Category Archives: Forecast

Off The Grid: Half Dome-Yosemite National Park, California

One of America’s most iconic mountain faces is located in east-central California, within Yosemite National Park. This granite dome, known as Half Dome (8,836ft), is most notable for its appearance to have lost half of its northwest face. While this is not entirely true, recently (March 2009) a rock slide of 1,500,000 cubic feet occurred near Ahwiyah Point adding to this affect.

For many years Half Domes peak (or summit) was deemed unreachable due to the smooth nature of the granite peak. When wet it was impossible for even the most daring of climbers to attempt. This was true until 1875 when climbers drilled and placed iron eyebolts into the smooth granite, allowing climber George Anderson to make its first accent. Now Half Dome welcomes nearly 50,000 accents per year.

Half Dome’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean leaves it wide open for copious amounts of snow during the winter months and this weekend is poised to prove that point. A series of disturbances will track from northwest to southeast across California over the next couple days ushering in an abundance of Pacific moisture that will translate to heavy snow accumulations for Half Dome’s summit. A mix of rain and snow will be expected early tonight, before snow levels crash overnight and transition all precipitation to snow over the summit. Periods of moderate to heavy snow will then be expected into the early evening hours on Saturday, with as much as 20 inches of accumulation possible. Snow is expected to become light for the early overnight hours as one system pushes southeast and the next system drifts southeast. Near daybreak Sunday snow will once again become moderate to heavy at times, with periods of heavy snow continuing through the overnight hours. An additional 30 inches of snowfall will be possible Sunday and Sunday night. Gusty winds will be possible as well, with gusts as high as 70-80 mph possible near the summit.

Saturday: Cloudy and windy, with periods of heavy snow. High 24, Low 10.
Sunday: Cloudy and windy, with periods of heavy snow. High 21, Low 8.

TWC: ** No Forecast Available. **

AW: ** No Forecast Available. **

NWS: ** No Forecast Available. **

WB: ** No Forecast Available. **

OTG Rating: >>5<< Reaching Half Dome’s summit is certainly no easy task. It usually takes a pre-dawn start (between 1-3am), 4,800ft in elevation change, 7-23 miles of hiking (depending on the route) and nerves of steel while climbing the cables. What keeps the OTG rating a bit lower are the large crowds that attempt the summit and the popularity of the National Park (Yosemite) that it sits in. Some weekends see as many as 800-1,000 attempts per day.

Note: The ‘OTG Rating’ is based on a scale of 1 to 10; 10 being completely Off The Grid and 1 being within a major city or otherwise Grid Lock.

Bellingham, Washington

This is about as far to the northwest as one can go and remain in the continental US. Bellingham is closer to Vancouver than Seattle.

AT 653AM, PT, Bellingham was reporting cloudy skies with a temperature of 50 degrees. Temperatures were buoyed overnight by the deck of clouds spanning the Puget Sound area, preventing any of the surface warmth from escaping. Drizzle was being reported across the area, particularly across the Sound on the Olympic Peninsula, and in the Cascades near Mount Baker.
A mess of low pressure over the northern Rockies has generated widespread mountain snow and valley rain for the northwestern quarter of the US. The jet is strong and undulating through the Gulf of Alaska. The jet will track over the Bellingham area even as the low over Montana shifts east, meaning moisture will continue to stream off the Pacific and into the area. By tomorrow evening, another strong system riding the jet will send it’s cold front slamming into western Washington. Heavy rain, gusty winds and fog will continue into Thursday as the low follows a similar track towards northern Montana. The strongest winds will come with the low itself, when it arrives on Thursday evening.
Tomorrow – Heavy rain and wind, High 47, Low 41
Thursday – Rain, with wind picking up, High 44, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Windy with rain likely High 46, Low 42
Thursday – Rain, High 45, Low 37

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy with rain High 47, Low 39
Thursday – Rain (snow late) High 43, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain. High 47, Low 40
Thursday – Rain High 44, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Windy, rain. High 47, Low 42
Thursday – Rain Likely, High 44, Low 37

Looks like a particularly nasty couple of days for northwestern Washington. The NWS’s lows were non standard, and oh yeah, here is the radar.

Hope the gas bill is paid

Forecasts of lows in the mid-20s were chilly enough, but on Saturday in Bismarck, clear overnight skies led to radiative cooling that was more effective than anticipated. The low on Saturday morning was 17 degrees, something almost nobody saw coming.A trace of some sort of precipitation came late Sunday, I assume it was snow because it has been snowing in Bismarck all day today. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast, thought it wasn’t terribly well executed, especially since the we were off by 11 degrees in total on the Day 1 of the forecast. Oh well, we’ll take it and do better next time.
Actuals: Saturday – High 34, Low 17
Sunday – Trace of precip, High 45, Low 24

Grade C

Last gasp of high pressure

In a couple days, Asheville will turn into a rainy, sopping mess. For the past couple of days, however, they have been a delightful, autumnal wonderland. Temperatures even peaked at 80 on Friday. Hard to argue with weather like that. V-W and Accuweather tied atop the leaderboard.
Actuals: Friday – High 70, Low 33
Saturday – High 68, Low 30

Grade: A

Serene Skies

The expected quiet weather in Lancaster didn’t disappoint, with some pleasant daytime highs, but a bit chillier Friday morning as high pressure ruled the region. The mostly sunny skies led to the NWS nabbing the top spot.

Thursday: High 57, Low 34.
Friday: High 62, Low 28.
Forecast Grade: A

Bismarck, North Dakota

I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be our first truly wintry forecast of the season. How does THAT make you feel?

At 1052AM, CT, Bismarck was reporting sunny skies and a temperature of 39 degrees. They found themselves in the wake of a cold front that is getting new life from a developing low over Oklahoma. Along the cold front, which is gradually turning into a warm front, or even an inverted trough, a large shield of clouds looked to back its way into North Dakota.
The deep but fairly weak upper trough will instigate a northward motion from the low developing in Oklahoma. The system isn’t strong enough to advect it’s cold air, so it will have to use the temperatures in place already, which will likely mean a mix of rain and snow over Minnesota. Were this February, this would likely mean a dusting for Bismarck as well, but it will likely just mean an increase in clouds until late on Sunday, when a strong system over western Canada may begin to introduce some flurries to southern North Dakota.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, High 37, Low 25
Sunday -Mostly cloudy, with a flurry before midnight, High 41, Low 22

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies. High 43, Low 25
Sunday – Mix of sun and clouds. High 45, Low 23

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 42, Low 20
Sunday – Partly sunny (late flurries) High 44, Low 18

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny high 41, Low 23
Sunday – Partly sunny High 39, Low 23

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 41, Low 21
Sunday – Partly sunny, High 40, Low 22

Temperatures are all over the place, and it will probably be dependent on what happens with the clouds. They are pretty evident on the satellite.

Asheville, North Carolina

Time for our first post vacation early in the day forecast. I don’t think that’s a big deal to anyone, not even me.

At 154PM, ET, Asheville was reporting a temperature of 62 degrees with clear skies. High pressure dominated the east coast, allowing unseasonably warm temperatures to filter into the Southeast and even into the Carolina mountains.
An upper vortex was still dominating the central Plains and was too long waved to really advance on it’s own. A reinforcing jet over the Pacific Northwest will inch into the Rockies and begin to develop the next surface low over the mid-Mississippi Valley by Saturday. It appears, however, that the low will not be able to begin it’s eastward march by the end of the forecast period, and Asheville will enjoy another pair of nice, warm days.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 68, Low 32
Saturday – Partly cloudy, High 68, Low 32

TWC: Tomorrow – A mainly sunny sky. High 66, Low 39
Saturday – Mainly sunny. High 67, Low 35

AW: Tomorrow – Sunny and pleasant High 68 Low 33
Saturday – Nice with plenty of sunshine High 69, Low 32

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 69, Low 33
Saturday – Sunny High 69, Low 34

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 69, Low 33
Saturday – Sunny, High 69, Low 34

A look at the satellite shows that all the clouds are off shore.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Ahh, here we are, back to forecasting. I spent the past week out west, so of course we’re going to the east coast to forecast.

At 1053PM, ET, Lancaster was reporting a temperature of 46 degrees with clear skies. A weak ridge of high pressure was covering the east coast, leaving the entire region clear of any clouds or fog, on top of the dearth of precipitation. A system in Canada is bringing a few showers to the Northern Plains, and the strength of the associated jet suggests it will not fade quickly.
The jet streak is a part of am almost circular pattern that doesn’t show much proclivity for an eastward progression. Expect the system over the plains to lift north to the east. The overall flow of the jet will continue to rip through the same path it rides along, but will not have the same jet strength. The continued vorticity through the Ohio Valley will create redeveloping systems along the river, however none of it will be able to creep far enough east to be of influence for Lancaster.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 56, Low 35
Friday – Partly cloudy, High 57, Low 30

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny High 57, Low 35
Friday – Abundant sunshine. High 59, Low 31

AW: Tomorrow – Pleasant with sunshine against a deep blue sky High 55, Low 32
Friday – Sunny and nice High 60, Low 30

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 57, Low 24
Friday – Sunny High 61, Low 31

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 57, Low 34
Friday – Sunny, High 61, Low 32

So, sunny skies. It took me forever to write this… I’m not really back in the swing of things yet. Here is the satellite.

I’m back

OK, I’m back from vacation, and we are up for a regular schedule again. I think for the rest of the week, we’ll go with the tail end of last weeks schedule, starting today (I’ll post a forecast for Lancaster tonight). Right now, I thought i would mention the results of Halloween’s forecast for Fayetteville, Arkansas. I don’t remember much about it, but I do know that temperatures ended up warmer than was forecast, probably because rain didn’t find it’s way into town as most expected. Victoria-Weather and The Weather Channel ended up with the top forecast. How about that for not even remembering it.
Actuals: November 1st – High 73, Low 46
November 2nd – Rain reported, not measured, High 62, Low 48

Grade: C