Everybody’s the same

Last week we took a look at the forecast in Lansing ahead of a weak cold front moving into the region. It bubbled up some warm air ahead of the boundary, more so than anyone really even predicted. In fact, last Tuesday saw the highs reach 90, which is a tough thing to do smack dab in either of Michigan’s peninsulas. Everyone was a hair too cool on the high temperature, though overnight lows were quite successful. There was almost no discrepancy in the forecast verification from outlet to outlet. The Weather Channel, Weatherbug and Forecast.io all tied for the win, while everyone else came in a 4 way tie for second.
Actuals: Sunday – High 88, Low 55
Mionday – High 90, Low 61

Grade: B

Jonesboro, Arkansas to Athens, Georgia

As a Midwesterner, I love driving through the southeast. The weather is warmer, the drivers are faster and the roadside attractions are different. This one day trek seems fairly ordinary at first glance, but I can tell you that I would enjoy it. We’ll move through our route at a clip of 61.9mph, but I bet you we could go faster because slow drivers will stay in the right lane!


The weather in the southeastern US has been quite stormy over the last several days, and while that is going to continue tomorrow as we drive through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, it will be considerably less active. High pressure is going to shift further to the east, opening up the back end and the Plains for showers and storms. This means that our best threat for rain and thunderstorms will be in northern Mississippi early Iin the day, but by the time we pass Hamilton, MS, the threat for persistent, heavy storms will have been lessened. In fact, I would say that after we have passed through Atlanta, the threat for showers and storms will be virtually nonexistent. Hotter than the dickens, though.

Athens, Georgia

It would be more exciting if we are off to Greece, I will admit, but Georgia can be fun too! Especially when you start taking their weather into account, which frankly is all we’re taking into account.

At 551PM, ET, Athens was reporting a temperature of 86 degrees with clear skies. Through all layers, there wasn’t much organization or a recognizeable boundary in the southeast, but a deep trough and an advancing area of high pressure in the portion of the US is cordoning off the area of instability, leading to a whole lot of general convection in the southeast. Athens is in the clear for now, as it appears a gentle northwesterly flow is stranding moisture in the southern Appalachians.
The next two days will be more of the same. The ridge will continue to sink towards the southeast, amplifying precipitation through the Southeast, as the available area of instability is further restricted. Still northwesterly flow will keep Athens in a somewhat more favorable position. Athens will mostly be dry for the next two days, but there will be an isolated storm in the area. It could be worse though, and it probably will be 50 miles from Athens in any direction.
Tomorrow – Isolated thunderstorms, High  90, Low 72
Tuesday – Isolated thunderstorms High 93, Low 72

TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered showers and thunderstorms High 88, Low 72
Tuesday – Patly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 90, Low 72

AW: Tomorrow – Times of clouds and sun, a shower or thunderstorm around; humid, High 87, Low 72
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, a shower or thunderstorm around, mainly later; humid High 90, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 3pm. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy High 89, Low 72
Tuesday – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny High 90, Low 72

WB: Tomorrow – Chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. High 83, Low 71
Tuesday – Chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon, High 87, Low 72

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely, High 89, Low 72
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with thunderstorms likely  High 90, Low 72

FIO: Tomorrow – Rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 87, Low 75
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 90, Low 73

Here is a broad look at the radar, showing a nice window up around Athens where things ain’t so bad. Everywhere else is a mess, though.

Warmth for the weekend

Last week, we looked at the forecast for Lexington, Kentucky, and saw a cold front sweeping south, likely interrupted by the still developing Hurricane Chris. We thought the rain would slow down, but we certainly didn’t think the cold air would be waylaid. Indeed, temperature were 4-9 degrees warmer than expected on Friday, and still a few degrees warmer on Saturday. There was a little bit of rain on Friday, so that did make it through. We could still be surprised by the warmth, though. Accuweather and the Weather Service tied at the top.
Actuals: Friday – .14” of rain, High 87, Low 68
Saturday – High 84, low 60

Grade B-C

June forecaster of the Month

Summer rolled around last month and really took our breath away, especially if you lose your breath easily in the heat. Not only did summer roll around, but we spent an exorbitant amount of time in Texas, and heat waves gripped the nation. It was the National Weather Service who collected the top forecasting title for the month, knocking everyone else down a peg.

Weather Wayback, Ogden’s Halloween Heat

When we looked at Ogden back at the end of October, it seemed as though autumn was preparing to return to northern Utah, with temperatures in the 50s. But then, November 1st rolled around and the temperature spiked back into the mid 60s, waylaying fall for at least another couple of days. Nearly all found the forecast to be easy to manage, even if the climatology was a little askew. Accuweather had the narrow victory.
Actuals October 31st, High 53, Low 34
November st, High 66, Low 39

Grade A-B

Lexington, Kentucky to Lansing, Michigan

All right, gang, let’s talk about a road trip. This time, we’re going to head from Kentucky to Michigan, which is only the length of Indiana apart (or Ohio, depending on your travel pleasure). The cities in question, Lexington and Lansing are only about 6 hours apart, so long as we take that Ohio route since Lexington is in eastern Kentucky. The mileage is 397mi, so our rate of speed will be nearly 68 miles per hour, which only leads me to believe that traffic laws in Cincinnati are loosely enforced.


There are two competing forces in the eastern third of the country. There is Tropical Storm Chris off the coast of North Carolina, generating a northerly flow through, and then there is a cold front ready to sweep through Michigan late this evening, attempting to draw moisture north. Instead of adding any convergence or convection, it’s just taking a lot of the moisture out of the atmosphere that would otherwise be available for the front. It will be getting a bit warmer in the afternoon on Monday, but the showers and storms that would otherwise be triggered by an open Gulf will be shunted west. We’ll get to Lansing before the front does, so that swift pace through Ohio will probably hold up just fine.

Lansing, Michigan

Hi friends! Let’s take a look at the weather in the capital of Michigan this evening!

At 153AM, ET, Lansing was reporting a temperature of 64 degrees with clear skies. Michigan was generally in the mid 50s to low 60s, with dry dew points and light winds. High pressure is in place over the Great Lakes, encouraging the wonderful weather overnight.
High pressure will be loathe to advance much further to the east, thanks to the presence of a tropical depression gathering strength off the coast of North Carolina.  The depression will likely strengthen to become a hurricane, but won’t do much more than linger off shore, holding up traffic through the rest of the country. Clear skies are expected in Michigan through Monday, though a weak cold font will arrive late on Monday to provide a little bit of overcast.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 84, Low 56
Monday – Mostly sunny, increased clouds late, High 87, Low 62

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 86, Low 57
Monday – A mainly sunny sky.  High 88, Low 62

AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sunshine; comfortable High 85, Low 69
Monday – Mostly sunny; warm, more humid High 89, Low 62

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny,  High 85, Low 57
Monday – Sunny,  High 88, Low 63

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 56
Monday – Sunny, High 88, Low 62

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 57
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 88, Low 63

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 86, Low 554
Monday – Clear throughout the day. High 88, Low 59

There is a whole lot of clear air in the eastern half of the country, including Lansing.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-16 ABI BAND 07 OR_ABI-L1b-RadC-M3C07_G16_s20181890722231_e20181890725016_c20181890725054.nc

Ogden, Utah, to Lexington, Kentucky

We’re off for a fun little road trip today. The drive from Utah to Kentucky takes the familiar route along I-80 through most of Nebraska, but then swings us further south, toward I-70 for the second half of the trip. We’re going to forecast for the whole dang thing, one way or another. It’s a 3 day trek, covering 1650 miles. This means that the daily goal will be 550 miles, right on the nose. I think we can do it.

 

DAY ONE (Friday)

The beginning of July is one of the best times of year to drive through the mountains. You won’t have to worry about snow, for one thing, but also, wherever trees grow, they will be at their greenest of the year, before the daily sunshine scorches any available sun. There are some smoky forest fires in Colorado, which may provide a haze to the drive, however high pressure over the Plains is receding from the Rockies, and the air will begin moving and the haze might dissipate. The additional bonus of ridge pulling away will limit the convergence at the surface, and thunderstorms will likely be non existent from Ogden to Lodgepole, in the Nebraska Panhandle.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
While high pressure is moving away from the Rockies, it isn’t moving much further than that, remaining in the Plains and Mississippi Valley. This means the rest of the drive through Nebraska, and we’ll be able to sneak south towards Kansas City in comfortable weather for this time of year. We’ll make it to Odessa, Missouri, east of KC, for our daily stop.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
As the high pressure begins to break down later in the weekend, Gulf moisture will begin to filter north through Mississippi towards the tail end of our route. We’ll make it to St. Louis with no problems, and there won’t REALLY be a problem for the rest of the route, just a few isolated spits of rain through southern Illinois and into western Kentucky. If any really heavy rain falls, it would likely be right as we cross the Mississippi River, but we will probably slip past there before that is a real threat. Lexington will be returning to hot, sticky conditions as we arrive in town.

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