Lost in a fog

Forecasts for Decatur were generally not too bad, save for one nasty verifying period: Wednesday morning. Even if they didn’t explicitly say they were expecting fog in their forecast (erm, I guess that was only me) it was still in the back of our minds. Decatur did see visibilities drop to a quarter of a mile in the morning, and despite that, temperatures continued to drop, all the way to 26. The 3 coolest morning lows all collected the three top forecasts, with The Weather Channel and Forecast.io earning victory. The temperature tracking surrounding the occluded front on Thursday surprisingly didn’t play into the victory totals at all.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 51, low 26
Thursday – .24 inches of rain, High 58, low 40

Grade: B-C

Cleveland, Ohio

Tonight we head to the Great Lakes where we visit a city that is the site of my favorite sporting moment in my life so far… the Cubs winning the World Series! Sorry Cleveland, but you had already won the NBA title that year.

At 1153pm EST, the temperature in Cleveland, OH was 51 degrees with some light rain occurring. A cold front is pushing through the Great Lakes tonight with some light rain showers pushing through the Cleveland area. These showers will persist into the pre-dawn hours before shifting eastward. Dry weather and decreasing clouds will seem more pleasant for the daytime hours, but a breezy northwest wind will continue to usher in colder air throughout the day, leading to a midnight high and only a daytime high in the upper 30s. Weak high pressure will traverse the area Friday evening into Saturday morning with mostly clear skies. However, this will be short-lived as a low-pressure system develops over the Lower MS-River Valley and shifts northeastward. While the bulk of the system will miss off to the east, some rain showers on the northwestern side of the low look to wraparound and impact the city on Saturday evening. Nothing too heavy, just enough to annoy every that’s out having fun on their weekend.

Friday: A few early morning showers, decreasing afternoon clouds with temperatures dropping. High 51, Low 32.
Saturday: Increasing clouds, a couple late evening showers possible. High 45, Low 29.

TWC: Friday: Early rain, then partly cloudy/windy. High 43, Low 35.
Saturday: Afternoon showers. High 45, Low 30.

AW: Friday: Some sun returning; cooler. High 52, Low 35.
Saturday: Occasional afternoon rain. High 44, Low 30.

NWS: Friday: A few early morning showers, then breezy and mostly sunny. High 41, Low 33.
Saturday: Partly sunny, chance of rain. High 46, Low 30.

WB: Friday: Chance of early morning rain, then partly cloudy. High 52, Low 33.
Saturday: Chance of rain. High 44, Low 31.

WN: Friday: Slight chance of morning shower, then partly cloudy. High 53, Low 33.
Saturday: Partly cloudy with scattered showers. High 46, Low 31.

FIO: Friday: Drizzle tonight. High 52, Low 32.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 45, Low 28.

A few rain showers are traversing the region currently, but the rest of the day should be dry!

Palm Bay, Florida

There are so many cities in Florida, all clustered on the Atlantic coast, and we’re involved in a little East Florida two-step, recently looking at Sebastian, and now moving on to Palm Bay, which isn’t very far away at all.

At 1253PM, ET, Palm Bay was reporting a temperature of 76 degrees with fair skies. High pressure was smothering the southeastern US, allowing for the pleasant conditions. Cool air being cycled south by the remnants of Tropical Storm Sebastian was generating some rolling fair weather clouds over the southern Gulf Stream.
The dome of high pressure will remain centered over the Florida Peninsula for the next couple of days, even as a wave moves southeast out of the Upper Mississippi Valley. Some return flow at the surface may lead to some extra cloudiness through all hours over the Palm Bay area.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 77, Low 58
Saturday – Partly cloudy, High 81, Low 59

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 77, Low 59
Saturday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine High 80, Low 60

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and pleasant High 77, Low 62
Saturday – Partly sunny and pleasant High 80, Low 61

NWS Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 78, Low 56
Saturday – Partly sunny, High 81, Low 58

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 76, Low 56
Saturday – Partly cloudy, High 79, low 60

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 77, Low 59
Saturday – Partly cloudy, High 80, Low 60

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 77, low 60
Saturday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 80, Low 59

Not a lot of forecast variety, but a bit of space between bosom buddies the NWS and WeatherNation. Here is the afternoon’s satellite imagery for the state of Florida.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tonight we head to the Southern Plains to see how Tulsa is setting up for the rest of the workweek. Will the Golden Hurricanes of the namesake university see a peaceful couple of days? Or is there a tempest brewing?

At 1053pm CST, the temperature at Tulsa, OK was 63 degrees under partly cloudy skies. An area of low pressure is working through the Midwest, trailing a cold front through the Southern Plains that will bring rain showers and a few scattered thunderstorms during the day. However, temperatures will be falling throughout the day as cooler air works in from the morning as high pressure works down into the Northern Plains. As the boundary continues to push south Thursday into Friday morning, a few lingering rain showers are anticipated over the region, though the heaviest activity looks to be off to the east. Conditions should dry up as the day goes on, but even cooler temps will work their way into the state as high pressure pushes further south over the Central Plains.

Thursday: Chances of showers and thunderstorms. High 62, Low 42.
Friday: Widespread showers. High 41, Low 34.

TWC: Thursday: Rain. High 65, Low 44.
Friday: Showers. High 44, Low 34.

AW: Thursday: A shower in the morning. High 65, Low 45.
Friday: Occasional morning rain. High 44, Low 35.

NWS: Thursday: Chance of showers then thunderstorms. High 63, Low 45.
Friday: Showers then chance of thunderstorms. High 45, Low 36.

WB: Thursday: Rain showers expected. High 63, Low 45.
Friday: Morning rain showers. High 45, Low 35.

WN: Thursday: Mostly cloudy with isolated storms. High 63, Low 45.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. High 44, Low 37.

FIO: Thursday: Light rain starting later tonight. High 66, Low 44.
Friday: Possible light rain until afternoon. High 45, Low 36.

Some decent rain showers are found east of the city and pushing towards Joplin. Another couple rounds of precip are in the cards for the rest of the workweek however.

Dodging Bullets in Winchester

Some light rain showers were found in the Winchester area on late Monday evening. But luckily, for the residents however, the city avoided the rain and stayed dry through the forecast period. Temperatures warmed nicely for Tuesday as expected, though Monday’s highs never quite got as high as anybody wanted. Weatherbug narrowly edged out the competition for the win

Monday: High 39, Low 34.
Tuesday: High 50, Low 35.
Forecast Grade: C

Reno, Nevada to Decatur, Illinois

A trip through the Rockies and Plains as a vigorous system moves through the region… I see no reason to worry! Our three day trip will feature an extended third day, and 1,861 total miles covered. We’ll navigate the terrain of the Rockies in our shorter two days, which will conclude after 551miles of travel, all at an average pace of about 69mph. Nice.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Reno, Nevada

There is a string of features extending from the northern Praries of Canada to the High Plains to the southwestern US. Epic rains are falling around Phoenix and in the southern Rockies, with snow falling at the highest peaks. By the time we get going tomorrow, the system will have weakened, with precipitation becoming limited to the upper elevations along our route. We may not see any precipitation on the roads, but there will be some nearby, in the Ruby Range in northeast Nevada, and by Park City, Utah. We’ll stop in Coalville, not too far beyond Park City.

DAY TWO (Friday)
As high pressure filters back into the High Plains, moisture will be scoured out of the low lying terrain. We might see some mid level or high clouds as we trek through Wyoming, north of the snow falling in the peaks of Colorado. Wyoming has a lot of beautiful parts, but none of them are along I-80, so hustle through and get to the western part of Nebraska, where we will stop in Brule for the night.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The very same system that we saw on Thursday will be sweeping through the Lower Mississippi Valley, shuttling to the northeast. An inverted trough at the north end of the low will be pointed into Illinois, into some chilly air. Nebraska and Iowa should be sunny and dry, but the threat and intensity of snow will increase the closer we get to Decatur.

Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois

I feel like the heart of Illinois is a good place to really see what synoptic scale weather patterns can do

AT 854PM, CT, Decatur was reporting a temperature of 36 degrees. Above freezing temperatures after fresh rain and snow have led to low clouds and fog beginning to develop in the region thanks to clear skies and calm winds. After what should be a foggy morning tomorrow, emerging low pressure in the High Plains will drive warm air northward throughout the day tomorrow.
Decatur is far enough south that the emerging low will bring a threat for rain or even an isolated rumble of thunder as the feature slides north towards the Upper Midwest and sends an active cold front into Illinois by sunrise. The system is going to be fast moving and will be through by the early afternoon, leaving a chilly but clear evening by Thursday.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 50, Low 32
Thursday – Rain early, at times heavy, High 54, Low 41

TWC: Tomorrow – Areas of patchy fog early. Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 51, Low 29
Thursday – Showers in the morning then continued cloudy and windy in the afternoon. High 59, Low 44

AW: Tomorrow – Sunny to partly cloudy and milder High 52, Low 32
Thursday – Breezy and mild in the morning; otherwise, cloudy with showers, mainly early in the day High 60, Low 45

NWS: Tomorrow – Widespread fog, mainly before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, High 53, Low 33
Thursday – Rain, mainly before noon High 61, Low 43

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, Widespread fog in the morning, High 49, Low 31
Thursday – Rain in the morning, then a chance of rain in the afternoon, High 57, Low 41

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 53, Low 33
Thursday – Partly cloudy with light rain, High 61, Low 46

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 49, Low 28
Thursday – Light rain and windy in the morning. High 61, Low 41

It’s going to be a pretty virulent system that moves through the country this week, but if there is any good news, it’s that it is moving through now, rather than later in the season, when more snow would fall, or in the spring, when severe storms are likely. Here, we can just see fog developing.

The remarkable 2013 Moore tornado

Recently posted on Youtube and Reddit, this compilation of videos, synchronized to play with each other if they were from the same time period, is a remarkable reminder of just how devastating the tornado was, and the fact that the video is almost an hour long shows just how dangerous the storm was.

For whatever reason, perhaps because I am a meteorologist, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about some of the more recent major tornadoes to afflict the country in the last few years. Moore has been hit by no less than three major tornadoes this century, but somehow, places like Joplin and Tuscaloosa show their scars more evidently.

Google Maps’ satellite view allows us to see, quite apparently, the course of tornadoes, even many years after they have passed through. Here are the overhead views of Joplin and Tuscaloosa today.

Joplin, with tornado scar highlighted

If you look look closely, the scar has a lighter hue than the area outside of the affected region. There are two reasons for this. First, Tuscaloosa and Joplin are both well forested cities, and the stripping of the canopy has a profound effect on an area, even over the long term. For another reference, here is an image I captured of north Minneapolis, where the tornado wasn’t as strong, but it was still enough to strip the canopy across the path.

Second, these areas are being redeveloped, and there is still widespread construction throughout the damaged regions.

Moore didn’t leave the same impression, for two reasons. One, Oklahoma isn’t as arboraceous as even nearby Joplin, nor Tuscaloosa. Second, Moore’s 2013 tornado was among 5 tornadoes, including 3 of EF4 or greater that have hit the town in the past 21 years alone. Moore is in a constant state of reinvention.

That is the theme of all of these cities, then. Rebirth and resilience. It’s important to understand the danger tornadoes pose to see how these towns bounce back, and the strength of their spirit. You can’t have a scar without injury, but the mark it leaves is a symbol of the constant healing.

Winchester, Virginia

Today we head to Winchester, VA and see how they’re going to start the new workweek.

At 1115pm EST, the temperature at Winchester, VA was 36 degrees under overcast skies. A large area of low pressure is sitting offshore off the Carolinas and looks to shift northeastward over the next 24 hours, bringing coastal rains to New England and some light snow further inland. A weak area of low pressure is shifting through the OH Valley currently and while its expected to mainly dissipate as it shifts into the Mid-Atlantic. A mid-level disturbance, however, could kick up some afternoon/evening rain showers in the area tomorrow before shifting out to sea itself. While another trough looks to swing through the region on Tuesday, it won’t be very strong and no precip is anticipated.

Monday: Mostly cloudy, an isolated evening shower possible. High 44, Low 33.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High 49, Low 32.

TWC: Monday: Cloudy. High 45, Low 33.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High 52, Low 31.

AW: Monday: Mostly cloudy, isolated shower possible. High 45, Low 33.
Tuesday: Times of clouds and sun. High 50, Low 33.

NWS: Monday: Cloudy then slight chance of afternoon/evening showers. High 46, Low 34.
Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 51, Low 34.

WB: Monday: Mostly cloudy, chance of evening rain showers. High 44, Low 34.
Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 50, Low 32.

WN: Monday: Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. High 46, Low 34.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High 51, Low 34.

FIO: Monday: Overcast throughout the day, late shower possible. High 47, Low 33.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 51, Low 29.

Not much going on in Virginia tonight, but some light shower activity over the OH Valley will be shifting through the region over the next day or so.

Coming soon…

We are continuing our slow transition back to Eastern US forecasting this week after late October seemed to be spent entirely west of the Rockies. Here’s what we will be looking forward to as we close in on Thanksgiving.

Decatur, Illinois
Road Trip from Reno, Nevada to Decatur

Palm Bay, Florida

Road Trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Florence, Alabama

Jackson, Michigan