All posts by Ryan

May Forecaster of the Month

We’re already into June. Can you believe it? It seemed lie it took forever, that’s for sure. The summer months and the conversion to fall, that’s when Victoria-Weather tends to make up ground on other sites. Fortunately, we had a pretty good winter too, so we’ll be poised to win the forecaster of the year award as well. If I haven’t spoiled things already, here’s the news… Victoria-Weather was the May forecaster of the month, rather easily.

Agatha makes landfall

On the heels of yesterday’s hurricane season preview from Anthony, we have our first landfall of the Pacific season. Tropical Storm Agatha came ashore in Guatemala yesterday, and has already dropped enough rain to create a massive sinkhole in Guatemala City.
Storms in central America have a tendency to be major rain producers, given the abrupt rise in elevation along the coast. Often, the storms, even when not strong, expend all of their moisture in torrential and often tragic expedience. Flooding rains are almost always the greatest threat with storms in places like Guatemala. Here’s hoping Agatha doesn’t linger too long over Central America.

The Week Ahead 5/30/10-6/5/10

Wow, already into June. A few summer time forecasts for you next week.

Monday – Decatur, Alabama
Thursday – Auburn, Alabama; Road Trip from Benton Harbor, Michigan to Auburn
Friday – Hanford, California

Going somewhere for Memorial Day?

Well, the good news is, there shouldn’t be any widespread snow to slow down your travels! If you plan to be outside this weekend, know that there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms throughout most of the southeast. We could be looking at severe storms for the Carolinas today, though for the most part, storms will be your garden variety thunderstorm activity.
A cold front sneaking through the center of the country will be setting off storms over the Upper Midwest, some that could be severe over the Dakotas southeast into northeastern Colorado tomorrow, then in the western Great Lakes by Sunday. By Sunday, the front will be developing its strongest storms, however, over Kansas and Oklahoma. Eventually, by Memorial Day most of the rain will be in the Ohio Valley, but the severe threat will be lessened.
A couple of waves in the northwest will mean rain in the northern Rockies through the weekend, coming back into Washington by Memorial Day, meaning Seattle wil be pretty wet to end the weekend. Expect a few showers as well over New England Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, but an otherwise manageable weekend.
It sounds pretty wet, but I have to say that since most everything on the map is moving and not stalled, almost everyone will be able to enjoy some pleasant weather for this coming holiday weekend, though perhaps not for the entire weekend.

Portland, Maine to Elmira, New York

We’re taking one day to travel through interior New England, driving from beautiful downstate Maine to beautiful downstate New York. The 462 miles of the trip are mostly not on major interstates, and we won’t move terribly swiftly. We will only inch along at 60mph, but it’s all right, given the scenery.


There is a cold front setting itself up through the mid Atlantic, kind of following an arcing path through that area. It’s going to set off some thunderstorms over eastern New York this afternoon, but will slowly drift out of our route tonight. We’re going to have to deal with some trailing showers, probably after we reach the Oneonta, New York area lasting into Elmira, but the rest of the drive will be quiet and very easily manageable. Enjoy the drive!

Some fun storm reports

Yesterday, there was some severe weather in the Front Range, Upper Midwest and in Florida. Nothing that was so bad that it led to death or injury, so I feel I can make light of some of the reports. For example, they had some hail western Texas.

2055 200 1 SE LARIAT PARMER TX 3432 10289 WINDSHIELD BUSTED OUT (LUB)

It done got busted out! The first number, by the way, is the time, the second is the size of the hail, in hundredths of an inch (so that is 2 inch diameter hail) followed by the location, including latitude and longitude. That in mind, check out the size of this hail:

2053 375 2 NW PROGRESS BAILEY TX 3430 10283 (LUB)

That’ll wake you up. Almost 4 inches in diameter! That’s about the size of a softball!

In new Mexico, of course, they aren’t as familiar with sports, so they compare their hail size to other objects:

0120 200 8 N BUCKEYE LEA NM 3292 10350 HEN EGG HAIL REPORTED 8 MILES NORTH OF BUCKEYE ON SH 238. (MAF)

This is why people have garages, hail up to 4 inches in diameter. It looks like an active day again in the High Plains, so there will be many more hail reports today, I’m sure. And it’s only May! Several more months of thunder to deal with, no doubt.

Grenada

Many people have only heard about Grenada because of the US invasion of the tiny island nation in the Lesser Antilles. Though I have no personal experience with the island, I have no reason to believe it isn’t a tropical paradise. The island, like most in the Lessers is at the mercy of the ITCZ and trade winds. It is wetter in the summer and fall months when the ITCZ and the trades bring a nearly constant threat for showers and thunderstorms. The winter is actually rather dry in Grenada, as they don’t have any systems to move through, and the temperatures all around are quite similar since they are parked in the middle of a warm ocean. Grenada is far enough south that most hurricanes stay to their north, and Ivan was the first hurricane they had seen in almost 50 years. Grenada has no national weather service.

Jackson, Mississippi to Atlantic City, New Jersey

Or drive today will take us to the gambling haven of Atlantic City from the.. something haven of Mississippi. It’s a 2 1/2 day journey covering 1168 miles. Our first two days will cover 495 miles at the slow pace of less than 62mph. Lots of urban driving. Let’s collect our chips and hit the road!

DAY ONE

It’s going to be a hot one tomorrow. Our air conditioner will be cranked up to full blast, which is fine, because the windows will need to be closed when it rains. After we find our way through Mississippi and are in Alabama, the heat of the day will start kicking up scattered showers and thunderstorms that will follow us right on into Knoxville, Tennessee, our destination for day 1. Nothing will be severe, per se, but some downpours will be heavy enough to make us need the lights and both hands on the wheel.

DAY TWO
Expect a similar drive on Thursday as we had on Wednesday, with thunderstorms ramping up in the afternoon, after we have been on the road for a few hours. The day will take us through Virginia and into Maryland, and the rain will become a more pressing concern after we pass the Roanoke area. Our drive will end in Cooksville, Maryland, west of Baltimore.

DAY THREE
Just a short little trip over to the Jersey Coast and Atlantic City. It will still be rather unstable over the mid Atlantic, but the cooler Atlantic may keep things from going up right over Atlantic City. The drive in will be rainy, with a weak front finally closing in on the area, but we will spend the rest of the day in a casino, so does it truly matter?

A first taste of summer

It’s only late May, but the banks of the Mississippi in Iowa have already seen the temperatures climb to the lower 90s, like in Davenport the past couple of days. Thunderstorms, as I predicted, remained out of Davenport, and the city merely saw a couple days of hot, humid air. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast.
Actuals: Sunday – High 90, Low 71
Monday – High 92, Low 69

Grade: A

A meteorologist can never win

Yesterday it rained here in Minneapolis, and it wasn’t exactly expected to happen. All afternoon, I had people telling me what a bunch of liars meteorologists are, since we collectively botched the forecast. And we did, I’m not denying that.
At least, though, I’m not one of those TV meteorologists who has to deal with complaints when they actually are giving important and up to date weather information. This lady just doesn’t care about that storm.

Minneapolis looks like a market where meteorologists will be receiving more complaints tonight, as a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for just north of town. I’m not lying.