Phoenix, Arizona to Lima, Ohio

Anthony is on vacation, and I am in the process of moving, so our posting has become a admittedly sporadic. I’m here now, though, to take us through a lengthy spring trip, potentially through the teeth of some strong storms. IT will take us 3 1/2 days to cover 1873 miles, which means a surprisingly lackadaisical 66.9mph. We’ll net 535 miles on the first three days, with, well, about half that on Wednesday.

Phoenix, Arizona

DAY ONE (Sunday)
We don’t usually think about the Desert Southwest when considering the threat for showers, thunderstorms and cold fronts, but a feature will be sliding into the west coast this weekend with a pretty sizeable cold front moving towards central California. It will eventually bring some rain to northern Arizona, but it looks like we will be sneaking into New Mexico with plenty of time to spare. It should be a seasonably warm day, except in the high reaches of the Rockies between Phoenix and Santa Rosa, New Mexico, the day one destination.

DAY TWO (Monday)
Monday has caught the eye of the Storm Prediction Center already as a moderate risk day. In my eyes, this means that it will almost certainly translate to a high risk day, and the high risk will be right along our route, particularly in the western half of Oklahoma. We will see some showers potentially starting around Amarillo, with the severe threat starting around Shamrock, Texas. Storms will be most likely, as it appears right now, around Woodward and Watonga, north of our route, but we will be in the mix up to and through the Oklahoma City metro area. Tulsa doesn’t seem to be under the gun on Monday as much as other parts of the state, and we will call it a day in Claremore, hopefully able to rest easy as severe storms and tornadoes stay well to the west.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
The storm system will sit and spin over the High Plains along the Colorado/Kansas border Monday until Tuesday, which will cause dry air to cycle in from the southwest, and rope out the cold front. It will stall over eastern Oklahoma and western Missouri. There may be some showers and thunderstorms as we get started, however we should be through them by the time we get past Springfield, Missouri. The activity is likely to get stronger as the day goes on, but our trek towards St. Louis and Illinois will be hot, humid and free of rain. We’ll make it to Terre Haute, Indiana before we finish things off on Wednesday.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
The cold front will get started again overnight Tuesday into Wednesday as the system spins north and loses it’s bearings. Showers and perhaps an embedded thunderstorm will be possible over Indiana and Ohio on Wednesday, but they won’t be nearly as intense as the storms we see on Tuesday.

Lima, Ohio

The Wrong time

Last week, we took a look at Corpus Christi, where a weak area of low pressure was developing along the Mexican border. The only real problem I had with it was that the rain associated with it came heavier and harder about a full day early. At least by my estimation, because the rest of the group seemed to get it right. Nobody got it right-er than The Weather Channel, who also handled a Monday that was cooler than expected.
Actuals: Monday – .57 inches of rain, High 79, Low 68
Tuesday .07 inches of rain, High 84, Low 75

Grade: C

Racine, Wisconsin to Phoenix, Arizona

I think a nice trip down to the desert would suit the winter much better. Instead, it seems like someone in the Midwest wishing summer would arrive is getting too much too fast. The drive will take 3+ days, and cover 1771 miles. The drive will be surprisingly slow, at only a bit more than 65mph, which means the first two days will be through after 524.7 miles traveled. Chicago and some time off interstates will contribute o our delayed transit, but also provide a chance for more scenery.

Racine, Wisconsin

DAY ONE (Thursday)
All right, let’s go! Midwest driving is the best. Wide open spaces, but with enough towns so you can find a gas station, and won’t need to pee on the side of the road in case of emergency. There is a pretty small time cold front moving through the Upper Midwest, and it is more likely to touch off a few thunderstorms in Minnesota and northern Wisconsin tomorrow. There will be enough general instability in southern Wisconsin and Iowa that we will probably see quite a bit of puffy cumulus clouds during our day, but none that will give us any reason to turn on the wipers, We’ll turn south at Des Moines. and reach Lathrop, Missouri, northeast of Kansas City before the day’s end.

DAY TWO (Friday)
A menacing batch of low pressure will develop through the day in the Colorado plains on Friday. Ultimately, it won’t produce a lot of thunderstorm activity but the activity that is generated will almost be entirely supercellular, with large hail and tornadoes the primary concern. These low precipitation, high rotation type of super cells are a chasers dream, so don’t be surprised by traffic in western Kansas as we head for the Panhandles. Of course, that added traffic will also probably indicate very nasty weather near by. The dry line will set up east of Guymon, Oklahoma, and we will make it to Stratford, Texas, in the far northern Panhandle, safe from the threat of a tornado outbreak on Friday night.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The thing about New Mexico and Arizona is that they are always (save for far eastern New Mexico) on the dry side of dry lines. Sun and heat are going to bear down on the lower lying terrain, while it will be a bit cooler in the higher elevations. Some light rain is possible up in Colorado, but by golly, we’re going to get to Phoenix hot, sunny and sweaty, just they way it’s supposed to be.

Phoenix, Arizona
By Alan StarkFlickr: Downtown Phoenix Skyline Lights, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Phoenix, Arizona

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms up on Sunday night reading weather blogs!

At 551PM, PT, Phoenix was reporting a temperature of 80 degrees with overcast skies. The overcast was a high overcast, and not indicative of any significant weather in the area. There was a it of instability in the southwestern United States in conjunction with an upper level wave, but the shower activity has steered clear from Phoenix.
The tail of the jet providing the upper level instability for these showers and storms will pull west through Texas as the week begins. This will leave a weak upper level ridge in the desert Southwest, and Phoenix is in the clear to start the work week.
Tomorrow – Increasingly sunny, High 91, Low 68
Tuesday – Sunny, High 95, Low 75

TWC: Tomorrow – A mainly sunny sky. High 94, Low 66
Tuesday – Partly cloudy skies. High 98, Low 70

AW: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies. High 92, Low 66
Tuesday – Mostly sunny; warm High 97, Low 71

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 94 Low 65
Tuesday – Sunny, High 97, Low 69

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny and warmer, High 92, Low 65
Tuesday – Sunny in the morning then becoming partly sunny, High 96, Low 71

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 94, Low 65
Tuesday – Mostly Sunny, High 97, Low 69

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 95, Low 65
Tuesday – Clear throughout the day. High 98, Low 68

Looks like we are on the cool end. Hard to think warm thoughts when you are living a cool spring. Here is the satellite with a rogue thunderstorm closer to Yuma.

Not stalling

OK, we’ve been sitting on this verification for a while. When you see how bad everyone did, you’ll think it was a stall tactic, but really, I’ve just been really busy. Denver is a tricky place to forecast for, and they pulled out all the stops during the last weekend of April. After a rain soaked Friday, Saturday dodged all the rain drops, and the clear morning skies meant the morning low was significantly colder than we bargained for. And then Sunday, it did rain a little bit. Strangely, that rain came with a significant warm up that outclassed meteorologist’s wildest dreams. All told, Victoria-Weather and Accuweather backed into a tie for the top forecast, but it will probably go down as the worst of the first half of he year, at least.
Actuals: Saturday (26th) – Hgh 67, Low 39
Sunday (27th) – Rain reported, not measured, High 78, Low 41

Grade: D-F

Athens, Georgia to Corpus Christi, Texas

The only part of the Gulf Coast I’ve ever visited is in South Florida. this two day trek will sweep along the whole doggone thing. It’s a 1071 mile journey which will be paced at 68.5mph, despite travel through Atlanta and Houston’s sprawling suburbia. There will be a little bit more to day one, as we expect to cover 548 miles, leaving the rest for Wednesday.

Athens, Georgia

DAY ONE (Tuesday)
It’s not a sight we see too often from May to about October. There will be a solid area of high pressure camping in the region today and tomorrow. This is great because tomorrow, we are driving through the southeastern US! We’ll navigate Atlanta and Montgomery with no weather issues, making it to Robert, Louisiana on the northwest side of Lake Pontchartrain to finish off our day.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
One of the busiest stretches of the Gulf Coast, weather-wise, is the patch between Houston and Lake Charles. Indeed again, we may see some storms starting to pop up in this area, particularly in the Beaumont area, but by the time we get through Houston, we should have nothing but sweltering highway ahead of us. A cold front is moving through north Texas, drawing that moisture in through Beaumont, but the relief will come much later to Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Whenever we can talk about inclement weather in the Plains, that usually means a steady threat of showers somewhere along the Gulf Coast. Is that place Corpus Christi for the next couple of days?

At 1051PM, CT, Corpus Christi was reporting a temperature if 75 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. There was smattering of clouds along the coast reflecting an onshore flow feeding thunderstorms along the dryline over west Texas. While there is indeed a strong system in the northern Plains, the threat of thunderstorms in the southern Plains was tied to the dry line, and is not going to move much further to the east.
There isn’t a lot of upper level dynamics at work in the southeastern US, but guidance is pinging on a surface low developing near Del Rio on Tuesday morning. This will tap into the return flow suppling showers further north, and begin to follow the same course. This will mean heavier showers and storms over the Corpus Christi region on Tuesday. It will be forced to oblivion as a stronger feature develops along the Colorado-New Mexico border.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 85, Low 73
Tuesday — Showers and storms, especially early, High 83, Low 75

TWC: Tomorrow – Variable clouds with thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon. High 83, Low 73
Tuesday – Thunderstorms likely, especially in the morning…and becoming windy High 84, Low 74

AW: Tomorrow – A shower in the morning, then a few strong t-storms; storms can bring flooding and damaging winds High 84, Low 71
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy; a shower or thunderstorm around, breezy and humid High 84, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Cloudy High 83, Low 75
Tuesday – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy High 85, Low 75

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 82, Low 76
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms, High 82, Low 76

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with scattered storms, High 84, Low 74
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with scattered storms, High 85, Low 75

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain in the afternoon. High 82, Low 74
Tuesday – Rain starting overnight, continuing until morning. High 83, Low 76

Here is the satellite, with interior Texas looking clear, but a line of storms near the Big Bend.

Denver, Colorado to Athens, Georgia

We are about as close to mountains at the start and end of this trip as we can get, but yet we will only spend a quick moment in eastern Tennessee contending with elevation changes. We’ll maintain a pace of nearly 70mph as a result, and cover 553 miles per each of the first two days, but leave a little more than half a day to get through the high country on Monday. The Plains are getting active. Is any chasing in order?

Denver, Colorado

DAY ONE (Saturday)
It’s become so active across the country that some systems are becoming unable to find a full wealth of energy and really get going. so it will be on Saturday as we drive the vast expanses of Kansas. There will be a front snaking through Nebraska and western Kansas, but it won’t be doing much, except producing a few gentle rolling clouds, and maybe…. maaaaybe a dry thunderstorm or light rain shower. The bulk of the moisture is going to be in the southeast, unable to reach the front attached to a low moving along the Canadian border. It will get even more serene as the day continues, and our day will end in Lawrence.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
A cold front will be sagging towards eastern Kansas by Sunday morning, but this is the rare case where heating of the day will actually serve to stabilize the region, and we should leave Lawrence with showers diminishing to the west. Tentative high pressure will set up between this fading band of showers and the retreating area of rain and thudnerstorms in the southeast. As a result, we will bisect Missouri, clip Illinois and Kentucky and reach Clarksville, Tennessee without much of a threat of rain.

DAY THREE (Monday)
I’m not sure you could ask for a better day to drive through Tennessee than next Monday. Temperatures won’t swelter, and the sun will be out. We’ll snake into Athens with only a few clouds in the sky, temperatures comfortable and a few hours to spare left in the afternoon.

Athens, Georgia

Sleeping in Savannah

Savannah is a nice southern town, good for vacations, and things played out perfectly for out of town guests last week. First, temperatures overnight dipped into the 50s both Thursday and Friday morning which was cooler than had been anticipated, and then there was no shower or thunderstorm activity on Friday, as all the storms associated with a passing cold front were drawn north or shunted south of the city. Forecast.io was the only outlet to correctly call for a dry day, but Accuweather had cool overnight lows and secured the victory on their own.
Actuals: Thursday, High 86, Low 58
Friday – High 82, Low 59

Grade C-D

Coming Soon…

Busy, busy, busy. We’re going to be very busy criss-crossing the country, but at least the conversation will be about thunderstorms instead of snow.

Corpus Christi, Texas
Road Trip from Athens, Georgia to Corpus Christi

Phoenix, Arizona
Road Trip from Racine, Wisconsin to Phoenix

Road Trip from Phoenix to Lima, Ohio

Road Trip from Philadelphia,Pennsylvania to El Centro, California.