All posts by Anthony

Absent showers

The cold front moved a tad slower through the Northeast than expected, with the scattered showers and thunderstorms managing to miss the New London area. Temperatures inched upwards slightly on Saturday and remained dry. TWC and WB tied for the win with their warmer and dry Saturday forecast.

Friday: High 85, Low 69.
Saturday: High 88, Low 73.

Forecast grade: B

Atlanta, Georgia

Off to the home of The Weather Channel! How will can they forecast for their own backyard? Pride is at stake here!!!

At 9:53pm EDT, the temperature was 78 degrees under partly cloudy skies in Atlanta. Over the last few days, a zonal flow has set up over the Northern U.S., meaning the jet stream pretty much flows due straight west to east. A large upper-level ridge has parked itself over the Southwest US and has been staying put for the last few days, as been indicative by the absolutely sweltering conditions the Desert Southwest has been undertaking (90 for a LOW in Las Vegas?!). Anyways, with the jet stream staying well north, no significant surface systems really are able to make it that far south to bring any new air masses into the region. Also, with the Bermuda high firmly entrenched over the Atlantic and ridging into the Southeast, a steady flow of moisture continues to sit over the region. So, with the status quo expected to continue through the next couple of days, looks like we have some more scattered storms expected to affect the area.

Monday: Few scattered thunderstorms. High 91, Low 72.
Tuesday: More scattered thunderstorms. High 92, Low 73.

WB: Monday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 90, Low 73.
Tuesday: Slightly more isolated thunderstorm activity. High 93, Low 72.

TWC: Monday: Showers and thunderstorms expected. High 90, Low 71.
Tuesday: Fewer storms, bit more sun. High 90, Low 72.

NWS: Monday: Isolated thunderstorms. High 91, Low 73.
Tuesday: More thunderstorm activity. High 93, Low 72.

AW: Monday: Widely scattered shower and thunderstorm activity. High 90, Low 72.
Tuesday: Slightly less thunderstorm activity. High 90, Low 74.

We see a few thunderstorms rolling north over the OH Valley. Will Atlanta see some of this same action over the next couple of days?

Feature Forecast: Dan Thomas, WSMV Meteorologist, Nashville, Tennessee

Today we’re happy to have Mr. Dan Thomas on the site! Dan is a meteorologist for WSMV in Nashville, TN and is a graduate of Penn State University. After being interested in weather ever since a young age, he has been living out his dream being on TV bringing weather information to the masses, especially when he worked in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. To find out more about Dan Thomas, check here for more information, he’s been quite the active one in front of the camera!

With the weekend approaching, here’s what Mr. Thomas has for the lovely Nashville area through the next couple of days:

SATURDAY: A mix of clouds & sunshine, with a 20% chance for a stray afternoon shower or t-storm. Wind, north 5-15 mph. High, 90.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear & warm. Low, 69.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy, hot, and slightly less humid. Wind, variable 5-10 mph. High, 93.

Outside of a few clouds and hot temperatures, seems like a pretty favorable forecast for residents to go out and enjoy their weekend!

Greenville, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee

Today we get a nice long trip across I-40 from the Coastal Plains from NC to one of the hotbeds of country music, Nashville. I’ve actually taken this trip before, and midway we get to enjoy the picturesque Smoky Mountains. But will Mother Nature cooperate and give us some sunny skies to enjoy the scenery? Let’s see what this day-long 621 mile haul brings us!

We head out early today given the length of this trip, making sure to get out of the city before all of the college students from ECU can continue their weekend fun. An area of low pressure has been camping off the Outer Banks for the last few days, keeping scattered shower and thunderstorm activity over the region. This low pressure, however, is starting to drift towards the northeast as a cold front makes its way through the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, drawing the low pressure towards it. We expect a few scattered showers over Eastern North Carolina when we get going, however, with the cold front pushing through the Appalachians at this point, shower and thunderstorm activity is expected to quickly blossom during the late morning hours. By the time we roll past Raleigh towards Greensboro, the Rain-X we applied could be coming in pretty handy as some strong thunderstorms could kick up over the Coastal Plateau. By early afternoon, we should be heading towards Ashville, with much of the thunderstorm activity behind us heading towards the coast. With the front shifting through, skies should be clearing out, leaving us with fairly nice weather as we mosey on through the Appalachians into TN. There might be a couple lingering showers over the southeastern portion of TN during the late-afternoon/early-evening, but for the most part should be clear sailing as we speed on down I-40 towards Nashville. Country music awaits!

Holiday Heat Subsides

For everybody on the East Coast who wanted a warm, sunny holiday weekend, they certainly got what they wished for. As mentioned in an earlier post, The Mid-Atlantic up through New England baked earlier this week as monster ridge of high pressure set up shop and didn’t budge for nearly a week. While the actual weekend was pretty toasty, Tuesday and Wednesday were the hottest of this whole episode. Most areas in southeastern NY, CT, NJ, and eastern PA cracked 100 Wednesday, and Newark topped 100 for 4 straight days, only the third recorded instance of that happening (1953 and 1993). What’s more remarkable, given the sheer volume of people living in the area affected by the worst heat, was the fact that (as of last reported count) only 5-6 people died as a direct result of the heat. This goes to show that word got out well ahead of the heat wave about its’ intensity and knew where to go to keep cool. Hopefully that count stays low when the official total comes in. In any event, it’s clear that people have learned from the 1995 Chicago heat wave how to take care of themselves and others. Kudos!

Summertime Swings

As expected, the front shifted through Cheyenne late in the day on Tuesday, bringing a few light showers Tuesday evening into Wednesday, with the stronger thunderstorms developing not too far off to the east of the city. However, what wasn’t expected, was the degree of the temperature drop-off on Wednesday. Most of us were pretty close on the low temperature Wednesday morning, but… it never recovered. Overcast skies kept Cheyenne particularly chilly Wednesday, never making it out of the mid 50’s, an impressive 27-degree drop from Tuesday. Victoria Weather nabbed the top spot, with WB and AW bringing up the rear with their relatively sultry and dry Wednesday predictions.

Tuesday: 0.02 in rain showers. High 81, Low 49.
Wednesday: another 0.02 in rain showers. High 54, Low 49.
Forecast grade: C

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Off we go to the capital of the least populous state in the US. For some reason, it’s totally opposite of what Wyoming is best-known for, Yellowstone Park. Perhaps they just like the nightlife in Denver better.

At 7:53PM MDT, the temperature at Cheyenne was 70 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. Most of these clouds were fairly high-based and will dissipate as the evening wears on. An upper-level trough has been very slowly pushing its’ way eastward over the last few days, mainly due to the overpowering ridge that’s parked itself over the eastern US with triple-digit highs. This trough will continue to slowly shift its way through the Northern Plains over the next couple of days as the mega-ridge breaks down somewhere. At the surface, a stationary front has set up shop from ND through northern WY back into ID. This front, however, will turn into a slow-moving cold front as it reluctantly travels towards the southeast. As the front approaches the Central Dakotas down into southeast WY, the base of the trough will be swinging through the Cowboy State as well. This influx of energy could set off some strong to severe thunderstorms around the capital late in the day into the overnight hours. A few lingering showers could last into early Wednesday, with much cooler weather expected as a cooler airmass settles in overhead. While there will still be a chance of some scattered showers/isolated thunderstorms on Wednesday, it’ll be significantly cooler. Gotta love these crazy summer months!

Tuesday: Increasing clouds, possible severe storms in evening/late night. High 78, Low 51.
Wednesday: Scattered showers early, slight chance of a passing shower/storm in afternoon. High 63, Low 49.

TWC: Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 74, Low 49.
Wednesday: Isolated thunderstorms. High 60, Low 46.

AW: Tuesday: 40% chances of thunderstorms. High 76, Low 51.
Wednesday: Cooler with clouds and sun. High 67, Low 48.

NWS: Tuesday: Severe thunderstorms possible. High 78, Low 52.
Wednesday: Slight chance of showers/storms. High 63, Low 48.

WB: Tuesday: 40% chance of thunderstorms. High 76, Low 52.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High 66, Low 48.

Here we see a deck of clouds off to the north dropping some showers and isolated thunderstorms. These will be dropping southward tomorrow and affect Cheyenne by evening.

Gorgeous Weekend

Given that the 4th of July was on a Sunday this year, this meant lots of people would be out and about hoping to score some nice weather with their holiday weekend. Luckily, for the people of San Jose anyways, Mother Nature pulled through. Mostly clear skies and some breezy afternoon winds pushed temperatures into the mid to upper 80’s. Whatever was perplexing VW and others about the cooler Independence Day came to fruition, as the NWS nabbed the top spot with their cooler 4th of July. Hope everybody had a safe and happy weekend!

Saturday: High 88, Low 56.
Sunday: High 85, Low 56.

Forecast grade: A

And our 2010 Captain Obvious Award Goes to…

As meteorologists, we always look at what other people are forecasting for various things: tornado outbreaks, an upcoming blizzard, intense heat wave, etc. One of those would also be the upcoming Hurricane season! The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season officially started on June 1, and it’s been a quiet start so far. One tropical wave is moving through the Caribbean south of Hispaniola, but is having a tough time doing much of anything. In an earlier post, we mentioned that various forecasters were forecasting an above average hurricane season, with something around 14 named storms. Other outlets went slightly higher with 15-17. One of them, however, not only takes the cake with his recent updated forecast, but also the way he displays the information.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2010 Captain Obvious Award goes to Joe Bastardi of Accuweather! If you wish to check out his newly updated 2010 Hurricane Outlook and refresh yourself, click on the link. Also, it will give you an idea of why he wins the Captain Obvious Award. First, he INCREASES his outlook for the season from 16-18 to 18-21! Only 3 seasons have had 18 or more named storms (that I can remember anyways), so to predict such a prolific season is pretty tough to put out there. What is most annoying, however, is how the graphics and data he says which he emphasizes as critical information… isn’t very ground-breaking in the least.

First, look at the Threat Zones graphic. The area of Biggest Threat goes from Louisiana to the Outer Banks of NC. Now lets take a look at the climotological best tracks for storms in the months of September and October, typically 2 of the most active months of the season.

So, the area of Biggest Threat… is the normal area that’s under the gun. Every. Single. Year. If I didn’t know fancy graphics didn’t exist back in the 60s you could use that same graphic for the season Hurricane Camille roared ashore. Making a fancy image showing information that is normal doesn’t make it any more informational, just grabs peoples attention and scares them. Then again, to everybody from New Orleans to Miami to Myrtle Beach, I’m pretty sure they know the danger they’re in each year.

Second, the line “Bastardi predicts the heart of this season’s storms will occur between Aug. 15 and Oct. 15”. Now, let’s look the seasonal average for tropical activity during the season…

So he predicts the heart of the tropical season to be… directly when the season normally peaks. Way to go out there on a limb Joe. The 1933 Hurricane Season peaked at the same time (2nd most active on record). The 2005 Hurricane Season peaked at the same time (most active on record). Even the way overforecasted 2009 Hurricane Season peaked at the same time. Him telling us that time frame is of crucial importance, isn’t any different than any other year, active or not.

So for that, Mr. Bastardi wins the award for making a big deal out of weather phenomena that naturally occur in a certain timeline and normal paths on an annual basis. Oh, and for also predicting possibly the 2nd busiest season on record. If it does indeed happen, I’ll be the first to eat a slice of humble pie. Until then, we’ll let the Atlantic do the talking.

East Timor

Seems recently we’ve had a string of small countries being featured. Things… won’t be changing today.

East Timor is a small island nation about 400 miles northwest of Darwin, Australia, sharing the island on the west side with part of Indonesia. Laying at a whopping 9 degrees south, East Timor (or as it’s officially known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) has a distinct tropical climate with wet and dry seasons. With a land area of under 5750 sq. miles, there isn’t a ton of room to move around, but does impressively have mountain peaks above 9,500 feet. The Northwestern quadrant of the island has the most mountainous region, while the southern coastline is predominately plains. With it’s proximity to the equator, East Timor actually avoids most tropical systems that spin their way towards Northern Australia, only getting a brief glance as they stroll by.
The Dirrec√£o Nacional Meteorologia e Geofisica is the governing meteorological body of East Timor, however, it seems they forgot to pay their internet access bill this month, and the site is non-operational at this point.