Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Hey, we’re off on another forecasting adventure. Today, we’ll head down to the south central US, where Pine Bluff may be in the firing line for some strong thunderstorms.

At 253PM, CT, Pine Bluff was reporting a temperature of 81 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. There were isolated thunderstorms cropping up across the southeastern portion of Arkansas, including some isolated cells on their way towards Pine Bluff, though the heaviest activity was closer to Greenville, Mississippi. The activity was associated with a flow off the Gulf of Mexico, enriching the region with a dose of muggy, unstable air. With a little bit of disturbed air to the west, there was ample fuel for an isolated storm in the Arkansas area.
There is a weak trough aloft moving through the Canadian Prairies that was the impetus for southerly flow to transport the Gulf moisture. An associated cold front will stall in northern Arkansas by early next week, allowing the southerly flow to continue to rush towards the boundary. While the boundary is still fairly organized tomorrow, Pine Bluff will remain mostly dry, however as it becomes more diffuse, the threat for showers and isolated embedded storms will increase across southern Arkansas.
Tomorrow – Isolated showers and storms, High 80, Low 64
Monday – Scattered showers with a few storms in the evening, High 79, Low 66

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 81, Low 62
Monday – Thunderstorms. High 76, Low 61

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a shower or thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon High 81, Low 62
Monday – Cloudy with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm High 79, Low 62

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 9am. Partly sunny High 82, Low 63
Monday – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 7am. Mostly cloudy, High 82, Low 64

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 80, Low 63
Monday – Showers and thunderstorms likely. High 78, Low 64

WN: Tomorrow -Partly cloudy with isolated storms. HIgh 82, Low 64
Monday – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely, High 81, Low 63

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the morning.High 88, Low 65
Monday – Light rain starting in the morning, continuing until evening. High 84, Low 65

I sincerely have no idea how FIO came out that high with their forecast. In any event, the NWS had a nice looping image of the current radar on their home page, so you can see the cell as it approaches Pine Bluff.

A look at yesterday’s tornadoes near Dimmitt, Texas

Yesterday, Anthony discussed a slow moving super cell thunderstorm near Dimmitt, Texas in the far northern portion of the Texas Panhandle. A slow moving tornado in the Panhandle is basically a storm chaser’s dream, and there is a lot of video out there now of the series of twisters that rolled through (much of it with other chasers in the frame). Above is a long look at several of the twisters from Val Castor.  Below is a collection for Stas Speransky, including a large wedge at the end of the clip.

Throughout the evening, the radar showed a classic hook echo, and as I said, the whole thing reused to move. Ian Livingston has captured the night’s loop.

It was a night similar to this in 1995 that researchers were able to capture a wealth of information for a large tornado near Dimmitt. There is a great deal of data out there from this set of tornadoes as well, so hopefully, important information can be gleaned from the new knowledge.

Finding a groove

Fort Walton Beach started to settle into their spring time groove through the middle of this week. The first step of this groove is morning fog, thanks to dew points in the mid 60s, which they saw in Fort Walton Beach in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Then, of course, there is the consistent temperature trend, another hallmark of the spring in Florida, and a feature of the last two days. If I’m being honest, this should have been an easy forecast for everyone, but there weren’t any “A” Grades. Victoria-Weather nearly identified the groove, and claimed victory by the sea.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 78, Low 60
Thursday – High 78, Low  58

Grade: B-C

Panhandle Slowpoke

As we push further into Spring, severe weather seems to be a possibility every single day. Earlier today, a couple of supercells popped up over the TX Panhandle, one of them spawned a very picturesque tornado near Dimmit, Texas (which later evolved into a very large wedge tornado, but luckily nobody seemed to get injured from it). Working in the interest of public safety, was the absolute snails pace of which it was moving. Over the span of 8 hours, the cell moved only 80 miles, a glacial pace when it comes to supercell storms. Radar indicated that over 10 inches of rain fell over a couple of counties, leading to many reports of flash-flooding in the region. However, due to hail contamination, that’s probably an over-representation of how much actually fell, probably closer to 4-7 inches (which is still a TON of rain in a 6-8 hour period). At least the storm’s slow movement meant people had plenty of time to avoid the tornadoes associated with the cell, which is what we all like to see.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Hello, happy weekend. I hope you find yourself among friends and family this weekend, and the weather is hospitable.

At 553PM, MT, Cheyenne was reporting a temperature of 61 degrees with clear skies. Cheyenne found itself in a bit of a cold pool, as the rest of the High Plains, from Nebraska south to eastern Colorado were well into the 70s.  This was due to a thunderstorm that had erupted about 15 miles to the northeast of Cheyenne, with cold downdrafts bringing Cheyenne’s temperatures down by 7 degrees just as the day’s temperatures were scheduled to peak.
There is a broad upper level trough moving into the northern High Plains, but if there is any surface development, it will be in western Ontario and the Upper Midwest. After some cooler air sinks south towards Cheyenne, expect a fairly tranquil weekend, albeit chillier than how the work week ended. A west wind on Sunday should bring those temperatures back up, ever so slightly.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 60, Low 38
Easter – Mostly sunny, High 64, Low 34

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy High 62 Low 37
Easter – A mix of clouds and sun early, then becoming cloudy later in the day. High 66, Low 33

AW: Tomorrow – Delightful with periods of clouds and sun High 63, Low 38
Easter – Partly sunny and mild High 67, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 60, Low 37
Easter – Mostly sunny, High 66, Low 35

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, cooler. High 61, Low 38
Easter – Partly cloudy, Hig 65, Low 36

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 61, Low 37
Easter – Partly cloudy, high 66, Low 36

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon. High 68, Low 41
Easter – Partly cloudy starting in the morning. High 69, Low 34

I guess Forecast.io isn’t buying the cooldown. Wow. Here is the radar, showing the cell popping up just northeast of Cheyenne.

March Forecaster of the Month

It’s rather incredible that we are on April 12th already, without a verification for a forecast from this month. Incredible, really, when you look at how busy we were in March. There were 14 forecasts in the month of March, meaning our champion was not cheated in their victory. It was a stormy month, marked by some record heat, fueling that severe weather. Now, since I’ve mentioned those two factors, severe weather and record temperatures, can you guess who claimed victory in March? That’s right, it was The Weather Channel who claimed victory as Spring came in like a lion.

Weather Wayback… Iowa is fun for everyone

Anthony’s third in a trio of forecasts back at the beginning of February and end of January was for Iowa City. The weather was typical for early February, if a little bit warmer than normal, as temperatures were close to 30 by Thursday, February 3rd. This was due to sunny skies during the day, which also meant chilly temperatures under clear skies overnight. There was a three way draw atop the leaderboard, as Victoria-Weather had a nearly flawless forecast on February 2nd, while Accuweather and the National Weather Service caught up on the third. It was close all the way around, with the top three only 4 degrees better than the last place outlets.
Actuals: Wednesday, February 2nd – High 24, Low 14
Thursday, February 3rd – High 30, Low 13

Grade: B

Sierra Snowfall

This Winter saw storm after storm demolish California, leading to the demise of their incredible multi-year drought. It will still take a couple years worth of storms to help get the groundwater level to where it should be, but the Sierra’s supply much of California with their drinking water through its winter snowpack. That’s why the groundwater has gone down rapidly these last few years, the snowpack had been way below normal when it finally melted in the spring/summer months. This year, however, was an entirely different story. Feet upon feet of snow fell during numerous winter storms, resulting in gargantuan season snow totals. Here’s a map (courtesy of NWS Sacramento) that shows the impressive totals seen throughout the CA Sierra’s this season. Hopefully this provides plentiful water to the major cities of the state this summer!

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Let’s take a look at the Florida Panhandle tonight. Most of the country will be experiencing warmer weather this week, but if you were in Fort Walton Beach, you would have that kind of weather all the time.

At 958PM, CT, Fort Walton Beach was reporting a temperature of 69 degrees with clear skies. Dew points were very near the temperature, and in the areas around Choctawhatchee Bay, that usually means overnight fog, and that seems like a good bet tonight along the Gulf Coast.
A broad area of high pressure is expected to emerge across the eastern third of the US through the end of the week. In the short term, the synoptic scale activity will remain in eastern Canada, with the Florida Panhandle remaining under the influence of a languid pool of Gulf moisture and lazy afternoon sunshine.
Tomorrow – Morning fog, then sunny, High 78,Low 62
Thursday – Mostly sunny, with a bit of early haze, High 79, Low 61

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy High 80, Low 62
Thursday – Mainly sunny. High 80, Low 62

AW: Tomorrow – Partial sunshine HIgh 78, Low 63
Thursday – Partly sunny and nice High 79, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, partly sunny,High 76, Low 62
Thursday – Sunny, High 78, Low 62

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. Patchy fog in the morning, High 76, Low 62
Thursday – Sunny, High 77, Low 63

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 75, Low 63
Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 79, Low 63

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until evening. High 79, Low 64
Thursday – Partly cloudy in the morning. High 83, Low 62

Here is a look at the satellite imagery for the southeast. There is a bit of moisture tied to a wave moving through the eastern Great Lakes moving through Alabama, but nothing threatening Fort Walton Beach.

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