Keeping an eye on the Gulf for Memorial Day

Hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, but we are already keeping an eye on the Tropics, and most notably, a disturbance off the Yucatan. Let’s first get the scary image out of the way. Here is what the GFS has for Saturday afternoon.

That is a closed isobar around a tropical feature off the Florida Peninsula. Yikes!

Now some sanity. Model guidance doesn’t have this storm getting any stronger than a very modest tropical storm, and the biggest threat is a ruined weekend on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The feature will landfall around Apalachicola sometime on Sunday. There might be some light tree damage, and as I noted the rain could be heavy at times, but the feature won’t linger. The feature will pull away from the coast by the night of Memorial Day.

So yes, there is a little feature that will likely make some news, but it’s not going to be the end of the world. Somewhat more importantly, one early storm, even a named storm, is not indicative of how the season will unfold in it’s totality, however the NHC is predicting a somewhat above average season in the North Atlantic.

Coming soon…

We are getting closer and closer to the birth of my children, and a major interruption in these posts. We’ll see how long it takes to get to these forecasts!

Spartanburg, South Carolina
Road Trip from Peoria, Illinois to Spartanburg

Rapid City, South Dakota

 

Ogden, Utah

The forecast for the night takes us to the second largest city on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, Ogden, Utah. Summer is coming to the Great Basin as much as anywhere else, so what does that mean in northern Utah?

At 1153PM, MT, Ogden was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 57 degrees. The afternoon was marked by scattered showers and thunderstorms across the interior west, though most of that activity was found in higher terrains north and east of Ogden. The thunderstorm activity is a sure sign that the seasonal monsoon was in effect, a fair bit earlier than it is usually expected.
A cut off area of circulation at the upper levels is going to emerge over the next 12-18 hours over California, orphaned from the main jet after initiating as a sharp trough along the Pacific Coast. The jet streak will flame out by the end of the day Tuesday, but not before rotating northeast through eastern Utah. This little feature will enhance showers and storms along the eastern face of the Rockies, and over the Sierras tomorrow, but it will wait until the very end of the day on Tuesday to have an impact on Ogden, thanks to the distance from any real moisture sources. Nevertheless, there should be a rumble of thunder on Tuesday evening as a result of our cut off low.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 77, Low 54
Tuesday – Afternoon showers and thunderstorms, High 76, Low 53

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny along with a few clouds. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 78, Low 55
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with afternoon showers or thunderstorms High 69, Low 56

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine; breezy in the afternoon (PM thunder) High 78, Low 54
Tuesday – Times of clouds and sun, a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon High 74, Low 56

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny High 79, Low 53
Tuesday – A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, High 76, Low 56

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny in the morning, then becoming partly cloudy, High 77, Low 53
Tuesday – A slight chance of rain showers in the morning, then a chance of rain showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, High 72, Low 56

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with isolated storms, High 79, Low 56
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with scattered showers, High 76, Low 56

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting overnight, continuing until night. High 76, Low 54
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy until evening. High 74, Low 56

Satellite isn’t really showing any convective cloud cover. Totally tranquil at night in the Rockies, but it might get a little more active through the beginning of the week.

Weather Wayback… Sun when it really counted

In early October, not long after we put together the forecast for La Crosse, Anthony assembled a forecast for Danville, Virginia, that got a little bit more out of hand than anyone really anticipated. With forecasts pegged in the upper 70s to low 80s on October 10th and 11th, the temperatures instead climbed all the way to 87 on both days, thanks to sun that shone brightly on the town from the early to mid afternoon, just when it had it’s maximum impact. The sun mixed with heat and humidity, destabilizing the environment and leading to evening thunderstorms on each day of the forecast, moreso on Tuesday the 10th than on Wednesday. Victoria-Weather narrowly surpassed our rivals, though the warmth was more than anyone truly anticipated.
Actuals: October 10th – .47 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 87, Low 72
October 11th – Trace of rain in thunderstorms, High 87, Low 67

Grade: C-D

EDC 2018 A Weather Winner!

Ever since Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), the country’s largest EDM festival, moved to Las Vegas in 2011, extreme heat has always been an issue. With the festival being held on the weekend closed to the Summer Solstice, high temperatures would often push into the mid 100’s, nearly 110 in some cases during festival weekend, with overnight lows struggling to drop into the 70s (the festival runs overnight, from roughly 830p to 530a), so even without the intensity of direct sunlight, some people can be easily overwhelmed if not properly hydrated.

2018 was a first for EDC Vegas, however, in that they moved it to mid-May, mainly to avoid the intense June heat. So far, this decision has proven to be an excellent one! The daytime highs for Las Vegas the last couple of days have peaked in the low 90s, and temperatures between midnight and 4am were in the low 70s. Also, a cirrus deck moved over the valley in the early evening hours last couple of days, tempering the heat just a bit as well. The wind on night 1 was fairly calm at the festival, while last night’s winds got some decent 20-25mph gusts going through midnight – 1am before settling down just a little bit for the rest of the night. It looks like it will be another windy start to the festival tonight, but certainly nothing like 2012 when gusts of 40+mph caused the festival to shut down due to safety concerns.

There are many factors which can cause a festival experience to go sideways, but thanks to the decision to move it forward a month to avoid the extreme summer heat in Vegas made sure that the weather wasn’t one of them. An absolutely picture-perfect weekend weather-wise!

A heat wave is looming

A strong ridge is expected to build ingo the western part of North America in the coming days, and will likely be in place for the Memorial Day weekend. While most of the country will be above normal, no place will be quite as abnormally warm as the Rocky Mountains.

In Grand Junction, Colorado, temperatures will be in the upper 80s to near 90 over Memorial Day weekend, as compared to a seasonal average of 80. Billings, Montana will be in the low to mid 80s, compared to an average high near 70.

The eastern part of the country will be somewhat warm, but that patch of relatively cool temperatures in the southeast is suggestive of the continued activity in the region. Every where east of the Mississippi is in line for some showers and thunderstorms, particularly in and around the Florida Peninsula

Weather wayback…. History repeats

With a large system presently moving through the south central United States, cooler weather is being pulled into the Upper Midwest, as though a cold front has just sneaked through the region without our knowledge. There wasn’t any rain, but suddenly it’s noticeably cooler.  Something similar happened back in early October in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where temperatures on the 8th were in the upper 70s. Then, despite the fact that there had been no rain to speak of, it cooled by about 10 degrees on the 9th. Smarty-pants Anthony saw it coming, however, and tied atop the leaderboard with The Weather Channel.
Actuals: October 8th – High 78, Low 53
October 9th – High 69, Low 43

Grade: C

Awesome shots of a Colorado hail storm

The pictures above, courtesy Jane Carpenter via Cory Reppenhagen of 9 News in Denver, highlight a narrow area that had intense hail near the Wyoming border in Colorado. As Mr. Reppenhagen notes, this probably fell overnight, and this photo was taken during the day, which means that the hail was so heavy it took at least several hours to melt down. The coating even at this point looked like snow, but it took a much smaller slice out of the High Plains countryside.

It’s a cool looking image, and a reminder of just how intense hail storms can be!

An extended vacation

The last few days have been on repeat, with showers and storms slicing from the Ohio Valley and south through the central Plains. When this pattern set up, it did so just to the southeast of Lincoln, so after the first round of showers on Friday morning, it got significantly cooler as Mother’s Day weekend approached. Ahead of that, however, we had our forecast period in Lincoln, and it was warm and mostly sunny, without a drop until after the forecast period was over. The mid 80s in mid-May, especially after a long winter and a head of a return to some chillier air was certainly a welcome turn of events. Forecast.io snuck in and won the day.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 86, Low 57
Thursday – High 86, Low 55

Grade: B-C

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