Late in July, we assembled a forecast for Reno, which promised highs in the low 90s, and that’s what was delivered. Clear skies and dry air made lows in the 50s seem plausible, but it was not to be. The Weather Service had the perfect blend of high highs and still warm lows, claiming the victory. (Note: I have submitted the draft for my next book. The hope is that this will be a kick in the pants for the posting schedule. Fingers crossed!) Actuals: July 24th, High 93, Low 63 July 25th, High 93, Low 61
Road tripping is sort of en vogue right now, given the potential of coronavirus transmission with air travel, so why not see the country in a week long transnational road trip? It will take us 6 days to get from coast to coast, covering 3200 miles. We’ll average 68mph and nearly 545 miles a day. Right through the center of the country!
DAY ONE (Friday)
Isaias has long departed the Eastern Seaboard, but the remainder of a weak surface trough still lingers in the mid-Atlantic,and is continuing to threaten the area with showers and storms from Long Island to Florida. Inland, those storms are filtering towards the mountains, beginning to rise up with the elevation and raining out at higher terrain. For our purposes, that means a threat of rain as we approach the Catskills. The threat for isolated rain and thunder will linger until about Oneida, with clearing skies returning until we arrive at Batavia, between Buffalo and Rochester, and our destination for the day.
DAY TWO (Saturday) On the other side of the Appalachians, life is good. High pressure has taken care of the Great Lakes and is doing a good job of suppressing Gulf moisture and shunting systems from the Plains to the north. Not a bad day to drive through Ohio. We’ll end in Hammond, Indiana, in the Chicago region.
DAY THREE (Sunday) As we move west, the ridge will shift east, opening the Mississippi Valley up to the Gulf’s moisture. The Sunday drive will be soupy. Scattered spots of drizzle might be possible with the rising warm air in Illinois, but it should clear out through Iowa. Unfortunately, the sunny skies and humidity will only be priming the region for strong thunderstorms, of which a few might arrive in eastern Nebraska just as we are passing through Omaha and Lincoln. Severe weather is a strong possibility as we pull off the highway in Milford, just west of Lincoln.
DAY FOUR (Monday) After a stormy evening in Nebraska, it should improve dramatically as we cross the windswept prairie of Nebraska and enter the windswept hills of Wyoming. Some monsoon thunderstorms may be seen on the horizon over the peaks in Colorado, but our route should be dry. We will end near Walcott, but most of southern Wyoming is all the same, so who knows!
DAY FIVE (Tuesday) There isn’t going to be too much difference on Tuesday. Generally, the drive will be just fine, but in slopes, there could be a stray thunderstorm associated with the seasonal monsoon. It shouldn’t be an enormous concern, with the largest issue being dust from downdrafts in dry storms west of Salt Lake City. Our day will conclude in Elko, which, yes, does have some casinos. No, you probably shouldn’t go, what with the pandemic and all.
DAY SIX (Wednesday) The monsoon doesn’t really reach as far west as the Sierras, and we should get on the road before we have to deal with the afternoon storms around Elko. Smooth sailing into Napa, then. Heck, we even get to approach from Sacramento, which is a heck of a lot easier than coming from San Francisco.
All right, another forecast! I’ve been to the Napa area within the last year, and I do have to say, it is significantly more beautiful than I anticipated, but also much different. That said, I didn’t quite know what to expect.
At 754PM, PT, Napa was reporting a temperature of 64 degrees with clear skies. Fog and low clouds were settling into the South Bay as night encroached, and the clear skies and dewpoints in the mid 50s suggest that fog will be likely in the Napa Valley as well, particularly given that it is only approaching 8pm. A trough moving through the Pacific Northwest is churning things up further to the north along the Pacific Coast, while high pressure hasn’t yet settled into the southwest to provide the offshore winds to battle back the marine layer. Napa looks like it will warm up a bit as the weekend arrives, which may limit the morning and evening haze on Friday. Tomorrow – Cloudy early, then sunny, with haze arriving late, High 80, Low 56 Friday – Sunnier, High 82, Low 57
TWC: Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon High 83, Low 57 Friday – Mainly sunny. High 81, Low 55
AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 83, Low 57 Friday – Beautiful with areas of low clouds early; otherwise, mostly sunny High 83, Low 55
NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, High 81, Low 56 Friday – Sunny, High 81, Low 55
WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny. Patchy fog in the morning, High 85, Low 59 Friday – Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny, High 80, Low 57
WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 56 Friday – Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 55
FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 87, Low 54 Friday – Clear throughout the day. High 85, Low 53
Forecast.io is clearly using their own model guidance. Yikes. Here is the satellite imagery, showing the low clouds along the coast, getting ready to envelop San Francisco.
We continue with our extremely busy early season in the tropics, already reaching the I storm for the year. That means there have been 9 named storms, with the typically most active part of the season looming. Hanna, the storm before Isaias was the first hurricane of the year, landfalling in south Texas last week, causing some flood damage to the Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen areas. Isaias also threatens US interests this weekend.
Isaias only congealed into a hurricane after making his first landfalls over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Shortly after reemerging over the sea north of the Dominican Republic, he strengthened into a hurricane for the first time. He still doesn’t look like your classic, well organized hurricane as he passes over the central Bahamas, but hurricane hunters have verified his status.
There are warnings out for most of the Bahamas, as well as across the east coast of Florida as well.
Calling for a hurricane warning where the hurricane presently is is just solid operational meteorology, but the warning along the Florida Coast should tell you a little something about where this storm is expected to end up. Let’s see the first spaghetti plot on Victoria-Weather of 2020!
There are two things to note about this particular track. First, the majority of the input guidance keeps the storm off the coast of Florida, save for a brief incursion around Jupiter, before strafing the coast. Second, there is a startling level of cohesion to the tracks even a few days into the forecast. I feel like now I should note that Isaias is pronounced “Eesa-eeyus” because you are going to hear about the storm for a while.
The bad news is that this storm is going to affect the US for quite awhile, but after that initial “there is a hurricane affecting the country, and it is part of an extremely active tropical season to date” news, the situation breaks towards the positive for the East Coast. First, Isaias is likely close to, if not at, it’s maximum intensity already.
This is primarily because Isaias is moving swiftly, and won’t loiter over the warm waters that will give it strength. Additionally, his proximity to the coast will deter sustained development. That swift moving factor should limit the flooding potential, though there is always that chance with a tropical feature. I would expect the flooding threat to be greatest from North Carolina to New York, where Isaias will dabble inland the most.
Winds and storm surge won’t ever really bear down on the US as powerfully as they could. The left side of a hurricane, relative to storm motion, is generally the tamest side of the storm. IF the eye remains off shore in Florida, when the storm is its strongest, then the most intense part of the storm will follow suit. Also, storm surge is greatest ahead of the storm, and since it will be moving parallel to the coast for the most part, surge will never be as big a concern as Katrina or Michael, for example.
All tropical features bring their dangers and should be met with concern. Fortunately, Isaias will deliver only a glancing blow. Hopefully, it will give enough practice to coastal residents, as the 2020 hurricane season (and 2020 year in general) don’t show any signs of becoming less relentless.
I am, of course, talking about our recent posting frequency. Whew! This Fayetteville verification is 2 weeks overdue, if that gives you an idea the latency issues we are having. This was a pretty solid forecast from all comers, with Victoria-Weather taking the top spot, after two other outlets incorrectly suspected thunderstorms would bleed into the eastern Carolinas after developing in the shadow of the Appalachians. Nope! V-W gets the win. Actuals: July 16th, High 93, Low 73 July 17th, High 93, Low 74
Hey gang, we’re almost at the weekend! At Victoria-Weather, we are planning on kicking things off with a 4 day trip out to Reno. We’ll cover 2,337 miles at a pace of 68.7 windswept miles per hour. The last day, which is often the case for us, will be a longer day, with about 550 miles passing by on the first three days. Road travel and camping are the way to live in this age, and perhaps this journey will provide just that opportunity.
DAY ONE (Saturday)
Hey! Who is that in the Gulf of Mexico? Why, it’s Tropical Storm Hanna, already the 8th storm of the season, ready to soak south Texas. What that means for our journey is a reduction in the instability that filters north to our route from Gadsden to Blue Springs Missouri, the Kansas City suburb we intend to rest our heads. Instead of the threat for area showers and storms after noon throughout the day, I think that if we can make it past Hopkinsville, Kentucky by 1pm, we might be storm free all day. Hey, and Kansas City has a lot of spots to stop, including campgrounds. All around a pretty good day.
DAY TWO (Sunday) A cold front is going to move through the high Plains and Upper Midwest this weekend, and again, Hanna is going to play havoc with the storms’ intentions. Instead of heavy soaking rains, there will only be a few shpwers and storms on Saturday, but as Hanna deteriorates on land, the moisture will return to Nebraska and Iowa. Expect the best chance for thunderstorms to come around Lincoln, but with chances for more activity as far west as North Platte. We’ll reach Sidney, which is an oasis in the Nebraska Panhandle, and call it an ight.
DAY THREE (Monday) The summer monsoon is something of a moving target. Like, literally, the target moves every day, and truly, guidance isn’t a whole lot of help. Depending on your flavor of choice, you might get some storms in Nevada, or they might show up in Utah. Let’s plan for the worst and hope for the best. It should be dry through Wyoming, at least, even if we see a stray storm in Utah, where we will stop in Magna, on the west side of Salt Lake City.
DAY FOUR (Tuesday) The way it looks, our long drive on Tuesday will mostly be in the clear, though as the time hits the afternoon, there could be an isolated storm around Elko or Winnemucca. IT would be short lived, however, and we would almost certainly be in good shape when Reno comes to pass. It will be plenty hot though.
It’s opening day for baseball fans, at long, long last, so let’s go to a state that does not have any baseball whatsoever, because Victoria-Weather is excellent with timing, if nothing else.
At 755PM, MT, Reno was reporting a temperature of 79 degrees with winds of 35mph. There were some clouds over the Sierras around Lake Tahoe, and the end of showers and storms within that activity were leading to the localized gusts. The trend will continue to be towards clearing as the work week ends and the weekend arrives. Expect surface high pressure to continue to build across the Intermountain West, with sunny skies and warm temperatures for Reno. Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 92, Low 59 Saturday – Sunny, High 93, Low 57
TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and some clouds High 89, Low 56 Saturday – Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds High 92, Low 58
AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 90, Low 57, Saturday – Sunny to partly cloudy High 92, Low 59
NWS: Tomorrow – Widespread haze before 11am. Sunny High 91, Low 59 Saturday – Sunny High 92, Low 60
WB: Tomorrow – Sunny. Haze in the morning. Slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 87, Low 57 Saturday – Sunny, High 91, Low 59
WN: Tomorrow – Hazy, High 90, Low 59 Saturday – Mostly sunny, High 92, Low 60
FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 87. Low 62 Saturday – Clear throughout the day. High 92, Low 64
Here is a look at the satellite. Those diminishing clouds brought the breeze, but their diminishing will lead to a rapid cooldown tonight.
It’s not a long trip from these two towns in eastern North Carolina. This trip of less than 2 hours will merely be a leisurely Sunday drive (assuming the weather cooperates). We will cover 110 miles at an almost 63mph pace, and be in Fayetteville by lunch time. Let’s see what will happen.
The tail of a continually weakening trough is bringing some showers and thunderstorms to the Tarheel state today, but guidance suggests the activity will be significantly weaker tomorrow morning thanks both to the fact that that trough IS weakening, and that we will be going in the morning, when the heat of the day will be absent. Indeed, this will be a leisurely drive! Stop for ice cream on the way, you have my permission.
We randomly pick our forecast cities, so there isn’t any favoritism here, but boy, our random selector sure seems to like Fayetteville lately.
At 1053PM, ET, Fayetteville was reporting a temperature of 79 degrees with clear skies. With a dew point of 73, the clear skies are likely to lead to some fog developing before the night is through, though there was a spot of shower and thunderstorm activity southwest of Fayetteville across the border in South Carolina. A vast area of low pressure has parked itself over Hudson Bay, and is playing a role in directing traffic much further south. A weak undercutting wave moving through the southern Great Lakes is amplifying onshore flow in the eastern Carolinas tonight, but by tomorrow evening, only a fading trough west of the Appalachians will remain. A moisture rich, generally featureless landscape will mark the Carolinas’ atmosphere on Friday, with some later afternoon showers and thunderstorms possible, but likely closer to Charlotte and Winston-Salem, where the terrain may have some say in he matter. Hot and hazy is the name of the game in Fayetteville. Tomorrow – Partly cloudy and warm, High 92, Low 75 Friday – Mostly cloudy, High 94, Low 74
TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny skies. High 92, Low 72 Friday – Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 93, Low 72
AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 93, Low 71 Friday – A morning thunderstorm; otherwise, partly sunny High 93, Low 72
NWS: Tomorrow – A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny High 94, Low 74 Friday – A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, High 95, Low 72
WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 90, Low 74 Friday – Mostly sunny High 90, Low 73
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 94, Low 78 Friday – Mostly sunny, High 95, Low 72
FIO: Tomorrow – Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High 92, Low 72 Friday – Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High 92, Low 70
Well, the day turned to Thursday as I was posting this, and that confused me a bit with the forecasts. Here is a look at the satellite, with one rogue shower, now fading, in South Carolina.