Showers and storms make a house call

The pattern seemed set up for some general showers and storms across the eastern Seaboard early this week, thanks to a deep system west of the Appalachians. The system was to induce a moisture rich flow, touching off a few storms wherever terrain intercepted that flow. Instead of just a few showers and storms, however, there were widespread thunderstorms around Charlotte. There were strong and even severe storms on Monday to the point that a watch was issued for the area, but there was even more rain as the system continued to the northeast on Tuesday. As it turned out, there was nearly an inch and a half of rain. Not really a passing shower, was it? Victoria-Weather and Accuweather tied atop the leaderboard,
Actuals: Monday – .66 inches of rain and storms, High 83, Low 66
Tuesday – .84 inches of rain and storms, High 78, Low 61

Grade A-B

Yuma, Arizona

VWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 97, Low 68
Thursday – Hazy, High 89, Low 67

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 98, Low 70
Thursday – Partly cloudy skies, High 89, Low 65

AW We broke Accuweather

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 96, Low 67
Thursday – Patchy blowing dust after 11am. Sunny, High 87, Low 65

WB:Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny, High 95, Low 64
Thursday – Mostly sunny and breezy. Patchy blowing dust in the afternoon, HIgh 86, Low 67

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 97, Low 66
Thursday – Mostly Sunny with Patchy Blowing Dust High 88, Low 59

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy overnight. High 99, Low 66
Thursday – Mostly cloudy until afternoon. High 90, Low 63

So that’s it, a desert adventure that has it all. Heat, dust, a cooldown that drops it to 90. Peak desert weather.

A look at a hot May


The month of May has rolled around with storms and rain blanketing the east coast and flooding the southern United States. That rough start isn’t going to be an accurate reflection of how the rest of the month will go, especially in the eastern part of the country.

The CPC issued their monthly outlook for the nation on Saturday, and starting as soon as next week, they suggest that we can expect well above normal temperatures for the northern tier, as well as areas east of the Rockies, a trend that will carry through for the month of May, with both of those regions ending up above normal for the month.

What this really means is a less active month ahead. Sunlight can really go a long way this time of year, and more sunshine will automatically lead to warmer temperatures. Even if an area is north of a jet, a full day of sun will push temperatures closer to average or above normal.

The dryer and warmer east coast really suggests a quiet pattern. Often, the severe weather outbreaks are also gullywashers for the eastern Seaboard. If the East is warm and dry, that likely means a quiet May as well. That doesn’t mean there won’t be a severe outbreak or two, but we may be waiting until June for the season to continue.

Of course, long range outlooks are spurrious at times, but indications are that we are in for a mostly enjoyable start to the warm weather season.

Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolina is the home of many large cities, and is often the destination for our forecast trips. Today, though, we get to go to the largest stop in town.

At 1052PM, ET, Charlotte was reporting a temperature of 65 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. A remnant of a surface feature in the Mid-Atlantic was pulling away from the Washington DC area, and there was a chance for a little bit of clearing overnight in Charlotte. A secondary area of development lies over the lower Mississippi Valley, however, and it projects to ensure that the Carolinas will remain active each of the next two days.
A dual jet structure is going to help ensure Charlotte’s instability. A stronger jet with a sharper trough will act as a destabilizing  force for the northern Appalachians, and will induce an onshore flow throughout the Carolinas. Thanks in part to a southern jet with its exit region over the Mississippi Delta, this onshore flow will manifest in showers and isolated storms over the Piedmont.  Low pressure will organize and move quickly through the southeast thanks to the shortwaved nature of the pattern. The southern wave will hook up with the broader northern trough and stall in North Carolina early on Tuesday. Expect rain and thunderstorms to linger across the region in a much more persistent manner than they will on Monday, but with some clearing later in the afternoon.
Tomorrow – Scattered showers and storms, mostly cloudy, High 80, Low 66
Tuesday – Showers and thunderstorms High 79, Low 61

TWC: Tomorrow – Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms, High 83, Low 64
Tuesday – Scattered thunderstorms, High 81, Low 65

AW: Tomorrow – Clouds giving way to some sun with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm in the afternoon High 82, Low 66
Tuesday – Mainly cloudy with a shower or thunderstorm High 79, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 7am. Mostly cloudy, High 83, Low 67
Tuesday – A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 9am. Mostly cloudy, High 76, Low 64

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms High 79, Low 67
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 78, Low 64

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Storms High 82, Low 68
Tuesday – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Storms, High 75, Low 57

FIO: Tomorrow – Rain starting in the afternoon. High 82, Low 67
Tuesday – Light rain until evening. High 80, Low 65

It will be interesting to see how rain fills in across the area. There is quite a bit of difference in the model guidance from NAM to GFS. I’m leaning NAM, which offers more breaks, but both do indicate rain each of the next two days. Here is the satellite, showing some clearing west of Charlotte.

April Forecaster of the Month

Usually when the seasons start to change, so too do the fortunes of our forecasters. Not quite so this year, as despite our transition from winter to summer, The Weather Channel has continued to maintain their excellence, and has once again, won the title of forecaster of the month.


Santa Cruz finds its equilibrium

The West Coast was the first stop for the system currently moving through the Plains and on its way to the East Coast. When it cleared out, it didn’t take long for things to get back to normal. The first two days after the storm moved through, things were getting back to normal in Santa Cruz. Highs in 60s, mostly cloudy in the morning and then generally pleasant nights in the 40s. The Weather Service and were the two that settled into the diurnal rhythm the best, winning the forecast in Santa Cruz.
Actuals: Thursday – High 68, Low 44
Friday – High 65, Low 48

Grade: B

Florence, South Carolina to Detroit, Michigan

We had to push this trip back a day, but for a really good reason… I fell asleep before I could write it up. Let’s see how it goes now that we are leaving on Sunday instead of Monday. It’s a day and a half to get from South Carolina to Michigan, a route that covers 733 miles. Our pace will level off around 63.2mph thanks to a trip through the mountains. Let’s shoot for 505 miles tomorrow and see what’s left for Monday, shall we?

DAY ONE (Sunday)
Another reason that our drive will be slow? It’s going to rain almost the entire day. A cold front will be moving into Upstate South Carolina as we get going tomorrow, and we will hit the leading edge of that activity fairly quickly after we get going, perhaps as soon as McBee. After we breech that first line of showers and storms, we will be post frontal, but the circulation is so robust with this system that it is expected to backfill almost immediately, which will lead to rain and embedded thunderstorms all day as we head towards the Ohio Valley. It will still be pouring aas we arrive in Lancaster, Ohio, southeast of Columbus.

DAY TWO (Monday)
It’s going to keep raining overnight, but the final round of rain is going to be shifting out of the eastern Great Lakes around mid morning on Monday. We will be leaving just as the rain departs, which is nice. There will be lingering clouds across the region as we head through Toledo and on to Detroit. Maybe by the end of the day, it will be cleared out and we will see the sun over Lake St. Clair.

Circling the target

There were two lines of thoughts for the forecast in Holland on Tuesday. Would it be able to break out and see the sun on Wednesday and Thursday? Would there be rain on Wednesday as well as Thursday? Some outlets went high, some went low on the temperatures depending on their thoughts on clouds in Holland. It seemed like there would be a pretty sharp cut off, so the disagreement on temperatures seemed to make sense. Of course, then the temperature went out and hit the mid point between those two schools of thought. If there was one trend, it was that the temperatures were cooler than anticipated on Thursday and everyone missed there. was able to get closest to the mark, thanks to being robots and not having a train of thought to ride.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 60, Low 36
Wednesday – .3 inches of rain, High 51, Low 37

Grade: B-C

Santa Cruz, California to Florence, South Carolina

It’s a long way from Monterey Bay to South Carolina. The drive will cover 2723 miles over the course of 5 days. We’ll move a long at the fairly swift rate of 69.8mph. The first 4 days of travel will be a full 8 hours, and we will be just shy of that on Tuesday, so our drive on the weekend will cover 559 miles a day, leaving the rest for Tuesday. Let’s snake through the southern US and see what we can find.

DAY ONE (Friday)
There is a broad trough across the Rockies is attempting to rock east and away from our route, which it will be doing a pretty darn good job of. The deserts of the southwestern US will not be as sweltering as it could be as April concludes, and things should be in bloom, given recent rains and sunshine. All in all, it won’t be a bad drive from Santa Cruz to Yucca, just inside the Arizona border.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
It’s not often we are working our way through Arizona and New Mexico and we have to worry about precipitation, but that’s where we are at in life. An inverted trough in the western lobe of the broad trough I mentioned earlier as lying over the Rockies will start to pivot southward, increasing the threat for rain and mountain snow along the Arizona-New Mexico border. In the early to mid afternoon as we pass through the Gallup and Grants area of western New Mexico, we could see some isolated showers. As we reach Albuquerque and the terrain flattens out, we’re going to be removed from the additional forcing it provides, so things will be dryer. The day will end in Encino, west of Albuquerque, or at the very least, at the exit for the New Mexico town.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
That inverted trough will hang out in the mountains throughout the night and into Sunday morning. Like I said we will be far enough east that the forcing will be weakened, but early in the day with flow enhanced by Gulf moisture, we will see overcast skies with a little bit of isolated drizzle impacting eastern New Mexico. The Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma are anticipated to be under weak surface high pressure on Sunday, and though we will be ringed by showers and storms, we will be in the hole of the donut. No problems are expected through Henryetta, Ojlahoma, our destination for the night.

DAY FOUR (Monday)
Low pressure will focus as it reaches the Atlantic, and a well organized boundary will emerge just inland of the Gulf Coast. We will be driving north of this newfound boundary, which means dry weather for our Monday. It should be a pretty easy day, headed through Arkansas, Mississippi and into northwest Alabama, where we will stop in Eldridge.

DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
That boundary will break down as the low, now in the Gulf Stream off the Canadian Maritimes will dissociate with the trailing wave in the southern Plains. High pressure in the Ohio Valley will filter into the southeastern US, and the drive from near Florence, Alabama to our actual destination of Florence South Carolina will be pretty nice, except for the part where we drive through the heart of Atlanta. Enjoy Florence!

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