A blustery night for the entire country

This late night look at the iwind gusts across the country should give everyone a good hint as to why the kids are up, worried about monsters outside. The gusty winds are causing limbs to creak and branches to scratch windows from the Great Lakes and mid-Atlantic to the Gulf of Meico, and in the northern High Plains as well, all in the wake of a cold front that has just crawled over the Appalachians, and will push off the coast over night, and ahead of the next system from the Pacific Northwest.

This time of year, systems are outsized with sharper changes in air mass ahead of and behind systems. As a result, even when we are between systems, the autumn can be one of the windiest times of the year.

Flagstaff, Arizona to Wichita Falls, Texas

Two cities that tend to find themselves along the way for other, longer trips are the beginning and end of this evening’s trek. It is a day and a half between the two towns, covering 829 miles of very empty roads.  We’ll move at the brisk pace of 68.5mph, which means our Sunday drive will cover 548 miles, certainly a decent chunk of this voyage. The weather is probably going to be ok, but why don’t we find out for sure?


DAY ONE (Sunday)

Things look very good as we start this whole “road trip through the southwest” thing. A ridge is building in the western US, but not one of those obnoxiously strong ones that oppressive heat or gusty wind builds under. Instead, it will just be a nice cool-ish, perfectly sunny drive through the Rockies, past Albuquerque and into Cuervas, New Mexico, which is between Santa Rosa and Tucumcari. I don’t believe it is named after the tequila, but you can find out!

DAY TWO (Monday)
A very weak little vortex is now being forecast to develop in the southern High Plains, expected to swing through the Panhandle towards Wichita Falls on Monday. What does this mean? Probably nothing. Maybe temperatures won’t be as warm as the forecast originally had this morning, and probably a few clouds, especially up around Amarillo. Wichita Falls is going to be dry when we pull in though, and looking good as Thanksgiving approaches.

Wichita Falls, Texas

Seems weird actually writing up a forecast, rather than having a video for it. I think it would be a pretty dull video though, so here we are, left with this.

At 252PM, CT, Wichita Falls was reporting a temperature of 50 degrees with sunny skies and a brisk north wind, gusting to 35mph. The entire region, from Oklahoma to north Texas, was experiencing similar conditions, mostly sunny and with a strong northerly breeze. A surface cold front was evident in the observed wind field off the coast near Houston, but the line of associated clouds still hung out inland north of the Houston area.
The sharp upper level trough, as a function of its strength, will rotate quickly towards New England, with a sharp thermal trough clearing out with it. Clear skies and stiller air will move into the region by tomorrow, though the temperatures will be cooler than they were last week, thanks to another undercutting trough moving in from the Southern Rockies.
Tomorrow – Calmer, sunny, High 60, Low 34
Monday – Sunny, High 65, Low 36

TWC – Sunny skies, High 62, Low 35
Monday – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon.  High 67, Low 39

AW: Tomorrow – Clear, High 62, Low 35
Monday – Clear and breezy High 67. Low 38

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 60, Low 34
Monday – Sunny High 65, Low 38

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 61, Low 37
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 64, Low 40

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 60, Low 34
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 66, Low 37

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy overnight. High 59, Low 36
Monday – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 62, Low 39

So here is the satellite, showing that thin band of clouds now south of the Dallas area. They are too far up to be picked up by ASOS sensors on the ground.

Great expectations

A system moving through the Ohio Valley was supposed to start pulling some warm air off the Gulf and into southeastern Georgia, where it was to warm things back up in places like Hinesville, perhaps even comfortably above average. It did warm back up, but those rising temperatures only brought it back to near normal. The more optimistic outlets suffered, as a result, but The Weather Channel, who suspected the warmth would be less successful on moving back into the region, ended up earning victory.
Actuals Wednesday – High 63, Low 42
Thursday – High 72, Low 38

Grade: A-B

Flagstaff, Arizona

Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 50, Low 22
Sunday – Sunny, High 56, Low 23

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny skies. High 48, Low 24
Sunday – Abundant sunshine. High 57, Low 19

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 49, Low 25
Sunday – Sunny much of the time High 57, Low 16

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 52, Low 29
Sunday – Sunny,  HIgh 56. Low 18

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 45, Low 24
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 54, Low 22

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny with slight chance of showers, High 52, Low 26
Sunday – Sunny with a slight chance of light showers, High 56, Low 23

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy overnight. High 43, Low 22
Sunday – Partly cloudy in the morning.

Forecasts are crazy and all over the map. This will be an interesting verification!

The unchanging air mass

Medford, and the entirety of the Pacific Northwest, really, were slammed with a strong system during the middle of the week. A system of this ilk, and in fact this very same system currently, were it to move through the Plains would have the energy to change the climate of a city from fall to winter in the span of a couple of hours. In Medford? The high temperature dropped 5 degrees from Tuesday to Wednesday, and that was about it. There was a little bit of rain on Wednesday, sure, but it wasn’t the slobberknocker it was further up the coast, or to the east in the Rockies. It was a slobberknocker among the meteorologists forecasting for the site. 6 of the 7 outlets were within 2 degrees of one another, but only one outlet sat alone at the top… Us! Victoria-Weather earned the win.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 54, Low 34
Wednesday – .19 inches of rain, HIgh 49, Low 34

Grade: C-D

Wheeling, West Virginia

Earlier this evening, I was conversing with a friend about a music festival we’ll be attending in a few months. My friend lives in Wheeling, WV currently. I better make it a good forecast or she’ll mock me ruthlessly!

At 953pm EST, the temperature at Wheeling, WV was 45 degrees under overcast skies. An area of low pressure is shifting through the Great Lakes tonight, pushing a cold front through the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast during the day tomorrow. Some spotty shower activity is found in the area currently but will continue shifting towards the east as we push towards dawn. Dry weather is expected behind the front on Thursday but breezy conditions will keep the day fairly brisk tomorrow. Winds calm down as high pressure moves overhead Thursday night into Friday, so temperatures will drop somewhat sharply. Luckily, southwesterly flow on Friday will perk temperatures back up a few degrees, so Friday should be much nicer to be outside compared to Thursday.

Thursday: Isolated early morning rain shower, then overcast and breezy throughout the day. High 44, Low 34.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 47, Low 30.

TWC: Thursday: Cloudy with some early morning showers. High 47, Low 35.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 48, Low 29.

AW: Thursday: An early morning downpour possible, then rather cloudy, breezy. High 41, Low 34.
Friday: Partial sunshine. High 47, Low 27.

NWS: Thursday: A chance of morning rain/snow showers, then rain in afternoon. High 41, Low 33.
Friday: Partly sunny. High 49, Low 29.

WB: Thursday: Considerable cloudiness with a chance of rain and slight chance of snow showers. High 42, Low 34.
Friday: Partly cloudy, evening rain showers possible. High 46, Low 31.

WN: Thursday: Mostly cloudy with chance of light wintry mix. High 45, Low 34.
Friday: Partly cloudy. High 49, Low 29.

FIO: Thursday: Mostly cloudy throughout the day, possible early AM shower. High 50, Low 37.
Friday: Foggy starting overnight, isolated snow showers late. High 44, Low 32.

Some isolated shower activity has shifted east of Wheeling during the late evening hours, and should clear out of the area as the day progresses.

A graphic look at the 2017 hurricane season

I think most people would agree that the 2017 hurricane season is one best left for the scrapbook, and hopefully revisited infrequently. It was brutal, expensive and painful. Still, there is a great deal that can be learned from the season, both in terms of forecasting, as well as in terms of adaptation of coastal areas, so they might withstand stronger storms in a changing world.

Well, the first thing we need to do is increase our appetite for learning. One way to do that is to enjoy attractive videos of the season. Here is NASA’s version:

This animation displays an aerosol analysis of the time from August through September, showing the course of a few different types of particulates in the atmosphere. In it, you can see Saharan dust, smoke from the northern Rockies and evaporated sea salt. You can see the contortions within those plumes of dust as the storms spiral through the Atlantic.

Even if there wasn’t much to learn from this video, this attractive video at least gets us to look at the 2017 season again, and that’s the first step in teaching what we can about it to the broader public.

Coming soon…

Thanksgiving is coming, so we are going to keep ourselves busy with forecasts and road trips covering a good slice of the country.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Wichita Falls, Texas
Road Trip from Flagstaff to Wichita Falls

Providence, Rhode Island
Road Trip from Lincoln, Nebraska to Providence

Madison, Wisconsin

Manchester, New Hampshire

Hinesville, Georgia

Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 67, Low 42
Thursday – Breezy and partly cloudy, HIgh 75, Low 41

TWC: Tomorrow- Sunny skies. High 66, Low 41
Thursday – A mainly sunny sky. High 72, Low 41

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 65, Low 41
Thursday – Nice with plenty of sunshine High 71, low 39

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 64, Low 40
Thursday – Sunny, High 69, Low 41

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 64, Low 42
Thursday – Sunny, High 70, Low 43

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 64, Low 40
Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 69, Low 41

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the evening. High 62, Low 41
Thursday – Partly cloudy until morning. High 69, Low 40

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