Reno, Nevada to Decatur, Illinois

A trip through the Rockies and Plains as a vigorous system moves through the region… I see no reason to worry! Our three day trip will feature an extended third day, and 1,861 total miles covered. We’ll navigate the terrain of the Rockies in our shorter two days, which will conclude after 551miles of travel, all at an average pace of about 69mph. Nice.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Reno, Nevada

There is a string of features extending from the northern Praries of Canada to the High Plains to the southwestern US. Epic rains are falling around Phoenix and in the southern Rockies, with snow falling at the highest peaks. By the time we get going tomorrow, the system will have weakened, with precipitation becoming limited to the upper elevations along our route. We may not see any precipitation on the roads, but there will be some nearby, in the Ruby Range in northeast Nevada, and by Park City, Utah. We’ll stop in Coalville, not too far beyond Park City.

DAY TWO (Friday)
As high pressure filters back into the High Plains, moisture will be scoured out of the low lying terrain. We might see some mid level or high clouds as we trek through Wyoming, north of the snow falling in the peaks of Colorado. Wyoming has a lot of beautiful parts, but none of them are along I-80, so hustle through and get to the western part of Nebraska, where we will stop in Brule for the night.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The very same system that we saw on Thursday will be sweeping through the Lower Mississippi Valley, shuttling to the northeast. An inverted trough at the north end of the low will be pointed into Illinois, into some chilly air. Nebraska and Iowa should be sunny and dry, but the threat and intensity of snow will increase the closer we get to Decatur.

Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois

I feel like the heart of Illinois is a good place to really see what synoptic scale weather patterns can do

AT 854PM, CT, Decatur was reporting a temperature of 36 degrees. Above freezing temperatures after fresh rain and snow have led to low clouds and fog beginning to develop in the region thanks to clear skies and calm winds. After what should be a foggy morning tomorrow, emerging low pressure in the High Plains will drive warm air northward throughout the day tomorrow.
Decatur is far enough south that the emerging low will bring a threat for rain or even an isolated rumble of thunder as the feature slides north towards the Upper Midwest and sends an active cold front into Illinois by sunrise. The system is going to be fast moving and will be through by the early afternoon, leaving a chilly but clear evening by Thursday.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 50, Low 32
Thursday – Rain early, at times heavy, High 54, Low 41

TWC: Tomorrow – Areas of patchy fog early. Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 51, Low 29
Thursday – Showers in the morning then continued cloudy and windy in the afternoon. High 59, Low 44

AW: Tomorrow – Sunny to partly cloudy and milder High 52, Low 32
Thursday – Breezy and mild in the morning; otherwise, cloudy with showers, mainly early in the day High 60, Low 45

NWS: Tomorrow – Widespread fog, mainly before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, High 53, Low 33
Thursday – Rain, mainly before noon High 61, Low 43

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, Widespread fog in the morning, High 49, Low 31
Thursday – Rain in the morning, then a chance of rain in the afternoon, High 57, Low 41

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 53, Low 33
Thursday – Partly cloudy with light rain, High 61, Low 46

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 49, Low 28
Thursday – Light rain and windy in the morning. High 61, Low 41

It’s going to be a pretty virulent system that moves through the country this week, but if there is any good news, it’s that it is moving through now, rather than later in the season, when more snow would fall, or in the spring, when severe storms are likely. Here, we can just see fog developing.

The remarkable 2013 Moore tornado

Recently posted on Youtube and Reddit, this compilation of videos, synchronized to play with each other if they were from the same time period, is a remarkable reminder of just how devastating the tornado was, and the fact that the video is almost an hour long shows just how dangerous the storm was.

For whatever reason, perhaps because I am a meteorologist, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about some of the more recent major tornadoes to afflict the country in the last few years. Moore has been hit by no less than three major tornadoes this century, but somehow, places like Joplin and Tuscaloosa show their scars more evidently.

Google Maps’ satellite view allows us to see, quite apparently, the course of tornadoes, even many years after they have passed through. Here are the overhead views of Joplin and Tuscaloosa today.

Joplin, with tornado scar highlighted

If you look look closely, the scar has a lighter hue than the area outside of the affected region. There are two reasons for this. First, Tuscaloosa and Joplin are both well forested cities, and the stripping of the canopy has a profound effect on an area, even over the long term. For another reference, here is an image I captured of north Minneapolis, where the tornado wasn’t as strong, but it was still enough to strip the canopy across the path.

Second, these areas are being redeveloped, and there is still widespread construction throughout the damaged regions.

Moore didn’t leave the same impression, for two reasons. One, Oklahoma isn’t as arboraceous as even nearby Joplin, nor Tuscaloosa. Second, Moore’s 2013 tornado was among 5 tornadoes, including 3 of EF4 or greater that have hit the town in the past 21 years alone. Moore is in a constant state of reinvention.

That is the theme of all of these cities, then. Rebirth and resilience. It’s important to understand the danger tornadoes pose to see how these towns bounce back, and the strength of their spirit. You can’t have a scar without injury, but the mark it leaves is a symbol of the constant healing.

Coming soon…

We are continuing our slow transition back to Eastern US forecasting this week after late October seemed to be spent entirely west of the Rockies. Here’s what we will be looking forward to as we close in on Thanksgiving.

Decatur, Illinois
Road Trip from Reno, Nevada to Decatur

Palm Bay, Florida

Road Trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Florence, Alabama

Jackson, Michigan

A bit cooler a bit north

Sebastian and Vero Beach aren’t far from each other, but they were far enough apart that they had some distance in their highs on Monday. Whereas the high in Vero Beach was in the low 80s, it only hit the high 70s in Sebastian. Why? It probably has to do with the location of the local geography. The barrier islands are broader near Vero Beach, and the Sebastian airport sits near a river, all meaning that the influence of water has a better chance of tempering changes to temperature in Sebastian. Just a theory. In any eventr, The NWS and WeatherNation tied for the top forecast.
Actuals: Sunday, High 79, Low 63
Monday- High 78, Low 66

Grade B-C

Bounce back

Bowling Green was in the clutches of our first dose of Arctic air when we visited on Friday, but the weekend provided respite. High temperatures surged into the 60s on Sunday, touching a total that was even warmer than forecasts indicated. Of course, this week it’s all coming back down again, but for the days that counted, Bowling Green was able to enjoy the balmy conditions. The atypically warm Weatherbug had the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Saturday – High 52, Low 25
Sunday – High 66, Low 39

Grade: B-C

Say it ain’t so

Here is a look at the forecast morning low tomorrow.

You might rightfully say “Oh boy, that’s awfully chilly for Montana and North Dakota” and lament with some concern that, gosh, it’s chilly even down into the Plains. All true. Also true is that the cold is going to be more widespread on Tuesday morning.

Everybody can enjoy the chilly temperatures, and not just the High Plains!

Oh, and don’t forget, there is a strong area of high pressure chasing an active cold front bringing this chill. Let’s look at the wind chills.

Don’t be fooled by this map, the color scheme is simply different from the low temperature map. It’s oging to be real cold, and it will feel even colder for a big section of the country. This isn’t one of those “Relatively cold” things either. It’s just going to be flat out cold through the middle of November,.

Bowling Green, Kentucky to Sebastian, Florida

Hello, and happy weekend! If you are ready for this southeastern US trek, then I am too. It’s an 837 mile trek, and if we did it in 1 day, it would take 12 hours. Possible, sure, but I think we would all prefer a more relaxed day and a half pace. We’ll cover the ground at a clip of nearly 70mph, which is a great advertisement for I-75.Our full day of travel will conclude after about 558 miles.

DAY ONE (Monday)

Bowling Green, Kentucky

We are picking a great day to depart from Bowling Green. Another reinforcing bolt of Atctic air is pressing into the center of the country, which will bring more wind and rain to Kentucky and Tennessee by the time Monday is thorugh. Fortunately, it will get to the route between Bowling Green and Chattanooga well after we have reached Georgia. The Peach State will still be it’s regular sultry self, with a bit of added humidity ahead of the strong emerging cold front in the Ohio Valley. We’ll be in the safety of Florida by the time the day ends, spending the night in Jasper, not far across the state line. Good thing bad weahter never comes to Florida.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
That strong cold front will continue to sink to the southeast, it will lose most of it’s on shore mustard. Sure, there will be wind and some mid level clouds, but most of the actual rain showers will lie offshore. We should outpace the cold front, but a head wind will be gusting towards the lower pressure, so be sure to grip the steering wheel securely. Always good advice when driving in Florida, actually.

Sebastian, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Hey, did anyone watch The Little Mermaid on ABC earlier this week? Why do I ask? Oh, no reason.

AT 153PM, ET, Sebastian was reporting a temperature of 77 degrees with clear skies. There were showers being seen south of town, from West Palm Beach towards Miami, and a brisk onshore wind carried some light rain near Cape Canaveral, but the air mass moving into the region was the same cool dry one found across the eastern part of the country.
The showers south of town are associated with a fairly strong area of low pressure in the Gulf Stream. An upper level trough lies over the Florida Peninsula, and will drift east out of the area, allowing some humidity and clouds to filter back in, however the skies are likely to stay clear.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 79, Low 60
Monday – A few clouds, High 82, Low 64

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 79, Low 65
Monday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 82, Low 68

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 80, Low 68
Monday – A passing shower in the morning; otherwise, partly sunny High 81, Low 70

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 79, Low 65
Monday – Mostly sunny High 81. Low 65

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 78, Low 68
Monday – Partly sunny, High 81. Low 69

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 79, Low 65
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 81, Low 65

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 78, Low 68
Monday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 81, Low 71

Here is a look at the radar, showing a nice window of dry along the Atlantic Coast of Florida.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

There are two Bowling Greens that I can think of. One is in Ohio, and the other is in southern Kentucky. Apparently, lawn bowling is a big deal in the Ohio Valley.

At 953AM, CT, Bowling Green was reporting a temperature of 34 degrees with clear skies. Things were unseasonably cold across most of the eastern United States under a stout dome of high pressure that has been in place for a couple of days now, but will offer a brief moment of respite in the next couple of days.
A bit of a thermal ridge is going to develop across the Ohio Valley, though the region is more broadly underneath an upper level trough, reactive to any perturbations along it’s path. One such wave will move southeast out of Alberta into the northern High Plains as the weekend continues. By early next week, it will mean precipitation for the Bowling Green area, but in the interim, simply expect a warmer return flow.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 54, Low 23
Sunday – A few clouds, even warmer, High 64, Low 36

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 53, Low 22
Sunday – Sunny, High 64, Low 36

AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sunshine, High 52, Low 20
Sunday – Plenty of Sunshine, High 63, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 52, Low 23
Sunday – Sunny high 60, Low 34

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny high 52, Low 23
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 63, low 37

WN: Tomorrow -Sunny, High 52, Low 23
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 60, Low 34

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 55, Low 23
Sunday – Clear throughout the day. high 64, Low 34

The weather is looking pretty nice for the weekend. It will be a good time to get out and take care of the leaves in the yard, I would say. The weather is going to take a turn again early next week. For the time being, take a look at the satellite. The white in Michigan is actually fresh snow.