Now that I am back, I figure I should probably write something. Nothing better, for my money, than a look at a far flung spot on the other side of the world, like, say, Niger, an arid nation in the the interior of northwestern Africa. Most of the nation lies in the Sahara, and is characteristically hot, dry and dusty. The lone exception is the southeastern corner, by the capital Niamey, where the Niger river flows. It’s not technically a desert in that corner, but it certainly is rather dry across the entirety of the country. They are represented in the World Meteorological Organization by the Direction de la Meteorologie Nationale. Their website is barebones, in French, and seemingly lacking in real time weather data, so I can’t provide a lot of additional details beyond introducing you to the organization.
Welcome to a road trip featuring one of the longest titles ever. It’s going to be a 7 hour trip, and covers almost 400 miles. Expect a slow rate that covers ground at about 56mph. Shall we?
Our drive on Saturday will be rather easy. We’ll meander through the mountains of the eastern time zone. Expect warm temperatures for the day, well above average. Keep the windows down, because we won’t have any precipitation at all for the entire 7 hour day. Altoona could be clearing 80 by the time we get there!
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
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
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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 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
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!