All posts by Ryan

Wenatchee, Washington

Hey guys! Let’s go on out to Washington for a forecast to get the week started.

At 955PM, PT, Wenatchee was reporting a temperature of 29 with overcast skies. They found themselves between two lingering areas of precipitation, with snow falling heavily in the Cascades, and a bit lighter to the east in the Valleys of eastern Washington. A boundary was a bit more virulent than the typical discharge of energy from a strong Gulf of Alaska low, but as with most features becoming dissociated from the primary area of low pressure, it is diminishing rapidly. 
The low is not getting any weaker, however, and it will rotate from the Alaska Peninsula east towards the Kenai, while a heavy slug of moisture slides down the Alaska Panhandle towards the British Columbian coast and eventually to Washington before noon on Tuesday. A sharp upper level trough will aid in the maintenance of the moisture as it slams into eastern Washington. More snow is possible through the afternoon with the arrival of this moisture in Wenatchee.
Tomorrow – A few flurries early, High 39, Low 26
Tuesday – Afternoon rain and snow, High 35, Low 29

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals.  High 37, Low 20
Tuesday – Rain and snow in the morning turning to rain in the afternoon. High 35, Low 30

AW: Tomorrow – Mainly cloudy High 36, Low 28
Tuesday – Considerable cloudiness, a bit of snow, accumulating a coating to an inch High 36, Low 29

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny (early mix), High 40, Low 30
Tuesday – Snow before 11am, then rain and snow between 11am and noon, then rain after noon. High 39, Low 31

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 37, Low 32
Tuesday – Snow likely. Light snow accumulation, High 36, Low 32

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy (early snow) High 40, Low 30
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with light wintry mix, High 39, Low 31

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until morning. High 42, Low 30
Tuesday – Snow (< 1 in.) in the morning. High 41, Low 31

I’m running on the cool side, which points more towards model guidance. We’ll see if that pays dividends. IT would certainly mean more snow. Here is the radar, with only the flurries from Ephrata eastwards really showing up.

Clearing out in Bay City

Last weekend, the inclement weather was a little bit further north than it was this weekend. It cleared out of Bay City as the work week began, though, with only a stray flurry on Monday morning as sunny skies filtered in. It was a bit chilly, of course, with temperatures bottoming out a 20 on Tuesday morning. There was a two way tie atop the leaderboard, with The Weather Channel and Accuweather tying for victory.
Actuals: Monday – .01 inches of liquid, falling as snow, High 35, Low 28
Tuesday – High 33, Low 20

Grade: B-C

Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston is nestled in the Kanawha Valley, which means that most of the weather that comes their way can be something of a surprise. Let’s try to mitigate some of that with a mountain forecast for the weekend.

At 1054AM, ET, Charleston was reporting a temperature of 34degrees and fair skies. A trough was centered over southern West Virginia was getting squeezed to oblivion by two areas of high pressure, The trough is bringing clouds and  a bit of drizzle to areas south and east of Charleston, but is going to blink out of existence as high pressure continues to build at the surface. 
High pressure is going to sit over the Upper Ohio Valley Saturday, and suppress a developing storm over the Gulf coast. The region will be quite cold under this ridge, but it will generally be sunny. Precipitation will inch closer to Charleston through the weekend, but will hold off until Sunday, when it will definitely fall as snow. The system, by the time it is strong enough to rise far enough north to afflict Charleston, will be fully formed and moving quickly. Snow will fall rapidly, but the duration will be short through the middle of the day on Sunday.  
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 36, Low 24
Sunday – A quick burst of snow midday, but otherwise mostly sunny, High 43, Low 26

TWC: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine in the morning with more clouds for later in the day. High 37, Low 23
Sunday – Cloudy, High 42, Low 27

AW: Tomorrow – Partly Sunny, Clold, High 37, Low 23
Sunday – Cloudy; cold high 40, Low 26

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny,  high 34, Low 22
Sunday – A slight chance of snow after 9am, mixing with rain after noon. Partly sunny High 38, Low 26

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 35, Low 23
Sunday – Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of snow in the morning then a chance of rain and snow in the afternoon. High 37, low 25

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 34, Low 22
Sunday – Partly cloudy with slight chance of light wintry mix, High 38, Low 26

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 35, low 24
Sunday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day.High 41, low 26

That’s an interesting change of opinion between the outlets. I think its going to be a very intense burst of precipitation if it comes to pass. There is definitely a chance nothing happens though. All or nothing. Here is the current satellite image, with clouds over southern West Virginia.

November forecaster of the month

November was particularly gloomy month. There was a barrage of wintry storms that battered the middle and eastern part of the country. There were devastating forest fires in the west and a subsequent soaker of a storm. The gloom was a little bit lighter for The Weather Channel, who coasted past everyone to claim the forecaster of the month title. 

Bay City, Michigan

Let’s stay in the Great Lakes today, with a trip to the south side of Saginaw Bay. If you couldn’t establish, that’s the Bay in Bay City.

At 218PM, ET, Bay City was reporting low clouds, fog and heavy rain. There was a smattering of showers and embedded storms from the Thumb southwest through Bay City and extending towards Lansing. This is all in association with an inverted trough dangling to the southwest of a large area of low pressure now centered in southern Ontario. Cold air is lingering to the northwest, and Bay City is riding the sharp gradient, with 50s as nearby as Bad Axe, and snow and the low 30s around Grayling AFB, east of Traverse City.
The upper level trough associated with the system is vast, and while it is contributing to the strength and broad scope of the storm, it is also going to lead to an exit plan. The storm is going to continue to taper off in Bay City overnight tonight, with a slight chance at a few flurries before sunrise on Monday. A weak embedded ridge will override the broader trough and will help usher out the last vestiges of the weekend storm by late in the day tomorrow. Overcast skies are still an unfortunate possibility on Tuesday, along with chillier air, as the new short waved ridge won’t be terribly strong. 
Tomorrow – Scattered showers turning to snow, High 38, Low 28
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy to overcast, High 35, Low 24

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy with snow showers mainly during the morning. High 36, Low 28 
Tuesday – A mix of clouds and sun early, then becoming cloudy later in the day High 32, Low 25

AW: Tomorrow – Mainly cloudy, some snow with little or no accumulation; storm total snowfall 1-3 inches High 36 Low 28
Tuesday – More clouds than sun; chilly High 34, Low 25

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain and snow likely before 8am, then a chance of snow between 8am and 1pm. Cloudy, High 37, Low 28
Tuesday – Partly sunny, High 32, Low 25

WB: Tomorrow – Colder. Mostly cloudy. Snow likely possibly mixed with rain in the morning. High 37, Low 30
Tuesday – Partly sunny, High 32, Low 26

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with chance of light wintry mix. High 36, Low 33
Tuesday – Partly cloudy, High 32, Low 26

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain overnight.High 36, Low 27
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy starting in the morning. High 32, Low 24

Man, it takes forever to put together forecasts with non-standard days. A look at the radar shows a big thatch of rain right over the mouth of Saginaw Bay. 

Canton doesn’t go anywhere

Last week’s snow storm didn’t really cream the eastern Great Lakes like it did further to the west. Canton was far enough to the east that they didn’t really get caught up in the heavy wintry precipitation. It rained plenty on Monday, before temperature cooled off enough for some flakes to fall in the evening. The thick layer of clouds meant that temperatures were in the 40s, until they started to fall off on Monday, making it all the way down to 31. Everything seemed to happen on Monday night, huh? Accuweather was the winner of this particular forecasting venture.
Actuals: Sunday, High 49, Low 43
Monday – .36” of precipitation, mixed, High 48, Low 31

Grade: A-C

Center of the country blasted by more nasty weather

Things are winding up again in the central Plains. After a huge storm dumped snow from Chicago to Kansas City the weekend after Thanksgiving, a very similar looking storm developed ever so slightly north, putting Omaha and Milwaukee in the crosshairs.

Low pressure associated with a classic, mid jet trough progressed from California eastward, before losing its identity at the surface of the Rockies, and reemerging bigger and better on the lee of the Rockies. It developed rapidly over the central Plains on Saturday and started shifting north as the afternoon wore on.

There is good news and bad news with this feature. The bad news is that it’s long track and good organization allowed the feature to absorb a lot of Gulf moisture, ready to deposit across the middle of the country. The good news is, the storm is expected to be in motion throughout the life of the feature, and there won’t be any lingering bands of heavy snow stacking feet of snow across any broad swaths of the upper Midwest. 8” for sure, though.

Below is a graphic with the forecast for heavy snow ahead of the feature, and because of how swiftly the storm moved, it looks like the highest totals were not attained. 

On the other side of this system, and is often the case with strong, fast moving features, there was a sizeable threat for severe weather, which straddled Dixie Alley through Friday, though most of the activity occurred in the Ozarks yesterday. There were tornadoes warned for across the region, though most of the storm reports pertained to straight line wind issues. 

The rapid movement of the storm worked against its sustainability, as the southern end of the storm moved east too rapidly for the northern portion, causing distention and disorganization with the surface low. Straight line winds, as opposed to tornadoes, seemed to be be a more prominent threat on Saturday in the Southeast, while in the north, the intense moisture continues to wane fairly swiftly, but not before a whole lot of snow fell on a lot of places. 

The surprise in all of this was a burst of energy that ejected north from last night’s stormy weather, with a mini tornado outbreak (a day too late and well away from where it was expected) in western Illinois. There are many good videos of well formed tornadoes, but fortunately there weren’t any injuries with all the twisters. 

Sharp Snowy cutoff

In Chicago, the story is undoubtedly about the snow that fell in the north suburbs, but residents on the Southside will be unimpressed. Places like Hoffman Estates saw 8” of snow, according to the NOAA analysis (seen above) but in Oak Lawn, they only got 2-3” of accumulation. That’s a striking range , influenced by how much cold air could filter into the lower levels as the system, now bothering the eastern Seaboard, pressed through the Windy City.

As the event unfolded, radar indicated a bright streak on the radar, called “bright banding” which indicated precipitation heavy enough to resemble rain on radar. In fact, this band of precipitation from the north side of Chicago to southeastern Iowa was producing a fair amount of lightning as well. The problem for residents under this narrow swath was that all the precipitation was falling as snow. Very heavy snow.

The band was at the northernmost end of the storm, which means there was no transition to rain or sleet to account for, so we could see in striking accuracy how heavy this band was. In Iowa City, there were 8″ of snow, but just half a mile to the north in Cedar Rapids, no snow reached the ground! 

This is a more common analysis than you might think, particularly with strong systems in the transitional seasons. Heavy snow never seems to cover as much territory as we seem to think when we’re smack dab in the middle of it. 

Canton, Ohio

I think of Thanksgiving as the “football holiday.” It starts with games on Turkey Day, followed by rivalry day for the college game on Saturday, and then more NFL action on Sunday. Of COURSE we should have a forecast for the home of the Hall of Fame!

At 1251AM, ET, Canton was reporting a temperature of 47 with overcast skies. The areas across the  Eastern Great Lakes were streaked with a few clouds, as one of several small scale disturbances lies north of the Great Lakes. Stronger systems lie over the Mid-Atlantic and western Atlantic, with a developing feature in the Central Plains.
A strong trough over the Upper Midwest is going to broaden and strengthen across the region, which in turn will help the rapid intensification of low pressure centered over Oklahoma and moving towards the Great Lakes. Warm air will stream north into the Upper Ohio Valley ahead of the showers, which will start shortly after midnight on Monday morning. Cold air at the back end of the system will turn rain to snow by Monday afternoon. Precipitation will be waning when snow arrives, so accumulations will be tempered. 
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, High 49, Low 40
Monday – Rain early, switching to snow in the afternoon. 1-2″ of accumulation, High 45, Low 30

TWC: Tomorrow – Areas of patchy fog early. Cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. High 48, Low 40
Monday – Rain showers in the morning with precipitation turning to a mixture of rain and snow in the afternoon.High 47, Low 32

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy High 51, Low 42
Monday – Cloudy, breezy; rain and drizzle in the morning, then a shower in spots  (Snow late) High 47, Low 32

NWS: Tomorrow – Cloudy High 49, Low 41
Monday – Rain likely before 3pm, then a chance of rain and snow. Cloudy High 45, Low 30

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy (late rain), High 47, Low 41
Monday – Cloudy. ain likely in the morning then a chance of rain and snow in the afternoon. Little or no snow accumulation. High 45, low 32

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 49, Low 41
Monday – Cloudy with chance of light wintry mix, High 45, low 41

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 47, Low 40
Monday – Mixed precipitation starting overnight, continuing until evening, and breezy starting in the evening, continuing until night. High 46, Low 32

Nothing to ruin the weekend as it winds down, but certainly, we can expect some commute issues when Tuesday morning rolls around. Satellite doesn’t yet look ominous.