No Holy Week Surprises this year

Holy Week, the stretch of time from Passover to Easter, is also something of a seasonal benchmark. Easter shows up annually at the end of March or early April (it’s a bit late this year), which means it is among the first weekends of spring.
The beginning of the tornado season begins as soon as we start to get a real clash of air masses, as Gulf moisture starts to rise north and cold air tries to hang on in the Plains. After a quiet winter (on the summer front, anyways), the first outbreak always seems to come as a surprise, but the storm activity can be just as devastating as a May outbreak. Some of the most significant outbreaks have been named the Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1965, and the Easter Outbreak, which devastated Omaha, in 1913.
This year, however, despite the lateness of the holiday, and how deep we are into what should be tornado season, we haven’t seen any significant outbreaks this week, but only some heavy rain in the southeastern US and there was a an outbreak of thunderstorms, but not many tornadoes, in the Missouri Valley on Palm Sunday. There might be a severe storm or two in west Texas, but fortunately, the majority of the country gets to enjoy the holiday in peace, and free of the specter of a tornado outbreak.
Have a happy Easter, everyone.

Spring is coming!

I think one of my favorite shows on television right now is Game of Thrones. Maybe you watch it as well, but the big slogan on the show, without getting too deep into the plot, is “Winter is Coming”. That’s what came to mind when I thought of Dubuque. Well, just the opposite, actually. Temperatures were on the rise, and the sun was out, and it was decidedly less ominous all the way around than it is in Westeros. Even if there are thunderstorms coming for Dubuque in the near future. The NWS and Accuweather had a tie atop the leader board.
Actuals: Friday – High 58, Low 28
Saturday – High 70, Low 35

Grade: A

Lawrence, Kansas to Evansville, Indiana

Back for another single day road trip. It’s a 7 hour drive from Lawrence to Evansville. The mileage is only about 450 miles, but traffic in Kansas City and St. Louis will probably slow us down, it being a high holiday or not. The slower pace will be an average speed of 63.3mph. Let’s cross Missouri and head to the Ohio.

Moisture will be welling northward, right through Missouri and Illinois through Easter Sunday. It’s going to be hot and humid as a result, particularly the farther east we get. It always feels hotter to me when passing through a major metropolitan area, so I imagine it will feel like a scorcher in St. Louis. Still, the sun will be out, there won’t be any precipitation (that will fill in behind us, well after we leave Lawrence) and it might even feel summerlike in Evansville.

The Week Ahead 4/20/14-4/26/14

We have a lot of road trips this week, and it appears that theme for the week is the Peach State.

Monday – Road trip from Augusta, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia.
Tuesday – Kennewick, Washington; Road Trip from Savannah to Kennewick.
Friday – Road Trip from Hinesville, Goergia to Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saturday – Road Trip from Minneapolis to San Antonio, Texas

Dubuque, Iowa to Lawrence, Kansas

Hey, this isn’t such a bad excursion. We have about 7 hours to get our way from eastern Iowa to just west of Kansas City. It’s a 432 mile journey, or so, which means the average speed will be about 64mph. Looks like a pretty good day for driving.


I’ll get this out of the way: it isn’t going to rain for our drive from Dubuque to Lawrence. A weak, mostly dry boundary will set up to the northwest of our route, which will mean a southerly flow, which could be brisk at times. It shouldn’t be so bad that we can’t keep our car on the road, but keep an eye on those big semis in case they catch a draft. It’s going to be pretty nice in Lawrence.

Lawrence, Kansas

In the midst of the Midwest for another springtime forecast.

At 452PM, ET, Lawrence was reporting a temperature of 69 degrees with clear skies. Southeasterly inflow towards a developing area of low pressure over the northern High Plains.
Aloft, there is a double wave pattern, with a stronger wave moving along the US/Canadian border, and another standing wave with very little flow through it over the southern Rockies. The duality of the troughs will cause the pattern to stall north and west of Lawrence, leading to a warm day to begin the weekend. The southern wave will emerge from the central Rockies by Sunday morning, and immediately begin to tap into a wealth of Gulf moisture. The disturbance will bring about some showers and storms to eastern Kansas and Lawrence, but not until late in the evening.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 77, Low 43
Sunday – Partly cloudy through the afternoon, with a few showers and storms late, High 77, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 76, Low 44
Sunday – PM T-Storms High 79, Low 53

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and breezy High 75, Low 48
Sunday – Mostly cloudy High 76, Low 53

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 78, Low 46
Sunday – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny High 77, Low 56

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny. High 76, Low 48
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. High 77, Low 55

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 75, Low 48
Sunday – Scattered Storms High 77, Low 55

I don’t think storms over Kansas will be terrible. There isn’t much forcing for the central Plains. Satellite shows a pretty quite evening in the mean time.


It’s a common situation when you have excellent weather, such as what they had in Athens over the past two days. Everyone was packed in tight atop the leader board, with the top forecaster, Accuweather, registering only 2 degrees better than the last place outlet, WeatherNation. Everyone else was in between. As for the weather, it was cooler than normal, but not any cooler than expected, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 61, Low 31
Thursday – High 66, Low 36

Grade: A

Dubuque, Iowa

We’re headed back to Iowa again this week, but this time we are going to the banks of the Mississippi.

At 653PM, CT, Dubuque was reporting a temperature of 48 degrees with clear skies. A weak wave that brought snow from the eastern Dakotas to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula also ushered in some chilly air in Dubuque. Fortunately, at this time of year, waves are shorter, and the cold air will not last long in Dubuque.
In fact, upper level flow will shift north within the next 24 hours. A lee trough accompanying a very week trough over the Northern Rockies will help direct a southerly flow through the central Plains. A stronger upper level ridge over the Upper Midwest will allow for clear skies. The clear skies will allow for a little bit of warming tomorrow, but the real warm up will be when that southerly flow kicks in on Saturday.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 58, Low 32
Saturday – Even warmer, High 70, Low 36

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 61, Low 31
Saturday – Mostly Sunny High 73, Low 37

AW: Tomorrow – Clouds giving way to some sun and warmer High 58, Low 32
Saturday – Variable cloudiness; breezy in the afternoon High 68, Low 36

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 59, Low 30
Saturday – Mostly sunny High 70, Low 36

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny. High 59, Low 30
Saturday – Breezy…warmer. Mostly sunny. High 69, Low 35

WN: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 59, low 32
Saturday – Partly Cloudy, High 72, Low 36

Looks pretty nice! A little bit better than what’s going on today. Satellite is very quiet right now.

A few drizzle drops in Longview

Overcast skies kept temperatures in check for Longview on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the good news was that it didn’t bring any rain on Tuesday. The news wasn’t quite as good on Wednesday, though. There was only a little bit of rain on Wednesday, though, with most of the forecast precipitation instead falling over the Cascades and Mount St. Helens. The Weather Channel was appropriately conservative with their forecast and ended up with the top forecast overall.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 60, Low 48
Wednesday – .06 inches of rain, High 55, Low 48

Grade: C

Enough already!


There is a seemingly weak area of low pressure tearing its way through the Upper Midwest. There is a lot of spring time moisture within the low, and it is scooting through a trough that was already in place, which, unfortunately, means that the majority of the precipitation is coming as snow. This is a look at the next 12 hours, which call for 4-6 inches in some places, while a foot has already fallen near St. Cloud, Minnesota. It will be more of the same in the next 12 hour block, with a foot of snow possible when all is said and done across northern Wisconsin.
The good news, however, is that an upper level ridge will be building intoo the region next week, and a nice, springlike pattern will take over. 80 degrees isn’t out of the question.

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