All posts by Anthony

Prescott, Arizona to Couer d’Alene, Idaho

Today we embark on a 1,300-mile road trip, from central Arizona northwards to far northern Idaho. Not very often we take a road trip through the Rockies that goes south-north! Let’s see what the next few days have in store for the Western US!

DAY ONE

Monsoon season is in full-swing over the Southwest US, with plentiful afternoon thunderstorms popping off over the mountain ranges throughout Arizona and southern Utah. Dry weather should greet us to start the day as we head out of Prescott and persist throughout much of northern Arizona. By early afternoon, as we make our way through southwestern Utah, we’ll have to start dodging some scattered cells that develop as we make our way along Hwy 89 and eventually to I-15, but the worst of the activity will be behind us over northern AZ. We might encounter a couple brief thunderstorms as we trek along I-15 in Utah before we finish our long day in Nephi, Utah.

DAY TWO

It will be another day of mostly due north driving all along I-15. There’s a weak boundary looking to push through MT into northern WY throughout the day, and with enhanced monsoonal moisture lifting through the Four Corners region today, we could see some widely scattered activity already festering around the Nephi area when we depart in the morning. It looks more like shower activity as opposed to constant thunderstorms, so not terribly much for us to worry about as we pass by Provo and eventually Salt Lake City. There could be a few scattered showers for us to negotiate through as we make our way into Idaho and eventually by Pocatello and Idaho Falls. North of there, dry weather should be expected the rest of the way as we head into Montana and finish the day in Butte.

DAY THREE

Today will be a short day and it’s just a couple hundred miles more to our destination, and with high pressure moving in over the Northern Rockies, our day should be stress-free! Weather-wise anyways.

Wet Wednesday

It’s been quite the busy day over the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains today, as a slew of activity has been centered around a stationary front found from the ND/SD border southeastward into northern IL. Earlier this morning, a cluster of cells emerged from Central/Eastern SD and barreled eastward over southern MN. It expanded into a rather violent MCS as it shifted into far northern IA and eventually into Northern IL, leaving a trail of wind damage in its wake as reports of 50-65mph were plentiful. Eventually the storm petered out some over northern IN, but a second line developed earlier this evening over southern MN into western WI. This line didn’t really become severe throughout the night, but the slow-moving, training motion of the storms dumped heavy here in the Southern Twin Cities metro area. Several reports of 1-2″/hr have come in, with storm totals of 3-5″ causing flooding issues here into western WI. Thursday should be a bit quieter around here, but the focus will shift eastward into the Central/Eastern Great Lakes region, which will be nice because we need to dry out some up here!

Fernanda Strolls Along

While the Atlantic Basin is pretty quiet as far as tropical systems go, the Eastern Pacific is seeing a powerful storm churn westward. Hurricane Fernanda is moseying along at 12mph just north of due west, and expected to go west-northwest over the next several days. Luckily for anybody really concerned, it doesn’t look like it’s going to affect land anytime soon as it’s still thousands of miles away from affecting Hawaii. Fernanda is a powerful yet compact Category 4 hurricane right now, with top sustained winds of 145mph. Hurricane winds only extend out about 30 miles from the eye, and tropical storm force winds another 40 miles past that. Some minor strengthening is possible today which could move it into Category 5 range, but the only thing it’ll be affecting is schools of fish. Here we see the very compact nature of this hurricane and its’ eye as well. Very picturesque, and luckily, very much benign to most of civilization.

Southwest Continues to Swelter

Extreme heat and the Desert Southwest are two terms that go together during the summer months like peanut butter and jelly. Having been to Las Vegas in the midst of a June heat wave myself in years past, I can attest to how unpleasant it feels. Trust me, a “dry heat” is still ridiculous when it’s 110F+. These last couple of weeks have seen cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, places no strangers to heat, crushing decades or century-old records. Las Vegas hit 106 degrees for a high on June 15th. They’ve hit 105+ every single day since then, making it 25 consecutive days of 105+ (an all-time record streak that could be in jeopardy over the next couple days since forecasted highs are around 106). Phoenix has hit 118+ 3 times in the last 3 weeks. Palm Springs, CA hit 122 4 separate days in that same time-span, tying their all-time record high for the month of June in the process. Los Angeles broke their record high for the day Saturday, hitting 98 at the USC campus before cooling a smidgen to 96 Sunday (record was 100). With most of summer still ahead of us, we can expect more sweltering records to fall.

Stormy Saturdays

The forecast for Dothan heading into the weekend was a pretty typical summer forecast for the region, constant chances of afternoon thunderstorms. One just passed by the area on Friday, but Saturday saw a direct hit, dumping over an inch of rain in the process. It was a close battle, but WeatherNation edged out VW and the NWS by a single point.

Friday: Thunderstorm reported in vicinity. High 94, Low 76.
Saturday: 1.04″ in thunderstorm. High 93, Low 72.
Forecast Grade: B-D

Dothan, Alabama

Today we head down towards the Gulf Coast region to find out how the fine people of Dothan, Alabama are doing today. Is a dry start to the weekend in store or will thunderstorms dot the landscape?

At 153am CDT, the temperature at Dothan, AL was 77 degrees under fair skies. Activity has subsided during these overnight hours as per usual. High pressure founds off the Southeast coastline extends its axis into the northern Gulf of Mexico, suppressing chances of any nocturnal activity from really reaching them. Some scattered airmass thunderstorms are expected to pop up during the afternoon hours on Friday, which is pretty typical for these summer months in the Deep South (gotta love that GOM moisture!). Tail end of a boundary looks to swing into the region on Saturday, however, which is expected to increase the coverage of thunderstorms throughout the region. Constant daylong rains aren’t expected, but odds are Dothan will see some storm activity over the next couple of days.

Friday: Scattered afternoon thunderstorms. High 92, Low 75.
Saturday: Thunderstorms likely. High 89, Low 74.

TWC: Friday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High 91, Low 75.
Saturday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 87, Low 74.

AW: Friday: A thunderstorm around. High 92, Low 75.
Saturday: A stray afternoon t-storm. High 88, Low 75.

NWS: Friday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 93, Low 75.
Saturday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 89, Low 75.

WB: Friday: Increasing chances of afternoon thunderstorms. High 89, Low 75.
Saturday: Chances of thunderstorms. High 87, Low 76.

WN: Friday: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. High 93, Low 75.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. High 90, Low 75.

FIO: Friday: Light rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 90, Low 73.
Saturday: Rain starting in the morning. High 88, Low 75.

Much of the Gulf Coast region is clear tonight, but the afternoon hours the next couple days should paint a different picture as diurnal convection develops.

Bend, Oregon

Happy Independence Day everybody! Hopefully you had an enjoyable extended weekend and got to enjoy some fireworks today. As we ease our way into a short work week, let’s head off to Central Oregon and find out what’s happening in the lee of the Cascades!

At 555pm PDT, the temperature in Bend, OR was 91 degrees under fair skies. A broad upper-ridge is found over the western US with a lingering boundary/low pressure system found over eastern Washington. the boundary is expected to dissipate by tomorrow morning, but essentially a thermal low is going to continue hanging out over eastern sections of WA/OR over the next couple of days as toasty temps in the 90s are anticipated. Very little chance is anticipated in the overall pattern as we push into the weekend, so in the meantime, the conditions in Bend will be hot and quiet.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 92, Low 56.
Thursday: Continued sunny and hot High 93, Low 57.

TWC: Wednesday: Sunny. High 95, Low 58.
Thursday: Sunny. High 94, Low 58.

AW: Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 93, Low 55.
Thursday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 93, Low 55.

NWS: Wednesday: Sunny. High 93, Low 52.
Thursday: Sunny. High 94, Low 57.

WB: Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High 90, Low 58.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 90, Low 58.

WN: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 93, Low 52.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 93, Low 57.

FIO: Wednesday: Clear throughout the day. High 89, Low 61.
Thursday: Clear throughout the day. High 88, Low 62.

Here we see much of the western US is clear and quiet, just some high wispy clouds over eastern OR. Much of the same is in store for the next couple of days as temperatures remain high.

Hurricane Season Teases

Hurricane season for the Atlantic basin started a couple weeks ago, and all-in-all, it looked like quiet days were expected. That’s exactly how it’s panned out so far, but it looked like something interesting was getting stirred up around the Yucatan Peninsula! The 00 and 06Z GFS model runs indicated a low pressure system spinning up in the Bay of Campeche in about 6-8 days and meandering its way towards the Texas/Mexico border. Something to keep an eye on!

Then… the 12Z and 18Z model runs came through. Expectations were had! Instead, almost nothing of note is found there anymore. A bit of a surface trough still lingers in the region with clusters of possible convection festering nearby, but nothing like the earlier runs indicating a B-named storm getting spun up. The only area of note is waaaay out in the Atlantic, near the Cape Verde Islands. Usually we don’t get too excited about storms that far out in June/July since the upper level patterns don’t typically favor development that far east. August/September is usually when we gander that far out. But until then, we’ll continue to wait.

When Perfection Finishes Second

Outside of maaaaybe a shot of a rain shower in Philly, the weather seemed to be pretty good for midweek. That slight chance of a shower though was enough to alter the standings. Even though the NWS had a PERFECT temperature forecast (hooray!), their chances of showers on both days was enough to bring them down to 2nd place, as WN won with their dry forecast.

Wednesday: High 67, Low 54.
Thursday: High 72, Low 54.
Forecast Grade: A

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We head off to the City of Brotherly Love today, and let’s see if the weather is just as lovely!

At 1154pm EDT, the temperature in Philadelphia, PA was 57 degrees under overcast skies. There’s an area of high pressure at the surface found over the Great Lakes that’s slowly pushing its way eastward. However, there’s a mid-level disturbance that continues to linger over Southern New England and is dropping southward throughout Wednesday. While some isolated showers are found in the area, they’re dropping southward currently and not expected to affect the city. There could be some morning to midday showers tomorrow over the mountains off to the west while overcast skies continue to linger over Philly. The system should clear out some for Thursday, leading to warmer temperatures, but mostly cloudy skies are still in the cards. It’ll be a few days until a decent system is expected to bring showers to the region, so looks like an enjoyable weekend is on the horizon!

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High 69, Low 54.
Thursday: Warmer, remaining mostly cloudy. High 75, Low 55.

TWC: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, few morning showers. High 68, Low 53.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 75, Low 53.

AW: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, a shower; cool. High 63, Low 54.
Thursday: Clouds giving way to sun. High 69, Low 52.

NWS: Wednesday: Isolated early morning showers, mostly cloudy. High 67, Low 54.
Thursday: Slight chance of showers. High 72, Low 54.

WB: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High 65, Low 52.
Thursday: Partly sunny. High 69, Low 53.

WN: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High 66, Low 54.
Thursday: Partly cloudy with isolated showers. High 72, Low 54.

FIO: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy until night. High 71, Low 54.
Thursday: Partly cloudy starting in the morning, continuing until night. High 76, Low 52.

There’s a few light showers off to the southwest and dwindling as we head through the overnight hours. More dry weather is in store for the area today!