All posts by Ryan

Killed in Billings

A developing front over Billings ended up developing a little bit stronger and later than anticipated in Billings. I knew we were in trouble when we got to the road trip on Thursday when the models were putting down more than a light sprinkle like it looked like it would be on Wednesday when we forecast. Friday was particularly dreary, with almost a tenth of an inch of rain and rain that refused to climb out of the mid-50s. The Weather Service had the least bad forecast.
Actuals: Thursday – High 78, Low 48
Friday – .09 inches of rain, High 56, Low 37

Grade: D

The week ahead: 9/19/10 – 9/25/10

We have another blog round up at the end of the week again this week! This time, we’re going to check out the east coast and Philadelphia. Let us know if there is anything we should be checking out, out there in Philly!

Tuesday – Alexandria, Louisiana
Wednesday – McAllen, Texas; Road Trip from Alexandria to McAllen
Thursday – Fresno, California
Friday – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Saturday – Road Trip from Philadelphia to Knoxville, Tennessee

Some recent storm reports

Yesterday afternoon, a strong bow echo made it’s way through northern New Jersey, Staten Island and Brooklyn before reaching Long Island. It obviously wasn’t the strongest storm, but given that it hit the most densely populated tract of land in the country, there were many reports of damage and an unlucky soul lost his life when a tree fell on the car he was in. There is an excellent gallery of some of the damage in Brooklyn over at CNN.

Also yesterday, there was a tornado outbreak in the Ohio Valley, starting in central Ohio and moving into West Virginia. The hardest hit area was Athens, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state. A local high school and newspaper were struck, including a soccer game, which had a tornado pass over the field. NBC4 out of Columbus has the details.

Lastly is this picture, where we see some hail from a storm that hit eastern Kansas earlier this week. Not much more to add, outside of “look out below!”

Billings, Montana to Abilene, Texas

This is a very similar trip as one we took a couple weeks ago, from Rapid City to Laredo, in which we spent our time mostly in the high plains on our way to West Texas. It will be a trip of two days and change, covering about three hours of Texas highway on the third day. It’s a 1234 mile drive that we will cover at a speed of 65.7mph, thanks in large part to the empty expanses we will cover. At that rate, we’ll cover 525 miles on the first two days in the car. There is a lot of prairie between Billings and Abilene, so let’s hitch up the wagon.

DAY ONE

A warm front appears as though it will be a little bit more well established over Montana than the forecast had called for yesterday, so there looks to be a good chance for rain through until we exit Montana around noon. As we drive through Wyoming and into northern Colorado, expect clearing conditions, with the undulating elevation being the only issues to speak of. The day will end in Dacono, a suburb north of Denver.

DAY TWO
We should be good on our second day in the car, but as we approach the border with Oklahoma and then into Texas, there will be a very remote chance for a thunderstorm anywhere from Lamar, Colorado south to Memphis, Texas, our stop for Saturday. I wouldn’t count on storm chasing because the possibility is so remote, but it is worth mentioning. The better chance is that we stay dry all day, and start to get very warm.

DAY THREE
Tropical Storm Karl will be slamming into the coast south of the Mexican Border, but his impact will still be noticed all the way up between Memphis (which is west of Childress, if you are looking for it on a map) and Abilene. It will cut off any moisture, some good subduction will be seen across the area, and we will be left with a very pleasant drive to finish things off.

It’s in the 90s somewhere

That somewhere is certainly Lawton, Oklahoma, where temperatures reached that lofty level each of the past two days. On Tuesday, there was a brief little thunderstorm that moved through in the afternoon, but the airport in town only reported a hundredth of rain. Accuweather had the best forecast, but everyone was in the same neighborhood, and there wasn’t much separating the top from the bottom.
Actuals: Tuesday – .01 inches of rain, High 94, Low 69
Wednesday – High 93, Low 71

Grade: B

Billings, Montana

Off once again to Montana, the place where good forecasts go to die.

At 953PM, MT, Billings was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 62. The area was in a relatively dead zone in terms of pressure gradient, though there is an area of low pressure over western Canada that is helping to direct flow from the southeast.
A trough associated with the low over Canada will strengthen and dig south into Montana through the next 24 hours or so. It will be chased out quickly by a sharp ridge, after a brief shot at some light showers tomorrow afternoon. Friday will be dry with clear skies dominating the region.
Tomorrow – Partly to mostly cloudy skies, with a slight chance of late rain. High 74, Low 49
Friday – Early AM rain, then clearing, High 62, Low 45

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly cloudy (late PM Rain). High 76, Low 54
Friday – Chance of showers. – High 59, low 49

AW: Tomorrow – Some sunshine High 74, Low 49
Friday – Partial sunshine with a shower; cooler High 53, Low 46

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 78, Low 50
Friday – A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy High 59, Low 48

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 77, Low 50
Friday – Mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain, High 58, Low 48

I can’t tell if it’s going to be standard or non standard on Friday, but most seem to think it will be cloudy despite the high moving in. I expect some busted forecasts one way or another. Clear right now, though.

Correct on the clouds

Most forecasters for Longview tried to claim that the city would be pleasant and clear through the forecast period. One forecaster, we at Victoria-Weather, forecast the cloudy days correctly and our cooler temperature forecasts benefit. The Weather Service was cool as well, however, despite their partly sunny sky forecasts, and narrowly edged u out.
Actuals: Monday – High 73, Low 56
Tuesday – High 73, Low 53

Grade: A

Sierra Leone

After last week’s trip to the affluent, well established nation and weather service of the United Kingdom and the Met Office last week, we’re going to look at the opposite end of the spectrum with Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is found in western Africa between Guinea and Liberia. It’s a typically tropical climate, with hot, humid conditions from May to November working as it’s rainy season, and the other months dominated by the Harmattan, a dry dusty wind blowing out of the Sahara, keeping the country dry and cooler, especially overnight.
The Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency does not have a website.

Welcome from the United Kingdom!

I don’t know how many of you have found your way to Victoria-Weather from the United Kingdom today, but for those of you who have, I wanted to say welcome, and thank you for visiting! For those that don’t know, Anthony’s post on the UK and the Met Office was tweeted on the Met Office’s Twitter feed the other day. Incredible!
Just to prove that we Yanks can say a thing or two about the United Kingdom, here is a quick rundown on the weather across the pond right now:
A strong low off the coast of Norway is directing stout northerly flow to the area, particularly along the eastern shores of Great Britain. Heaviest rain is falling over Scotland and the gustiest winds will be there and over Northern Ireland. The best chance for a dry period for the next 48 hours will be across southern Wales and far southwestern England thought even they are in line for some murky conditions. It will be a perfect time to stay indoors and see what the Met Office has to say. Better yet, it’s a good time to see what’s going on here in the United States! Thanks for reading!

Lawton, Oklahoma

From southwestern Washington, we head to southwestern Oklahoma today.

At 453PM, CT, Lawton was reporting a temperature of 87 degrees with clear skies, though there were isolated strong thunderstorms developing across western Oklahoma and northern Texas, with the largest storms east north of Ardmore and to the north near El Reno and Yukon, with a cluster of storms near Wichita Falls, Texas. Oklahoma found itself between a set triggers, a stationary front to the north and a lee trough to the west.
Over the next several days, the flow aloft will be weak and westerly. There won’t be much in terms of full layered systems, but with the westerly flow, expected a stationary, broad surface lee trough to develop over the high plains. The rotation around the low will mean some dry air sucked southeastward, and it’s intersection with the warmer, more humid air of the Gulf will be across southwestern Oklahoma, which means there will be a chance for isolated thunderstorms in Lawton eacho f the next two days.
Tomorrow – Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon, High 90, Low 70
Wednesday – Thunderstorms possible late. Hot, High 92, Low 72

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms possible High 89, Low 71
Wednesday – Slight chance of a thunderstorm. high 92, Low 71

AW: Tomorrow – Slight chance of a thunderstorm. High 92, Low 72
Wednesday – Partly sunny and very warm; a shower or thunderstorm around in the afternoon High 93, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy High 90, Low 72
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy (Late precip) High 92, Low 71

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms, High 90, Low 71
Wednesday – Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms, High 91, Low 71

It’s still summer in Oklahoma, that’s for sure.