All posts by Ryan

Benton Harbor, Michigan to Auburn, Alabama

Alabama day continues, with a road trip to the first state alphabetically. We’ll be traversing the center of the country, riding the Tennessee Valley from southwestern Michigan to southwestern Alabama. The trip covers 772 miles and will take us a day and a half. We will start by passing through the fringes of the Chicago metro, then will pass through Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville and Birmingham before getting off the interstate to head towards Auburn. It will take us a day and a half to head through these metropolises at a pace of 61.3mph. The first day, covering about 2/3rds of the trip will only see 490 miles tick off on our odometer, but it’s going to be slowed down by a Friday drive through all those cities.


A strongish system skirting the US border in Canada and a weak upper low with a lot of energy to work with in the Gulf will be putting a squeeze on us as we begin our drive. A cold front with heavier showers and thunderstorms with sometimes gusty winds will be sweeping into Lake Michigan as we head south. We’ll be dry for sure until we get to about Indianapolis, when we’ll be in the northern reach of the instability of the southeast. We should stay dry most of the way through Indiana, but the threat for showers and storms will be there, and will only increase as we had south. There’s a good chance we will see SOME rain by the time we reach Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville and our stop for the night, but given the pattern, it’s tough to say exactly where it’s going to hit us. Most likely somewhere south of the Ohio River, however.

The storms will die off over night, which is nice for any of us that want to sleep. OF course, who wants to do that in a hopping town like Franklin? The storms will take a until after 1 or so to really get going in Alabama and Tennessee, and by that time, we’ll already be on 280 between Birmingham and Auburn. We’ll probably have to dodge a thunderstorm or two in that last hour of the trip, and they will likely be stronger than anything we see on Friday, but there is also a good chance the sun will be shining when we show up in Auburb.

Auburn, Alabama

Alabama day continues here at Victoria-Weather. Let’s take a look at Auburn, a little bit further south than Decatur.

At 115PM, CT, Auburn was reporting a temperature of 84 degrees with clear skies. Showers and thunderstorms were being seen generally south of Auburn and Montgomery, though Alexander City to the northwest was reporting a shower passing over the city.
Weak low pressure dominated the US east of the Mississippi, with a small wave over the Great Lakes, and a jet trough over northeastern Mexico. The trough over Mexico will become more important for southern Alabama as the weekend approaches. With the heat and humidity already in place, no trigger has been needed for afternoon thunderstorms. Don’t be surprised if, as the upper level low shifts slowly towards the Gulf Coast, thunderstorms in Auburn are stronger and better organized for the next two days.
Tomorrow – Thunderstorms, High 83, Low 70
Saturday – Thunderstorms continue to be likely, High 86, Low 72

TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Humid High 81, Low 68
Saturday – Partly cloudy, chance of a thunderstorm, High 87, Low 70

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny with a shower or thunderstorm around High 90, Low 69
Saturday – Times of clouds and sun with a shower or thunderstorm around; humid High 85, Low 71

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy High 85, Low 67
Saturday – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 10am. Mostly cloudy, High 89, Low 69

WB: Tomorrow – Thunderstorms likely. High 86, Low 67
Saturday – Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms High 90, Low 69

Low temperature spreads are usually the result of clouds hampering a city’s ability to warm up. In Alabama, the high dew points are preventing things from cooling off. Here is a look at the radar, showing those thunderstorms south of Auburn.


No, the title doesn’t allude to the mental state of Anthony and myself. It describes the summer time atmosphere in Decatur. As Anthony correctly described, the heat in the afternoons led to the development of showers and thunderstorms over Alabama, some of them clipping Decatur both Tuesday and Wednesday. As it turned out, the coverage of thunderstorms was enough that temperatures on Wednesday didn’t reach the 90s as had been initially forecast. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast, thanks in large part to out right-down-the-middle forecast on Tuesday.
Actuals: Tuesday – .12 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 87, Low 68
Wednesday – .12 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 86, Low 66

Grade: B

An update on Agatha

As you may have heard, the first name storm of the Pacific season, Agatha, has continued to cause incredible damage across Central America, namely because of the torrential rain that the area has seen with the system. Flooding, landslides and associated problems have led to the deaths of around 200 people, unfortunately. As I mentioned earlier this week, a weak storm can even be catastrophic for a place like Guatemala given the amount of rain that can be expunged.
Of course, the most amazing images for many are the enormous sinkhole that showed up in the center of Guatemala City, consuming anything on the surface above it. The water moving through the faulty sewer systems below eroded the sub surface rocks, which led to this sinkhole when the weight of soil above eventually collapsed. Impressive imagery, no doubt.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is likely not as famous as it’s components. Perhaps you have heard of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, two of the emirates included in this union, which lies on the southern side of the Persian Gulf, between Qatar and Oman. As you could imagine, most of the country is extremely arid. Even where it isn’t it rarely rains. Along the shores of the Persian Gulf in those two more famous cities and other coastal areas, the humidity can be oppressive, owing to the triple digit temperatures and the access to the moisture of the Persian Gulf. Tropical systems are rare and often sheared apart by the mountains of the Oman Peninsula before they make their way into the the area. When they do, they provide more ran than many parts of the country typically seen in decades.
The United Arab Emirates has a National Center for Meteorology and Seismology. The Center has a very nicely animated home page. Note the drips of water running down the screen. Temperatures are running about 40 degrees over there, as you can see, with quite a bit of dust. Of course, that’s 40 degrees Celsius, or about 105 degrees. The site has everything you might need, from radar to satellite. The aviation weather button at the bottom of the screen takes you to some encoded data for airports not only in the UAE but some other nearby airports in Oman and Qatar. The nation is extremely affluent and home to many foreigners, so their site is decidedly well constructed and easy to navigate for the casual outsider such as ourselves.

May Forecaster of the Month

We’re already into June. Can you believe it? It seemed lie it took forever, that’s for sure. The summer months and the conversion to fall, that’s when Victoria-Weather tends to make up ground on other sites. Fortunately, we had a pretty good winter too, so we’ll be poised to win the forecaster of the year award as well. If I haven’t spoiled things already, here’s the news… Victoria-Weather was the May forecaster of the month, rather easily.

Agatha makes landfall

On the heels of yesterday’s hurricane season preview from Anthony, we have our first landfall of the Pacific season. Tropical Storm Agatha came ashore in Guatemala yesterday, and has already dropped enough rain to create a massive sinkhole in Guatemala City.
Storms in central America have a tendency to be major rain producers, given the abrupt rise in elevation along the coast. Often, the storms, even when not strong, expend all of their moisture in torrential and often tragic expedience. Flooding rains are almost always the greatest threat with storms in places like Guatemala. Here’s hoping Agatha doesn’t linger too long over Central America.

The Week Ahead 5/30/10-6/5/10

Wow, already into June. A few summer time forecasts for you next week.

Monday – Decatur, Alabama
Thursday – Auburn, Alabama; Road Trip from Benton Harbor, Michigan to Auburn
Friday – Hanford, California

Going somewhere for Memorial Day?

Well, the good news is, there shouldn’t be any widespread snow to slow down your travels! If you plan to be outside this weekend, know that there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms throughout most of the southeast. We could be looking at severe storms for the Carolinas today, though for the most part, storms will be your garden variety thunderstorm activity.
A cold front sneaking through the center of the country will be setting off storms over the Upper Midwest, some that could be severe over the Dakotas southeast into northeastern Colorado tomorrow, then in the western Great Lakes by Sunday. By Sunday, the front will be developing its strongest storms, however, over Kansas and Oklahoma. Eventually, by Memorial Day most of the rain will be in the Ohio Valley, but the severe threat will be lessened.
A couple of waves in the northwest will mean rain in the northern Rockies through the weekend, coming back into Washington by Memorial Day, meaning Seattle wil be pretty wet to end the weekend. Expect a few showers as well over New England Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, but an otherwise manageable weekend.
It sounds pretty wet, but I have to say that since most everything on the map is moving and not stalled, almost everyone will be able to enjoy some pleasant weather for this coming holiday weekend, though perhaps not for the entire weekend.

Portland, Maine to Elmira, New York

We’re taking one day to travel through interior New England, driving from beautiful downstate Maine to beautiful downstate New York. The 462 miles of the trip are mostly not on major interstates, and we won’t move terribly swiftly. We will only inch along at 60mph, but it’s all right, given the scenery.

There is a cold front setting itself up through the mid Atlantic, kind of following an arcing path through that area. It’s going to set off some thunderstorms over eastern New York this afternoon, but will slowly drift out of our route tonight. We’re going to have to deal with some trailing showers, probably after we reach the Oneonta, New York area lasting into Elmira, but the rest of the drive will be quiet and very easily manageable. Enjoy the drive!