All posts by Ryan

Honolulu, Hawai’i

It’s not often we get this far away from home, but indeed, we are headed for the Islands for our forecast today. How different is life in Honolulu in the middle of the summer?

At 453 AM, Hawaiian time, Honolulu was reporting mostly cloudy skies with a temperature of 75 degrees. The western islands were generally reporting overcast skies as a overnight band of showers shifted into the open Pacific, while areas exposed to the trades were generally a few degrees warmer. Northern exposures of all of the Hawaiian islands were under high surf advisories, as the remnants of Ferrnanda drifted east and north of the chain.
Fernanda will skirt the northern end of the islands through the early morning hours on Monday, elevating the surf on the north sides of the islands, while also bringing clouds and a chance of showers. The rain and thunder in the interior mountains of Oahu will continue through the early afternoon, with the sun returning without interference by evening. Tropical features are lining up in the eastern Pacific, but high pressure will stamp out any advance on the islands, while the storms will sap any moisture from the trades. Tuesday will be another great day in Hawai’i
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with showers and storms,HIgh 88, Low 76
Tuesday – Sunny and wonderful, High 90, low 75

TWC: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine High 86, Low 76
Tuesday – Mostly sunny skies High 86, Low 76

AW: Tomorrow – Clouds and sun with a couple of soaking showers; watch for rough surf and rip currents High 88, Low 76
Tuesday – Partly sunny; a shower or two in the morning followed by a shower in spots in the afternoon High 88, Low 77

NWS: Tomorrow – Scattered showers. The rain could be heavy at times. Partly sunny, High 86, Low 75
Tomorrow- Isolated showers. Mostly sunny High 88, Low 76

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with showers likely. Locally heavy rainfall possible in the afternoon. High 79, Low 76
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy. Breezy. Showers likely in the morning then scattered showers in the afternoon. High 81, Low 78

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with scattered showers, High 86, Low 75
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with scattered showers, High 90, Low 75

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain in the morning and afternoon. High 85, Low 75
Tuesday – Partly cloudy until morning and breezy starting in the evening, continuing until night. High 85, Low 74

It blows my mind that we are so all over on this forecast! Very interesting, and it will be important to see how those mountains on the interior of Oahu affect everything on the southern shores.  Here is the satellite, showing a wave shifting out of the picture.

MLB’s commitment to safety

Two nights ago, thunderstorms moved into the Twin Cities as the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees were wrapping up the first game of their series. They got the game in safely, although with rain at the end. It was a good forecast, and everyone was happy. Except this one guy, who was transparently shilling for his event safety summit.

Kevin Kloesel is a very bright man, and is well versed in the science of meteorology, but in this regard, he stepped over the line. It is clearly part of a petty campaign because MLB is a large organization that does not participate in his particular event, but in truth, Major League Baseball takes every precaution when it comes to fan and player safety.

Full disclosure, I worked with a company that was contracted to provide weather information to the League and individually to several teams, all of whom took great care to be in constant communication with the meteorologist charged with providing excellent forecasts for a point and in the shortest of time frames.

Basically, MLB gets the best forecasts that are available from very good meteorologists. And while it is the umpires that make the decision, they are usually on the calls with meteorologists, if they are remote, or will converse face to face with meteorologists on the scene, which is the case in Minnesota, where the Twins have a meteorologist on staff.  I reached out to that meteorologist, and he confirmed that umpires were in constant contact with him throughout the day, and he confirmed that they had a window to finish the game, which they did, safely.

The problem I have, therefore, is with Kloesel’s assertion that MLB disregards public safety, when I can say, with certainty, that they do not. If he believes that they are putting people in danger, that is an implicit distrust in the forecasters who are on the scene, providing the forecasts. I’m not OK with that.

Just for fun, here is a tweet that Kloesel made this evening, a few minutes after the tarp was pulled on the Southside of Chicago.

I can confirm that the White Sox are among the teams that have meteorologists under contract. Kevin Kloesel’s zeal for his event safety seminars has missed its mark, and his opinions are clearly poorly researched, and his aggressive tweets have the effect of undermining good forecasters.

Catskills keep it dry

A system moving out of the eastern Great Lakes brought some rain and clouds to western New York, but the moisture originated from the Lakes, and didn’t get kicked too high into the atmosphere, which meant that the rain couldn’t transcend the higher terrain of the Catskills and reach Poughkeepsie in downstate New York on Monday. Victoria-Weather was the only outlet to keep rain out of the forecast, but it was  Accuweather’s top notch temperature forecast that allowed them to win the day.
Actuals: Sunday – High 84, Low 59
Monday – High 86, Low 65

Grade: B

Poughkeepsie, New York

I will say this much. It’s very good that this is a written forecast. As difficult as Poughkeepsie is to write, it’s even harder to say. Weather has been a bit dicey out that way recently, but it looks like we are settling into a bit calmer pattern. What are the numbers looking like in Poughkeepsie.

At 353PM, ET, Poughkeepsie was reporting a temperature of 81 degrees with overcast skies.  The tail end of a cold front lay between Poughkeepsie and Long Island, with clear skies and oceanic flow over New York and the Hamptons, and cloudy skies up the Hudson Valley. Cooler temperatures, as low as 69 in Binghamton, were seen in western New York. The clouds are not a widespread overcast, but a natural byproduct of the cooler invasion.
Clearer skies will come tomorrow as flow from the northwest dissipates. A weak upper level trough is trailing the present pattern, and will reinforce the stabilizing pattern, with warmer air returning both at the surface and aloft. As the upper level trough approaches, expect some more clouds, but shower activity to hold off west of the Catskills.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 63
Monday – Mostly cloudy, High 83, Low 67

TWC: Tomorrow -Sunny skies. High 86, Low 60
Monday – Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon High 85, Low 64

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 85, Low 60
Monday – Humid with periods of sun and clouds; a shower or thunderstorm later in the afternoon High 84, Low 65

NWS: Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, sunny,  High 88, Low 61
Monday – A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, High 87, Low 66

WB: Tomorrow – Patchy fog in the morning, sunny. High 83, Low 63
Monday – Partly sunny. Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Hot, High 82, Low 67

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 88, Low 61
Monday – Partly cloudy with scattered showers, High 88, Low 66

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 86, Low 65
Monday – Mostly cloudy starting overnight. High 84, Low 70

Looks like some outlets are a shade more pessimistic about the rain than myself. Here is a look at the satellite, with those fair weather cumulus clouds over New York.

Don’t try to make sense of the winds

Olympia sits near sea level, near Puget Sound and surrounded by the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Surface winds, as a result, aren’t often reflective of the winds found at higher reaches of the atmosphere. This made figuring out the temperature trends rather interesting when looking at the wind direction. It was apparent that the narrow temperature variance on Thursday was a result of overcast conditions, while those clouds cleared out on Friday, and the temperatures were warmer in the afternoon and cooler in the morning. This was because the flow switched from westerly to southerly. Meanwhile, at the surface, wind trends did just the opposite. It cleared out and got warmer when winds at the surface became northwesterly. Mountains are the worst. Forecasts were fairly mediocre, but The Weather Channel collected the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Thursday – High 72, Low 57
Friday – High 83, Low 45

Grade: C-D

Snow in July

The US has enjoyed a brief respite from the heat of summer. Nights were comfortable, and even the southeastern US hasn’t been parked in mid 90s for several days now. It’s been surprisingly cool, but I didn’t think it was this cold!

All right, OK, that picture is from New Zealand, where it is winter, but it was taken from near Rotorua, which is in the northern part of North Island, nearly to Auckland. This snow is indeed unusual.  According to the New Zealand Herald, it is a once a decade event!

“The last time I remember this happening was eight, maybe 10 years ago. I didn’t get a chance to go out and see, we were in a council meeting watching the snow falling into the trees.” – Trevor Maxwell, Rotorua Councilmember

Areas around the city of Rotorua, and particularly at higher elevations saw snow accumulations that were even greater than the dusting seen in town. Further south, towards Wellington, it was even snowier.  Snow is expected to turn to rain once again before things warm up in New Zealand.

Olympia, Washington

Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 50
Friday – Breezy but warmer, High 77, Low 46

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon High 74, Low 52
Friday – A mainly sunny sky. High 81, Low 48

AW: Tomorrow – Nice with some clouds, then sunshine High 74, Low 50
Friday – Areas of low clouds and fog, then sunshine High 80, Low 46

NWS: Tomorrow – Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing High 74, low 50
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 79, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning, then becoming mostly sunny, High 72, low 53
Friday – Sunny, High 78, low 49

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 77, Low 50
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 81, Low 50

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting overnight. High 74, low 54
Friday – Partly cloudy until morning. High 79, Low 51

Not so bad, especially along the Puget Sound, where they traditionally don’t get this toasty.

South Dakota sees a new hail size

There have been a few clusters of thunderstorms in the Upper Midwest today, with large hail and even some isolated tornadoes around Grand Forks. The thunderstorms in South Dakota were notable mostly for their large hail. How large? Let’s ask the weather service in Aberdeen.

Goofball sized hail is the size at which hail needs to be to concuss any goofball that goes outside in such weather.

Storms are continuing overnight into Minnesota, and will be smothering Wisconsin and Michigan by morning.

Thunderstorms and heat – summer in the south

There wasn’t a strong, well organized system expected to move into the southern United States as last week concluded, unless you think that the rotation and axial tilt of Earth is a strong, well organized system. Monroe saw just what every town in the south is constantly threatened by on Thursday and Friday. Hot weather with isolated thunderstorms in the area. The forecast was not a particular revelation, as the pattern was one that is seen the region over this time of year, so there is some justice in the fact that there was a four way tie atop the leaderboard. Victoria-Weather, The Weather Channel, National Weather Service and Forecast.io all took a share of the lead.
Actuals: Thursday – Thunderstorms reported, not measured, High 92, Low 76
Friday – Thundestorms reported, not measured, High 95, Low 73

Grade: B