Bend, Oregon to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Not only do we get a long road trip, we get one that moves diagonally across the country. It will take 5 days, and a with a long 5th day at that, to cover 2,829 miles, at a pace of 67mph. That means our regular 8 hour days will be through after 538 miles. This is going to be a long trek, but at least it ends at the beach!

DAY ONE (Friday)

Bend, Oregon

It’s getting hot out west, and we are certainly going to notice that a ridge is building into the region, at the very least. We’ll be driving through some pretty rural country between Bend and the Boise metro, and again after 84 splits from 86 and heads south to Utah, and the views should be, if not spectacular, then at least unspoiled by clouds. We’ll just cross into the Beehive State, and finish in Snowville, Utah after day one.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
We will see the topography of our drive change pretty dramatically on Saturday. After starting the drive between some major mountain ranges, in the Great Basin, we will first hit the Wasatch in Utah and then start climbing the Rockies. All of this will be done in the sunshine, but some afternoon showers and storms in peaks of the Rockies might creep over I-70 by the end of our drive. We’ll end the day in Vail, Colorado, which is probably just as charming outside of ski season.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
Low pressure is going to get going again in the central Plains, with strong storms again becoming likely on Sunday. This time, however, the threat is going to be further to the north. The storms will pop up north and west of us as we drive through Kansas, emerging only late in the day. They will leave the better part of Kansas alone during the day, but after we stop in Solomon, in the north central part of the state, we should expect some storms to rumble through that night.

DAY FOUR (Monday)
The cold front is going to bog down in Missouri as the low shifts northward. Since the boundary did peel out of Kansas, though, we will be in some clear air through Kansas City, but after that, some scattered clouds with some embedded showers are going to be possible in the Show Me State, with the best chances coming between Columbia and St. Louis. We’ll make it to southern Illinois for our final night of the trip, stopping just north of Paducah, in Goreville, Illinois.

DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
Now ahead of the front, into some summer time heat and humidity, the threat for showers and stors is going to pervade the entire day. The best chance for rain will show up between Knoxville and Asheville, but after that point, it will be the evening, and instability will be at it’s highest. Scattered showers and storms will be possible throughout the Carolinas. Fortunately at this point, that activity is going to thrive on the heat of the day, and the evening is going to be dry in Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Home field advantage

Back before the weather and my personal calendar got really crazy, we put together a forecast for State College, the home of Accuweather. The way today’s weather looks, we might have called Tuesday the 14th, at least, a little chilly. When you compare it to the forecast put forth by many out lets, it was quite chilly. Even Accuweather was too warm with the forecast on the 14th (which was cooled by clouds and light showers) but perfection on Monday allowed them to claim half of the day’s victory with Clime.
Actuals: May 13th, High 75, Low 43
May 14th, light rain reported, not measured, High 64, Low 54

Grade: A – C

A summer time pattern

Heat is building into the west, while severe weather has shifted off the east coast, which is bringing us to a bit more of a stable pattern. There are broad swaths of “slight risk” on the SPC outlook page, but that is what we expect this time of year. Big thunderstorms can crop up because of the dry line, but the good news is, the population is pretty sparse, so it doesn’t end up being too terribly injurious.

Enjoy this while we get into June, at least until the heat gets to be TOO much.

Chaser’s delight

Even the most enthusiastic chasers aren’t happy chasing in metro areas. They are out for the thrill, the science and in the interest of public safety. The stories of devastation from Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky over the last few weeks sicken chasers perhaps more than the average weather watcher.

Even if there wasn’t the element for human tragedy because of severe weather, populated areas are difficult to navigate because of the traffic, and are often more treed and have taller buildings, so it’s difficult to see what chasers are trying to see.

Basically, a cell by itself, in rural west Texas is pretty much the delight of storm chasers, and not far from Amarillo, which is a popular steak spot for many chasers I know.

Bend, Oregon

There hasn’t been much news out of the western US this spring and early summer. That’s good news, because typically, that would mean fires. So let’s check in and see what is happening out there.

At 753PM, PT, Bend was reporting clear skies with a temperature of 70 degrees. There was a ridge at the upper levels driving weather for the Western US right now, and the clear skies should persist, especially inland in Bend through Memorial Day.
There is a trough over the Gulf of Alaska, however, and it is going to swing into the Pacific Northwest. This feature does look to introduce a bit of moisture into the region. While there will be some rain in eastern Oregon, it should be dry in the immediate lee of the Cascades
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 81, Low 41
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, High 71, Low 48

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy. High 80, Low 41
Tuesday – Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. Slight chance of a rain shower HIgh 69, Low 49

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and nice High 78, Low 41
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy High 70, Low 48

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny (Late rain), High 78, Low 43
Tuesday – Mostly sunny, High 70, Low 47

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy (Late rain), High 77, Low 44
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain showers, High 69, Low 51

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with isolated storms, High 78, Low 43
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with light rain showers, High 69, Low 47

CLI: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 81, Low 41
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, High 77, Low 46

There are a variety of rain forecasts, none of which are heavy, so that will certainly be the variable to watch. Right now, however, there isn’t a cloud across Bend.

Active evening ahead

There are already watches out, covering the entirety of Iowa, some of it in a “Particularly Dangerous Situation” designated tornado watch that butts into parts of Minnesota and Illinois. There are already strong storms appearing on the map, having initiated in eastern Nebraska, with the Omaha Metro seeing more tornado warnings earlier today. The storms will rage through Des Moines though the rush hour, and depart Cedar Rapids and the Twin Cities through about 7 or 8 PM. Cedar Rapids projects to get stronger storms, but Minneapolis and St. Paul will get a whole bunch of rain.

A concern I have is that the storms, already forming a bit of a wavy pattern in western Iowa, will transform into a derecho that continues through the night. If that’s the case, then an overnight squall in Chicago or Milwaukee would be possible. The SPC captured the concern with their enhanced risk extending through Lake Michigan. Be aware of the weather in the Upper Mississippi Valley tonight!

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland hosted my Minnesota Twins this weekend, and it didn’t go well for Minnesota. I hope it rains in Cleveland.

At 851PM, ET, Cleveland was reporting a temperature of 79 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. A weak surface trough running through southern Ontario was touching off some storms between Toledo and Fort Wayne, but this activity isn’t expected to continue on to Cleveland. There is a more organized complex of storms in the Plains states, but the upper level pattern is not conducive to sustaining this feature either. Expect some cloudy skies on the horizon throughout most of the day, but rainfall will never reach Cleveland on Monday.
An upper level trough moving through the northern Rockies is going to aid in the development and intensification of the next feature, rising out of the Colorado prairies. This feature is expected to be another severe weather maker for the Plains, and through Tuesday, will encourage a warm front to move northward through the Buckeye State. Some scattered showers and storms will be possible over Lake Erie in the afternoon, with some carry over into Cleveland as well.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 87, Low 64
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with patchy showers possible, High 87, Low 68

TWC: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. Slight chance of a rain shower High 85, Low 65
Tuesday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible High 84, Low 71

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and very warm High 84, Low 67
Tuesday – Very warm with times of clouds and sun high 84, Low 70

NWS: Tomorrow РA slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Mostly sunny, High 85, Low 66
Tuesday – A slight chance of showers between 2pm and 5pm, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5pm. Mostly sunny, High 86, Low 69

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 84, Low 68
Tuesday – Partly cloudy in the morning, then clearing. High 84, Low 70

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 78, Low 67
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with light rain showers, High 81, Low 71

CLI: Tomorrow – Light rain showers, High 82, Low 68
Tuesday – Partly cloudy, High 82, Low 72

The radar is showing some of the activity northwest of town. The forecasts are showing some widely different opinions.

May starts hot

We forecast for Goldsboro, North Carolina at the beginning of the month, and as soon as the third, we were anticipating a day that reached nearly 90 degrees. It was 89 degrees on the third day of the month, but an upwelling of moisture on the 4th made things stickier, cloudier and a little bit cooler. There had been a forecast for some rain in Goldsboro, and while it has been stormy in the last couple of days in North Carolina, on the 4th, it was not. The Weather Channel had the first top forecast of May,
Actuals: Friday, May 2nd, High 89, Low 64
Saturday, May 3rd, High 84, Low 68

Grade: B-C

Severe weather is back!

There is another enhanced risk for severe weather today, this time ranging from the Texas Panhandle to south central Kansas. Surely, storm chasers are once again going to be out there, probably starting in Amarillo and getting their steak, then tracking east with the storms. For my money, the short term models seems to be favoring development in the late evening in Stillwater and Ponca City, in northern Oklahoma. Were I chaser, that’s where I would go. But I’m not! Good luck if you are.