All posts by Anthony

Danville, Illinois to Anderson, Indiana

Easily the shortest road trip I’ve done, with only a measly 119 miles separating the 2 cities. I drove over 350 miles this weekend personally watching a couple college hockey games. This trip should only take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to accomplish. There are longer commutes to work in Los Angeles I’m pretty sure.

An area of high pressure over the Great Lakes is keeping an area of moderate rain showers over southern Illinois and western Kentucky, with overcast skies over central IL. The low pressure system kicking up this precipitation shield will be slow to move towards the east today as the high pressure stubbornly gives way. Clouds will remain over the route for the entire day, but should be dry for our morning drive eastward into Iowa. Didn’t even need to put in that second CD.

Anderson, Indiana

At 1053PM, the temperature at Anderson, IN is 36 degrees under overcast skies. While a dome of high pressure is keeping the Great Lakes area dry, including Anderson, an area of low pressure over the Southern Plains is pushing eastward towards the MS River Valley. The high pressure is keeping the rain suppressed off to the south over southern IL and Western KY, and should ward off the precip for most of the day, even if it will remain cloudy. Tuesday sees the high pressure finally relenting towards the east, with the low pressure developing further and shifting out of the Ozarks and into the Ohio Valley. Some lighter showers are possible Tuesday morning, but should pick up in intensity and persistence by Tuesday afternoon. A couple claps of thunder could be possible, but most of that activity should remain well off to the south of Anderson.

Monday: Remaining cloudy. High 44, Low 30.
Tuesday: Rain showers increase. High 47, Low 34.

TWC: Monday: Mostly cloudy. High 45, Low 32.
Tuesday: Rain expected. High 50, Low 35.

AW: Monday: Times of cloudy and sun. High 48, Low 29.
Tuesday: A bit of afternoon rain. High 51, Low 30.

NWS: Monday: Partly sunny. High 45, Low 30.
Tuesday: Rain likely. High 48, Low 33.

WB: Monday: Partly cloudy, a few evening rain showers. High 45, Low 28.
Tuesday: Rain likely. High 48, Low 33.

Here we see the rain off to the southwest of the Indianapolis area. It should be a slow-go for it to make it northeastward, but it’ll arrive by Tuesday afternoon.

Wet End to the Workweek

The cold front that advertised heavy rains over the East Coast delivered as promised, giving a good soaking to New York City. Nearly an inch fell on Thursday, then duplicated itself early Friday morning before it shifted towards New England. Mostly cloudy skies ruled on Saturday, as temperatures nearly duplicated themselves. Everybody had 37 for a Saturday low, but I was gutsy and went 38, which pushed V-W to a narrow victory over AW & NWS.

Friday: 0.93″ in heavy rain showers. High 55, Low 40.
Saturday: High 56, Low 38.
Forecast grade: B

Earthquake and Tsunami Devastate Japan

Yes, this is a weather blog, and earthquakes and tsunamis are in no way, shape, or form are affect by meteorological forces, but when a natural disaster of this magnitude occurs and affects this many people, it’s impossible not to discuss it from a scientific standpoint. It was a rather surreal scene last night, after randomly noticing that ALL of the trending topics on Twitter had a Japan reference, switching on CNN and watching live aerial footage of the tsunami rushing inland and taking out houses, roads, villages, farmland, and just not stopping as it plunged inland. Clearly this will remind people of the giant 2004 Sumatra Earthquake/tsunami and the devastation it caused, but this was different in a way that we could see everything unfold live on TV, whereas back in 2004 we heard about nearly everything a bit after the fact.

What exactly causes a tsunami of this magnitude? Well on Wednesday a 7.2 earthquake hit off the Japanese coastline, followed by a 6.3 early Thursday, then on Friday afternoon, the monster 8.9 quake hit about 230mi northeast of Tokyo, or due east of Sendai. The main instigator of the tsunami was that it only happened at 15.2mi below the surface, which is very shallow for such a powerful quake, and means most of that energy is translated to the surface. Unlike the Sumatra quake, in which a massive underwater landslide triggered the tsunami, this quake caused an uplifting of the seafloor in the Japan Trench as the Pacific Plate subducts underneath the Eurasian Plate, pushing it upwards. When the seafloor has a sudden lift, all of the water above it is displaced, and when you have THAT MUCH water moving upwards, it has nowhere to go but outwards. Out in the open sea, you wouldn’t really notice much as the amplitude (height) of the wave might only be a foot, but the wavelength (distance between wave crests) can be dozens or even hundreds of miles long. When this wave approaches the shallow waters near a coastline, the energy of the wave causes it to rapidly build in height and then just inundate the coastline. When you see a normal wave on a coastline, the water will only go inland a few feet before pushing back out to sea in anticipation of the next wave just a few seconds later. With a tsunami wave, and the fact that the waves are dozens of miles apart, all of that energy pushes the wave inland hundreds of feet, or even a couple of miles depending on the topography, past the coastline before it starts to recede ahead of the next wave.

Tsunami waves can reach upwards of 500-600mph as they race across the open ocean, as evidenced by the waves reaching Hawaii and reaching heights of 7 feet, flooding up to 100ft of coastline according to some early reports. Currently, these waves are currently making their way to the Western US. Granted the West Coast won’t see anything like what our friends in Japan unfortunately experienced, but still not a wise time to be standing on the beach. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Japan and all of the people affected by this disaster, and hope our readers who have friends or family traveling abroad hear good news.

Soggy Southland

The dry weather for Tuesday made for a relatively pleasant early-March day for Atlanta, giving people a reason to get outside and enjoy it. Wednesday, however, was a completely different story. The cold front that’s been progressing over the Eastern US over the last couple of days pushed through the city, dropping well over an inch of rain, and pushing a thunderstorm overhead midday. Quite the soggy day. It was a close forecast temperature-wise, but Weatherbug was the only one who had late showers on Tuesday. When a shower dropped a whopping 0.01″ at 1122PM, Weatherbug hit the proverbial jackpot and took the top spot.

Tuesday: 0.01″ in a shower. High 61, Low 41
Wednesday: 1.31″ in rain and a thunderstorm. High 58, Low 51.
Forecast grade: B

New York City, New York

After days of having forecasts under high pressure, we have a doozy of one today, especially for the biggest city in the US. Not the greatest way to kick off the weekend, but don’t worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel for everybody!

At 5:54PM EST, the temperature is 49 degrees at Central Park, with overcast skies and light fog/mist, and additional rain moving in from the southwest imminently. A large trough has been digging in over the Eastern US over the last day or two, and a strong cold front has been sweeping over the Eastern Seaboard today. Many reports of damaging wind occurred in the NC/VA and further south, produced this dramatic video at the WGC-Cadillac Golf Championship down in Doral, Florida. Luckily, the New York City area should avoid such severe weather tonight into tomorrow morning, however, will be prone to flooding due to the amount of rainfall expected through midday Friday. Heavy rains at times are expected to affect the city tonight and Friday morning, finally starting to relent around lunchtime. Cloudy skies will persist through the evening and overnight hours, with the main weather nuisance switching to gusty winds on the backside of the low. Mostly cloudy skies will last into Saturday, as another low pressure system over the Great Lakes will trek into the Northeast. Luckily, most of the precip from this 2nd system will get caught up west of the Appalachians, so NYC should get a weekend reprieve and dry out from today’s and tomorrow’s events.

Friday: Heavy rains at times (perhaps an isolated tstm?) through mid-morning, drying out during afternoon. High 56, Low 46.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy, gusty at times. High 53. Low 38.

TWC: Friday: AM thunderstorm possible, weakening to afternoon showers. High 55, Low 48.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 54, Low 37.

AW: Friday: 1.50-2″ of rain possible by midday. High 59, low 45.
Saturday: Partly sunny, breezy. High 55, Low 37.

NWS: Friday: Heavy rains, 1-2″ possible. High 57, Low 46.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, but breezy. High 54. Low 37.

WB: Rain, heavy at times. Remaining cloudy. High 59, Low 46.
Saturday: Partly sunny. High 53, Low 37.

Here we see one main push of rain about to roll through the NYC area, and a line of thunderstorms approaching the Washington DC region. All that activity (well, rain-wise anyways), is going to continue shifting northeastward throughout tonight and tomorrow. Hope your umbrellas are handy and strong!

Malta

Malta is a tiny island nation in the Mediterranean Sea of only 121 square miles, about 50 miles south of the much larger island of Sicily. Malta experiences a Mediterranean climate, for obvious reasons, but is slightly more tropical in nature being how far south it’s located. High temperatures don’t swing too wildly from summer to winter here, with average highs in the mid 80s for summer and around 60 for winter. In fact, only once (2/1/1962) has frost been reported! The winter months are also the wet season for Malta, as 80% of the annual precipitation falls from October to March, making for mostly sunny and dry summer months. No wonder tourism is one of the top industries for this tiny island!

The meteorological body for Malta is based at the Malta Airport and have a fairly easy website to navigate and find data on. Including surface analysis, current observations, 5-day forecast, and some other charts and images, it’s pretty easy to find what you need to on there. Hopefully their radar gets up and running soon, that would be pretty fun to see looping images for them!

Atlanta, Georgia to Deltona, Florida

Just a short road trip for us today, about 435 miles over neighboring states. However, it’s going to be ripe with interesting weather. Mother Nature is making sure it’s no picnic of a trip into the Sunshine State!

As we start our day off, the main area of low pressure is shifting through IL towards the Southern Great Lakes. A strong cold front trailing the low has been pushing eastward over the last couple of days and has been pumping copious amounts of moisture out ahead of it. While the front itself won’t make it to our route southward, plenty of showers and thunderstorms will spread over GA throughout the late morning and early afternoon hours. By early afternoon, we’ll have made our way across the FL state line and passing by Jacksonville, so most of the activity by now affecting us will just be some scattered showers and perhaps an isolated thunderstorm. This will be the case for the remainder of the trip down the east side of the FL Peninsula as we continue into Deltona. The heavier rains and stronger thunderstorms won’t make it down that far until the overnight hours into early Thursday morning, but hopefully we should be asleep as they roll through.

Durham, North Carolina

North Carolina! Tobacco Road! Hurricane Alley! Well, it was one while I lived there for 2.5 years anyways. Will the recent severe weather hammering the Southeast be on tap once again, or will quiet weather be taking hold?

At 5:56PM EST, the temperature in Durham, NC was 58 degrees under fair skies. High pressure currently over the Great Lakes will continue to scoot eastward, taking control of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states for Thursday. This means more sunny skies for the Tar Heel State (big surprise). However, an intensifying system over the MS River Valley on Friday will quickly push this area of high pressure out to sea as it makes its way towards the East Coast. Southeastern flow will make things a lil warmer on Friday, but clouds will be on the increase as the front progresses towards NC. A couple light showers might spring up over the Smoky Mountains late on Friday, but shouldn’t be of any concern to our friends in the Plateau region of the state. Once again, seems like a quiet couple of days for my forecast, but beware, the weekend has rain written all over it.

Thursday: Sunny. High 53, Low 32.
Friday: Increasing clouds. High 59, Low 30.

TWC: Thursday: Sunny. High 55, Low 33.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 60, Low 29.

AW: Thursday: Mostly sunny, cooler than today. High 53, Low 33.
Friday: Mostly cloudy. High 57, Low 29.

NWS: Thursday: Sunny. High 51, Low 31.
Friday: Partly sunny. High 57, Low 28.

WB: Thursday: Sunny. High 54, Low 35.
Friday: Partly sunny. High 57, Low 32.

Clear skies over NC right now, with some of those high clouds moving in tomorrow. However, things will progress downhill as we move into Saturday and Sunday with that strong system moving in.

Spring-like Storm Taking on Eastern US

Last week I mentioned that people seemed to be forgetting that it was still February and winter weather is still very much attacking portions of the country. Well, February is starting to draw to a close, but the season’s first severe outbreak has been wreaking havoc over the Lower Mississippi Valley into the OH and TN Valleys. Several tornado warnings have been issued over TN/MS and into AL, but mostly wind damage has been reported with perhaps a couple of leads on possible tornadoes. All of these severe thunderstorms have essentially verified the SPC’s Moderate Risk it issued for the region yesterday and kept going through today.

However, Old Man Winter didn’t want to give up totally on this system. The northwestern side of the storm is causing quite a ruckus from Central KS through IL into southern MI and northern OH and onwards into NY and northern New England. By tomorrow evening, a swath from Cleveland to Ithaca to portions of Maine could see 8-12″ of fresh powder. From severe thunderstorms to near white-out conditions, this system is bringing a little bit of both seasons to the Eastern US!