All posts by Ryan


Our trip around the world takes us to Kuwait, a nation that might fly under the radar for most Americans were it not for the first Gulf War in 1991. It lies wedged between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at the northern end of the Persian Gulf. As one should expect in that part of the world, Kuwait is in the middle of a desert, and as such it suffers through a long, dusty and hot summer. Kuwait does lie far enough north that their winters can be a bit chilly thanks to the dry air that blows in from the northwest in the right environments, The get most of their rain in the winter thanks to the systems that can actually sneak into the area.
The Kuwait Meteorological Center is the source for Kuwaitis to get local forecasts from local forecasters. The site is definitely utilitarian. Many countries use their sites more as advertisement for their meteorologists and their operations, but you’ll find none of that at the KMC. Instead, they have all the things you need. They have forecasts, satellite, radar and even a surface analysis. You don’t often see these in a prominent position on a map anymore, and it’s greatly appreciated by meteorologists like myself. They don’t really share much about the organization but they do offer a cool option embed data from their forecast on your site. It’s the most free with their information I have seen from any country yet.

A rash of new weather sites

In the past year, first Accuweather then The Weather Channel and Weatherbug all came out with new websites. For the most part, they are all essentially the same, beset with the same problems.
– Somewhat frustrating navigation. Why can’t I type in Minneapolis, Minnesota without being asked if I mean Minneapolis, Kansas? Minneapolis, MN works, but Minneapolis, Minnesota can’t be found. Or I could get sent to the airport. It seems like this should have been worked out many moons ago, but only smaller sites like Weather Underground have this figured out. It would be nice to be able to click a map for my location as well. Why did the Weather Service figure this out, but not these corporate behemoths?
– Screen to screen load times. These are all commercial endeavors, so they need their ads, but many of them have more complex adds than forecast displays, and those ads coat most of the screen. No site is worse than Accuweather which occasionally has full screen ads, though TWC’s roll out ads and Weatherbug’s sheer quantity makes those sites annoying as well.
-Each site has there own problems as well, of course. The Weather Channel still doesn’t have an easy way to get a simple text discussion, all symbols and Java script. They also don’t have hourly forecasts beyond 36 hours. Accuweather would probably be my favorite of these sites if it wasn’t for the load problems. It’s very slow to bring up whatever forecast you want to get too, say if you get into a city and want to look at the extended forecast. You can click on the days in Weatherbug’s extended forecast to get to an hourly forecast. This is a cool feature, but I only found out about it accidentally. It makes me wonder what other features I’m missing there.

These sites are all new, and their bugs and quirks will eventually be worked out. It’s also possible that the load times are because my computer was purchased in 1986. Progress.

Bad luck

A small little dash of rain, that’s all it took to throw forecasts off for everyone. Fort Wayne had a trace of rain reported late yesterday. They didn’t even endure whatever caused it long enough to show up in observations, only in rain gauges. Nevertheless, everyone knew about the possibility, but nobody truly took it seriously. The top forecast on this occasion went to Weatherbug who had a fairly exceptional temperature forecast.
Actuals: Sunday – High 85, Low 61
Monday – Trace of rain, High 86, Low 65

Grade B

July Forecaster of the Month

Once again, it was the Weather Channel taking charge for the years hottest month. This was no fluke, July, as there were a lot of forecasts to contend with, much more than are typical, and the Atlantans showed the world a thing or too about their forecasting prowess. It’s not just web sites in Beta and Stephanie Abrams over there. They have been forecasting like it’s their job this year.


Fun facts: The two highs I had forecast in Reno matched the highs I had forecast in Naples. They also matched what happened over the weekend in Reno. Nice! The low Saturday was also a perfect match, and the Sunday low was off by only a degree. That’s a quality forecast for a quality town from Victoria Weather. (Had it been a bad forecast, the headline would have been ‘Reno 911’)
Actuals: Saturday – High 92, Low 58
Sunday – High 91, Low 55

Grade: A

Fort Wayne, Indiana to Bismarck, North Dakota

I have lived in Lafayette, Indiana and Minot, North Dakota, but I have no record of either end point on our trip. That said, this two day, 994 mile trip will cover a lot of familiar ground for me. We’ll travel at a rate of 61.9mph and we’ll split the mileage nearly in half, going 495 miles on the first day.


This is road trippin’ weather if you ask me. I’m used to the long drives with temperatures in the 90s, humid with either the windows down or the AC blasting. It’s going to be hot through Chicago and parts of southern Wisconsin. Temperatures will begin to cool down with increasing clouds in the center of that state. By the time we reach Eau Claire, we may see some light showers or one of the isolated thunderstorms that will go up in northern Wisconsin, but we won’t have much further to go. Menomonie will be the stop Monday night.

The Tuesday trip may be a little long if we get a thunderstorm overnight in Menomonie, but we shouldn’t have issues because of the weather. The drive through Minnesota will be down right enjoyable. It always seems unfair that you have to drive for about three more hours when you hit the North Dakota line to get to Bismarck, but such is life. It will be hot and dry in North Dakota’s capital when we arrive.

Bismarck, North Dakota

It seems we spend a lot of time in Bismarck. I don’t know if this is accurate or not.

At 1052PM, CT, Bismarck was reporting a temperature of 69 degrees with clear skies. A weak low over northern South Dakota and a cold front inching in from Canada have made things dicey for the Dakotas today, particularly north and east of Bismarck.
The jet will run through the northern tier of states relatively unchanged for the forecast period. It’s not very strong, but a weak stationary front will line up along the international border, not able to dip south into Bismarck. A few weak surface troughs, borne partly of the heat in the center of the country will ripple through the Plains, generally south of town. The window between the two areas of disturbed weather will not be great, but if guidance is correct, the city will be dry through the period. Lately, guidance has been pretty unreliable, so thunderstorms will be left in the forecast.
Tomorrow – An isolated shower or storm, High 88, Low 64
Tuesday – Partly to mostly cloudy, High 90, Low 58

Tomorrow – Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. High 88, Low 63
Tuesday – Plenty of sun High 88, Low 61

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and nice (Thunderstorm thru 1AM) High 88, Low 63
Thursday – Sunny to partly cloudy and seasonably warm High 87, Low 59

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1pm. Mostly cloudy High 88, Low 64
Thursday -Partly cloudy, High 90, Low 59

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, A 20 percent chance of storms in the morning, High 88, Low 64
Thursday – Mostly Sunny, High 90, Low 59

Looks like I get along best with the Weather Service. Here’s hoping we kick the Weather Channel’s butt! You can see some remnants of super cells on the satellite image east of Bismarck.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

No, Fort Wayne is not named after the Batcave

At 1254PM, ET, Fort Wayne was reporting a temperature of 71 degrees with partly cloudy skies. An area of low pressure over central Illinois was generating a band of showers and thunderstorms running from Anderson and Muncie southeast into Ohio south of Dayton. Activity was moving away from Fort Wayne.
An upper level ridge was beginning to move into the southern Great Lakes, which will certainly prevent the development of any strong systems, however that won’t prevent the development of a surface trough along the Ohio River. This will lead to some partly to mostly cloudy skies each of the next few days, especially if the surface low is unmotivated to move out of the region. There will probably be some showers and storms in and around the area, but the chance isn’t high enough to put them in a forecast for Fort Wayne.
Tomorrow – Partly to mostly cloudy, High 86, Low 60
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 90, Low 64

TWC: Tomorrow – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon High 86, Low 64
Monday – Mix of sun and clouds. High 89, Low 64

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 88, Low 63
Monday – Hot and humid with partial sunshine High 91, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 86, Low 64
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 88, Low 65

WB : Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming mostly sunny, High 85, Low 64
Monday – Mostly sunny in the morning, becoming partly cloudy, High 87, Low 65

Looks like some decent days, assuming the rain stays away from Indiana the next couple of days. The radar shows rain in east central Indiana.

The Week Ahead 8/1/10-8/7/10

Another busy week ahead of us to begin August. Wow, August already. Have you enjoyed summer like I have thus far?


Sunday – Bismarck, North Dakota, Road Trip from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Bismarck
Wednesday – Wenatchee, Washington
Thursday – Louisville, Kentucky
Friday – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Saturday – Greenville, South CArolina

Reno, Nevada

When I just started doing this forecasting thing, mostly for friends and my own benefit, Reno came up with stunning regularity. It was a distinct pain to forecast for.

At 1055AM, PT, Reno was reporting a temperature of 82 degrees with clear skies and very dry air. The dry weather was leading to red flag advisories for the area. High pressure was parked over the Great Basin, and overall jet flow was well to the north of Nevada.
A weak jet trough will move into the Pacific Northwest tomorrow and won’t really diminish through the period. Still, the monsoon in the Rockies will prevent any moisture from filtering into the Great Basin, and Nevada will be dry. Even if a boundary does swing past Reno, they will stay dry.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 92, Low 56
Sunday – Partly cloudy, High 91, Low 55

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. High 92, Low 58
Sunday – Sunny. High 93, Low 58

AW: Tomorrow – Brilliant sunshine High 92, Low 58
Sunday – Bright and sunny High 92, Low 56

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 90, Low 58
Sunday – Sunny High 90, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 90, Low 57
Sunday – Sunny 90, Low 56

Pretty boring stuff out of Reno.