Saved by a few flakes

The forecast didn’t waiver by a lot in Grand Rapids, but there was one element that separated a couple of outlets. Just north of a system that would dump snow measured in feet on the mid-Atlantic, west winds off Lake Michigan brought a few snow showers to Grand Rapids on Wednesday, which elevated the results for only two outlets: Accuweather, and the winner of the day, Victoria-Weather. For results to fluctuate much on a precipitation error, the temperatures had to have been fairly close, which they were. The Weather Channel was good on temperatures, but off on the snow, which set them back, like nearly everyone else.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 29, Low 19
Wednesday – Trace of snow, High 30, Low 23

Grade: B-C

November Forecaster of the Month/ A look at New York’s pending blizzard

I’m going to be pretty quick with the forecaster of the month: It was WeatherNation. They don’t get many titles so it’s too bad we don’t get to spend too much time discussing it. Residents of the mid Atlantic, particularly in downstate New York might be particularly miffed that we don’t get a chance to really dive into WeatherNation’s month.

Starting early tomorrow afternoon, a mix of rain and snow, depending on how near the coast you live, will start in Long Island and southern New York (sooner in the DC and Philadelphia areas) and intensify into the evening, until we can look at something like this after sunset through midnight.

Precipitation from the Big Apple northward is likely to be snow, while Long Island may see quite a bit of mixed snow, sleet and rain. Where it is all snow, including in New York, over a foot of accumulation is in the forecast.

Long Island doesn’t necessarily get the best of the weather however. In addition to whatever sloppy accumulations they get in Long Island, residents of the area can also look forward to wind gusts approaching 50mph. What’s worse? That’s a matter of personal opinion.

It will still be over a week, but this gives the mid-Atlantic a good shot at a White Christmas.

A strong ridge, even stronger than thought

Owensboro seemed to be a pretty easy forecast when we issued it last week. Well. A combination of a stout ridge at the upper levels and an infusion of warm air thrust northward by an advancing area of low pressure shot high temperatures well into the 60s, which was a sight warmer than anyone anticipated. The Weather Channel and Accuweather tied to have the “least bad” forecasts.
Actuals: Thursday: High 67, Low 35
Friday – High 65, Low 41

Grade: D

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Welcome back to Victoria-Weather’s forecasting adventure zone. Grand Rapids is down wind of Lake Michigan, with fairly strong gusts being noted. Not to give anything away about the precipitation or anything.

At 453PM, ET, Grand Rapids was reporting temperature of 28 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. There have been a few streaks of light snow across western Michigan today, provided by winds off the Lake of up to 30mph. This is certainly a microscale event, as more generally, high pressure dominates the region.
A shortwaved ridge over the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes is contributing to the high pressure focused over the Upper Midwest and spreading into the Great Lakes. A deep, broad jet trough will overtake the middle of the country and birth an area of low pressure over the northern Gulf of Mexico, which will translate swiftly to central Appalachia. The existing surface ridge will squash the system to the south and east, away from Lower Michigan, but the induced northwest flow will mean a chance for some flakes, particularly on Wednesday, as well as dropping temperatures later in the week.
Tomorrow -Mostly cloudy, High 33, Low 21
Wednesday – Isolated flurries with mostly cloudy skies, High 30, Low 21

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. High 30, Low 22
Wednesday – Overcast High 33, Low 24

AW: Tomorrow – Sun through high clouds High 32, Low 18
Wednesday – A couple of snow showers in the morning; otherwise, mostly cloudy High 35, Low 20

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 29, Low 19
Wednesday – Cloudy High 33, Low 24

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 29, Low 22
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, High 31,Low 24

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 29, Low 19
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, High 33, Low 24

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 31, Low 24
Wednesday – Overcast throughout the day. High 33, Low 26

Well, it’s going to come down to cloud cover, but it’s interesting that we are moving in different directions on those highs, right? Here are a few bands of lake effect snow in western Michigan

Blown out of the water

A cut off low off the Pacific Coast eventually brought a pretty healthy burst of snow, rain and thunderstorms to the middle of the country before shifting into eastern Canada and New England. Along the way, it mangled some temperature forecasts in the Tucson area. The specific credit for that can be given to the gusty winds that hit 30mph on the 7th, and in the 20mph range on the 8th. High temperatures on the 7th were warmer than expected, and the lows on the 8th were well above normal, all thanks to winds coming out of the southern Rockies and the arid plains of west Texas. The Weather Channel had the top forecast, but won narrowly as everyone had similar forecasts.
Actuals: December 7th – High 79, Low 39
December 8th – High 77, Low 55

Grade: D

(Please note, the days used in the forecast should have been “tomorrow” and “Tuesday” rather than Monday)

Tucson, Arizona to Owensboro, Kentucky

Two days, two road trips. This one will be another three day trip, covering 1,654 miles at a pace of 66mph. We’ll collect 529 miles on the first two days, and drive 9 hours to finish off the trip. With a system bubbling up in the southern US, this could be a bit of an interesting foray on the open road.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Tucson, Arizona

It’s certainly not something we would expect, but there could be torrential rain in Tucson as we get underway on Thursday morning. Low pressure is rising out of northwestern Mexico into the desert Southwest, and will bring Tucson some torrential rain. The feature will lose it’s identity and a bit of it’s available precipitation as it drives into the Rockies, which will mean lighter rain as we pass into New Mexico. That lighter precipitation will continue to be possible, however, until Corona, but we will be dry through Santa Rosa, our day one destination. Unfortunately clouds will obscure the southern high Plains sunset.

DAY TWO (Friday)
The low will shift into the High Plains and intensify overnight Thursday into Friday, but the cold front will be well to our east by the time we get moving in the morning. It will be fairly windy and unusually cool from Santa Rosa through eastern New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle and west Texas. We will be moving quickly enough that we may catch up to the back end of the system as we approach Tulsa, our destination for Friday night.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
Unfortunately, our system is going to be moving to the north, predominantly, instead of to the east, which makes it easier to catch. There is a decent chance that the first contact will be with snow showers in central Missouri, from Springfield onward. It will ultimately transition from snow over to rain in southern Illinois and continue as such into Owensboro. Make no mistake, we will be mostly within the storm’s dry slot, which means light precipitation, or perhaps none at all, throughout this route, but the possibility is going to be ever present.

Owensboro, Kentucky

Owensboro, Kentucky

Owensboro on the Ohio, OK?

At 956PM, Owensboro was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 33 degrees. Most of the region was seeing clear skies, but to the north, a swath of mid layer clouds was cruising through the Great Lakes. In the southern part of Indiana and Illinois, a bit of fog was settling in.
A jet ridge is pushing into the area, which will encourage more stability in the Ohio Valley for the rest of the work week. Unfortunately, it portends an undulating jet structure, and a weekend that is likely to be less pleasant than the conclusion to this week.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 58, Low 32
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 61, Low 32

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 59, Low 33
Friday – A few passing clouds, otherwise generally sunny High 62, Low 33

AW: Tomorrow – Some clouds, then sunshine High 59, Low 33
Friday – Partly sunny High 59, Low 36

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 56, Low 32
Friday – Sunny High 61, Low 34

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny High 57, Low 33
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 59, Low 35

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 56, Low 34
Friday – Mostly sunny, High 61, Low 34

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 59, Low 44
Friday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 61, Low 33

Don’t get lulled into this pleasant weather for the end of the week, Owensboro. It’s going downhill this weekend. Here is KEVV out of Evansville with the regional forecast.

Atlanta, Georgia to Tucson, Arizona

Some drives are pretty easy to navigate, like this one, which will take us entirely via interstate from Georgia to Arizona. It will take us three days to cover the ground, specifically 1,733 miles of ground. The final day will last 10 hours, with the first two covering 533 miles, all at a pace of about 66.5mph. Thanks a lot, traffic.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Atlanta, Georgia

The weather in the south is looking brilliant. High pressure is rising from the south, not one of those Arctic domes of high pressure, so it won’t be terribly cold, either. We’ll slice through the south, from Atlanta to Grambling, Louisiana with ease. Just a terrific day for driving.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The drive will continue to be fairly pleasant on Thursday, but it will be warmer than the drive on Friday. This is because of southerly flow caused by an area of low pressure charging from northern Mexico into the southern Rockies. It’s going to be a big deal for a lot of people late this week, but let’s not worry about that now. We will get to Big Springs and the Permian Basin after a long drive through more than half of Texs.

DAY THREE (Friday)
It’s going to be a bit different as we get going on Friday. After a night of rain and a few embedded thunderstorms, the last vestiges of precipitation will nearly be past Big Springs as we get going, and we should be out of it soon if it’s not done already. Cold air will be rushing in through eastern New Mexico into Texas. There will be plenty of sunshine, however, so getting out of the car for gas will be a real shock to the system. Snow will be falling in the mountains along the New Mexico-Arizona border, north of our route. We should make it into a surprisingly pleasant Tucson (temperatures, I mean, the people are always nice, I’m sure) late in the afternoon, just in time for dinner.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

It’s been a very long time since we saw a forecast here, so I’m happy to be bringing this one to you, even if the Southwest doesn’t always have the most dynamic weather.

At 953PM, MT, Tucson was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 47 degrees. A cut off low sits over the southwestern US, allowing for the pocket of chilly air in the region, and evidenced by an elevated cold front visible on satellite over western Nevada.
The cut off low projects to be quite impactful for the middle of the country late next week, but for the remainder of the weekend into Monday, it will sag back over the ocean as it drifts to the south southwest. Moderately chilly temperatures with generally clear skies will continue in Tucson.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 40
Monday – Fair skies, High 75, Low 40

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. High 74, Low 42
Monday – Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny High 76, Low 45

AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sun High 73, Low 42
Monday – Partly sunny and warm High 75, Low 45

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 73, Low 47
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 75, Low 41

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 72, Low 40
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 73, Low 44

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 73, Low 37
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 75, Low 41

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 73, Low 38
Monday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 76, Low 38

Here is the satellite of the southwest tonight. Note the wispy cold front in western Nevada.