All posts by Anthony

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

Knoxville, Tennessee

At 753PM EDT, the temperature in Knoxville was 80 degrees with a few clouds. A stationary front sitting over the Deep South over towards SC is keeping the vast majority of moisture and thunderstorm activity off to the south of TN. The tail end of a cold front is going to be moving through the OH and TN Valleys tomorrow, but really no precip is expected to develop along it farther south than Kentucky due to the limited moisture and the weakness of the front. As the front dissipates, high pressure pushing into the Central and Northern Plains will continue it’s strong southeast push and make its way into the Great Lakes and Mid-MS Valley late Wednesday into Thursday. This will push the remnant boundary over the Deep South off into the Atlantic and Northern Gulf of Mexico. With the high pressure building nearly overhead on Thursday, more dry weather will ensue for Eastern TN and our Knoxville residents. All in all, a very nice midweek pattern!

Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 87, Low 65.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, fewer clouds. High 87, Low 66.

NWS: Wednesday: AM fog, then mostly sunny. High 87, Low 64.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 86, Low 65.

AW: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 86, Low 63.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, less humid. High 89, Low 66.

TWC: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 87, Low 68.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 86, Low 69.

WB: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 88, Low 63.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 86, Low 64.

Higher clouds representing showers and a few storms are found off towards the Southeast. Apparently, this will be the closest they get to Knoxville for the next couple of days.

Bhutan

Bhutan is a small landlocked country in south-central Asia, sometimes called “Switzerland of Asia” due to it’s landlocked and mountainous nature, bordered by India on it’s southern and eastern sides and China to the North. The southern border is where the valley river plain of India starts and off in the northern half of the country are the famous Himalayas. While not as high as their Nepalese neighbors (that’s right Everest, hog all the glory why don’t you?), many peaks crack the 23,000 foot level, with Kula Kangri topping them out at a whopping 24,780 feet. Naturally, the climate in these extreme mountain ranges is one of nasty winter blizzards with perpetual snow cover, which is partly the source of the country’s name, which translates to “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. A bit further south in the country’s midsection the climate changes over to a cool, temperate variety with average rainfall of roughly 40″. The southern portion of the country sees a hot, humid climate with average temperatures often pushing into the 90s during the summer in the southern valleys. Given the monsoons that push into the region from June through September, some locations have reported annual rainfall of an incredible 200-300 inches! Certainly a nation of extremes given it’s relatively small size of around 14,800 square miles, which is slightly larger than Maryland.

Bhutan’s Meteorological and Hydrological services are headed by the Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research, but sadly doesn’t appear to have an active website.

Springfield, IL to Lubbock, TX

A 2-day, 940 mile trip through America’s Heartland. Will we see sunny skies or a good old-natured Plains thunderstorm? How about we dabble in both?!

DAY ONE

A large ridge of high pressure has parked itself over the Great Lakes with some patchy morning fog found over Central Illinois. We’ll make our way down I-55 towards St. Louis under sunny morning skies and relatively light winds. The high pressure ridge continues into the Southern Plains, so with the exception of a few high clouds later on in the afternoon, the day should be sunny and quiet. Sunglasses will be a must as we continue through Springfield, MO and make our way down I-44 to Tulsa, OK, our stop for the night.

DAY TWO

We head out of Tulsa towards Oklahoma City, with significantly more clouds than we started off yesterday with. A cold front pushing its way through the Plains yesterday has pushed itself further south as well during the overnight. Showers and thunderstorms that continued through the night over CO and KS have pushed ahead of the front into portions of northwestern OK by morning. Overcast skies will take over by midday and we can expect some scattered showers and thunderstorms to wet the windshields as we make our way south out of Lawton, OK and towards Wichita Falls, TX. Chances for showers and storms will remain through the rest of the day into Lubbock, but luckily are not expected to be severe.

Soggy Start to Weekend

The dissipating system that moved in from the Gulf continues to spin itself out over the Deep South, bringing some periods of rain to the Jackson area. Friday saw over half-inch fall, including 0.30″ in only 7 minutes at one point. Saturday saw slightly less rain over the region, but with cooler temperatures than most people predicted. TWC had a significantly cooler high for Saturday than everybody else, and turned out to be closest with it only topped out at 89. Then again, the Jackson ASOS decided to go kaput from 11am-230pm. Perhaps Jim Cantore ulplugged it to keep TWC on top? The world may never know…

Friday: 0.59″ of rain. High 95, Low 75.
Saturday: 0.11″ of rain. High 89 (maybe?), Low 75.
Forecast Grade: B

Heat Relief Imminent?

For the better part of the last 2 months, the Central and Southern U.S. has been sitting in Mother Nature’s pressure cooker. Seemingly endless streaks of Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings have plagued the country from Texas and Kansas eastward to portions of the Ohio Valley and the Deep South. My road trip to St. Louis last week was met with their first 100 degree reading in 2 years, along with a Heat Index well above 110, and topped it again the next day. They’ve also hit 98-100 degrees the last 5 days in a row. Up here in Minneapolis we just went through our longest heat wave of the summer, cracking 90 on 5 consecutive days and hitting our summer high of 96. Wichita, KS has been 100 or higher for 12 of the last 15 days including 3 days of 108 or higher. Tulsa, OK has seen the last 2 mornings in which the LOW temperature could only cool off to 84 degrees, only the 5th time on record that’s happened on consecutive days and should this mornings’ low of 86 hold up through midnight, it would mark the 2nd warmest low on record.
Thankfully, some relief is in the way for the start of next week. A large trough is looking to dig its way into the Central US and FINALLY give a bit of a reprieve to the region. Minneapolis could see high temperatures in the upper 70s for Monday and Tuesday, St. Louis looks to “chill” into the mid to upper-80s, and see humidity levels drop down to more tolerable levels as well across the region. Hopefully this will bring a bit of a break to people’s air conditioning bills, but enjoy it while it lasts since we’ll see some scorching temperatures yet this summer.

Louisville, Kentucky

At 10:53AM EDT, the temperature at Louisville was 79 degrees under clear skies. An area of high pressure at the surface and the lower levels of the atmosphere is parked over the Mid-MS River Valley and extends itself up into the Great Lakes and over through much of the Ohio Valley. A cold front that made its way through New England and the Mid-Atlantic states has pushed southward and looks to linger over the Southeast for the next day or two. With the high pressure shifting eastward, and the resultant stationary front keeping the main core of moisture off to the south, residents of Louisville can actually look forward to a couple days of nice, sunny weather. Sunday will probably see a few more clouds as the main dome of high pressure quickly slides off to the east, but Louisville still appears to be dry as a system pushes through the Great Lakes. Granted the temperatures will push back up into the 90s, but shouldn’t be anything like the brutal heat much of the South-Central and Southeastern US has had to deal with over the last week or so where heat indicies often climbed into the 110’s. Certainly looks like a great weekend to go to the pool!

Saturday: Sunny. High 90, Low 67.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, a few more clouds. High 94, Low 67.

TWC: Saturday: Sunny. High 89, Low 68.
Sunday: Sunny. High 92, Low 68.

AW: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 92, Low 66.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Hugh 96, Low 68.

NWS: Saturday: Sunny. High 90, Low 62.
Sunday: Continued sunny. High 92, Low 68.

WB: Saturday: Sunny. High 92, Low 69.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 95, Low 68.

Here we see most of Kentucky fairly benign, while some high clouds and storms rumble across Tennessee. Should be more of the same for Louisville over the next couple of days!