large part of the activity will stay down around Las Vegas. Still, don’t be completely surprised if there is a dark cloud on the southern horizon between Wells and our destination for Sunday night, Valmy, Nevada.

DAY SIX (Monday)
Monday looks like a pretty good day for driving to Reno, so long as you stay out of the mountains. You are staying on the route, and out of the mountains, right? Because there will be some high elevation snow up in those things. Reno? Reno looks real nice. 

Portland, Maine

We’re going to have another New England forecast today, bouncing on off to downstate Maine. My experience with Maine is that it is the New Englandiest part of New England, in the traditional sense of the temperament of the people. It’s also near peak for the fall colors, so I guess we’ll look to the forecast to see if now is the time to head that direction.

At 1151AM, ET, Portland was reporting a temperature of 50 degrees with light rain. An area of low pressure in southeast Canada was headed for the Maritimes, with a cold front running the spine of the Appalachians. Most of the rain right now was in the higher terrain in the Green and white Mountains, and would likely remain so until the cold front arrived on the coast late tonight. The low is moving extremely quickly, and the associated jet is quite strong, so before, during and after frontal passage, expect some blustery conditions.
There may be a bit of rain after the boundary slides through town in the early morning hours Tuesday, but a scouring flow will usher the rain quickly out of town by sunrise, leaving in place a brisk morning. The wind will taper by afternoon, though the day will remain chilly. An inverted trough swinging through Canada behind the initial low will bring even colder air and some scattered showers. Snow is not out of the question in the afternoon, though more likely inland.
Tomorrow – Early showers, then breezy and clear, High 54, Low 43
Wednesday – Increasing clouds, a late sprinkle or flurry, High 56, low 37

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny skies. High 55, Low 43
Wednesday – Partly cloudy high 57, low 42

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny; winds gradually subsiding High 56, Low 44
Wednesday – Partly sunny; windy High 57, Low 44

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 55, Low 41
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 55, low 44

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny High 53, Low 45
Wednesday – Partly sunny, High 55, Low 42

WN: Tomorrow = Sunny, High 55, Low 46
Wednesday – Partly cloudy with isolated showers, High 55, Low 44

FIO: Tomorrow –Breezy until afternoon and mostly cloudy until morning (earl rain). High 60, Low 44
Wednesday – Partly cloudy starting in the morning, continuing until evening, and breezy starting in the afternoon. High 59, Low 43

Literally nobody is on board with my precipitation forecasts. I’m still going to let it ride. Here is the rain in the area this morning

On the toasty side

Our forecasters were in for a surprise in New Hampshire. During our forecast for Manchester, ceilings were low, showers were everywhere and the town was destined to remain in the 60s last Monday. Then, the sun came out, and Tuesday spiked all the way to 80 degrees. Wednesday was even warmer, and forecasters were left hat in hand (mostly because it was too warm to wear it), trying to figure out just how it could be that toasty in October. The Weather Channel, as they have been lately, were the closest to the mark, gaining forecast victory
Actuals: Tuesday – High 80, Low 52
Wednesday – High 84, Low 65

Grade: A-C

September Forecaster of the Month

September was a grueling month for forecasters, weather aficionados and  anyone with a heart as they watched scenes of hurricane Florence inundating the Carolinas, leaving pain and devastation in their wake. We hopped around the rest of the country with our forecasts, and made sure weather was addressed aside from just the Carolina Catastrophe. In that broader lens, we can say that once again, The Weather Channel was the forecaster of the Month.

Michael makes his mark

Hurricane Michael made his landfall on Wednesday as one of the strongest to ever strike the American mainland. The images of devastation in Panama City, Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach are striking, as much for the devastation as for how profoundly different the images are from recent major hurricanes that have afflicted the US mainland.

Florence, Harvey and even Katrina 13 years ago were all lessons in the powers of flood waters. Either the storm surge, as in Katrina, the heavy, incessant rain, like in Harvey, or the combination of both that was brought on by Florence. The destruction Michael has left behind is  so jarring because it is a clear representative of the power of hurricane winds, unseen in the mainland since Andrew devastated south Florida in 1992, but reflective of Maria’s wrath in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands last year.

There was indeed a storm surge in Mexico Beach, reaching 8 feet by accounts I have heard, but the insidious nature of standing water isn’t going to be as problematic with this storm, because of how little was left behind to experience molding. Trees were sheared, power lines were kniocked down in a scene that looked more like a large scale tornado that stretched dozens of miles along the beaches.

In the end, Michael will go down in history as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States. Like Andrew, it’s possible that he will one day be upgraded to a Category 5 in reanalysis. Also like Andrew, he will almost certainly provide a lot to think about in this part of Florida, affecting construction and safety practices for a generation.

Dakota Smith has a Twitter thread with a comprehensive look at the damage brought upon the region by Michael.

The thread came from here

Terre Haute, Indiana

Given all the attention we’ve given the Southeast the last couple of days, rightfully, let’s take a look at what’s happening in Indiana!

At 353pm EDT, the temperature at Terre Haute, IN was 56 degrees under fair skies. High pressure over the Midwest/OH Valley is keeping the area dry and quiet today, behind a cold front that’s helping to sweep Michael through the Mid-Atlantic and out into the ocean. A disturbance over the Four Corners region looks to eject out into the Central Plains tomorrow morning. This disturbance will shift through the area Friday evening, bringing some scattered rain showers with it as it moves through. Activity should trail off by the late-evening hours and Saturday sees another area of high pressure move in. Temperatures will perk up a few degrees Saturday with sunshine becoming more abundant in the afternoon.

Friday: Increasing clouds, few evening showers. High 49, Low 35.
Saturday: Clouds clear out during early morning, afternoon sun. High 54, Low 33.

TWC: Friday: Afternoon light rain. High 53, Low 36.
Saturday: Sunny. High 56, Low 34.

AW: Friday: Partial sunshine, a little rain in the evening. High 51, Low 34.
Saturday: Times of clouds and sun; cool. High 55, Low 32.

NWS: Friday: Patchy frost then chance of rain. High 51, Low 36.
Saturday: Few early morning showers, then becoming sunny. High 55, Low 37.

WB: Friday: 50% chance of rain. High 49, Low 38.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 55, Low 37.

WN: Friday: Partly cloudy with patchy frost. High 51, Low 36.
Saturday: Partly cloudy with patchy frost. High 55, Low 37.

FIO: Friday: Mostly cloudy starting in the afternoon, isolated evening shower. High 49, Low 34.
Saturday: Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 55, Low 34.

It’s fairly quiet in the Midwest today, though that’ll change a bit tomorrow. We can also see Michael ripping its way through the Mid-Atlantic, bringing additional rains to an already water-logged region.

Before Michael

Hurricane Michael has made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, between Apalachicola and Panama City Beach. It’s a big storm, that’s fast moving, which will limit the flooding, but exasperates the wind and surge in the region. The storm is going to bring trouble well inland, even as far northeast as the Carolinas, but not even as far west as Pensacola or Mobile. 
At the beginning of the month, we had a forecast for another Gulf Coast state, as we visited Pascagoula in southern Mississippi. There had been a stationary front along the Gulf coast that threatened to bring isolated showers and storms to the region, and most outlets suspected that threat of rain would limit temperatures. I bought into the trends, and Victoria-Weather joined Accuweather atop the leaderboard for the forecast in Pascagoula.
Actuals: Monday (10-1) – .01 inches of rain, high 90, Low 72
Tuesday – High 91, Low 73

Grade: B-C

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