All posts by Ryan

Cleveland, Ohio to Morristown, Tennessee

And here we are, with another 1 day journey. Just an extra half hour tacked on to the end of our typical 8, but it will be through the beautiful Smokey Mountains, so who are we to complain? It’s a 520 mile journey, which equates to our travel coming at a rate of 61.9mph. Shall we?


I’m not going to mince words. This drive is going to suck. We’re going to be following a cold front as we head from Cleveland to Morristown. In the morning, it will likely be a general rainy type of precipitation, with a stroke of lightning intermittently lighting up the sky. By about 1 in the afternoon, three hours in, the thunderstorms will really ramp up. The heaviest of the wet weather will come between Parkersburg and Charleston, West Viriginia as we start to come into the mountains, which will only help the development of soaking thunderstorms. Between Beckley, West Virginia and Abingdon, Virginia, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a break in the rain, but as we swing back southwest into Tennessee, some showers and storms will again be possible, though not as strong as we will have seen earlier in the day.

Foiled by sprinkles

Only one outlet had the thundershowers properly forecast in Lewiston, Idaho. One little guy snuck into town in the early afternoon on Friday and brought a trace of rain, and the Weather Channel had it in their forecast. TWC’s correct precip forecast gave them the victory, as it knocked V-W out of the top spot. Blast!
Actuals: Friday – Trace of rain, High 84, Low 59
Saturday – High 83, Low 56

Grade: B

Cleveland, Ohio

Finally, we’re moving out of the Mountain Time Zone for today’s forecast. Perhaps by issuing this forecast, we can convince Lebron James to stay in town.

At 1151, AM, ET, Cleveland was reporting a temperature of 78 degrees with overcast skies. A southwesterly wind was ensuring a warm wind ahead of a stationary boundary in southern Ontario. Some showers were beginning to show up over western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, and the threat was there for some showers and thunderstorms, some heavy, this afternoon.
A weak upper level trough will gather itself over the northern Plains after having dug deep into the Rockies, which should lead to a more well established and easily defined system. It will also become more likely that the stronger showers and thunderstorms follow the jet stream, which is to the north of Cleveland. The hot humid air will still touch off a few thunderstorms as the system passes through Michigan into Canada. Sunday night into Monday morning, the cold front associated with this system will work it’s way through town, another bit of luck, as this will keep the threat for severe storms to a minimum. A subsequent cool flow off of Lake Erie will keep things pleasant during the day on Monday.
Tomorrow – Scattered showers and thunderstorms, warm. High 88, Low 71
Monday – Early AM Showers and storms, cooler, High 83, Low 71

TWC: Tomorrow – Showers in the morning with isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High 90, Low 70
Monday – Partly cloudy with a stray thunderstorm. High 83, Low 73

AW: Tomorrow – Clouds and sun, hot and humid with a thunderstorm, becoming breezy in the afternoon High 90, Low 68
Monday – Clouds and sunshine with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm; breezy High 83, Low 69 (non standard)

NWS: Tomorrow – chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy High 87, Low 68
Monday – A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy High 81, Low 70

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny…warm and humid. A chance of showers and thunderstorms High 87, Low 68
Monday – Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms High 81, Low 70

And now a look at the radar to show you were those scattered showers are.

The Week Ahead 6/27/10-7/03/10

Taking us up to the holiday weekend with another week away from the East Coast.

Sunday – Road Trip from Cleveland, Ohio to Morristown, Tennessee.
Monday – Sioux City, Iowa; Road Trip from Morristown to Sioux City
Wednesday – Jefferson City, Missouri
Friday – San Jose, California
Saturday – Fargo, North Dakota

Las Cruces, New Mexico

I told you I would b earlier with my post today! Here we are, off to southern New Mexico.

At 1150 AM, MT, Las Cruces was reporting a temperature of 89 degrees with clear skies. The dewpoint was at 46 degrees, suggesting the dry line was well to the east. A weak upper level trough was producing an similarly weak surface low over the 4 corners. Flow across the Gulf was drawing north towards a stronger feature along the northern tier, and Las Cruces was able to stay dry.
The weak trough will recede north and help development along the norther tier. Overnight tonight if any moisture can find it’s way to southern New Mexico it will likely go up as a thunderstorm. After that, expect mostly sunny skies and hot weather, the typical summer time fare for Las Cruces.
Tomorrow – Early AM showers, then sunny, High 97, Low 72
Sunday – Hot and partly cloudy, High 96, Low 69

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy. A stray afternoon thunderstorm is possible. High 97, Low 70
Sunday – Partly cloudy. High 95, Low 70

AW: Tomorrow – Times of clouds and sun with a thunderstorm in the afternoon High 99, Low 71
Sunday – Partly sunny and very warm High 93, Low 71

NWS: Tomorrow – Isolated showers and thunderstorms after noon High 97, Low 68
Sunday – Isolated showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly cloudy High 98, Low 68

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny in the morning…then partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon High 101, Low 68
Sunday – Mostly sunny. Isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 100, Low 68

Weatherbug once again has some matching problems. Pretty totasting in Las Cruces, though.

Lewiston, Idaho

Apologies for the late night. I’ll try to get things out earlier in the future, you know, so I can go to bed.

At 1156PM, MT, Lewiston was reporting a temperature of 69 degrees with clear skies. An area of weak low pressure aloft dominated the southwest, and an exit region of that trough had itself established over the High Plains and Front Range of Montana. Lewiston found itself safely behind the wet weather, though not in the most stable of environments.
The pattern will be slow to change, as a strong jet pattern is not in the offing. The little change that does come however, will be in the form of improving weather. Flow moving across the Rockies into low pressure over Montana will keep things partly to mostly cloudy tomorrow, however expect sunnier skies and a degree or two more warmth in town for the coming days.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 80, Low 59
Saturday – Mostly Sunny, High 82, Low 57

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms. High 79, Low 60
Saturday – Sunshine High 82, Low 56

AW: Tomorrow – Clouds and sunshine High 76, Low 59
Saturday – Mostly sunny High 81, Low 54

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 81, Low 63
Saturday – Sunny, High 82, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. High 69, Low 58
Saturday – Sunny High 72, Low 51

Weatherbug’s text definitely doesn’t match the numbers they have displayed. I wonder what’s going on there. They say, for example, high on Friday’s will be low 70s, and upper 70s on Sunday, then they put those numbers up. Odd. Here is the satellite, showing a quiet Idaho chimney

Problems with the low

Elmira was a tricky forecast for a few people. There was a thunderstorm in town on Tuesday, and some spotty showers on Wednesday, but the real issue for the Weather Service and Weatherbug were lows. Tuesday, temperatures stayed warmer overnight than expected, while the opposite situation came to be on Wednesday. Actually, the lows were only different by 4 degrees, but the forecast lows from the NWS and Weatherbug were different by 15 degrees. Victoria Weather, with our more baseline forecast had the top spot in Elmira.
Actuals: Tuesday – .19 inches of rain in a thunderstorm, High 79, Low 60
Wednesday – .03 inches of rain, High 87, Low 64

Grade: B

Toledo, Ohio to Rochester, Minnesota

This is going to strain our friendship, I think, this drive from Ohio to Minnesota. It will be just shy of 10 hours, which is under out threshold for one day’s driving We will definitely need some stretching when we are done with our 593 miles in the car. It’s going to be an interstate laden drive, buy the time in Chicago will slow us down and we’ll cover the distance at a pace of 60.3. Let’s make our way to the Mayo clinic.

It’s been an active week or so for the northern tier, but a squall line moving through northern Indiana, when it arrives in Toledo, will signal the beginning of the end of the stormy, nasty period for at least a day or two. Fortunately, one of those days will be the one we will be in the car. After Toledo shakes off some morning sprinkles, we will be on our way through some warm but not terribly oppressive weather as we inch through Chicago and eventually roll through Wisconsin, other areas that have been recently raked by severe weather. Actually, both Toledo and Rochester have seen their share of rough weather over the past couple of months. Let’s just keep driving and avoid the gawker slow down at people picking up the pieces after their rough weather.

Elmira, New York

Our forecast today will be from Western New York, and what is becoming a recent favorite, Elmira. How will it go? Let’s find out.

At 1153AM, ET, Elmira was reporting a temperature of 77 degrees with clear skies. There were a few lingering clouds leftover from the early morning in the valleys to the east, but generally the state of New York was quiet. Overall, flow aloft was rather dormant as well, however with summer time heating in full affect, even the slightest ripple will be cause for thunderstorm concern.
One such lower level disturbance will shoot from the Upper Midwest through the Great Lakes and into western New York by tomorrow evening. A few afternoon and evening thunderstorms are certainly a possibility, however after this little bundle of energy arrives in town, it will languish without any upper level support, meaning Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with some drizzle in the area, however a developing system to the west will generate a substantial southerly flow, bringing with it some hot weather.
Tomorrow – Evening thunderstorms, High 82, Low 55
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, with showers around, High 85, Low 63

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe High 83, Low 57
Wednesday – Scattered thunderstorms High 85, Low 66

AW: Tomorrow – Times of clouds and sun with a shower or thunderstorm around in the afternoon high 86, Low 50
Wednesday – Showers and a heavier t-storm; mostly cloudy and humid with the temperature near the record of 93 High 91, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – Scattered showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Mostly cloudy High 85, Low 54
Wednesday – Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy High 84, Low 69

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny in the morning…then mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon High 86, Low 55
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy in the morning…then becoming partly sunny. Scattered showers and thunderstorms High 85, Low 70

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens on Wednesday. The model outputs are saying 90, which is what Accuweather (even MORE hurricanes!) is buying, but all the auxiliary data says that there isn’t a chance in heck they get quite that warm. We shall see. Below is a satellite littered with popcorn cumulus clouds.

A sad Father’s Day for northwestern Minnesota

Statistics are still being parsed, but it appears a tornado outbreak on that day was the most prolific in the history of the state. The towns of Wadena, Mentor, Algora and Kiester will never be the same. Several other towns were struck, though Wadena, a regionally important city of about 4500 was devastated, and there were deaths in Mentor, Algora and near Kiester.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune had an excellent piece on this Father’s Day about Wes Michaels, the man who lost his life in Mentor, which is in the northwestern corner of Minnesota, who died protecting his daughter at the gas station he owned.
The article is poignant and sad, however his death underscored a danger highlighted by these storms. Weather services across three states, the Dakotas and Minnesota, did an excellent job giving people proper warning. The city of Wadena, for example, had 36 minutes between the time the sirens went off and the tornado sweeping into town. Michaels was watching The Weather Channel (reportedly a favorite of his) and actually had time to drive to the gas station to ensure the safety of his daughter and customers, ushering them into the freezer.
This is the problem that was exposed by the storms. The three deaths that occurred were because of unsafe places of refuge. The other two were killed when their mobile homes were tossed. The safest place to endure such weather is always below ground. Wes Michaels couldn’t get there, but found the next safest place, and there were 4 other people in that freezer that are alive to thank him for that.
Hopefully we won’t have to hear any more tragedies like this on this Father’s Day, however there is a dangerous situation setting up again today, this time through South Dakota and Nebraska, with most of the states under the gun. Here’s hoping YOU have a happy Father’s Day, no matter what the weather may be.