All posts by Ryan

Despite hot summer, Western US sees first snows of 2017-18 season

This summer was almost unbearable for residents of the western US. While folks east of the Rockies saw a relatively comfortable August (before hurricane season, that is to say), everything was an excessive heat advisory with temperatures reaching record levels all along the Pacific Coast. Well, the script, as they say, has flipped.

While it’s been in the 90s as far north as the Twin Cities this weekend, but out west, especially in the Grand Tetons and Sierras, a sharp upper level trough has brought an early season bout of cold air to the western US. How Cold? Cold enough for snow. Around Lake Tahoe, some locations saw a foot of the white stuff on the last day of summer.

The upper trough continues to remain parked over the central Rockies, and a lee trough is helping with the production of a great deal of rain in the Great Plains, but also leading to the forecast for more snow from Yellowstone through the Utah Wasatch.

Obviously, with 90s still occurring north of the Mason Dixon Line, we aren’t into the winter time forecast pattern quite yet, the possibility is certainly right around the corner, even to us flatlanders.


Hurricane Maria continues destructive 2017 hurricane season

The major weather headline for 2017 will undoubtedly go to the devastating hurricane season, which featured three major hurricanes making impactful landfall, and another rolling out to sea with a much lesser imprint on the Caribbean.

Maria is the latest in this litany of destruction, impacting Dominica and Puerto Rico the hardest, while also smacking the Turks and Caicos and Bahamas once again. Dominica, like Barbuda before it, as well as St Barts, St. Martin and the Virgin Islands have been laid waste, while Puerto Rico is said to be entirely out of power. Given this destruction, the fact that there have been only about 200 storm deaths to date with the entire season is nothing less than miraculous.

While Maria’s course took it directly over Dominica and Puerto Rico, which will be very costly in the end,  those islands are  arguably some of the most well prepared to contend for a storm of this magnitude. The joint weather monitoring service for the Lesser Antilles is headquartered in Dominica, while San Juan is home to a NWS office.  Another factor that helped save lives is Maria’s striking terrain of Puerto Rico, which will lead to some flash flooding, but also worked to corrode Maria’s strength and make her weaker in the Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. The zealous preparation saved lives.

Maria looks to be done with major land masses, as she has grazed the Dominican Republic and is sliding through the Bahamas towards the open Atlantic. Fortunately, after Maria has shifted into the Atlantic, there looks to be ample time to recover. For the first time in a while, the Atlantic Basin will be quiet.

Everyone is on the same page

If you follow along with our forecasts closely, you likely noted that the forecasts in Anderson, South Carolina were very tightly bunched. This is because without synoptic scale features, or the benefit of variable cloud cover, everyone rightfully relied closely on model guidance, which is highly reliable in these situations. The Weather Channel got a very, very slight victory, and nearly everyone else tied just one degree behind them.
Actuals: Monday – High 84, Low 63
Tuesday – High 72, Low 63

Grade: B

Dothan, Alabama to Orlando, Florida

The Southeastern portion of our great nation has been beaten and abused by the weather through the late summer. Fortunately, while Maria has ravaged the Caribbean for the second time this season, she has no designs on Florida, and the Sunshine State is opening back up for business. Why not a trip down to Disney World? This is going to be a short trip, covering only 358 miles and lasting just over 5 hours. We should be able to reach an average speed of 66.9mph, dspite he brief length of the trip.

Maria will be sliding through the Bahamas tomorrow, which will be quite dangerous for that nation, but is quite fortunate for Florida. Her easterly turn will be even better news for the East Coast this weekend. the northeasterly, counter-clockwise flow around Maria will be directed at our route, however. This won’t be a catastrophic wind, or torrential rain, but there will be a few isolated showers and storms over interior Florida, which we may bump into between Tallahassee and Orlando, but personally, I think the models are getting over eager with the rain threats. Orlando will not be perfect when we get there, but it won’t be bad either.

Jose brings a chill

Warm weather had arrived in New England last weekend as a warm front lifted north through Canada. It hit the mid 80s on Sunday, which is unusual , as you might guess, for this time of year in Manchester, New Hampshire, but it was a hurricane that nicked the temperature. Jose redirected a cooler easterly flow off the north Atlantic, and high temperatures dropped by 12 degrees on Monday, which was fine, because it was the work week. There was no rain, which prevented from earning the victory, instead, giving it to Accuweather.
Actuals: Sunday – High 84, Low 63
Monday – High 72, Low 63

Grade: B-C

Anderson, South Carolina

We are headed to the southeast for today’s forecast. It’s interesting to think that we are moving further away from a looming tropical system by headed to the Carolinas.

At 756PM, ET, Anderson was reporting a temperature of 76 degrees with fair skies. Most of the region, save for a few isolated clouds around Toccoa, was enjoying a pleasant evening as well. Hurricane Jose was spinning in the western Atlantic, and drawing a good deal of the moisture in the region towards it, leaving the Eastern Time Zone in good shape.
Jet flow was ridging across much of eastern North America into the north Atlantic, with a trough in eastern Canada dampening through time, allowing any inclement weather to dissipate before it arrives at the Appalachians. All told, expect a pleasant beginning to the week in Upstate South Carolina.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 85, Low 65
Tuesday – Sunny, High 86, Low 64

TWC: Monday – Sunny, along with a few afternoon clouds.  High 86, Low 63
Tuesday – Sunny skies High 86, Low 64

AW: Mostly sunny and humid High 86, Low 65
Tuesday – Mostly sunny and warm High 87, Low 64

NWS: Tomorrow – Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, sunny High 85, Low 65
Tuesday – Mostly sunny High 86, Low 64

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 66
Tuesday – Mostly sunny. High 85, Low 66

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 84, Low 64
Tuesday – Mostly sunny, High 86, low 64

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the evening. High 84, Low 68
Tuesday – Clear throughout the day. High 86, Low 67

Pretty uniform across the board, as they often are when high pressure is on the way. Satellite shows Jose lurking off the coast.

Manchester, New Hampshire

We’re off to New England this afternoon, as they wait to see what Jose, out in the western Atlantic has in store.

At 153PM, Manchester was reporting a temperature of 70 degrees with mostly sunny skies. An area of low pressure over the Great Lakes was pulling onshore fog and low clouds that was keeping temperatures on the coast up to 10 degrees cooler.
New England is beneath a ridge, however at the time, the atmosphere is responding to the trough over the Great Lakes, with warm, moist air being drawn into the region. Hurricane Jose, moving past the Bahamas and between Bermuda and the Outer Banks will disrupt flow into the Canadian low as it shifts into Hudson Bay, which will allow Manchester to dry out and enjoy a couple of nice days before any potential impact from Jose. An east wind, while drier at the surface, will also be cooler and cloudier than the flow presently seen.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 81, Low 63
Monday – Mostly cloudy with a cooling east wind High 76, Low 61

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals. High 82, Low 59
Monday – Overcast. High 73, Low 59

AW: Tomorrow – Patchy fog in the morning; otherwise, partly sunny High 83, Low 60
Monday – Not as warm with periods of sun and clouds High 73, Low 60

NWS: Tomorrow – Areas of dense fog before 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, High 80, Low 60
Monday – Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy,  High 71, Low 59

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly sunny, High 80, Low 60
Monday – Mostly cloudy, patchy fog in the morning. High 71, Low 60

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, HIgh 79, Low 59
Monday – Mostly cloudy with isolated showers, High 72, Low 57

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting overnight, continuing until afternoon. High 79, Low 62
Monday – Light rain starting overnight, continuing until morning. High 72, Low 62

Here is a look at the satellite, showing off those clouds encroaching on the New England coast. Depending on the model of your choice, the middle of next week will be pretty rainy as Jose passes by.

Weather Wayback…. Summer approaches

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Arkansas, especially in the spring and summer, I think a hot, sticky, verdant land, that is as physically beautiful as it is uncomfortable. Well, for a northerner, anyways. In the middle of May, at least in Jonesboro, it wasn’t quite that sultry. It helped that a cold front, beset with a great deal of spring rains, had just swept through the region, dropping a couple of inches of rain late in the week, leaving the weekend of the 13th and 14th much more tolerable. Temperatures were in the 70s and dew points were reasonable, sitting in the low 60s. It was Accuweather that claimed the top forecast, while there was a tight cluster just behind them, way back in mid-May.
Actuals: Saturday – May 13th – High 78, Low 55
Sunday – May 14th, High 80, Low 53

Grade: A-B

Jonesboro, Arkansas to Gulfport, Mississippi

Let’s take a quick little jaunt southeast towards the Gulf Coast. Fortunately, it looks like we are safe from the specter of tropical storms for a while, at least, after a very rough stretch. Our drive will only be about 7 hours, covering 436 miles, and all of it will be on interstate, mostly through Mississippi. Memphis might slow us down, but traffic isn’t that bad in Mississippi. Maybe speed limits are lower, because out average pace will be 63.5mph.


The weather doesn’t actually get taken into consideration for our pace forecasts in the intro here, but it certainly will slow down. As Irma fades, she will rock back to the west. Rain will be falling over eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi in a steady, uninterrupted manner. We’ll need the wipers at least until Jackson, but potentially, there may be a stray shower all the way to Hattiesburg. The nature of tropical systems is that the wet weather will dry out very quickly, so Gulfport may have some high surf, but it will be sunny and warm when reach the coast.