All posts by Anthony

Urban Tornadoes

There’s an age-old myth that tornadoes don’t strike urban areas, and for the most part it’s pretty true. When you take into account the relative size of an urban area, or the downtown area of a major city more specifically, it pales in comparison to the amount of area around it. The downtown area of a city might encompass 2-8 square miles, meanwhile everywhere within a 1 hour drive, say a 75mile radius, covers over 17,500 square miles. Also since tornadoes are usually very small, you can see the tiny percentage an urban area might cover. However, just because it’s tough for Mother Nature to take aim, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Minneapolis had a brief tornado roll through the downtown area just last summer. A couple days ago Fargo, ND saw a tornado hit the north side of town briefly in the middle of the night. On Sunday evening, a line of thunderstorms rolled through the New York City area and a confirmed tornado was sighted in the Bronx and rolled along for a little over half a mile, injuring 7 but thankfully no loss of life. What urban area will be the next on the list? Looks like the Dakotas are under the gun today, we’re looking at you Pierre!

Record Heat

The forecasts for Gainesville had them a couple degrees below record heat for both days, with the threat of a stray shower or thunderstorm keeping them from reaching those levels. However, Mother Nature would not be denied as Tuesday saw a new record high and Wednesday tying the old record set back in the 80s. A brief thunderstorm did move overhead on Wednesday, but this midweek heat will stay with them for a while, or at least in the record books. TWC again edged out the competition to take home the win, with AW bringing up the pack once more.

Tuesday: New record high of 98, Low 77.
Wednesday: 0.03″ of rain in a thunderstorm, Tied-record high of 97, Low 75.
Forecast grade: B

Salt Lake City, Utah to Gainesville, Florida

Today we travel from Salt Lake City to Gainesville. Well, it’ll take four days but if the Utes and Gators were ever to play a high-stakes football game, at least the fan base would know where to travel! This trip will cover 2,207 miles over 4 days. So let’s all hop into the minivan and travel to the Sunshine State!

DAY ONE

It’ll be a somewhat cloudy start to the day in Salt Lake City, as some remements of overnight monsoonal showers and thunderstorms lift northwards over the region. While no showers are expected in the area as we head eastward on I-80 into Wyoming. The sun should break out fully as the morning progresses and the land heats up, but as with the typical monsoon routine, thunderstorms should start blowing up around midday. The tail end of a cold front that’s pushing through the Northern Plains will be the focus of showers and thunderstorm activity, most of which should stay out over the Dakotas and over Northern WY. Scattered thunderstorms are quite possible as we roll through Laramie towards Cheyenne, and a few should continue to hang around the region as evening approaches and we continue on into Western Nebraska towards Sidney, our first stop of the night. No severe storms are expected today, they should all stay well off to the north and east of today’s leg.

DAY TWO

As the tail end of the cold front pulls away from the Upper Midwest and high pressure starts to build in, it should be a fairly nice start to the day as our trip along I-80 continues on its’ merry way. The base of the high pressure will continue to push down over NE and Western IA, keeping partly cloudy skies overhead as we roll through Kearney and Grand Island by early afternoon. Overall, it should be a rather pleasant day through and through as we turn southward and head into Kansas City, our stop for the second night.

DAY THREE

The main dome of high pressure will continue eastward overnight into the Western Great Lakes, with the base of it pushing down into the Mid-MS Valley. With another system developing over the Northern Plains, a weak boundary will set up from southeast MO northwestward into the Dakotas. The start of the day will be nice, with us starting our way over on I-70 towards St. Louis. Clouds will build through the late-morning hours as a few thunderstorms attempt to develop over the region, with better chances as we make our way along I-24 to kick off the afternoon past Mt. Vernon, IL. The afternoon will continue to get a bit drearier though, as numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected to ignite over western KY and TN into the early evening hours. The windshield wipers should have gotten a pretty good workout by the time we roll into Nashville, our stop for the third night.

DAY FOUR

This area of high pressure has been rather kind to us for the most part the last couple of days, following us along the US and getting our days off to good starts. Today won’t be any different either, with it building southward into the TN Valley and Southern Appalachaians while the main center remains over the Central Great Lakes. The cold front mentioned previously will have pushed off the Eastern Seaboard mostly, but the tail end of it will have shifted to southeast GA/FL Panhandle and westward along the Gulf Coast. This axis will be the main area for showers and thunderstorms, which we won’t get to until well in the afternoon after making our way though Chattanooga by mid-morning and Atlanta by midday. Once we get south of Macon is where we’ll start to see increasing clouds and a few scattered storms, which we’ll have to dodge for the remainder of the day as we pull into Gainesville. Time to do the Gator Chomp!

Gainesville, Florida

Off to the Sunshine State we go, there summer thunderstorms normally rule the landscape. I also have family that lives in the Gainesville area, will they be able to ward off the summer storms or get some afternoon soakings traveling about the city?

At 12:53PM EDT, the temperature at Gainesville was already a toasty 93 degrees with a few clouds overhead. As I mentioned in my Salt Lake City forecast, broad high pressure continues to rule the Southeastern US, with a cold front slowly sagging through the Carolinas up into the Mid-MS Valley. This front will be falling apart over the next couple of days, but will be the focus of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening hours. While this broad ridge of high pressure will keep the front well to the north of the region, very hot temperatures are expected over the FL Peninsula. Scattered thunderstorms are expected both days, but mainly over the western half of the peninsula since a general east to west flow should be in place. Gainesville will probably escape the brunt of the thunderstorm activity, but certainly can’t rule out a couple stray thunderstorms will soak some Gator summertime activities.

Tuesday: Isolated thunderstorms possible. High 95, Low 73.
Wednesday: Slightly better chance of thunderstorms. High 96, Low 74.

TWC: Tuesday: Isolated afternoon thunderstorms. High 96, Low 75.
Wednesday: A few scattered thunderstorms. High 95, Low 76.

AW: Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms expected. High 94, Low 73.
Wednesday: A few less thunderstorms possible. High 93, Low 74.

NWS: Tuesday: A few early evening thunderstorms possible. High 95, Low 73.
Wednesday: More scattered thunderstorms expected. High 95, Low 74.

WB: Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms possible. High 95, Low 74.
Wednesday: More scattered thunderstorms possible. High 95, Low 74.

A few thunderstorms are already popping off towards the west. Will they see some farther east today? Time will tell…

Salt Lake City, Utah

At 10:53AM MDT, the temperature was 86 degrees under clear skies. With a mid-level trough parked off the CA coast, and general high pressure camped out over the Southeastern portion of the country, Salt Lake City is caught in no-man’s land with weak flow and systems staying well off to the north. That doesn’t mean SLC won’t be seeing some weather over the next couple of days, however, as it’s monsoon season over the Western US! With the high pressure sitting over the Southeast, more moisture than normal is pushed over the Four Corners and Intermountain West region. Given the hot temperatures that occur on a daily basis throughout the summer, scattered thunderstorms are a daily occurrence. Most of the action for Monday will be towards the south and east of Utah’s capital, but Tuesday will see a better shot at storms creeping towards the city. Monday, however, will be the hotter of the days, with the mercury flirting with triple digits.

Monday: Increasing clouds in afternoon, hot. High 99, Low 69.
Tuesday: Scattered afternoon thunderstorms. High 92, Low 70.

TWC: Monday: Mostly sunny. High 97, Low 71.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy, afternoon thunderstorms possible. High 91, Low 70.

AW: Monday: Some sun, increasing clouds. High 100, Low 70.
Tuesday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High 95, Low 71.

NWS: Monday: Isolated thunderstorms possible. High 97, Low 73.
Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 93, Low 74.

WB: Monday: Partly cloudy. High 95, Low 72.
Tuesday: Scattered evening thunderstorms. High 91, Low 74.

Mostly clear skies over the region now, with that pesky marine layer still affecting the CA coastline. Beachgoers there will prob want to head to UT to enjoy some sizzling sun!

Soggy Weekend

The system that Ryan mentioned heading for Jackson did pretty much as advertised, bringing a couple bouts of storms to the region Friday and Saturday. Friday saw a couple heavy thunderstorms roll through the area, with gusts upwards of 40mph and dumping over an inch and a half of rain. The cloud cover kept temperatures far lower than most people thought on Saturday, leading the way for TWC to take the top spot. Seems like they can forecast for everywhere except right outside their own building lately.

Friday: 1.65″ of rain in thunderstorms. High 91, Low 73.
Saturday: 0.21″ of rain in thunderstorms. High 84, Low 71.
Forecast grade: B

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!