Severe weather outbreak ongoing

You’ll note that I termed this a “severe weather” outbreak, rather than tornado. There is definitely a reason for this. Take a look at the thunderstorm threat categories from the SPC. This is the risk for severe winds for this afternoon. Hatched areas are the threat for winds greater than 75mph.
As one can see from the radar, thunderstorm has developed into a LEWP pattern, a “line echo wave pattern” which will induce strong straightline winds at the apex of the waves within the line. Basically, it’s pretty aparent that the SPC nailed their forecast.
There have been some embedded tornadoes within the line, but to this point most of the severe weather has been in the form of strong winds, though some of the embedded tornadoes have been problematic as well in the southern US.
I would suspect that the most significant severe weather from this point forward will be found north of College Station, where radar is indicating the strongest winds.

The sun tried to bring some Memorial Day fun

Temperatures in Grand Rapids the first two days of Memorial weekend were downright tolerable, skyrocketing to levels that were 6 degrees warmer than was in the forecast in some cases on Saturday. The warm up continued into Sunday, when it was warmer than many anticipated as well, despite a splash of rain. Accuweather pulled in the top forecast for the western Michigan town.
Actuals: Saturday, High 78, Low 40
Sunday – Trace of precip, High 73, Low 53

Grade: B-C

Lewiston, Idaho to Bellingham, Washington

My, if this isn’t an interesting drive, one not often dreamt up in a place like this. We are going from Idaho to Washington, though that just requires a quick river crossing. What will be more impressive is the 6 hours it takes to cross the state. In total, the one day journey will cover almost exactly 400 miles at a pace of a mere 59.4mph. Hitch the wagons and tally-ho!

A developing low over the Yakima valley will make the typically dry eastern Washington area a little damper than is usual. On Memorial Day itself, much of the heavy rain will be near Spokane, so some of that may filter south towards Colfax before we turn east. It’s always a little turbulent when driving through coastal ranges when there is a system in the area, so grab the steering while tight around the Cascades. There will be some overcast, and maybe a spit of rain in Bellingham.

Bellingham, Washington

Still in the Pacific Northwest today, but more Pacific, more Northwest.

At 553PM, PT, Bellingham was reporting a temperature of 61 degrees with clear skies. An on shore flow had filled the Puget Sound with low clouds, though it hasn’t built as far north as Bellingham or Vancouver as yet. A directional trough with little flow through it was angled towards the region, though the slight instability was more than enough to drag Pacific Moiture into the region.
After today, however, the center of low pressure will become centralized over the Yakima Valley, and will pivot between there and Glacier National Parkthrough the forecast period. With this being the focal point, and the Gulf open to the point that moisture was wrapping into western Canada, the inland Pacific Northwest will be much more active than usual,. Models agree that one lobe of moisture will pivot through coastal British Columbia tomorrow, but by Tuesday, most of the activity will be foud east of the Cascades.
Tomorrow – Chance of showers in the afternoon, otherwise mostly cloudy, High 65, Low 53
Tuesday – Mostly sunny, High 68, Low 52

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy, High 65, Low 52
Tuesday – Partly cloudy, High 68, Low 53

AW: Tomorrow – Pleasant with variable cloudiness High 65, Low 52
Tuesday – Pleasant with areas of low clouds early; otherwise, mostly sunny High 68, Low 52

NWS: Tomorrow – A chance of drizzle before 11am. Mostly cloudy High 64, Low 53
Tusday – Partly sunny, High 65, Low 53

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny. A chance of drizzle in the morning. High 64, Low 52
Tuesday – Cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny. A chance of drizzle in the morning. High 66, low 53

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Chance of Light Drizzle High 63, Low 52
Tuesday – Partly Cloudy High 63, Low 52

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 64, Low 50
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 65, Loe 49

Not terribly drizzly, I don’t think, and I almost left it out of the forecast. Here is a look at the soup that has filled Puget Sound.

Lewiston, Idaho

Headed out west this afternoon, to the rarely visited state of Idaho. Rarely visited by this site, anyway.

At 556PM, MT, Lewiston was reporting clear skies with a temperature of 78 degrees. A vast area of low pressure over western Wyoming was developing fairly widespread instability across the northern Rockies, including thunderstorms moving counterclockwise throughout the region. There were a few cells over the center of the state, east of Lewiston that were moving westward towards the city.
The upper level trough will pivot slowly towards the Plains, while the upper level low dig south into the southern Plains by early next week. As a result of these machinations, thunderstorms will become more infrequent in the northern Rockies, but Canadian and north Pacific air will continue to spill into the Idaho Chimney for a few more days, meaning Memorial ay will also be filled with clouds and rain.
Tomorrow – Scattered clusters of thunderstorms, High 78, Low 55
Memorial Day – Scattered showers, High 77, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 83, Low 56
Memorial Day – Partly cloudy, High 79, low 58

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine High 81, Low 54
Memorial Day – Variable clouds with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm, mainly later High 77, low 56

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, (PM storms), High 81, Low 53
Memorial Day – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly sunny High 78, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny in the morning…Becoming partly cloudy (PM Storms). High 82, Low 54
Memorial Day – Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain showers in the morning…Then a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 78, Low 57

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny with Isolated Storms High 82, Low 54
Memorial Day – Partly Cloudy with Isolated Storms High 79, Low 55

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the evening. High 76, Low 52
Memorial Day – Mostly cloudy throughout the day.High 74, Low 54

Not everyone wants the showers in Lewiston, and hopefully there is plenty of blue sky for any northern Idaho cookouts. Here is the radar, showing storms moving towards Lewiston.


Temperatures in Vero Beach, as well as the rest of South Florida, don’t vary much from day to day. That general rule of thumb did not seem to apply on Thursday and Friday, however, as temperatures soared into the mid-90s on Thursday, and were kept somewhat tolerable on Friday, thanks in part to some thunderstorms. Guidance suggested only low 90s, especially on Thursday, which meant that there was considerable error for a Floridan forecast. By most standards, it was pretty good, however, and Accuweather claimed the top prize.
Actuals: Thursday – High 95, Low 70
Friday – .19 inches of rain, High 89, Low 72

Grade N-C

The Week Ahead 5/24/15-5/30/15

Will next week, the last of May, be another active severe thunderstorm week? The tornado season down in the southern Plains should be on the verge of winding down. For some reason, this feels like an extended season…
Sunday – Bellingham, Washington; Road Trip from Lewiston, Idaho to Bellingham
Tuesday – Omaha, Nebraska
Wednesday – Florence, South Carolina
Thursday – Road Trip from Florence to Hagerstown, Maryland
Friday – Sandusky, Ohio
Saturday – Jackson, Michigan; Road Trip from Sandusky to Jackson

Grand Rapids, Michigan

VW – Tomorrow – Sunny, HIgh 72, Low 41
Sunday – Scattered showers late, High 76, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 75, Low 43
Sunday – Cloudy High 74, Low 56

AW: Tomorrow – Comfortable with sunshine and patchy clouds High 74, Low 40
Sunday – Rather cloudy with a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon High 71, Low 53

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 39
Sunday – A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, High 75, Low 55

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny. High 73, Low 39
Sunday – Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain showers until midday… Then a chance of rain showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.High 75, Low 55

WN: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy with Patchy Frost High 73, Low 39
Sunday – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Showers High 76, Low 55

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 76, Low 45
Sunday – Light rain overnight. High 76, Low 59

Boy, not a free thinker in the bunch. Hope you enjoy the video!

Cool air enters the Valley

Visalia managed to avoid thunderstorms associated with a strong area of low pressure that was spilling into the Great Basin. There wasn’t much moisture dragged south to central California, and only an isolated thunderstorm or two cropped up in the Sierra Nevada. The temperature did drop off quickly, indicating that the system did indeed have a little bit of energy to it in the form of an imported batch of Canadian air. There was a trio tied atop the leaderboard, but of those three, only Accuweather correctly predicted a lack of rainfall.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 80, Low 55
Thursday – High 69, Low 55

Grade: B-D

Southern Plains have had enough

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we have a “Radar of the Day” feature that we announce at some point during the day. You would also know that lately, we have been spending a lot of time in Texas and Oklahoma, monitoring the threat for strong thunderstorms and tornadoes. Fortunately, the toll from tornadoes and severe storms hasn’t been terribly high, but as you might infer from the image above, the repetitive threat of heavy rain has been an issue. Over the last week, parts of the Red River Valley have received over a foot of rain, and much of Texas and Oklahoma have received over half a foot. The Wichita Falls area in particular has been subject to widespread flooding, and has needed to order evacuations for a lot of the city as the Wichita River rises. You can see the National Weather Service’s far flung flood watches and warnings. There are even some river-specific warnings from Nebraska to Missouri and south through Arkansas and Louisiana

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