Jonesboro, Arkansas

I was in Jonesboro in March last year, and though I only stopped briefly, I thought it was a neat little town. During March of tis year, a tornado went through town, setting it as an example of how cities would respond to severe weather during the pandemic, and Jonesboro passed with flying colors. Hopefully nothing as terrible this weekend!

At 956AM, CT, Jonesboro Regional Airport missed it’s observation, however nearby Walnut Ridge was reporting fair skies with a temperature 83 degrees. A severe line of thunderstorms was moving through Corning, headed towards Marmaduke and Rector, and there was a chance for some shower activity this morning in Jonesboro. The thunderstorm activity is due to some local mesoscale forcing, it should be fairly quiet this afternoon.
Jonesboro’s weather this weekend looks to be in response to two large features, a developing low in the high plains, and tropical storm Cristobal. General early summer convection will be snuffed out by Cristobal, but as low pressure emerges in Montana, moisture entrainment will be reinvigorated. A few showers and storms will be possible on Saturday afternoon as a result, but as Cristobal arrives along the Louisiana coast, moisture will be drawn away from town to conclude the weekend.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, with an isolated shower or storm in the afternoon, High 94, Low 75
Sunday – Sunny and still quite warm, High 94, Low 75

TWC: Tomorrow – Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. A stray afternoon thunderstorm is possible. High 95, Low 73
Sunday – Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High 94, Low 75

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, warm and humid; a thunderstorm around in the afternoon High 94, Low 75
Sunday – Warm with sun and areas of high clouds High 94, Low 74

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Sunny, High 92, Low 71
Sunday – Sunny, High 91, Low 73

WB: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sunny, High 93, Low 76
Sunday – Sunny, High 83, Low 76

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with isolated storms, High 92, Low 72
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 91, Low 73

FIO: Tomorrow – Humid throughout the day. High 95, Low 74
Sunday – Humid throughout the day. High 94, Low 75

Strange to see Weatherbug go warmer than the Weather Service. I went with a warmer Sunday than Saturday because of the clouds I expect on Saturday. The SPC issued a watch for this line as I was writing this post. Technically, Jonesboro is under a watch until 6pm, but I’m sure they will be cut out within a couple of hours.

A surprise 90

The start of June was proceeding just fine on Monday, but then after a little warm front brought a scant amount of precipitation to Sandusky overnight, Tuesday was very different. Amid forecast highs that were supposed to be in the upper 70s to low 80s, opportune clear skies led to a high of 90. Nope, nobody was close. The Weather Channel had the top forecast, simply on the merits of having the warmest forecast on Tuesday.
Actuals: Monday, Trace of rain, High 73, Low 50
Tuesday – .04 inches of rain, High 90, Low 59

Grade: C-D

Could be Cristobal

As we noted a couple of days ago, the tropics have been active very early this season, and now, it appears as though the Gulf of Mexico will offer up it’s first tropical storm of the season. Tropical Depression Three is churning in the Bay of Campeche, as seen here on satellite.

The circulation is just off shore, even as the primary area of convection is quite visibly over the Yucatan Peninsula. This is important, because this will allow the storm to continue to intensify. Models anticipate an intensification to a tropical storm — Cristobal — perhaps even this morning.

Spaghetti plots have a tendency to underestimate the peak intensity of tropical features, which means that I and many other outlets believe that this storm may even reach hurricane status as it drifts to the Gulf Coast.

It’s still going to go through a period meandering through the Bay of Campeche before it starts to drift towards the Louisiana Bayous, which means there is still a great deal that is unknown. For the time being, this is what the forecast spaghetti plot looks like.

The potential for heavy rain will be the primary concern for coastal residents as the storm approaches, though wind and isolated tornadoes are always possible with tropical features.

May forecaster of the Month

After a busy forecasting month in April, we slowed down a bit in May to cover a lot of the other news stories (and write up a lot of road trips) for spring time. Maybe it was this relaxed pace that was taken, but Victoria-Weather ended up with the top spot for the month, a refreshing change of pace after April.

OutletMonth wins
Victoria-Weather1
Forecast.io1
The Weather Channel
Weatherbug
WeatherNation
National Weather Service
Accuweather
OutletMonth winsyear wins
The Weather Channel6
Victoria-Weather15.75
Weatherbug5.16
WeatherNation3.41
National Weather Service3.08
Forecast.io12.33
Accuweather2.25

Sandusky, Ohio

It’s hard to believe the couple of months we have been through as a country. Hopefully, it is an inflection point in our history, towards justice and understanding.

At 255PM, ET, Sandusky was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 55 degrees. A solid dome of high pressure was centered over the eastern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, with little threat of being dislodged today.
A sharp, fast moving trough will slide into the Great Lakes through the day tomorrow, with some showers and thunderstorms following suit. At the surface, there is expected to be enough penetration into the surface ridge that some of those showers and storms will clip Sandusky overnight Monday into Tuesday, with some slow moving showers and clouds on Tuesday morning. The ridge will linger to the south, so sunny skies should return by afternoon.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, late rain. High 72, Low 46
Tuesday – Overcast early with a spot of rain, then sunny in the afternoon. High 81, Low 51

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds. High 73, Low 47
Tuesday – Sunshine and clouds mixed. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 84, Low 60

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and warmer, High 71, Low 47
Tuesday – A shower or thunderstorm early in the morning; rather cloudy and humid High 77, Low 61

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 71, low 48
Tuesday – A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 2pm, then a slight chance of showers. Partly sunny High 80, Low 61

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, not as cool, High 71, Low 49
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy in the morning, becoming partly sunny, 40 percent chance of showers, High 77, Low 62

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 70, Low 48
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with scattered storms, High 78, Low 61

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 70, low 49
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 79, Low 62

Here is the satellite, showing a very nice end to the weekend across the Great Lakes.

2020 Tropical season off to a flying start

June 1st is recognized at the beginning of hurricane season, and I suppose, if you look at it through that lens, we’re still doing just fine! If you are of the belief that it is the beginning of tropical storm season, then boy, have we jumped the gun.

Every once in a while, and with increasing frequency, the NHC labels a tropical storm, or more typically, a subtropical storm, usually along the Gulf Stream or in the Gulf of Mexico, in May or even April. This is a function of a warmer ocean, but more directly, a relatively recent change in attitude towards naming subtropical storms.

But having two named storms come and go before we even reach June? That’s pretty wild. And there is another storm hanging out in the central Atlantic, with a 50% chance of developing into a tropical feature this weekend.

Both Arthur and Bertha spiraled along the East Coast, with Bertha bringing heavy rain to the Carolinas and New England. If the storm presently in the Atlantic does get named, it would be the first of the true Hurricane Season, and would be named Cristobal.

The storm is expected to wander due north, thanks to a disturbance presently seen on the East Coast, with a chance for a landfall over western Newfoundland early next week. It’s too early to say if this foretells the season to come, but boy, it does seem ominous.

Storms possible in Iowa and the Twin Cities tonight

After several days of severe weather blanketing most of the country, with particular emphasis on the High Plains, the Ozarks and the Carolinas, we are able to focus on just one area in the country, and as luck would have it, it’s the part of the country that I live in.

Low pressure over southern Canada is being undercut by a wave moving north out of Iowa. The nature of this pattern was hard to perceive in the long term by model guidance, and suggests that the nasty weather set up will not be long lived. With all that said, the SPC circled back and posted a slight risk along the Mississippi Valley for today anticipating rough weather.

Given the nature of the system, a big of circulation being drawn towards a deeper area of circulation, the primary threat will be tornadoes, though hail and wind will be a concern as well. The threat for tornadoes has already prompted a watch box in Iowa, which has verified with a confirmed tornado west of Des Moines.

But it’s not just tornadoes that will be a threat. There is a risk that some of the rain fall, particularly in southeastern Minnesota, cold be torrential, and lead to some flash flooding. Below is the WPC heavy rainfall forecast.

As the storm matures, rain will blanket the region, with some regions of stronger updrafts and heavier rain. Here is the HRRR showing the arrival in St. Paul just before 6pm tonight, and looking somewhat ferocious when it arrives.

The heavier rain will continue even after the initial rounds of strong thunderstorms, making for a long, wet night from Des Moines to the Twin Cities.

A bleak start to the weekend

There is a difference between a stormy day and a rainy day, especially on a holiday weekend. If it storms, that means there was probably enough sunlight and warmth during the day to lead to instability. A day with light drizzle throughout just means it was cloudy and gloomy, as it was on Friday in Detroit. There weren’t and reports of rain on Saturday, but it was still cloudy and cool. Fortunately, infrastructural systems that were at their limit already with water didn’t have to withstand too much more precipitation. Forecast.io collected the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Friday – .06 inches of rain, High 65, Low 59
Saturday – High 72, Low 60

Grade: C