Durham, North Carolina

Time to get this forecast wagon hitched and on the road!

At 953PM, ET, Durham was reporting a temperature of 73 degrees with clear skies. There was a line of very weak thunderstorms extending from north of Fayetteville to south of Mount Airy, but it was continuing to diminish for the night. A lower level trough over the mid-Atlantic is churning up a few showers and thunderstorms throughout the area, and the persistence is leading to the threat of flash flooding where the storms sit in place, but it is clear and humid where they are not.
The low level wave will shift off shore and low pressure will deepen rapidly in the Gulfstream, The deepening low pressure will extend west to the coast, with moisture building into the Carolinas again on Saturday. Before that, a little bit of dry air will dig in thanks to the circulation of the deepening low, but the beginning of the weekend might be a bit drearier.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with late showers and storms, High 88, Low 73
Saturday – Scattered showers and storms, High 85, Low 73

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning with scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High 86, Low 71
Saturday – Thunderstorms. Potential for heavy rainfall. High 82, Low 72

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a couple of showers and a heavy t-storm, mainly later; watch for flash flooding High 86, Low 71
Saturday – Mostly cloudy and humid with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm around, some can be heavy late High 84, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, High 88, Low 72
Saturday – Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8am High 85, Low 72

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then partly sunny with showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon, High 84, Low 72
Saturday – Showers and thunderstorms, High 81, Low 72

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely, High 88, Low 72
Saturday – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms, High 86, Low 72

FIO: Tomorrow – Possible light rain and humid throughout the day. High 86, Low 71
Saturday – Rain and humid throughout the day. High 83, Low 72

Interestingly enough, we just started watching the Last Dance tonight, and here we are, forecasting for Durham. Maybe not that interesting. Anyways, here is a look at the radar, showing those isolated storms. There is a lot of ground clutter that is making it look worse than is true on the ground.

Napa, California to Cumberland, Maryland

Look at this, two days in a row with posts! This time, we get to look forward to another week long road trip, this time headed eastward. It will take 5 days and 2648 miles to get from Napa to Cumberland. The trip this time will be divided evenly into our 8 hour segments, each at a 66.2mph and 529.6 miles a day. Some people just like symmetry.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Napa, California

The tropical Pacific doesn’t really impact the western US like the tropical Atlantic does, but there is a tropical feature, hurricane Elida drifting around out there. In truth, that’s the most interesting thing going on out there, as our drive from Napa to Wells, Nevada will be without incident.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
I’m wary of guidance that shuts off the monsoon after it’s been going on for a while, which is what the models are showing right now. Whether I believe it or not, I think our route along I-80 during the day time will take us through the rest of Nevada and all of Utah without encountering a storm, before we arrive in Woodedge, Wyoming, which i about a half hour west of Laramie.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Low pressure is going to be rising through Canada, drawing north a batch of hot humid air. This will mean a few thunderstorms developing in the high plains ahead of a cold front that will be moving towards the Upper Midwest. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few severe storms in and around Lincoln when we pull in for the night. Before that, though, it will be a mostly sunny, hopefully air conditioned day on the road in Nebraska,

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
The derecho that blew through he Midwest yesterday followed I-80 from Des Moines to northern Indiana, not unlike our route on Saturday. Don’t be surprised to see some sheered warehouse roofs and freshly sawed stumps wherever we end up along that stretch. An area of low pressure developing in the Carolinas will do a good job of disrupting moisture flow to the Upper Midwest, so the cold front that will be in Minnesota on Friday won’t really be much of a concern. There may be a few clouds with some spots of rain, but nothing too well organized around the Quad Cities. We’ll stop for the night in Lake Station in northwest Illinois.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
That area of low pressure in the mid-Atlantic isn’t forecast to move anywhere this weekend. It seems as though moisture won’t filter west over the entirety of the Appalachians, but low level moisture and some patchy showers seem fairly likely as soon as we cross the Ohio River, but mostly cloudy skies are probably be fore that. This will be the worst drive of any through our trip, but at least we will be arriving in Cumberland!

Cumberland, Maryland

High heat

Late in July, we assembled a forecast for Reno, which promised highs in the low 90s, and that’s what was delivered. Clear skies and dry air made lows in the 50s seem plausible, but it was not to be. The Weather Service had the perfect blend of high highs and still warm lows, claiming the victory. (Note: I have submitted the draft for my next book. The hope is that this will be a kick in the pants for the posting schedule. Fingers crossed!)
Actuals: July 24th, High 93, Low 63
July 25th, High 93, Low 61

Grade: B-C

Lewiston, Maine to Napa, California

Road tripping is sort of en vogue right now, given the potential of coronavirus transmission with air travel, so why not see the country in a week long transnational road trip? It will take us 6 days to get from coast to coast, covering 3200 miles. We’ll average 68mph and nearly 545 miles a day. Right through the center of the country!

DAY ONE (Friday)

Lewiston, Maine

Isaias has long departed the Eastern Seaboard, but the remainder of a weak surface trough still lingers in the mid-Atlantic,and is continuing to threaten the area with showers and storms from Long Island to Florida. Inland, those storms are filtering towards the mountains, beginning to rise up with the elevation and raining out at higher terrain. For our purposes, that means a threat of rain as we approach the Catskills. The threat for isolated rain and thunder will linger until about Oneida, with clearing skies returning until we arrive at Batavia, between Buffalo and Rochester, and our destination for the day.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
On the other side of the Appalachians, life is good. High pressure has taken care of the Great Lakes and is doing a good job of suppressing Gulf moisture and shunting systems from the Plains to the north. Not a bad day to drive through Ohio. We’ll end in Hammond, Indiana, in the Chicago region.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
As we move west, the ridge will shift east, opening the Mississippi Valley up to the Gulf’s moisture. The Sunday drive will be soupy. Scattered spots of drizzle might be possible with the rising warm air in Illinois, but it should clear out through Iowa. Unfortunately, the sunny skies and humidity will only be priming the region for strong thunderstorms, of which a few might arrive in eastern Nebraska just as we are passing through Omaha and Lincoln. Severe weather is a strong possibility as we pull off the highway in Milford, just west of Lincoln.

DAY FOUR (Monday)
After a stormy evening in Nebraska, it should improve dramatically as we cross the windswept prairie of Nebraska and enter the windswept hills of Wyoming. Some monsoon thunderstorms may be seen on the horizon over the peaks in Colorado, but our route should be dry. We will end near Walcott, but most of southern Wyoming is all the same, so who knows!

DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
There isn’t going to be too much difference on Tuesday. Generally, the drive will be just fine, but in slopes, there could be a stray thunderstorm associated with the seasonal monsoon. It shouldn’t be an enormous concern, with the largest issue being dust from downdrafts in dry storms west of Salt Lake City. Our day will conclude in Elko, which, yes, does have some casinos. No, you probably shouldn’t go, what with the pandemic and all.

DAY SIX (Wednesday)
The monsoon doesn’t really reach as far west as the Sierras, and we should get on the road before we have to deal with the afternoon storms around Elko. Smooth sailing into Napa, then. Heck, we even get to approach from Sacramento, which is a heck of a lot easier than coming from San Francisco.

Napa, California

Napa, California

All right, another forecast! I’ve been to the Napa area within the last year, and I do have to say, it is significantly more beautiful than I anticipated, but also much different. That said, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

At 754PM, PT, Napa was reporting a temperature of 64 degrees with clear skies. Fog and low clouds were settling into the South Bay as night encroached, and the clear skies and dewpoints in the mid 50s suggest that fog will be likely in the Napa Valley as well, particularly given that it is only approaching 8pm.
A trough moving through the Pacific Northwest is churning things up further to the north along the Pacific Coast, while high pressure hasn’t yet settled into the southwest to provide the offshore winds to battle back the marine layer. Napa looks like it will warm up a bit as the weekend arrives, which may limit the morning and evening haze on Friday.
Tomorrow – Cloudy early, then sunny, with haze arriving late, High 80, Low 56
Friday – Sunnier, High 82, Low 57

TWC: Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon High 83, Low 57
Friday – Mainly sunny. High 81, Low 55

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 83, Low 57
Friday – Beautiful with areas of low clouds early; otherwise, mostly sunny High 83, Low 55

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, High 81, Low 56
Friday – Sunny, High 81, Low 55

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny. Patchy fog in the morning, High 85, Low 59
Friday – Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny, High 80, Low 57

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 56
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 55

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 87, Low 54
Friday – Clear throughout the day. High 85, Low 53

Forecast.io is clearly using their own model guidance. Yikes. Here is the satellite imagery, showing the low clouds along the coast, getting ready to envelop San Francisco.

Isaias looking for trouble

We continue with our extremely busy early season in the tropics, already reaching the I storm for the year. That means there have been 9 named storms, with the typically most active part of the season looming. Hanna, the storm before Isaias was the first hurricane of the year, landfalling in south Texas last week, causing some flood damage to the Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen areas. Isaias also threatens US interests this weekend.

Isaias only congealed into a hurricane after making his first landfalls over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Shortly after reemerging over the sea north of the Dominican Republic, he strengthened into a hurricane for the first time. He still doesn’t look like your classic, well organized hurricane as he passes over the central Bahamas, but hurricane hunters have verified his status.

There are warnings out for most of the Bahamas, as well as across the east coast of Florida as well.

Calling for a hurricane warning where the hurricane presently is is just solid operational meteorology, but the warning along the Florida Coast should tell you a little something about where this storm is expected to end up. Let’s see the first spaghetti plot on Victoria-Weather of 2020!

There are two things to note about this particular track. First, the majority of the input guidance keeps the storm off the coast of Florida, save for a brief incursion around Jupiter, before strafing the coast. Second, there is a startling level of cohesion to the tracks even a few days into the forecast. I feel like now I should note that Isaias is pronounced “Eesa-eeyus” because you are going to hear about the storm for a while.

The bad news is that this storm is going to affect the US for quite awhile, but after that initial “there is a hurricane affecting the country, and it is part of an extremely active tropical season to date” news, the situation breaks towards the positive for the East Coast. First, Isaias is likely close to, if not at, it’s maximum intensity already.

This is primarily because Isaias is moving swiftly, and won’t loiter over the warm waters that will give it strength. Additionally, his proximity to the coast will deter sustained development. That swift moving factor should limit the flooding potential, though there is always that chance with a tropical feature. I would expect the flooding threat to be greatest from North Carolina to New York, where Isaias will dabble inland the most.

Winds and storm surge won’t ever really bear down on the US as powerfully as they could. The left side of a hurricane, relative to storm motion, is generally the tamest side of the storm. IF the eye remains off shore in Florida, when the storm is its strongest, then the most intense part of the storm will follow suit. Also, storm surge is greatest ahead of the storm, and since it will be moving parallel to the coast for the most part, surge will never be as big a concern as Katrina or Michael, for example.

All tropical features bring their dangers and should be met with concern. Fortunately, Isaias will deliver only a glancing blow. Hopefully, it will give enough practice to coastal residents, as the 2020 hurricane season (and 2020 year in general) don’t show any signs of becoming less relentless.