All posts by Ryan

The Week Ahead: 10/3/10-10/9/10

We’re in for a east coast themed autumn week. Check it out.

Sunday – Houston, Texas
Monday – Mobile, Alabama
Tuesday – Road Trip from Mobile to Blacksburg, Virginia
Wednesday – Road Trip from Blacksburg to Jackson, Michigan
Thursday – York, Pennsylvania
Friday- Road Trip from York to Jonesboro, Arkansas

Bloomington, Indiana

We’re trundling off to the home of Indiana University today, Bloomington. It’s a beautiful town, but will they have beautiful weather?

At 1253PM, ET, Bloomington was reporting a temperature of 66 degrees with clear skies. The only real system anywhere in the country, outside of the high pressure dominating it’s center was a strong area of very rainy low pressure along the east coast. Bloomington was safely behind this low, and appeared to be in good shape.
A weak upper level eddy at the base of a jet trough is going to pivot through the Great Lakes today into tomorrow. The threat for rain in Bloomington is negligible, but the proximity of the eddy would mean a few clouds for Bloomington tomorrow. Those clouds could linger into Sunday, and a northerly flow at the leading edge of the rebuilding ridge will bring somewhat cooler conditions to end the weekend.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, High 64, Low 43
Sunday – Cloudy and breezy, High 61, Low 36

TWC: Tomorrow- Mostly cloudy skies with a few scattered showers. High 65, Low 47
Sunday – Sunny. High 62, Low 38

AW: Tomorrow – Times of sun and clouds with a passing shower High 66, Low 43
Sunday – Partly sunny, breezy and cool High 63, Low 37

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny High 63, Low 46
Sunday – Patchy frost before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny High 62, Low 48

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain showers, High 64, Low 45
Sunday – Partyl cloudy, High 62, Low 48

A look at the satellite shows a pretty docile pattern for the center of the country.

Nary a cloud

For the most part, Springfield reported clear skies in all of their observations. Sure, there were a couple instances of a passing cloud, but nothing that detracted from the beautiful weather central Illinois saw to end the month of September. V-W had the top forecast, making things all the more beautiful.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 79, Low 48
Thursday – High 78, Low 54

Grade: A

Springfield, Illinois to Santa Cruz, California

Why is it most of the road trips I write involve California? I know I lived there for 5 years, and twice as long as that in Illinois actually, but still. Oh well, with nice weather covering the western 2/3 of the country the beautiful weather here in the Twin Cities always makes us feel like we’re enjoying a piece of what CA gets nearly year round. Today’s trip will cover 4 days and 2,102 miles. Off we go!


The tail end of a cold front will pass north of Springfield during the early morning hours, so outside of a few clouds perhaps, it should be a dry start to the day as we head west out of Central IL. Two words are going to be very popular during this road trip…. High Pressure. A large dome of it is shifting into the Central Plains, making for mostly sunny skies and dry weather as we travel though Northern Missouri to Lincoln, NE, and further westward to Grand Island, our stop for the 1st night.


Well, nothing much to speak of today, weather-wise that is. The dome of high pressure continues to assert itself over the Central US, so nothing but pleasant conditions will be experienced for the trip west into Wyoming where we went the day at Rawlins. Unless of course, you forgot your sunglasses in Grand Island. Then all that squinting might get annoying.


More sun, different day. As we delve further into the weekend, our old high pressure continue to squish any chances of precip along our route. Some afternoon thunderstorms are possible over portions of the Four Corners and Desert Southwest, but most of that activity will be isolated and well south of our route through Salt Lake City westward into NV where we end our day in Elko.


The coast is in our sights! The large ridge of high pressure that caused the Southwest to absolutely roast earlier this week (including an all-time record high in Los Angeles at 113 degrees) continues to control the Western US. What does that mean for the final day of our road trip? Severe thunderstorms! Massive tornadoes! Nah, nothing like that. Just make sure the car’s AC is working well as we make our way through the Sierra Nevada and into CA’s Central Valley by rolling through Sacramento towards San Francisco, and finally into Santa Cruz. Surfs up!


Vietnam has an unfortunate place in the memory of Americans. The jungle laden, tropical nation was, of course the site of a decade long war. One of the lasting impressions of the soldiers and their tales is the incredible rainy season, when the southwesterly monsoonal winds bring about torrential rain from May to October. It’s still rainy and hot year round, though the persistence and constant nature of the rain flags a bit in the winter as winds shift to lie from the northeast. Vietnam is in the belt for tropical storms, though they are somewhat protected by the Philippines and Taiwan, while really, they see so much rain annually anyways that the moisture isn’t much of an issue. Wind, of course, is an issue, but as I said, typhoons aren’t AS strong as they could be.
The Vietnamese have a Hydrometeorological Service whose website is entirely in Vietnamese and indecipherable to me. The site does subtly remind me of the Egyptian (and really many Arabic) site, with the spinny gold logo on top. Hmm.

Pueblo, Colorado to Springfield, Illinois

I think this would be one of those drives that people would be willing to attempt in one day, but per our rules, we’ll break it down into two wonderful days. We’ll cover the 938 miles at a pace of 64.9mph. That means the first day will mean we can cover 518 miles. It’s going to be a solid drive, good opportunities to stop at road side attractions, because there won’t be any rain.


There will be literally nothing exciting about this drive. well, nothing foreseeable anyways. There will be no rain, and the terrain will flatten to pancake like proportions. It’s a lot of empty countryside for our Wednesday route, which will take us into Manhattan…. Kansas.

I would like to say Thursday will be better, and in a way it will be. We get to cross the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, as well as pass through Kansas City and St. Louis. But really, in terms of weather, we couldn’t ask for a better trip. Sunny skies, temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s. As close to perfect as you get. Springfield will be just as pleasant when we arrive.

Springfield, Illinois

Yep, Late again.

At 152AM, CT, Springfield was reporting a temperature of 53 degrees with clear skies. A dominant area of low pressure has become established across the center of the country, leaving mostly ground based influences, like maturing crops, to contribute to to fog or any other phenomenon for the rest of the morning.
Expect Thursday to be very similar to Wednesday as well, with some patchy areas of morning fog, but an otherwise quiet middle of the week with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.
Today – Sunny, High 77, Low 48
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 76, Low 54

TWC: Today – Sunny. High 78, Low 51
Tomorrow- A mainly sunny sky, High 75, Low 57

AW: Today – Nice with plenty of sunshine High 78, Low 46
Tomorrow – Sunny, breezy and pleasant High 74, Low 54

NWS: Today – Sunny, High 77, Low 47
Tomorrow – Sunny High 73, Low 54

WB: Today – Sunny, High 77, Low 50
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 73, Low 54

This was the most frustrating forecast. Only because my computer is acting poopy, the weather looks nice though.

Pueblo, Colorado

We’re going to head down to Pueblo today, about as different a city from Denver as you’ll find while still in Colorado.

At 953AM, ET, Pueblo was reporting clear skies with a temperature of 80 degrees. A slight bent in the winds indicated some light troughing on the lee side of the Rockies, but the only influence at present was some clouds in the Colorado Plains.
Over the next two days, the jet will continue to ripple north and further away from the center of the country, introducing a warming trend for much of the northern tier later in the week. For now, however, this simply means pleasant weather going forward in Pueblo.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 95, Low 45
Wednesday – Still quite dry, High 87, Low 47

TWC: Tomorrow – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. Hot. High 91, Low 50
Wednesday – Sunshine High 93, Low 52

AW: Tomorrow – Sunny and hot with the temperature tying the record from 1998 High 94, Low 46
Wednesday – Hot with the temperature breaking the record of 92 last reached in 1994 with sizzling sunshine High 95, Low 47

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 92, Low 48
Wednesday – Sunny High 94, Low 54

WB: Tomorrow- Sunny, High 90, Low 47
Wednesday – Sunny, High 93, Low 51

This might as well just be a map, rather than a satellite image. There is NOTHING going on out west.

The Ninja System

Usually when a forecast goes awry, the explanation is hard to come by. A band of clouds slipped a couple miles north, the wind was gustier than expected or an isolated shower was actually a little bit more scattered. On the whole, we all tend to have a pretty good handle on the broader system, missing only some details. This was not the case in Philadelphia. An entire rainy, complicated system blew up over the southeastern US and started pumping moisture into the Philadelphia area. The upper level trough associated with this developing system sharpened and strengthened a lot more than expected, so after a cold front got to Philadelphia, the boundary stalled and started acting as a stationary or even a back door warm front, and moisture from the southeast started funneling north. Clouds and drizzle were present through almost the entire day yesterday, and temperatures never had a chance to drop off like initially expected. It was a pretty bad forecast all around, but the lack of effective model guidance was the real killer. The Weather Channel managed to have the best forecast, but I’m not sure they deserve any credit.
Actuals: Saturday – High 89, Low 72
Sunday – .04 inches of rain, High 73, Low 65

Grade: D

Redding, California

We’re off to California for tonight’s forecast. It’s going to rain everywhere out east, so I’m in the mood for good news.

At 752PM, PT, Redding was reporting a temperature of 78 degrees with clear skies. The west was remarkably quiet, with a stalled front over the Pacific Northwest the only nearby threat for rain, however the system was held up by a dominant ridge,
Inland, California continues to be clear and dry, while the coast will contend with the marine layer. Expect a summerlike feel for Redding for the next two days, as temperatures continue to flirt with 100.
Tomorrow – Hot, High 101, Low 59
Tuesday – Hot, High 101, Low 57

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. Very hot. High 103, Low 60
Tuesday – Sunny. High 101, Low 61

AW: Tomorrow – Hot with the temperature tying the record from 2009 with abundant sunshine High 101, Low 59
Tuesday – Sizzling sunshine and hot High 97, Low 54

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny and hot High 102, Low 63
Tuesday – Sunny and hot, High 100, Low 64

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, Unseasonably hot, High 100, Low 63
Tuesday – Sunny, High 98, Low 63

So wait, the abundant sunshine currently holds the temperature? Is 101 hotter than that? I may have read Accuweather’s forecast incorrectly.