Problems coming in the Plains

In the summer, the instigation of s large storm takes much less upper air forcing. Perhaps after looking at some jet stream analyses during the winter, then, this look at the upper levels for tomorrow evening won’t be terribly impressive. Trust me, though, there is more than enough energy for problems to arise.
Although there isn’t a lot of flow through that trough in the northern Rockies, there is a significant amount of shear. In the summer, shear is often more immportant than a temperature gradient, and a look at the surface analysis as the trough moves into the Northern High Plains suggests that this is the case again.
Look at that, a well wound area of low pressure moving into the western Daotas, with rain fall through Montana becoming heavy. Thunderstorms in North Dakota and south through the Black Hills will likely be rotating near that center of low pressure and tornadoes are quite possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a large twister or two in the western Dakotas tomorrow night.
The trough will press towards the northwest, so the threat of strong thunderstorms will not last for more than a day or two and really won’t be terribly problematic outside the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and western Nebraska. There will be a few thunderstorms south and east of there into Wednesday and Thursday, but the burgeoning tornado threat of the western Dakotas on Monday and expanding through Tuesday into the rest of the Upper Midwest won’t stretch to cover much other American territory.
This is going to be a chaser’s dream out in the Dakotas, with flat lands and low population. The only concern will be if the storms fire too late tomorrow, which is certainly a possibility.

Manchester, New Hampshire to Stockton, California

This is going to be a hike, isn’t it? A 6 day journey from shore to shore, covering 3110 miles. That’s about as long a journey as you can expecta and stay in the CONUS on these treks. The drive will average a pace of nearly 65mph. The first 5 days will be through after 519.6 miles, with that last day just a hair shorter. Boy, nothing better than a week of driving, is there? Saddle up and let’s go.

DAY ONE (Sunday)
Unfortunately, a stalled boundary will be sitting right on top of New England in the morning on Sunday, which means we will be enjoying some rain as we leave Manchester. We will deal with these showers through Massachusetts and in far northern Connecticut, but we should enjoy a break by the time we reach Hartford. That shower activity will remain light or non-existent as we continue southwestward through downstate New York. The front will reflare, and do so fairly aggressively in Pennsylvania, however. Particularly around Williamsport, the shower and thunderstorm activity could be heavy at times. The terrain will loosen up west of Bellefonte, and rain and storms may be a bit lighter as we call it a night in Du Bois, PA.

DAY TWO (Monday)
Things don’t look too bad for Monday, from western Pennsylvania to northern Illinois. The real issues will be to the west, where low pressure is coming together. When we stop for the night in Joliet, don’t be surprised to see some clouds on the western horizon, where some showers and storms will be firing.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
As the system in the northern Plains matures, things should stabilize over northern Illinois and Iowa, thanks in large part to some oppressive heat and humidity. I think that we will drive through some soupy but rain free conditions from Joliet to Cedar Rapids. From Cedar Rapids to Adair, there is a chance for a very isolated storm, which could be fairly strong. The cold front itself will move slowly across the Missouri River. There will be heavier rain and a better chance for severe storms from Adair to Gretna, Nebraska, depending on the pace of the boundary. Fortunately, I think everything will be wrapping up from the west Omaha metro to Lincoln, which is where we will check in for the evening.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
High pressure will be pressing into the northern Rockies on Wednesday. Temperatures will be cooler, which is great, and we will be able to enjoy the splendor of Nebraska. There is a truck stop in Big Spring that’s terrific. The drive will take us to Wyoming, where we will have to find a spot to camp west of Laramie. Exit 279 is the goal spot.

DAY FIVE (Thursday)
Thursday is going to be similar to Wednesday. Not many people around, not much weather around and the end of a day that ends very rurally. The drive will end east of Wells, Nevada, right in the middle of the wilderness.

DAY SIX (Friday)
Clouds will be building up the Sierras as we cross from Nevada to California, but afternoon convection will wait until after we have descended into the Valley. It will be quite warm in inland locations like Stockton, and the sun will be out to make us feel the heat.

Manchester, New Hampshire

Boy, it is right in the middle of summer now, isn’t it? Let’s head off to New England and see the warmest temperatures we will see there all year.

At 953PM, ET, Manchester was reporting a temperature of 65 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. A lobe along a broad trough over the Maritimes extended over New England, producing the clouds and a few showers over Maine. In the winter, this would be an efficient snowmaker, however in the summer it is struggling to produce even clouds across the region.
The trough will continue to move out of New England tomorrow, which will lend itself to a a cool but generally dry day. A system developing over the Dakotas is expected to launch itself northeast towards Hudson Bay, with a weak cold front advancing into the eastern Great Lakes by tomorrow evening. This will destabilize New Hampshire a bit, but should only lead to a few overnight clouds Saturday night. Unfortunately, the front itself will arrive in town early on Sunday, and won’t move very quickly. Sunday looks like a particularly rainy day in southern New Hampshire, generally due to the persistent nature of the rain, rather than individual gullywashers.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, High 76, Low 61
Sunday – Rain through the day, with an isolated thunderstorm, High 78, Low 64

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 75, Low 58
Sunday – Scattered Thunderstorms, High 80, Low 59

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 76, Low 59
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm High 79, Low 61

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 77, Low 60
Sunday – Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before noon, then a chance of showers between noon and 2pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy High 79, Low 60

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 77, Low 60
Sunday – Mostly cloudy. Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms in the morning…Then a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 79, Low 60

WN: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy with Isolated Showers High 77, low 59
Sunday – Mostly Cloudy with Light Showers Likely High 79, Low 61

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain overnight. High 77, Low 58
Sunday – Light rain in the morning and afternoon. High 81, Low 58

Considering the heat in the Plains, that’s downright pleasant. Too bad about the rain. Here is the satellite, showing that it really isn’t so murky up in New Hampshire.

The Week Ahead: 7/26/15 – 8/1/15

It’s hard to believe, but we are concluding July next week, already. That’s so crazy! What part of the world will we be exploring this week?


Monday – Albany, New York
Tuesday – St. Louis, Missouri; Road Trip from Albany to St. Louis.
Friday – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Saturday – Athens, Georgia

Here is a lonely supercell wandering through South Dakota

Thanks in part to the rotation generated by the clash in the air and land mass in the northern High Plains you don’t necessarily get in the upper Midwest, the Dakotas are prime ground for mid-summer tornadic development. The set up is never as grand as it is in the spring in southern Plains, so there aren’t days of preparation for major outbreaks. You get a chance for some strong thunderstorms, expect a chance for some strong winds from these storms, but in the Dakotas, every now and then you get something like this.
You can detect the hook on this large, zoomed out radar. Check it out up close, compared with the radial velocity, from Ryan Hanrahan:
This tornado is on the ground, and there has been debris reported near Fedora. This is particularly dangerous because of the time of night. It’s not well populated where this storm is moving through, but the peril is maximized by the time this storm is occurring.

Waterloo is well behaved

There is a lot to love about summer. The warm weather and sunshine, the seemingly endless family vacations. One thing I really appreciate is how well models handle the weather when there is weak high pressure in a region. Guidance was pretty spot on in Waterloo, and unless you got really free thinking, the forecasts all worked out very well. There was a 4 way tie for 2nd, actually, but there was one outlet who inched past the rest. The Weather Channel had the best forecast by themselves, narrowly better than all the rest.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 80, Low 56
Wednesday – High 81, Low 56

Grade: A-B

Columbia, South Carolina to Wichita, Kansas

We’re off for a late week road trip, one that will allow us to cover much of the southern US in the hottest time of the year. That’s what everyone wants, right? That’s fun? It will be a 1173 mile journey at a pace of about 65mph. Our first day will be shorter than the second, and cover 519.7 miles. For the love of God, the AC had better work.

DAY ONE (Thursday)
The good news is that it will be dry in South Carolina. The bad news, of course, is that it will be rather warm. Furthermore, when we get to the Atlanta area, showers and thunderstorms will begin to crop up. A descending ridge will help trigger stronger thunderstorms at the southern periphery of the feature. While convection will be heaviest in Tennessee, we will also see more robust convection through northern Mississippi. That’s mostly because it will be during peak heating that we pass through the area. The day will end in hot, humid and stormy Glenfield, Mississippi, which is near New Albany.

DAY TWO (Friday)
There will be the slightest of chances for a stray thunderstorm for much of the morning, with no greater a chance than for the stretch between Forrest City and Little Rock in Arkansas. After that, however, a funny thing will happen. Despite a weak lee low developing in the southern Plains, the increasing afternoon heat will help stabilize the atmosphere. It’s going to be very warm when we arrive in Wichita, thanks in large part to the blistering July sun.

Aerial of the Downtown Skyline of Wichita, Kansas with the Arkansas River and the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in the Foreground

Aerial of the Downtown Skyline of Wichita, Kansas with the Arkansas River and the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in the Foreground

Wallowing in a west wind

There was record heat out in the Pacific Northwest the past couple of days, with 90s in Portland and mid to upper 80s in Longview. Things changed a bit when a weak trough swung through the region and brought a more oceanic flow. There was no rain, but there was definitely a change in air mass, as temperatures only reached the low to mid 70s in Longview on Monday and Tuesday. Debby Downers Accuweather had the coolest forecast, but I guess this time around, it was the most accurate forecast, as Longview failed to even reach model guidance.
Actuals: Monday, High 76, Low 54
Tuesday, High 73, Low 60

Grade: B-C

A steam room

I almost wanted to label Monroe a blast furnace, but with dew points in the mid to upper 70s, that didn’t work as well as a metaphor. The temperatures probably didn’t reach 100 because the dew points were so high, but the heat index was wel into triple digits. I can see why someone might not care for living in this environment. Forecasting for it, however, was a piece of cake. Good forecasts all the way around, but Victoria-Weather and Accuweather had the top forecasts.
Actuals: Sunday – High 98, Low 65
Monday – High 98, Low 77

Grade: A-B

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