Category Archives: Forecast

Columbus, Indiana

Are you tired of forecasts for places named Columbus? We keep getting Columbuses in the automatic generation of our schedule, and it’s a bizarre trend.

At 142AM, ET, Columbus had ceased reporting observations for the evening, however nearby sites were reporting few clouds and a temperature in the mid 20s. High pressure dominated the center of the country between a pair of major systems, the first that dumped 2 and a half feet of snow on Newark, New Jersey and a powerful trough driving into the west that will bring inclement weather to the entire continental United States before it is through.
A weak upper level trough has generated a few showers over Texas and Oklahoma, but will get sheared apart by the advancing, strong system to the west. Still, this ripple in the atmosphere will be associated with moisture being drawn north to Indiana. Expect a cloudy, rainy period across the region after about 8 in the evening tonight.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds with late rain, High 36, Low 23
Thursday – Rain likely, otherwise overcast, High 48, Low 34

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies (PM Rain). High 39, Low 23
Thursday – Showers ending by midday. High 41, Low 33

AW: Tomorrow – Some sunshine giving way to clouds (rain and ice late), High 38, Low 18
Thursday – Cloudy with a touch of rain; patchy fog High 46, Low 30

NWS: Tomorrow – A slight chance of rain or freezing rain after 1pm. Mostly cloudy High 36, Low 22
Thursday – A 40 percent chance of rain. Patchy fog. Otherwise, mostly cloudy High 44, low 35

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of rain or light freezing rain in the afternoon High 36, Low 25
Thursday – Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. High 44, Low 33

Expecting a lot of warm air coming north into Columbus. I’m not sure about the freezing rain forecasts, but it’s the right set up, were surface temps tomorrow not so warm at the beginning of precipitation. Look at that monster out west. Hoo boy.

Today in fantastically awful forecasting

Never mind the fact that when we did the forecast for St. Cloud, the temperature was clearly not going to dive, thanks to a thick blanket of clouds that were parked over Minnesota. Those clouds didn’t inch out of town really at all over the next two days, either, which meant that temperatures never met the forecast highs on Monday and most struggled with low temperature forecasts. The clouds were also responsible for some light flurries each of the last two days that nobody accounted for. Nothing really worked out for anyone. The top forecaster was the Weather Service.
Actuals: Sunday – Trace of snow, High 18, Low 8
Monday – Trace of snow, High 17, Low 2

Grade: C

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Only a couple more forecasts left this year, and then on to 2011. Wow, 2011.

At 956AM, MT, Albuquerque was reporting a temperature of 37 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. After a tumultuous week acros the country, there was a period of calm weather across the country with a ridge of high pressure dominating the country.
Albuquerque will remain quiet and dry for much of the period. A sharp trough with strong flow through it will swing quickly into the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday morning and will emerge into the Rockies by the end of the day. After a tranquil holiday and travel season, things will rapidly deteriorate across northern New Mexico Wednesday evening as rain and mountain snow will be accompanied by some gusty winds. Rain may not start until very late in the evening in Albuquerque, but the blustery conditions will arrive much sooner than that.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 47, Low 28
Wednesday – Increasingly cloudy with some rain and wind late, High 43, Low 27

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and clouds mixed High 49, Low 33
Wednesday – More clouds than sun High 44, Low 30

AW: Tomorrow – Sunshine and some clouds High 48, Low 30
Wednesday – Considerable cloudiness (late rain) High 44, Low 28

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 49, Low 30
Wednesday – A slight chance of rain showers. Partly sunny (snow late) High 46, Low 27

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy High 49, Low 29
Wednesday – Partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain showers High 45, Low 27

No doubt, the next system moving through the country is going to mostly afflict the northern part of the country, and will be a bigger rainmaker than previous storms this season, which is a different set of problems, no doubt. Satellite shows only a couple clouds over the mountains in New Mexico.

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Saint Cloud, home of my cohort’s alma mater. What weather is in store for that sleepy little town?

At 1153PM, CT, Saint Cloud was reporting a temperature of 14 degrees with cloudy skies. The clouds were sparing the town from a chilly fate this evening. Further to the southwest, a stripe of land that saw clear skies this evening is seeing temperatures of -10. High pressure is dominating the region, however it is a cold ridge, and is trapping the moisture at the surface, bringing about very low clouds.
High pressure will eventually break down later this week, which will mean a return to a laminar, westerly flow finally clearing the city out. Expect some warming temperatures tomorrow evening as a clipper moves through Canada and works to bring some more bearable air north.
Tomorrow – Clearing, High 15, Low 6
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 23, Low 1

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. High 15, Low 0
Monday – Partly cloudy. High 23, Low 4

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and cold High 12, Low -3
Monday – Mostly sunny High 19, Low 0

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 15, Low 8
Monday – Mostly sunny High 20, Low 2

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning High 14, Low -1
Monday – Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy High 20, Low 1

Right now the clouds are causing some temperatures to bust already. (Weatherbug thinks it will be 1 in another minute) Clouds are going to play a huge role in this forecast. Satellite shows a layer of low clouds across Minnesota.

Tough for Santa’s Sleigh

If you have ever talked to a pilot before, you know the biggest cause of delays is unrelenting fog or haze. This was the problem on Christmas Eve in Visalia. Not only would it have necessitated a red nosed reindeer for jolly old elves flying through town, it kept temperatures way down from what was expected. Temperatures in all 4 verifying times, actually, were off from what anyone had. There was no rain on Thursday, either, which knocked Victoria-Weather down a peg, but nobody did well with the very warm overnight lows. The Weather Channel had a Christmas Miracle and won the forecast, while the rest of the forecasters shared second place. (Note… Hourly obs don’t match listed highs and lows. Huh?)

Actuals: Thursday – High 59, Low 46

Friday – High 51, Low 43

Grade: C

Visalia, California

It’s been doing nothing but rain in California this week. Will they get a Christmas miracle, and see some sunshine?

At 1235PM, PT, Visalia was reporting a temperature of 55 degrees with partly cloudy skies. Rain was falling just off to the west in Hanford, to the north in Fresno and along Highway 99 towards Bakersfield. The official Pineapple Express was still lined up through southern California, however as discussed yesterday, a jet trough was cutting off the express, while generating a low just off the coast that was sending in it’s own trough in portions of northern California. The low itself is forecast to come ashore over the next 24 hours.
The Pacific Jet will strengthen just south of the Gulf of Alaska, and the upper trough will be left to languish and become cut off. It will be short waved and transient by this point and will quickly shift into the Rockies, allowing California to mercifully dry out by tomorrow afternoon. The strong jet over the Pacific will generate another strong low and cold front, but it will be slow to advance and avoid impacting California for at least the next two days. Expect some fog in the morning as ambient moisture will be high, especially pooled in the central California Valley.
Tomorrow – Rain in the morning, then finally clearing, High 55, Low 44
Friday – Fog in the morning, then sunny, High 56, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies. High 54, Low 44
Friday – Considerable cloudiness. High 57, Low 40

AW: Tomorrow – Areas of fog in the morning; otherwise, times of clouds and sun High 54, Low 41
Friday – Areas of fog in the morning; otherwise, intervals of clouds and sunshine High 50, Low 36

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 55, Low 41
Friday – Areas of fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny High 57, Low 40

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 54, Low 42
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 56, Low 39

I can tell you EXACTLY what everyone else was thinking. Most tend to favor the GFS in a lot of situations, but I think the NAM’s slower moving solution is proving to be more accurate so far, and rain will linger in the San Joachim Valley into tomorrow morning. Then Accuweather has a low high on Friday, which can likely be attributed to their expectation of very dense fog on the morning of Christmas Eve. Here is a look at the radar, showing the latest batch trying to clear out.

The same problem

After a couple days in which the low in Altoona was able to dip to the mid-teens, forecasters were ready to go ahead and forecast similar lows as the pattern wasn’t going to change. The only issue was whether or not an isolated flurry would find its way into Altoona on Monday (it did), or if it would wait until Tuesday (it snowed Tuesday too). The problem, and it occurred on both days of the forecast, was that the temperature wasn’t allowed to plummet overnight, as a pool of clouds found it’s way into Altoona’s valley, and kept temepratures in the 20s for the entirety of the forecast period (save for one quick jaunt to 30). The fine folks at the National Weather Service had the top forecast.
Actuals: Monday – Snow reported, not measured, High 28, Low 23
Tuesday – Snow reported, not measured, High 30, Low 23

Grade: C

Altoona, Pennsylvania

The forecast today again takes us to western Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania seems to have a lot of individual metropolitan areas.

At 1253PM, ET Altoona was reporting a temperature of 26 degrees with clear skies. Lake effect snow and ceilings were being seen west of the Allegheny Mountains, but Altoona, on the eastern slope, was kept clear and dry and stood a good chance of climbing above freezing this afternoon.
High pressure was in charge for the time being in the eastern third of the country, but the jet was running through the center of the country before troughing near the Georgia coast. Over the coming days, Altoona will get squeezed by two massive systems, the first a potential Nor’easter developing over the Gulf Stream off the Carolina coast. The second is a massive storm that has been bringing dozens of feet of snow to the Sierras in California, as well as heavy rain and snow, though with not as impressive totals to the California coast and interior Rockies. The Nor’easter continues to trend further east and is unlikely to inflict its wrath on Altoona, however it will continue to generate northerly flow and flurries over far western PA. A bit of energy will break free from the Pineapple Express out west and find it’s way through the northern Plains into the eastern Great Lakes by Tuesday, when they have a chance to get some accumulating snow late in the day in Altoona.
Tomorrow – Partly to mostly cloudy, High 28, Low 13
Tuesday – Chance for some evening snow, accumulating to an inch High 29, Low 15

TWC: Tomorrow – Considerable cloudiness High 24, Low 15
Tuesday – A few snow showers. High 25, Low 18

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy and cold High 28, Low 13
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a chance for a bit of snow or flurries High 30, Low 15

NWS: Tomorrow – Scattered snow showers High 27, Low 14
Tuesday – Light snow likely, mainly after noon. Cloudy, High 30, Low 16

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers in the morning…then becoming partly sunny with occasional flurries in the afternoon High 28, Low 14
Tuesday – Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of light snow High 32, Low 16

The models are stunningly disparate with Altoona’s forecast. I went more with the GFS because of how it has handled the first 6 hours of the of the forecast period, and I like what it does with the Nor’easter much more. The NAM, the other model, bring the Nor’easter way inland which stanches the progress of the bit of energy I expect to bring snow to Altoona on Tuesday (and dumps another half foot or more of snow in the Twin Cities). Anyways, here is a look at the current satellite, with both major systems clearly demarcated on the map.

Right, nonetheless

It didn’t exactly go as expected in Shreveport, as a little bit of instability actually triggered some clouds and haze and even a bit of drizzle NORTH of town on Friday, but there was none in Shreveport, which was as expected, even though it wasn’t as expected for the region. We at Victoria-Weather nabbed the top spot.
Actuals: Friday – High 48, Low 36
Saturday – High 53, Low 36

Grade: B

Nuisance flurries

The nuisance flurries. Bane of the meteorology community. Sure, there isn’t much going on with the atmosphere, but it’s cold enough that relative humidity is high, then someone sneezes in Joliet and suddenly there is enough of a disturbance to squeeze out a flake in Columbus, and a forecast for mostly cloudy skies goes bust. Such is what happened yesterday in Ohio, throwing everyone off. Temperatures stayed cooler than most expected, which hurt everyone else’s forecast even more. Victoria-Weather came through with the best of the forecasts, though we too struggled mightily.
Actuals: Thursday – .01inches of snow High 25, Low 10
Friday – Flurries reported, not measured, High 24, Low 15

Grade: D