All posts by Anthony

FYI: It’s Still February

High’s in the 70’s for St. Louis. Snowpack here in Minneapolis dropping 8″ in 3-4 days. Even that famous groundhog said spring was coming early. The way people have been acting around the country the last week seems to have proven one thing, they’ve totally forgotten what the calender on their cubicle wall still says… FEBRUARY. A large trough is digging into the Western US, pumping a ton of rain and mountain snows over the Golden State and sweep its way through the Intermountain West. What this means for all of the people sick of winter around the Twin Cities and other portions of the Upper Midwest? A possible 6-12″ snowstorm from here through the Great Lakes to portions of New England, along with significantly colder temperatures behind it, albeit only for a day or two. Just enough to remind people that it’s still winter, regardless of what giant, shadow-fearing rodents say.

Side note: Last Thursday, Nowata, OK hit an all-time state record for low temperature, plummeting to -31. Yesterday, they topped out at 82 degrees. That’s a 113 degree swing in one week. Now THAT’S impressive.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

As we’ve alluded to before, I always seem to wind up with forecasts with nothing but high pressure overhead. Well, this forecast is no different… except there’s a CHANCE of rain possible! A chance! My streak is over! The impending calamity will lead to food shortages all over the city! Okay, I’m over-exaggerating slightly. Let’s get into what really is going on with our forecast.

At 1253PM EST, the temperature at Chattanooga, TN was 58 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. High pressure is controlling the entire Eastern Seaboard (big surprise), but with a strong low pressure system pushing out of the Rockies into the Central US on Thursday, the high pressure will shift off over the Atlantic. Partly cloudy skies are expected on Thursday as the flow starts to turn around from the south once again. Our intensifying storm system over the Central US will continue to push east past the MS River Valley Friday morning, making its way to the Appalachians by midday. Most of the shower activity will be farther north, but a few light showers are expected along the tail end of the system as the front pushes up and over the mountains. If anything, it’ll be a cloudy afternoon, but temperatures will still be quite pleasant over the region.

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 69, Low 45.
Friday: Increasing clouds, isolated shower late. High 68, Low 46.

TWC: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 66, Low 44.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 68, Low 48.

AW: Thursday: Partly sunny and mild. High 68, Low 42.
Friday: Mostly cloudy, slight chance of shower. High 68, Low 44.

NWS: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 69, Low 43.
Friday: Partly sunny. High 70, Low 46.

WB: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 69, Low 43.
Friday: Partly sunny, isolated chance of evening shower. High 70, Low 47.

Here we see some high clouds streaming into the area off to the northwest. Tomorrow should be on the quiet side with these high clouds shifting into the area, but continued dry.

Coastal Clouds Corrupt

As long as it doesn’t rain, people in SoCal are generally pretty easy to please, however, a cloudy day at the beach is never as good as a sunny one. Ryan mentioned in his San Diego forecast that as long as clouds don’t muck things up, it’s a fairly harmless forecast. Sadly, mostly cloudy skies stuck around both mornings, keeping the temperatures a few degrees higher than expected. Everybody was pretty much in line with the high temperatures, but Weatherbug’s low temperatures brought home the top forecast.

Monday: High 66, Low 52.
Tuesday: High 68, Low 52.
Forecast grade: A

Little Rock, AR to Syracuse, NY

Well, after a string of forecasts that all involved a bigger threat of a January sunburn than any type of precipitation, a three-day road trip could involve all kinds of threats right? Well, at least we should get a little bit of winter weather on this 1,197 mile voyage!

DAY ONE

We embark on our journey heading out of Little Rock, traveling east towards Memphis. High pressure over the MS River Valley will shift east today, keeping us under fairly calm weather throughout the duration of today’s leg. A decent swath of snow hit the Ohio Valley yesterday and today, so a low deck of clouds may continue to stick around as we cruise through Nashville and Bowling Green in the wake of that system. The quiet day continues as we roll into Louisville, our stop for Night One

DAY TWO

While high pressure continues to influence the Ohio Valley, a bit of a stationary front is setting up from the Mid-Atlantic to the Southern Plains as a system dropping southward from WY to OK yesterday made us thankful we left when we did (MORE snow for OK and AR!!). There’s a slight chance we might see a few flurries at the onset of our day, heading northwards for Cincy and onwards to Columbus. For the most part, we should avoid those as they stay off to the south with the suspect system in the Southern Plains. The weather will get a bit more ominous, however, as we bypass Cleveland en route for Erie, PA, our stop for Night Two. Gusty winds are expected as we get closer to the lake, and with them coming predominately from the west, there’s a good chance of some lake effect snows hitting the final part of our trip in northeast Ohio and into PA.

DAY THREE

Only a relatively short day today, covering the 235 miles from Erie to our destination in New York. However, with winds possible shifting from the west-southwest, this leads to a strong chance of lake effect snows piling up as we make our way from Erie to Buffalo and head eastwards from there. Hopefully it doesn’t pile up TOO much, as some of these bands are well-known for dropping prolific snowfalls, sometimes to the tune of 2-3″ an hour for several hours. As we move east from Buffalo to Syracuse, only some light snows are expected with mainly cloudy skies to our destination.

Tallahassee, Florida

Yesterday, much of Florida got rocked with a line of thunderstorms associated with the low pressure that’s moving up the Eastern Seaboard and is dropping a bunch of snow from D.C. to Boston. That whole front has moved out over the Atlantic, which means… yup, you guessed it. A whole lotta nothing for the next couple of days.

At 1053PM EST, the temperature in Tallahassee, FL is 45 degrees under fair skies. As mentioned earlier, the cold front that swept through the Sunshine State yesterday is found over the Bahamas to the Florida Straits and broad high pressure is controlling much of the region from the Southern Plains throughout the Deep South and Gulf of Mexico. This dome of high pressure will center itself over the Gulf of Mexico, then over Florida by Saturday. In fact, the next chance of precip for the Florida Panhandle doesn’t appear to be until Sunday morning when a weak disturbance moves in from the west. In the meantime, hoards of sunshine is expected to finish off the workweek, but a rather chilly start to both days, as clear skies and a cool air mass could lead to areas of frost.

Thursday: Clear, some morning frost. High 57, Low 31.
Friday: A few clouds. High 66, Low 33.

TWC: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 57, Low 27.
Friday: Sunny. High 64, Low 32.

AW: Thursday: Plenty of sunshine. High 59, Low 30.
Friday: Bright sunshine. High 65, Low 33.

NWS: Thursday: Morning frost. High 55, Low 31.
Friday: Sunny. High 62, Low 35.

WB: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 57, Low 32.
Friday: Mostly sunny. High 65, Low 32.

Here we see a few high clouds off to the west, but otherwise, a whoooole lotta nothing going on. Once again. I’ll let you know where my next forecast is for soon, and you can plan your vacation there. Guaranteed sun!

A Few Frustrating Flakes

Has everybody seen the Allstate commercial where Mayhem is on the roof and just a tiny bit of additional snowfall landing on the roof causes it to cave in? Well, as Ryan mentioned in his Indianapolis forecast, seems like whenever it’s cloudy during winter over the Great Lakes region, it snows. Overcast skies during the mid-morning hours on Tuesday did just that, wringing out a trace of snow, causing mayhem in Ryan’s dry Tuesday forecast. However, his superior temperature forecasting was enough for a 3-way tie between VW, NWS, and WB.

Monday: 0.5″ of snow, melting to 0.02″ liquid. High 35, Low 17.
Tuesday: Trace of snow. High 32, Low 18.

Reno, Nevada

A combination of two things I love most, weather and gambling. With the NFL conference title games tomorrow, wouldn’t it be nice if the weather was dreary so we have one more reason to stay inside and enjoy football? Well, if you are staying indoors, it’ll either be the slot machines or the football game, because it sure won’t be the weather’s fault.

At 4:55PM PST, the temperature at Reno was 50 degrees under fair skies. A strong low-level ridge has been building over the Western US, pushing from the Pacific Northwest southward into the Great Basin and Intermountain West. This dome of high pressure is steering a couple of storm systems up into British Colombia and Washington before continuing into the Northern Rockies. This is going to keep the Reno/Lake Tahoe area pretty quiet under mostly cloud-free and sun-filled skies. A few more clouds are expected on Monday than Sunday with a system dropping from the Northern Rockies towards the Four Corners region, but that’ll be far enough to the east to be of no major consequence for Reno. So if your parlay hits on Sunday and pays out big, go out and dance in the streets, the sunshine will make that trip to the cashier’s window even better, just as long as you don’t wait until the sun goes down, as it will be on the chilly side in the evening.

Sunday: Sunny. High 52, Low 23.
Monday: A few clouds. High 55, Low 24.

TWC: Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 56, Low 22.
Monday: Partly cloudy. High 56, Low 25.

AW: Sunday: Full day of sunshine. (I like that forecast) High 52, Low 21.
Monday: Mostly sunny. High 56, Low 23.

NWS: Sunday: Sunny. High 49, Low 21.
Monday: Mostly sunny. High 53, Low 22.

WB: Sunday: Sunny. High 50, Low 20.
Monday: Partly cloudy. High 53, Low 23.

Here’s the infrared satellite for the region, and we see the Sierra Nevada peaks just off to the west then the Central Valley of CA. Otherwise, not much going on once again.

Punta Gorda, Florida

So my last forecast was for Florida. Nothing was going on. Now a cold front moved through the state. Once again, I forecast for Florida. Once again, not much going on. Either good weather follows me wherever I forecast, or somebody is trying to tell me that I’m not good at it. Either way, sunny skies for everybody!

At 9:53PM EST, the temperature at Punta Gorda was 56 degrees under fair skies. Earlier today, a cold front swept through the state, bringing a heavy thunderstorm this morning and then a few showers afterwards. Clouds lingered around until the mid-afternoon, but has pretty much cleared out as the front continues eastward. High pressure over the Western Gulf of Mexico will slowly shift eastwards behind it. This means at least a couple days of sun for the Sunshine State. It might be a bit breezy tomorrow with the high shifting in, but otherwise, a very pleasant weekend is in store for the region. That means you can enjoy an outdoor viewing party of your favorite NFL playoff team!

Friday: Sunny, slightly breezy. High 67, Low 45.
Saturday: Few clouds, warmer. High 72, Low 49.

AW: Friday: Mostly sunny, breezy. High 67, Low 43.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 71, Low 47.

TWC: Friday: Sunny. High 68, Low 45.
Saturday: Sunny. High 72, Low 49.

NWS: Friday: Mostly sunny. High 65, Low 47.
Saturday: Sunny. High 69, Low 50.

WB: Friday: Partly cloudy. High 66, Low 45.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 69, Low 48.

You can clearly see the front sweeping through the remainder of the Florida Peninsula. Behind it, nothing but blue skies. Well, except right now, it’s kinda dark outside. Stargazers delight!

When Snow is Relative

Minneapolis has the most snowfall before New Year’s since 1991. Central Park just got socked with their 4th largest single storm total in recorded history. Places in the Sierra Nevada have racked up over 10-15 FEET of snow over the last couple of weeks with intense storms hitting the West Coast. Today, however, the biggest weather story to a majority of my friends and family… was the ONE inch that Valencia, California received today.

Valencia is part of the Santa Clarita Valley, the furthest north valley before you hit the High Desert portion of the state, or the Central Valley. Just north of the Valley, the Grapevine is hit by a few good snowstorms, which is the high point of where Interstate 5 is as it connects the SCV to the Central Valley. However, snow levels rarely fall low enough for snow to make it to the valley floor, as it’s around 1300-1800 feet above sea level. Today’s upper level low pushing over the region dropped snow levels down all the way to 1500 feet, meaning some of my family and a slew of friends spammed their respective social networks with pictures of tiny snowmen, snow-covered lawns, snow angels on their sidewalks. While it wasn’t the first time it’s snowed there in forever, I saw it snow there once myself while living there, it was the first time in 22 years that they got a measureable snowfall. An awesome way for some lucky Californians to bring in the new year! In a related story, milk supplies are running low, bread is scarce, and gas is shooting up to $4 a gallon. Oh wait, that’s normal for them…

Note the palm tree trunk in the background. Happy 2011 everybody!

Naples, Florida

2010 is wrapping up a busy weather year, and we have a large system affecting the Midwest. Blizzard in the Dakotas! Severe Thunderstorms and tornadoes in the Nation’s Heartland! Possible flooding rains in the Central Gulf Coast! So where are we forecasting for today? That’s right… South Florida. Where pretty much nothing is going on…

At 11:53AM EST, the temperature in Naples, FL was 78 degrees under partly cloudy skies. High pressure over the Southeast is keeping the Florida Peninsula fairly quiet outside of some spotty clouds. Our mega-system over the central US is pushing a cold front towards the east, but that high pressure is doing a fairly good job at slowing down it’s progression towards the Sunshine State. The whole tail end of the front pretty much stalls out over northern FL on Sunday, leaving some increased clouds over the rest of the Peninsula. There’s a shot of some scattered shower activity over South Florida Sunday evening, but should be isolated if anything. However, I’ll leave a chance in there. Last time I left it out and got burned. I’m not going to finish 2010 on that mistake!

Saturday (New Years Day!): Afternoon clouds. High 79, Low 59.
Sunday: Increasing clouds, isolated evening shower. High 77, Low 60.

TWC: Saturday: Sunny. High 79, Low 57.
Sunday: More clouds, slight chance of a shower. High 76, Low 56.

AW: Saturday: Partly sunny and beautiful (really, beautiful!) High 77, Low 59.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and warm. High 77, Low 60.

NWS: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 77, Low 60.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 77, Low 61.

WB: Saturday: Partly sunny. High 77, Low 60.
Sunday: Partly sunny. High 76, Low 60.

Here we see the relatively benign weather over Florida and portions of the Deep South. Most of it will stay away from South Florida, so festivities tonight will be warm and dry for everybody! Well, dry as far as Mother Nature is concerned, your bartender will say otherwise. Happy New Year’s Eve readers!