Temperatures take a drop

Panama City had a cold front slide through on Friday, and tried to recover to temperatures that were more befitting of a state called the Sunshine State. They ended up sporting highs and lows that were exactly the same on Saturday AND Sunday. The temperatures were in turn warmer than anticipated on Saturday and right on the nose on Sunday. I think I meant to forecast a low of 47 on Saturday, but I don’t know for sure. Either way, the forecast I issued said 37 which was 8 degrees off. If I HAD put 47, Victoria-Weather would have won the day. I didn’t, which means there was a three way tie at the top between the NWS, Weatherbug and WeatherNation.
Actuals: Saturday, High 64, Low 45
Sunday – High 64, Low 45

Grade: B-C

The pattern is finally changing

I have good news and bad news for the easter part of the country. The jet trough that has been responsible for cold weather and an all too active winter in the northeast is finally expected to break down over the next couple of weeks. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the flow will become more laminar, with a strong west to east jet through the heart of the country. Yes, Florida will be significantly warmer, even above average by next week. New England, on the other hand, will be back belo normal. Well, not back below, because that would indicate that they have been above normal. Take a look:
no trough
So, despite a pattern change, New England still gets the short end of the stick. The good news is, that the pattern will likely become more progressive at this point. New England will be wetter than usual as well as cooler. It appears that frequent short waves (rather than a big, slow moving upper level feature) will be the culprit for cooler weather conditions. That should mean that, while temperatures will be below normal, they won’t be unbearable.

Memphis ties 116 tear old record

That’s right. Memphis saw a trace of snow on this day, March 28th for the first time since 1899. If only a little bit had been able to accumulate!
A big area of Canadian high pressure is working it’s way southeastward, but will be kicking to the east before too long. There was enough cold air and a enough of instability on the flank of the ridge to lead to these record tying flurries.

The Week Ahead 3/29/15-4/4/15

We’re coming up on the Easter Weekend, and we have some forecasts to produce. We’re taking a long hard look at the southern US as we head into the holiday weekend.
Monday – Lafayette, Louisiana
Tuesday – Dalton, Georgia
Wednesday Daytona Beach, Florida
Friday – Lincoln, Nebraska; Road Trip from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Lincoln.

Panama City, Florida

The Gulf Coast has been very active this year. Does this trend look to continue through the weekend? Only one way to find out.

At 235PM, ET, Panama City was reporting a temperature of 61 degrees with mostly clear skies, however the current observation also suggested light rain, despite radar returns suggesting that precipitation was already southeast of Perry. Winds were from the northwest in response to frontal passage earlier in the day, and temperatures responded by sinking into the 60s. There will be well below normal lows tonight, though not as chilly as places like Nashville, where things are liable to dip well below freezing.
If there is an advantage to the deep trough setting up over the eastern third of the country, it is that it will be effective in preventing the moist flow that has afflicted the coast recently. There may be a few showers at the southwestern flank of the trough, though flow will likely prevent those from reaching Panama City. The wave will shift off shore by Sunday, and temperatures then are expected to rebound nicely.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 64, Low 37
Sunday – Sunny and warmer, High 68, Low 45

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 66, Low 48
Sunday – Sunny, High 70, Low 45

AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sunshine High 73, Low 48
Sunday – Plenty of sunshine High 68. Low 47

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 61, Low 47
Sunday – Sunny, High 65, Low 46

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 61, Low 47
Sunday – Sunny, High 65, Low 46

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny, High 61, Low 48
Sunday – Mostly Sunny, High 64, Low 46

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 62, Low 48
Sunday – Partly cloudy in the morning. High 65, Low 50

That sounds pretty good from Minnesota, but I’m sure it’s not what Floridians are hoping for. Let’s take a look at the radar, showing rain on it’s way out of town.
Panama City

Thunderstorms swipe Rocky Mount

Ahead of a cold front that is now pushing its way off shore, there was a very rich return flow riding warm southerly winds over the eastern Carolinas. It started with a sprinkle late Wednesday night in Rocky Mount, but the real show came on Friday morning, when very heavy rain fell, with half an inch coming in the 9 o’clock hour. This slowed down the later warm up, but it still came, with temperatures plateauing in the mid 70s, which, while warmer, wasn’t as warm as several outlets anticipated. Others had issues in failing to account for the chance of showers on Wednesday. In the end, it was only a race between two outlets: Victoria-Weather and Forecast.io, with FIO securing the top spot.
Actuals: Wednesday – .02 inches of rain, High 71, Low 44
Thursday – 1.33 inches of rain, thunderstorms, High 75, Low 59

Grade: A-C

Looking ahead: Where does the next severe threat come from?

We’ve had a mercifully slow start to the severe season, despite yesterday’s small outbreak in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Fortunately, the pattern appears to be pointing towards a pattern that will ensure that the the dormant pattern will continue. As the system that brought the nasty weather to the Ozarks yesterday shifts off shore through the day tomorrow, a deep, chilly trough will settle into the eastern third of the United States, not unlike the pattern that was seen throughout most of the winter.
This trough will hold firm through the weekend. A weak clipper will move through Canada on Sunday night, bringing snow to the Great Lakes and continuing to suppress warmth in the northern United States and preventing any necessary troughing into the Plains if we are going to see any severe weather.
The next legitimate chance for severe thunderstorms will likely come on Tuesday after upper ridging moves into the Plains, but a lee trough will develop at the surface in the southern Plains. This could be the ticket for a few cells to go severe over West Texas and Oklahoma in particular. Of course, this is 5 days out, and the wave that produces it will be fairly small in scale, so take this potential with a grain of salt.
Anything beyond that is speculative, and even the potential for rough stuff next Tuesday is fairly low. It looks like tornado chasers are out of luck for a little while, but property owners and others that don’t enjoy big storms can breath a sigh of relief for at least a little while longer.

Tornado luck runs out

The tornado total went from 0 to 8 today, as the spring’s first outbreak came to the Ozarks and Oklahoma. There were a trip of twisters that immediately stand out. The first, in northwest Arkansas caused damage in War Eagle, east of Springdale. A pair of of more significant and well documented tornadoes struck Oklahoma.
The first cut through San Springs on its way towards Tulsa. One person was killed in a trailer park near Sand Springs. The tornado was well documented, including this video, of the twister crossing the Arkansas River, likely very close to the time it struck Sand Springs.

Perhaps even more incredibly, though, was another tornado in Oklahoma. This one occurred south of Oklahoma City in the town of Moore. Yes, that Moore. The same one that has been devastated by tornadoes in 1999, 2003, and 2013, as well as a smaller twister in 2010. Today’s storm, fortunately, was not as strong as the 2013 storm, but it swept through a part of the world that is weary of these continued disasters. KWTV actually had eyes on the storms

There are still severe storms associated with the line, which presently lies from St Louis to east of Abilene, Texas. The majority of the severe weather with this system came in the form of large hail, which was up to softball size at times, and as the storm winds down tonight, there is a chance for some strong, outflowing winds. Tomorrow, fortunately, the severe threat will be significantly reduced because of a wave developing off the Florida Coast.

Backwards trends

The thought was that temperatures would be on the upswing as Monday turned to Tuesday in Philadelphia. It wouldn’t be by much, as there would be some high clouds that rolled into the City of Brotherly Love. Those high clouds were only supposed to mitigate the warm up, but as it turned out, there was no warm up. Temperatures actually dropped from Monday to Tuesday absent the expected solar energy. That meant that forecasters with the least optimistic warm up, as well as a warm Tuesday low were generally rewarded. The Weather Channel got the victory, however, because they were perfect on Monday.
Actuals: Monday – High 43, Low 27
Tuesday – High 40, Low 31

Grade: B-C

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Here we go, headed down to the Tar Heel State. They have 3 teams left in the Big Dance, so they may want to spend a couple days outside before spending the rest of the week watching their teams.

At 1253PM, ET, Rocky Mount was reporting a temperature of 58 degrees with clear skies. There is a fairly complicated pattern at the surface, with a remnant trough through southern Georgia, and a very strong warm front that has developed through southern Kentucky, but is failing to clear the Appalachians.
Surface high pressure will suppress the advance of warm air through the day tomorrow, which runs counter to the GFS solution, which calls for quite a bit of rain tomorrow morning. Instead, it will take a break in the ridge with the development of deeper low pressure in the Plains. This low will begin lifting to the northeast with the ridge being forced out to sea. Flow will become aggressive out of the southeast tomorrow evening and continue through the day on Thursday. By Thursday morning, temperatures will be soaring, but at the same time flow will be laden with moisture, and there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms through most of the day. The cold front will hang west of the Appalachians until fter the forecast period has expired.
Tomorrow – Scattered afternoon showers, otherwise partly cloudy, High 68, Low 43
Thursday – Scattered showers and storms, warm, High 76, Low 58

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy, High 72, low 42
Thursday – Thunderstorms, High 78, Low 60

AW: Tomorrow – Some sun High 69, Low 43
Thursday – Breezy with a thunderstorm; cloudy in the morning, then clouds and sun in the afternoon High 78, Low 59

NWS: Tomorrow – A slight chance of rain or drizzle before 10am. Mostly cloudy High 67, Low 42
Thursday – A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, High 79, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of rain and drizzle in the morning. High 67, Low 42
Thursday – Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning… Then a chance of showers with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 79, Low 57

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Isolated Showers High 66, Low 41
Thursday – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Showers High 79, Low 57

FIO: Tomorrow – Drizzle overnight. High 69, Low 44
Thursday – Light rain until evening. High 74, Low 60

We are looking at some rain for the eastern Carolinas. You can tell who is riding the GFS hardest though, by how much rain they have tomorrow. Here is the satellite imagery. The warm front is generating higher topped clouds, north of the Carolinas.
Rocky Mount

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