All posts by Ryan

Altoona, Pennsylvania

We’re off to the Appalachians of central Pennsylvania for today’s forecast. Perhaps they will be able to see a couple of nice days after a snowy winter.

At 1253PM, ET, Altoona was reporting a temperature of 77 degrees with clear skies. The primary system is a slow moving but energetic system along the Missouri River. It is inducing the southerly flow over the eastern third of the country that has contributed to the warm temperatures across central Pennsylvania today.
A massive Atlantic Ridge will help cause a broad trough over the center of the country swing north into Canada, and will kill any moisture before it reaches the Altoona area. Expect an increase in clouds tomorrow, but temperatures well above average.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, High 75, Low 54
Sunday – Mostly Cloudy, cooler, High 65, Low 51

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and clouds mixed. Near record high temperatures. High 76, Low 52
Sunday – Mix of sun and clouds. High 68, Low 51

AW: Tomorrow – Sunny to partly cloudy and warm with the temperature tying the record from 1963 High 80, Low 50
Sunday – Partly sunny High 70, Low 53

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny (late PM drizzle) High 78, Low 49
Sunday – Partly sunny (Early AM drizzle), High 71, Low 53

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny. Continued unseasonably warm High 78, Low 49
Sunday – Partly sunny. High 66, Low 52

Record warmth! That’s nice. Here is the satellite.

Where was the warm air?

Denver can be a difficult place to forecast for, as they were over the past couple of days. Things were about 10 degrees cooler than expected on Wednesday, and then didn’t drop much (1 degree) on Thursday. They avoided any and all precipitation, which made this all and all a very poor forecast. Actually, I’ll BE in Denver in about 6 hours with a layover! Hopefully the forecasts are better today.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 63, Low 41
Thursday – High 62, Low 35

Grade: D

The Week Ahead: 4/4/10-4/10/10

I will be on vacation through Tuesday, so it will be all Anthony, all the time until then. Be kind.

Sunday – Rome, Georgia
Monday – Salisbury, Maryland
Tuesday – Road Trip (Salisbury, Maryland to San Jose California)
Thursday – Bridgeport, Connecticut
Friday – Youngstown, Ohio

Greensboro, North Carolina

Our day takes us to North Carolina, right back to that ridge of high pressure that has been so kind to us the past couple of days.

At 1254PM, ET, Greensboro was reporting a temperature of 77 degrees with clear skies. Dry conditions in addition to the clear skies indicate a continued rise in temperatures this afternoon, perhaps into the mid-80s.
For the first time in months, a large scale upper level ridge has established itself over the eastern US. The ridge will gradually break down as a strong trough will move into the central US. Expect an increase in clouds, however as the cold front approaches the Appalachians, rain and thunder will be delayed until Sunday for Greensboro.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 84, Low 52
Saturday – Sunny, with clouds increasing late, High 79, Low 54

TWC: Tomorrow – A mainly sunny sky. Very warm. High 86, Low 46
Saturday – Considerable cloudiness. High 82, Low 49

AW: Tomorrow – Very warm and pleasant with plenty of sunshine High 87, Low 49
Saturday – Partly sunny and very warm High 84, Low 51

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 85, Low 50
Saturday – Sunny High 83, Low 53

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny High 85, Low 48
Saturday -Sunny High 83, Low 52

A look at the satellite shows a stark connrast between “things going on” and “things not going on”

Springtime Warm Up

Elizabethtown was in line for a warm up as an area of high pressure established itself over the southeast. They got it, as temperatures climbed from the mid-60s to the upper 70s on Wednesday. One fly in the ointment was the temperatures Tuesday morning, which dipped all the way to 33, thanks to the clear skies over night. The Weather Service had the top forecast for the city.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 63, Low 33
Wednesday -High 77, Low 43

Grade: A

Deomocratic Republic of the Congo

Our journey around the world takes us from last weeks highly advanced, extremely important Japanese Meteorological Service to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire, a nation that is struggling with internal strife, as well as external. Since their independence during the middle of the last century, they have been the scene of internal governmental turmoil, which was followed by wars with Uganda and Rwanda.
The climate is equatorial. The term “rain forest” isn’t used as effectively in many countries as it is in the DRC, as hot, humid conditions are broken frequently by tropical rains, often as part of a heavy thunderstorm. As usual, the elevation helps allay some of the heat where ever there are mountains. There are some mountains along the Ugandan border which actually see snow.
As I mention, the DRC is a war torn country, and is fraught with internal corruption. This plus their nearly identical weather pattern over the course of a year has meant that the National Agency of Meteorology and Teledetection by Satellite has seen their website go dormant since 2004.

Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Denver, Colorado

We’re heading west towards the mountains, perhaps to get in a final ski run for the year. It will be a two day trip covering 1155 miles. We’ll do it at a pace of about 65mph and try to put 520 miles behind us on the first day. We’re looking at a lot of Plains on this trip, but will we be dodging any rain? Let’s find out!

DAY ONE

There is a good chance that we will drive for many miles without seeing a cloud in the sky. As we start hitting some wind, likely around Mount Vernon, Illinois, clouds will begin to increase as moisture from the Gulf picks up. We won’t have many problems with this trip, especially as we drive through St Louis where the 15mph winds will be blocked by higher walls around the interstates. We’ll get to Bates City, Missouri, which is just outside the Kansas City metro for our first day.

DAY TWO
We’re in for a much longer drive on Thursday to make up the rest of the ground. Expect a drive unfettered by things like rain or precipitation. Temperatures are going to climb and perhaps be in the 80s as we trundle off through Kansas, with clouds on the increase and winds nearly constantly blowing at about 20mph. As we arrive in Denver, there is a slight chance that some light rain could be falling in Colorado’s capital. That means snow in the mountains!

Denver, Colorado

Denver is one of the more difficult major metropolitan areas to forecast for, what with their widely variable temperatures and the potential for a half a foot of snow in late March. We’ll see how it goes this time.

At 953AM, MT, Denver was reporting a temperature of 64 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. There was a degree of lee side troughing, however the real story was a broad, strong upper level trough digging into the west that would create it’s own weather news for the next couple of days.
A stout ridge in the east will prevent the system from shifting east, though with the low pressure aided by the Rockies in the lee side of the Rockies, a more effective southerly flow will develop over the coming days in eastern Colorado. Expect a continued warm up for Denver and an increase in the clouds tomorrow, with snow lurking in the mountains west of town by Thursday, with the clouds stamping out any warm weather in Denver.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and windy, High 73, Low 44
Thursday – Overcast and cooler, High 57, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly to mostly cloudy. High 69, Low 51
Thursday – Mostly cloudy. High 55, Low 45

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a warm breeze High 70, Low 43
Thursday – Breezy and cooler with times of sun and clouds (PM Rain) High 54, Low 36

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 71, Low 46
Thursday – A 20 percent chance of showers after noon, chance of snow before midnight. Partly cloudy High 60, Low 38

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 70, Low 46
Thursday –
Partly sunny. A 10 percent chance of rain showers in the afternoon High 60, Low 40

I am completely dumbfounded by the Weather Channel. I triple checked to make sure that was actually their forecast, notably the low temperatures. Anyways, here is a look at the western US from space. Pretty good system over the northwest, and it doesn’t want to move!

For the billionth year in a row, expect an active hurricane season

Ah, March. This is the time of year that your various long term forecasters project the hurricane season. What are they saying this year? Oh, it’s going to be active, just like every other year. Well, except last year, but everyone still SAID it would be an active year. Let’s see what the Charlotte Observer has to say:

“This year has the chance to be an extreme season,” says Joe Bastardi of Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather,

Because Joe Bastardi has never exaggerated the threat for anything before. The more telling of the quotes from the Observer (emphasis mine) is below:

Not all the forecasts are in. For example, the National Hurricane Center’s seasonal prediction won’t come until late May. And some forecasters plan to fine-tune their outlooks later this spring, when conditions become a bit clearer.

Besides, long-range hurricane forecasts have been unreliable in the past.

It’s tough to say. Right now, the Gulf of Mexico after a very chilly winter is quite cold. It’s hard to say how long it will be until tropical systems will be able to even move through the Gulf. It’s hard to say this early how many hurricanes there will be, or how active a season we are looking at. It’s dangerous to put a number on the hurricane outlook, especially when talking about how many storms will make landfall along the coast. Every hurricane is it’s own animal, and could just as easily miss land as make landfall every single time.
I’ve often said that anyone who says they can forecast past 10 days is full of it. sure, you can make predictions, but the accuracy is always going to be subject to more short term patterns. Mostly, it’s a way for people like Mr. Bastardi to get his name in the paper, and he can get a feather in his cap on the off chance he gets one of his forecasts right.

I definitely screwed something up

First, in the process of creating the forecast for Milwaukee, I transcribed the forecast from Weatherbug incorrectly. It was about 15 degrees off on the Friday high for everyone else. Of course, the forecast was flat out wrong for everyone else anyways. Clouds and some pretty substantial cold advection knocked temperatures down to the low 30s for a high Friday and in the 40s on Saturday. Of the forecasters that ended up getting their appropriate forecasts in, the best was Victoria-Weather and the Weather Channel. But it was nothing to be proud of.
Actuals: Friday, High 33, Low 27
Saturday – High 42, Low 29

Grade: D