All posts by Ryan

San Jose, California

Everywhere from the Coastal Ranges and west towards the coast in California is in a dramatic battle with flames engulfing anything in their path. This is a region desperate for moisture and cooler temperatures, as well as a diminishing of winds in the region. Will that relief be coming?

At 1153AM, PT, San Jose was reporting clear skies with a temperature of 71 degrees. It’s low lying valley location allowed it to be one of the few sites in northern California not reporting smoke or obscuration at the hands of the prolific fires across the region. Smoke was visible on satellite imagery north of San Pablo Bay , flowing to the southeast towards San Francisco and the north Pacific. This was in response to a strong upper level trough diving into the area through the Pacific Northwest. While it was going to bring rain and snow to those areas, it is only providing more dangerous blustery conditions to residents of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
The trough is on its way out of town, which is excellent news for firefighters. A ridge will build back into the coastal regions of northern California, which will have the effect of steering fire away from the more populous regions closer to the coast, though in San Jose, some slightly warmer temperatures appear to be in the offing, thanks to the emergence of downsloping flow. Unfortunately, with the arrival of the ridge, winds likely won’t fully subside through the forecast period.

Tomorrow – Sunny with haze and breeze. High 71, Low 49
Saturday – Hazy with a bit of an onshore wind High 77, Low 54

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny. Areas of smoke reducing visibility at times High 76, Low 49
Saturday – Mainly sunny. High 81, Low 53

AW: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny.High 77, Low 47
Saturday – Hazy sunshine, breezy and smoky; extreme fire danger high 80, Low 49

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 72, Low 47
Saturday – Sunny,High 75, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 76, Low 48
Saturday – Sunny,High 80, Low 50

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 72, low 47
Saturday – Mostly sunny, High 75, Low 49

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 76, Low 46
Saturday – Clear throughout the day. High 80, Low 45

The 6z GFS has been in tune with temperature trends today, while other models have gone a bit rogue. Victoria-Weather, the NWS and WeatherNation are the only three to follow along. Below is compelling satellite imagery of northern California, wherein you can see smoke streaming off shore.

More to come

The weekend could have been a real soaker in Amish country in Pennsylvania, but the two biggest features moving into the Lancaster area worked against each other. A cold front moving out of the Appalachians brought all the rain on Sunday morning, with clearing coming as Nate drew flow away from the boundary. There was a bit of rain as Nate approached late in the day, but each afternoon was dry. Today, the real rain arrived with Nate, and it was much messier. It was a tight forecast, as the increasing overcast kept temperatures pretty close together, so the NWS and WeatherNation tied for the victory, with a narrow defeat of the opposition.
Actuals: Saturday: High 84, Low 60
Sunday – .10 inches of rain, High 79, Low 733

Grade: B-C

Autumn in a nutshell: Tropical and wintry

At this late hour, the NWS radar is full of ground clutter, so forgive me for pulling the SPC version. I want you to be able to appreciate the two major factors t work here. In the mid-Atlantic and eastern Great Lakes, there is a big mass of showers. This is partially thanks to a weakening cold front moving out of the area, but mostly thanks to the remnants of Nate, a tropical storm.

Meanwhile, take note of that band of showers from Pierre, South Dakota to Fort Collins, Colorado, and beyond, towards Craig. That is not rain. Here is a look at Cheyenne, Wyoming from the NWS:

Yikes. That cold front will move southeastward, and while the snow is really only a concern in the high Plains and central Rockies, there will be some cold temperatures making their fiirst real incursion into the continental US. Check out all the purple, pink and blue on this map, indicative of cold or wintry weather on the way.

Winter is almost here, in spirit anyways. Of course, as Brian Brettschneider notes, we’ve also just had our first 0 reading in Alaska.

Nate makes a double landfall, introduces some surge to southern Mississippi

Nate ended up reaching that Category 1 hurricane status before he reached the United States. Nate made an initial landfall around the Mississippi Delta before he slipped further northeast towards Mississippi, making a secondary landfall near Biloxi. Winds are around 80-90mph maximum sustained strength as he continues to move inland.

The most significant concern to date has been a 6-8 foot storm surge from Biloxi over to Mobile Bay, east of the center of low pressure. You can see some pictures of Biloxi below.

Fortunately, the storm is moving quickly, and by the time people get going Sunday morning, the system will move  away from the coast and these flood waters will recede. Still, pay attention to the feature as he continues his northward progression through the day tomorrow, as there will be sudden heavy rain, and a continued threat for tornadoes up until the southern Appalachians.

Wet in Wisconsin

Earlier today, there was a weak tornado reported in Madison, though it had more to do with the circulation associated with an area of low pressure, and not really with a strong cold front, which moved through Tuesday night into Wednesday. Madison saw over half an inch of rain with that cold front, and a second bout of rain today, including that rogue tornado on the east side of town. Weatherbug collected the top forecast for the day, thanks to being one of only a handful to get the right precipitation forecast, on top of possession of an above average temperature forecast. It got a little colder than anyone expected on Wednesday, which screwed up every forecast available.
Actuals:  Tuesday – .32 inches of rain, High 79, Low 65
Wednesday – .35 inches of rain, High 70, Low 45

Grade: C-D

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

We’re headed for Amish country with our forecast tonight. Are we going to be able to enjoy a nice weekend in Lancaster, or does Mother Nature have other things in mind?

At 953PM, ET, Lancaster was reporting a temperature of 69 degrees with clear skies, though a few locations around the region were reporting clouds, while the valleys were starting to report some light haze. Lancaster was seeing a dew point of 65, and coupled with the clear skies, it seems as though fog is inevitable tonight.
A sharp mid level trough moving through the Northern Plains is also generating the warm, moisture rich southerly flow in the mid-Atlantic, which will continue tomorrow, making things unseasonably warm, and still fairly sticky, though Tropical Storm Nate, moving into the Gulf will intercept some of the moisture as it tries to flow to the northeast. A cold front associated with the trough in the Plains will arrive early in the day Sunday, bringing some morning showers and storms, but Nate in his press for landfall, will cut off moisture for the cold front, allowing things to dry up Sunday afternoon, despite the increasing rainfall in the southeast. The cold front itself will also stall before passing through Lancaster, meaning an even more vigorous induction of warm, moist air, even without additional rain showers.
Tomorrow – Unseasonably warm, mostly sunny, High 80, Low 61
Sunday – Morning showers, then mostly cloudy, HIgh 81, Low 69

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 82, Low 62
Sunday – Thunderstorms in the morning, then cloudy skies late.  High 80, Low 70

AW: Tomorrow – Very warm and muggy with periods of sun and clouds High 82, Low 62
Sunday – Very warm and muggy with periods of rain High 80, Low 69

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 83, Low 60
Sunday – Rain likely. Mostly cloudy,  High 80, Low 68

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. Unseasonably warm. Highs 81, Low 62
Sunday – Rain likely. Warm. High 81, Low 70

WN: Tomorrow- Partly cloudy, High 83, Low 60
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with light rain likely, High 80, Low 68

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 82, Low 63
Sunday – Light rain starting in the morning, continuing until evening. High 84, Low 71

Some rain is coming thanks to the feature moving through the Plains, but Nate will indeed move through southeastern Pennsylvania early next week. Right now, satellite is pretty innocuous in the Mid-Atlantic.


Nate hits Nicaragua, sets eyes on the US

Tropical features in Central America are almost always deadly, no matter the central pressure or storm classification. Nate is no exception. A fairly disorganized feature at this point, it has brought a copious amount of rainfall to Nicaragua, and at the latest update, it was reported to have led to the deaths of 20 people, thanks to flash flooding and mudslides.

The terrain in Central America abets those particular disasters, but Nate remains a fairly unbalanced Tropical Storm, and will still need to pass by the Yucatan before he can traverse the Gulf and find the resources to strengthen, though right now, it appears Nate will avoid a direct landfall over the peninsula.

As you can see with the NCAR spaghetti plots, there is a surprisingly good consensus, tracking Nate northward towards the Mississippi Delta. Importantly, this will keep New Orleans on the weaker, western side of the storm. Additionally, the feature will be moving fairly quickly, preventing any unmanageable rainfalls along the Gulf Coast.

The NHC is forecasting for Nate to become a hurricane not long before his landfall, but that is certainly a worst case scenario, given the general model consensus.

There are a select few models that have Nate reaching hurricane status, but the majority pin him as a strong tropical storm. They can be dangerous in their own right, but this isn’t going to be a repeat of the three major hurricanes that moved through the US and Caribbean earlier this hurricane season.

Madison, Wisconsin

Today, we are going off to the capital of Wisconsin. I suspect the weather there will be fairly similar to the weather we are seeing in the Twin Cities right now.

At 953PM, CT, Madison was reporting a temperature of 73 with fair skies.  With an area of low pressure moving from the Dakotas into the Canadian Prairies, there was a brisk southerly wind moving through Illinois to Wisconsin. A slow moving cold front is currently progressing through eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but it will take until very late Tuesday to early Monday to arrive.
This system has been marked by a great deal of lightning, despite a fairly low level of energy, so despite the relatively unimpressive model returns when this boundary is projecting when it arrives in Madison, it seems likely that there will be some thunderstorms when the boundary moves through.  A more well defined and progressive upper level trough will phase with the surface low in the Plains, and drive the boundary through Madison much more quickly than it is moving at present. Ass a result, clearing will come to southern Wisconsin by Wednesday evening.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, breezy and warm, with increasing cloud and some showers late, High 77, Low 62
Wednesday  – Morning showers and storms, clearing late High 68, Low 54

TWC: Tomorrow – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 80, Low 65
Wednesday – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 70, Low 54

AW: Tomorrow – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 81, Low 65
Wednesday – Periods of clouds and sun (Early rain) High 72, Low 54

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny,  Late rain High 77, Low 64
Wednesday – A 40 percent chance of showers before 1pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, High 69, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. A 20 % chance of light showers in the afternoon, High 78, Low 65
Wednesday – Partly sunny. A 50% chance of light rain showers in the morning, High 70, Low 54

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 77, Low 65
Wednesday – Partly cloudy with scattered showers, High 69, Low 59

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain starting in the evening. High 78, Low 65
Wednesday – Rain until morning, starting again in the evening. High 77, Low 56

Here is a look at the satellite imagery showing just how tall the tops are in the center of the country. Definitely some convection there! 

Coming soon…

We have a smattering of forecasts to begin October. I said on Twitter today that forecasters prove their mettle in the autumn, so let’s see where we will be showing our skills.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

San Jose, California

Utica, New York

Macon, Georgia to Lansing, Michigan

Let’s all hit the road, shall we? Our drive through the western side of the Appalachians and up towards the Great Lakes will take a day and a half as we cover 859 miles. The interstates, along with the residents of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan will encourage a 70mph pace, and our first full day will net 559 miles.

DAY ONE (Monday)

High pressure, and fairly warm high pressure remains in control for most of the eastern United States. It’s a fairly warm high pressure too, which is good for windows being rolled down as you barrel down the highway. There is a stationary front across the Florida-Georgia border that could, in theory, bring about some isolated showers with clouds right as we get going out of Macon, but that shouldn’t last very long. There might be a bit of a pressure trough around the Smokey Mountains, but the only issue that might induce is some mountain fog as we slip through Tennessee. Other than that? No problem. We’ll make it to the northern side of Cincinnati and the suburb of Sharonville.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
The wind might be a little bit more vigorous as we head northward out of Cincinnati towards Michigan, but we won’t really have any additional weather to contend with. Along with the warm south winds, there could be a little bit of mid level overcast, but that doesn’t dampen the roadways. It’s almost peak fall color season in Michigan, so enjoy the trip to Lansing.