All posts by Ryan

A pattern change

For most of the spring, the country has been plagued by a broad, slow moving wave right across the center of the country. It’s been spectacularly unpleasant, with Arctic air lingering over the continent of North America for the last couple of weeks, introducing record lows and several late season snow storms.

Fortunately, the tide seems to be turning. The mean jet flow is finally forecast to shift north, indicating that the chilly air will finally be pent up where it belongs, at least for the long term. As you can see with the forecast jet stream analysis for Monday, the continuous stream lies just north of the Canadian border.

Thee will still be a threat for a cold air invasion late next week, but not nearly on the scale that we’ve seen for the beginning of the month, as the pattern has become much shorter in wavelength. Any period of cooler air will be briefer, and won’t be able to sneak as far south.

The jet is retreating, along with the cold air, but it isn’t switching pattern immediately. The northern part of the country is simply moving closer to normal, rather than suddenly moving above normal.

Weather Wayback… Autumn came on time

Back in September, just as summer ended and fall arrived, Anthony looked at the weather in Salt Lake City. We have had a tough time seeing the arrival of spring this year, but Salt Lake City had no delay in seeing fall arrive. A cold front swept through town, bringing temperatures down to an autumnal level, right when temperatures are supposed to be brought down to an autumnal level. SLC is in a deep valley, and they tend to dodge most of the significant weather, but the 21st and 22nd were cool and gray, just like it’s supposed to be in the fall. The Weather Channel secured victory for the day.
Actuals: September 21st – Rain reported, not measured High 58, Low 51
September 22nd – .01” of rain, High 53, Low 41

Grade B- C

Anderson, South Carolina

I think it is underrepresented just how many people live between Charlotte and Atlanta. One big town after another. Anderson isn’t even the biggest town in the mix. It’s not even the second largest town in the mix, behind Greenville and Spartanburg. Let’s give these forgotten upstaters a forecast, shall we?

At 956PM, ET, Anderson was reporting a temperature of 73 degrees with clear skies. After a cold, rainy day Tuesday, most of the southeast has rebounded nicely. Winds were now southwesterly, tapping into more regionally appropriate air fresh from the Gulf of Mexico. High pressure is fleeting, however, as the mean jet continues to cut west to east through the middle of the country.
A weak shortwaved trough in the middle of the country will tail the feature that plagued the northern portion of the country recently, though with a more southerly approach. The feature will be unable to bring as much cold air south, and an inactive cold front will instead drape across the southern United States. When it moves through early tomorrow morning, it will do so without any fanfare, though Thursday will likely be a hair cooler than today. A well established, more permanent, but slight cooler batch of high pressure will settle in behind the front to take Anderson through the remainder of the work week.
Tomorrow – Early clouds, then clearing, High 70, Low 57
Friday – Sunny, High 70, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny skies. High 68, Low 58
Friday – Mainly sunny.  High 68, Low 38

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy with some clouds, then sunshine High 69 Low 56
Friday – Plenty of sun High 68, Low 37

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 67, Low 57
Friday – Sunny, High 68, Low 40

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny breezy, High 68, Low 62
Friday – Sunny, High 67, Low 42

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 67, Low 57
Sunny – High 68, Low 40

FIO: Tomorrow – Breezy in the morning. High 70, Low 52
Sunny – Clear throughout the day. High 69, Low 40

So not a lot going on in Anderson, so we turn to the satellite imagery. I can’t get over how good these new overlays look.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-16 ABI BAND 07 OR_ABI-L1b-RadC-M3C07_G16_s20181090232240_e20181090235025_c20181090235060.nc

A turn for the worse

There Bridgeport was, just minding their own business, enjoying a spring weekend with temperatures in the mid 60s on Saturday. Delightful! Well, overnight, a big area of low pressure in the Great Lakes approached, and its friend, Gulfstream Moisture, rushed to meet it. This lead to a much cooler, drizzly day on Sunday, completely turning the weekend on its head. Ultimately, the top forecast went to The Weather Channel, so you can blame them for things getting so nasty as the weekend ended.
Actuals : Saturday – High 64, Low 44
Sunday – .46 inches of rain, High 45, Low 37

Grade A –C

Utica, New York

A forecast filled weekend is drawing to a close. Of course, we keep dancing around where the weather is at it’s most interesting. Utica will provide it’s own thrills, even if it doesn’t snow a foot and a half or bring severe thunderstorms.

At 1228AM, ET, Utica was not reporting an observation, however local sites were reporting temperatures near freezing, and a spot of precipitation was seen northeast of Herkimer, and was likely producing sleet and freezing drizzle, thanks to a slow moving warm front that lies between Syracuse and Skaneateles. The center of low pressure associated with this system lies over western Pennsylvania, and the frontal complex is going to continue to occlude, however there is heavy rain and thunderstorms still being generated at the heart of this feature.
The upper level trough is tilted aggressively within the mean trough which suggests that it will be unable to continue propagating with terrible alacrity. The heaviest precipitation will move through overnight tonight into tomorrow morning, with mostly heavy rain. The precipitation will lighten, but the cold air will finally cycle in overnight Monday into Tuesday. Light snow showers will be possible as the low languishes over southern Quebec well into mid week.
Tomorrow – Heavy rain, especially early, with a wintry mix late, High 46, Low 30
Tuesday – Light snow and overcast with some drizzle late, High 38, Low 31

TWC: Tomorrow – Windy with morning showers evolving to a steady, soaking rain in the afternoon High 46, Low 31
Tuesday – Cloudy with rain and snow showers early changing to mainly rain showers in the afternoon. High 39, Low 34

AW: Tomorrow – Strong winds gradually subsiding; rain and drizzle; strong winds can down trees and power lines High 49, Low 33
Tuesday – Cloudy with a couple of snow showers High 42, Low 33

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain and possibly a thunderstorm.  High 46, Low 32
Tuesday – Snow showers likely, possibly mixed with rain before 10am, then a chance of rain showers. Cloudy, 42, Low 35

WB: Tomorrow – Isolated thunderstorms. Rain with freezing rain likely in the morning then rain in the afternoon. Ice accumulation around a trace. High 46, Low 32
Tuesday – Rain and snow showers likely. High 38, Low 33

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with rain, High 46, Low 33
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with chance of light wintry mix, High 42, Low 35

FIO: Tomorrow – Heavy rain until afternoon and breezy starting overnight, continuing until afternoon. High 53, Low 37
Tuesday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 47, Low 39

Looks pretty gross, doesn’t it? Forecast.io is pretty optimistic on the temperature, so we’ll see if good thoughts lead to good weather. Here is the radar showing the blob off precip near Herkimer.

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Things are looking dicey for the Upper Midwest this weekend with a massive late season storm on it’s way into town. Meanwhile, out east, spring is actually on its way.

At 352PM, ET, Bridgeport was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 68 degrees, a luxurious mid April afternoon. A weaker system over New Brunswick tailed a cold front that mergd with a warm front in the Great Lakes, which was tied to a much stronger feature. All this meant southerly flow rushing to low pressure along the boundary, and warm temperatures in the wake. There were some sea breeze clouds in central Connecticut, but Bridgeport was unbothered.
The next strong system is presently in the Great Lakes, and will approach Bridgeport through the weekend. An aggressive, moisture rich southerly flow will arrive in town late on Saturday, and the threat for light showers will linger throughout most of the day on Sunday. These will be a function of the strong southerly flow and moisture, as Bridgeport will continue to lie south of the warm front and still east of the rapidly occluding cold font. Most activity in the area will be as a result of free convection, and should be pretty mild. Temperatures will struggle thanks to the cloud cover and advancing cold front.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, becoming cloudy with drizzle late, High 68, Low 40
Sunday – Scattered showers, High 40, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny skies during the morning hours will give way to occasional showers in the afternoon. High 65, Low 45
Sunday – Cloudy with showers.  High 45, Low 37

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny (late rain)High 69, Low 44
Sunday – Much colder with on-and-off rain and drizzle High 44, Low 39

NWS: Tomorrow – Increasing clouds (late rain) High 64, Low 42
Sunday – Light rain likely. Cloudy,  High 42, Low 35

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny in the morning then becoming partly sunny, (rain late) High 63, Low 45
Sunday – Light rain likely, Much colder, High 45, Low 40

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with scattered showers High 62, Low 43
Sunday – Cloudy with light rain, High 40, Low 35

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy starting in the afternoon and breezy starting in the evening. (late rain) High 68, Low 42
Sunday – Breezy throughout the day and light rain overnight. High 41, Low 36

I wouldn’t be surprised if they can break out on Sunday and our highs are too low, but right now, it looks pretty overcast. Here is the current satellite, with nary a hint of overcast, at least in southwest Connecticut.

Spring storm shows we are only 1 month behind now

Yesterday, Anthony discussed a spring system that’s headed for the Plains, and he focused particularly on the threat for snow in the Upper Midwest. Run to run, it’s been pretty speculative as to where and how much snow would fall. I tend to hedge towards the lower end of the spectrum, of the opinion that more warm air will surge north because April Gosh Danged 12th. Some people are more pessimistic, and they have every right to be, given some of the model runs and how depressing this spring has been so far.

There is quite a bit of uncertainty over the amount of snow or where it will happen, but the storm is showing signs of looking extremely springlike in at least one manner. We are looking fairly locked in for a broad severe weather outbreak this weekend, as the cold front moves across the  south central US. Already there is an enhanced risk of severe weather, and I would be surprised if there isn’t a moderate risk as we approach the valid period.

The outlook for moderate storms presently stretches from Kansas City to College Station for Friday. A sure sign of trouble ahead is the expectation of severe weather on the 3 day outlook, which has an outlook for a triangle from Clarksville, TN to Tallahassee and Lafayette Louisiana. The threat for severe weather is far more tangible than the snow expected.

There will be no primary threat out of this system – The trifecta is possible, from tornadoes to strong winds and large hail, thanks to the layout of the storm, with a tightly wound area of low pressure to the north to a strong, active cold front in the south.

Having a bunch of strong thunderstorms in the southern US, tied to an active snow storm is a very typically March pattern, and is a sure sign of the seasonal transition. The problem is that the season should have already transitioned at this point.

The cold builds west

The story of the spring so far has been the relentless cold, marked at times by strong systems moving through the northern US, leaving unseasonably snowy tracks through the region. This story, however, was confined largely to the part of the country that lies east of the Rocky Mountains. Points to the west were actually in the throes of warm, even unseasonably hot weather.

A great example of that is Phoenix, where Tuesday’s high will be 100 degrees. That’s significantly warmer than normal. We’ve been stuck in a standing wave pattern,  with a trough in the west and a high amplitude ridge in he west.  Expect that to change by week’s end.

A trough waiting just off the coast will move inland around Thursday, bringing quite a bit of precipitation to the western US. That will certainly be a big part of the story as the weekend approaches, but don’t miss out on this other component: Most of the country will see temperatures that are below normal, at least for the weekend.