All posts by Anthony

Gorgeous Start

Typically scattered showers and thunderstorms dot the Gulf of Mexico region on a daily basis. However, a strong area of high pressure has kept the entire region dry as a bone. Houston was no exception, as a couple of warm sunny days were met as we kicked off the week. Victoria-Weather brought home the top spot.

Monday: High 77, Low 53.
Tuesday: High 79, Low 49.
Forecast grade: B

Cumberland, Maryland

Off we go to the East Coast for today’s forecast. After getting drenched earlier in the week, will they get a reprieve, or does Mother Nature have another cruel trick up her sleeve?

At 7:53pm, the temperature was 54 degrees under fair skies in Cumberland. An upper-level trough is digging in over the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, which will eventually form a cut-off low over the region. A mid-level disturbance weakly defined at the surface looks to drop out of Ohio down to the Southern Appalachians. An area of low pressure sitting offshore the Carolinas will slowly lift north along the coast before pushing into the Hudson River Valley later on Monday. This means some increasing clouds tomorrow for Western MD so temperatures should still make it into the low to mid 60’s by afternoon. A few scattered showers will filter into the area late Sunday evening, then with the low off the coast moving northward, combining with the weaker disturbance to the west, creates a chance of showers throughout the day on Monday. Rainfall amounts shouldn’t be too terribly high though, with heavier amounts staying off to the east. Then again, the last thing this region needs is any more rain.

Sunday: Increasing clouds, late evening showers. High 64, Low 45.
Monday: Scattered rain showers. High 56, Low 46.

TWC: Sunday: Afternoon showers. High 65, Low 46.
Monday: Rain and wind throughout the day. High 57, Low 47.

AW: Sunday: Possible rain showers. High 62, Low 42.
Monday: Rain likely, over 3/4″ possible. High 59, Low 47.

NWS: Sunday: Scattered showers in evening. High 63, Low 45.
Monday: Showers likely. High 57, Low 45.

WB: Sunday: Scattered showers. High 62, Low 44.
Monday: Rain likely. High 55, Low 45.

Here we see the system off to the west slowly pushing towards Cumberland, with clouds associated with that low pressure off the Carolina coastline. Looks like the umbrellas will need to be brought out once again.

Making the Quota

Earlier this year, we had a couple of posts talking about the upcoming 2010 Hurricane Season, with predictions all over the place, covering 12-23 named storms (just a small range there). There have been plenty of strong hurricanes this season, with 5 major hurricanes on the tally so far. However, there have been a few storms that have left us scratching our heads, wondering what the NHC was thinking. Tropical Depression Two was active for about 24 hours before moving over land in northeastern Mexico, Tropical Depression Five meandered around the northeastern Golf of Mexico for a day or so as it meandered over land during then too before dissipating. Gaston developed into a tropical storm and dissipated all pretty much within a day. And most recently, in a very bizarre story, Tropical Storm Nicole apparently had tropical storm strength for all of FOUR HOURS before dissipating and getting absorbed into a larger system that’s dumping tons of rain on the East Coast. Seriously now, four HOURS? I didn’t know that was possible. Is this a season of odd timing and coincidences, or is the NHC trying to pad their stats? We’ll find out soon enough, only 2 months left to go in the season!

Mother Nature on Vacation

As mentioned in the Pueblo forecast, there is NOTHING going on out west. The dry forecasts continue to pile up for the western cities, with high temperatures as well. Accuweather took home the top spot for this lovely Colorado city, based on their low temperature forecasts.

Tuesday: High 91, Low 45.
Wednesday: High 94, Low 47.
Forecast grade: A

Sizzling Out West

Well the high pressure ridge out west kept much of the West Coast and Desert Southwest scorching this week, and Redding was no different. Temperatures nearly cracked 100 on Monday, then followed it up with an even hotter Tuesday. However, the calm winds and clear skies did help radiate out temperatures greatly during the night, falling into the mid 50s. That’s where most people got burnt, figuratively speaking of course. That aside, Ryan’s forecast for VW brought home the title, narrowly edging AW. That’s 2 out of the last 3 for yours truly, lets see if we can continue the hot streak to finish out the month!

Monday: High 99, Low 55.
Tuesday: High 103, Low 54.
Forecast grade: C

Fresno, California

At 753PDT, the temperature in Fresno was 75 degrees under fair skies. With the major news-maker in the country being the system dumping buckets of rain over the Upper Midwest (over 10″ in Amboy, MN, between 2-3″ here in the Twin Cities), the sides of the country are in a relative calm. No place is feeling that more than in Fresno. An area of high pressure over the Intermountain West will continue to take hold over the region as an upper-level ridge reinforces it. What does that mean? Sunny skies and hot temperatures for the Central CA Valley. Fall officially arrived at 11:09PM EDT on Wednesday evening, but that doesn’t mean summer isn’t hanging on in some spots. Bikini weather survives!

Friday: Clear. High 91, Low 58.
Saturday: Clear and hot. High 97, Low 60.

TWC: Friday: Sunny. High 93, Low 61.
Saturday: Sunny. High 98, Low 64.

AW: Friday: Bright sunshine. High 90, Low 56.
Saturday: Continued clear and very warm. High 94, Low 60.

NWS: Friday: Clear. High 90, Low 60.
Saturday: Sunny and hot. High 96, Low 62.

WB: Friday: Sunny. High 90, Low 55.
Saturday: Sunny. High 95, Low 57.

Here’s a snapshot of the country. Clear skies over much of the Southwest, while the system in the Central US continues to cause wet havoc.

Alexandria, Louisiana

At 1053CDT, Alexandria was at 77 degrees under fair skies. Most of the scattered shower and thunderstorm activity was focused along the TX coastline and places further inland, while only a smattering of isolated showers/storms found their way towards the LA coastline and inland. Broad high pressure over the Southeast US is keeping the easterly steering flow aiming primarily at the TX coastline and will for the next couple of days. Further west, a broad swath of moisture leftover from Tropical Storm Karl will stream up into the Central US, but will mostly bypass the Alexandria area. Outside of a few scattered hit-or-miss showers and thunderstorms, it should be a warm and sunny next couple of days.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High 93, Low 71.
Wednesday: Few more clouds, some isolated shower activity. High 91, Low 69.

TWC: Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 93, Low 70.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, a few scattered showers. High 92, Low 71.

AW: Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 92, Low 70.
Wednesday: 20% chance of a scattered shower. High 92, Low 70.

NWS: Tuesday: Slight chance of a shower. High 93, Low 71.
Wednesday: Another chance of scattered showers. High 92, Low 71.

WB: Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High 93, Low 71.
Wednesday. A few scattered thundershowers. High 92, Low 71.

Here we see most of the activity remaining over Mexico before shifting into the US over the next 24-36 hours, and some stronger storms over the Mid-MS Valley.

United Kingdom

Hey, A country most people have heard of, and can actually find on the globe as well! The UK straddles the Prime Meridian, and as meteorologists, we use Zulu time (a.k.a. UTC time, or basically London time) exclusively in our forecasts and observations. The UK sits to the northwest of mainland Europe mostly between 50 and 60 degrees latitude. This is the same latitude as the southern half of Hudson Bay up in Canada, so why doesn’t London get crazy amounts of snow like Southern Canada get? All of that is thanks to the North Atlantic Current, which as an extension of the warm Gulf Stream keeps Northern Europe relatively mild throughout the winter months. While the temperatures aren’t normally too extreme (with the all-time high around 101), they can get below zero at times, with a record of nearly -18 on 3 separate occasions, all in Scotland of course. To illustrate this, Winnipeg is roughly around the same latitude as southern England, but England’s average high temperatures vary from 44-69 deg F (only a 25 deg difference), while Winnipeg’s ranges from 9-78 deg F (69 deg difference!). The vast majority of the western and northern portions of the country are more hilly/mountainous while the southeastern section is significantly flatter. Given this topography, it’s easy to figure out that the lion’s share of the precipitation falls in the western part of the country, varying from over 100″ in parts of the Scottish Highlands to under 25″ at times around Cambridge. Just because they don’t have a ton of rainfall doesn’t mean bright sunny skies all of the time though, as it rains on well over 100 days in Cambridge.

Obviously, as one of the countries on the meteorological forefront in the world, the UK has a very in-depth website to peruse through. Simply called the Met Office, they are the UK’s National Weather Service. Forming back in 1854 and evolving through the years, they constantly are at the forefront of new technology and bringing better forecasts to the masses. (Note: the Met Office assisted the US in forecasting a window in which D-Day operations could occur back in 1944, correctly so as well. How different could this world be today if D-Day wasn’t successful? Something to think about!). Navigating their webpage one can find updated city and region forecasts for the country in 3 hour blocks for the 1st 2 days then by day onward. Radars are updated every 30 minutes on their website as well, in addition to current satellite images. Since obviously they use the metric system, everything is in Celsius and millimeters for temperatures and precipitation, but I’m sure all of our math-savvy readers will be able to handle the conversions! Along with Climatology pages and a plethora of information, the Met Office’s website can keep you occupied for hours seeing what they have to offer.

Name Game

Well the ’10 Hurricane Season has picked up in a hurry the last couple of weeks with the conveyor belt of Danielle, Earl, Fiona, and the short-lived Gaston, and Hermine which is weakening over Texas currently. As per the typical 6-year cycle, the next name would be Ivan. However, since Ivan back in 2004 became the 10th most intense system ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin before smashing into Gulf Shores, AL as a Category 3, Ivan was retired and replaced with Igor. Somehow I think if Igor lurches along the coastline at 3mph, there’s going to be a lot of “Yes maaaaaaaaaaaster” jokes floating about.

Typically, tropical storm names are used that reflect the various parts the of the world they affect. Names in the Atlantic Basin borrow from Europe, North and Central America; Western Pacific typhoons borrow from Indonesia, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and so on. That being said, wouldn’t it be somewhat interesting if the NHC, in an attempt started dispersing names to the highest corporate bigger? Imagine “Hurricane Igor, sponsored by Target”, or “Tropical Storm Ralph Lauren”. Ridiculous I know, but how about they had to donate $1 million to affected regions should the storm make landfall somewhere as well? That would be some good press to have. There would have to be discretion though, as “Hurricane 2000 Flushes” would lead to incomplete weather reports across the nation, as anchors and forecasters would be too busy laughing to finish their segments. In the meantime, we await you Igor!

Sweltering Summer Finish

Labor Day unofficially marks the end of summer, with kids going back to school, trees begin the fall change up north, and wearing white becomes a fashion faux pas. Down in Midland, however, clear skies gave way to temps in the mid to upper 90’s each day as subsidence outside of Tropical Store Hermine kept things quiet. The Weather Channel continued their winning ways on the strength of a warm Sunday forecast.

Sunday: High 97, Low 65.
Monday: High 95, Low 70.
Forecast Grade: B