October Forecaster of the Month

We are only a week into November, which means that we are awarding the forecaster of the month sooner than usual lately, and also, with as long as this week took, it’s clear time has no meaning anymore. The forecasting was pretty ok this month, though it leaned heavily on model guidance because of a west coast bias. It was Accuweather who did the best work for the month.

OutletMonth wins
The Weather Channel1
Victoria-Weather1
WeatherNation1
Accuweather1
Weatherbug
National Weather Service
Forecast.io
Outletyear wins
The Weather Channel10.5
Victoria-Weather10.41
Weatherbug6.49
WeatherNation6.08
National Weather Service4.91
Accuweather4.75
Forecast.io3.83

Tropical Storm Eta is moving through all parts of the Caribbean

Hurricane Eta plowed into Central America after exploding from a depression to a Category 5 storm in an alarmingly short time frame. It hit Guatemala, Honduras and particularly Nicaragua with vicious winds, but the particularly brutal part of the storm were torrential rains that killed hundreds thanks to flash floods and mudslides in mountainous terrain. The topography of Central America makes the region a death trap during strong tropical storms.

Now, Eta, instead of expiring in the mountains, turned back to the east and is forecast to wind through the Caribbean, hitting a lot of highlights along the way. Part of the reason it is expected to be able to continue on this path, despite a pending bisection of Cuba tonight, and a graze of the Florida Keys in the early part of the week, is how good it continues to look on satellite.

It’s generated quite a bit of convection to it’s north, and because it isn’t as strong as it looked, it will probably continue to feature broad swaths of directionless convection over places like south Florida as it wiggles along the Gulf Coast.

It’s not going to be a major storm in Florida, but it will last a while and be quite a soaker.

Wet and wild in Wenatchee

Late October was alive with nasty weather, and the Pacific Northwest was not spared. Despite it’s position on the drier side of the Cascades, even Wenatchee saw a rain/snow mix on Friday the 23rd. This was well anticipated, but the clouds that suppressed temperatures on Friday were not as well foreseen and sunk a few forecasts. The outlets that had cooler highs also correctly called for snow, and snagged the best scores. At the top of the heap was WeatherNation.
Actuals: Thursday 10/22, High 50, Low 36
Friday – .06 inches of precipitation for rain/snow, High 36, Low 31

Grade: B-C

Champaign, Illinois to Hanford, California

Let’s do an Election Day forecast, shall we? In the parlance of politics, we’ll head from one blue state to another, but we’ll travel through some red states along the way. It will take 4 days, or about as long as it will take to count all the votes, to cover 2107 miles. The fourth day will be slightly shorter than the first three, with those first three days concluding after 544 miles of driving at around 68mph. Most cars can stream audio now, so maybe avoid the AM radio and just enjoy the open road for this trip.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Champaign, Illinois

As the jet has drifted back a bit to the north, things have started to warm up for the middle of the country, and our drive on Wednesday can likely be done with the windows down if the car gets too stuffy. There won’t be much weather to remark on, save for breezes that could gust to 15mph at times. Noting treacherous. We’ll arrive in suburban Tulsa for the night.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Thursday will be similar to Wednesday, though with a diminished chance of a prevailing wind. We will drive through central and western Oklahoma, still cleaning up after a calamitous ice storm, and pass through the Texas Panhandle into New Mexico under sunny skies. We will stop at the San Ignacio exit west of Santa Rosa and completely be out of touch with the rest of civilization.

DAY THREE (Friday)
As we approach California, we will do it through the desertified parts of the Southwest. New Mexico and Arizona will remain clear and dry, but a system moving into the West Coast will stir some winds inland. Watch for tumbleweeds in this part of the world. The drive will end at Silver Spring Road between Kingman and Seligman in Arizona.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
As is often the cast, the feature moving into the West Coast will lose a lot of structure as it gets into the mountains, but that doesn’t mean it will be completely obliterated. In fact, well defined fronts will still exist, including a cold front we will drive though in southern California. That’s not to say it will be particularly rainy, if at all, as the frontal passage will be between Barstow and Mojave, right in the heart of the desert. When we descend into the central Valley at Bakersfield, we’ll probably get into some soupy overcast with drizzle. Expect that right on down to Hanford. Strange, right? The only part of the trip with rain will be the part in California.

Hanford, California By Armona at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17978087

Hanford, California

All right, everyone, let’s get back to work for the week, and start our November with an Election Day forecast in the Central Valley of California.

At 853PM, PT, Hanford was reporting a temperature of 55 degrees with clear skies, calm winds and haze. The haze is expected to linger overnight. There is an air quality alert of the Central Valley, in part because of the inversion and stillness leading to the aforementioned haze.
Broadly, the western US is under a ridge, but a weak area of upper level troughing exists, centered over California. This is helping to keep temperatures a bit cooler than they would be otherwise, but there isn’t really an impetus for precipitation. The undercutting trough will shift to the east over the next couple of days, allowing a little bit of heat to return and the haze to become less likely by Tuesday.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, haze in the morning High 81, Low 48
Tuesday – Clearer still, a bit warmer, High 84, Low 47

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 84, Low 46
Tuesday – Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds, High 83, Low 45

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny; air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive groups High 84, Low 47
Tuesday – Sunshine and very warm; air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive groups High 83, Low 46

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 80, Low 49
Tuesday – Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 50

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny High 82, Low 49
Tuesday – Mostly sunny, High 82, Low 47

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 81, Low 47
Tuesday – Partly cloudy, High 81, Low 48

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 84, Low 49
Tuesday – Clear throughout the day. High 83, Low 47

I’m the only one calling for a warm up, but the margins are so slim, I don’t think anyone will notice. Here is the satellite, in which you can see a few wispy clouds.

A fall scorcher

There is a continuing threat of wildfires in California, particularly in the northern part of the state, where despite a recent cool down for much of the country, hot weather, wind and dry conditions continued for California. Over the weekend of the 17th and 18th, temperatures in Santa Rosa spiked all the way to the 90s, even the upper 90s on that Saturday. Forecasters were anticipating some relief by the end of the forecast period, so everyone was a little low on their forecasts. The warmest outlet was Victoria-Weather, and we claimed victory on a miserable forecast for everyone — particularly residents of Santa Rosa.
Actuals: October 17th, High 97, Low 48
October 18th, High 91, Low 48

Grade: C-F

Santa Rosa, California to Wenatchee, Washington

It’s not often we spent a road trip on the west coast, but that’s the plan for this journey. It will take a day and a half to get from the North Bay to western Washington. We’ll cover 798 miles at a pace of only 57.3mph, thanks to most of our drive being spent off of the main freeways, as well as through some rebuilding areas after this year’s wildfires. Enjoy the lackadaisical pace.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Santa Rosa, California By JLankford – wikitravel, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37654846

While you may not recognize it in northern California, where fires are still burning, particularly northeast of Santa Rosa, and further north in the Mendocino National Forest, but it is a time of rainy change in the Pacific Northwest. Northern California will be all too dry and haze tinged as we travel north along I-5, but north of Klamath Falls on US-97, we will start to see a change. First, some clouds will stream overhead, and then around Crater Lake, the northeast chilly wind will pick up. Models suggest a dry drive tomorrow afternoon, but make no mistake. We’re crossing a cold front in Oregon tomorrow. We will stop in the resort community of Sunriver, south of Bend, at the end of the day.

DAY TWO (Friday)
The next round of wet weather to barrel into Washington is coming in the morning on Friday. It will particularly impact Puget Sound and eastern Washington near Spokane, mostly sparing the Yakima Valley. Don’t count on that lasting all day, though. Just because there won’t be as much rain or snow doesn’t mean there won’t be any. Precipitation will mostly be rain from Yakima northward, but some snow may mix in around Ellensburg, and again as we approach Wenatchee.

Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee, Washington

Western Washington is our destination for today’s forecast. Not Puget Sound though, but rather an entirely different climate on the east side of the Cascades.

At 1155AM, PT, Wenatchee was reporting fair skies with a temperature of 49 degrees. The jet was nearly directly overhead, and was bringing some striated high clouds to the Pacific Northwest in general, but specifically some fog and light precipitation at the higher terrain of the Cascades. This will dissipate, and aside from the continued high clouds, Wenatchee will remain in the clear through Thursday.
The next feature out of the Gulf of Alaska will arrive early on Friday and bring a swift bout of showers to the region, some of which will likely snake its way to Wenatchee, even as most gets wasted in the Cascades. Expect a gloomy end to the week, thanks to the persistent clouds on Friday.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 51, Low 31
Friday – Cloudy, chances of rain through the day, High 41, Low 32

TWC: Tomorrow – A few passing clouds, otherwise generally sunny. High 53, Low 33
Friday – Periods of rain and snow. High 40, Low 35

AW Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and chilly High 49, Low 31
Friday – Colder with snow beginning in the late morning, accumulating an inch or two, Low 33

NWS: Tomorrow – Widespread frost before 8am. Otherwise, sunny High 53, Low 33
Friday – A chance of snow before 8am, then rain and snow. Snow level 800 feet High 35, Low 33

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, Widespread frost in the morning. High 51, Low 35
Friday – Snow. Moderate snow acumulations possible. Colder. High 38, Low 35

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with widespread frost, High 53, Low 32
Friday -Mostly cloudy with light wintry mix, High 36, Low 31

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 54, Low 31
Friday – Rain throughout the day. High 43, Low 33

It looks like a pretty grim day on the eastern slope of the Cascades on Friday. Here is the satellite with clouds streaming across the PAcific Northwest associated with the jet.