S(n)o(w) It Begins…

It’s a beautiful day here at VW HQ, temperatures in the low 70s, dew pts in the upper 30s, breeze is a bit stronger than I care to enjoy but I wont complain. Tomorrow looks to be just as enjoyable as well around here. This lovely weather should totally go on for the indefinite future as we head deeper into OctOH MY GOD… checks models

Currently there’s an area of low pressure off the East Coast and over the next couple of days, looks like it will sit just off southern New England and focus a ton of rain right at RI, CT, MA. Strong high pressure sits over Southeast Canada and extends through the Great Lakes all the way down to the TN Valley. What this is doing is causing a blocking pattern and as low pressure ejects out into the Plains late Wednesday into Thursday, it has nowhere to go but basically north-northeast, from eastern KS to MN/WI. Given the cold air that will work its way in on the backside of this system as well, it’s shaping up to possibly produce quite the snowfall from western Nebraska/eastern Wyoming northward through the Dakotas. While it’s a bit early to pin down where the highest snowfall will happen, the Central Dakotas have the highest chance of seeing 6-12″ of snow and combine with winds of 25-35mph. One interesting thing to note is that the top analog to the setup of this system is the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. I’m not going to insinuate that we’re going to have a similar epic snowstorm around here, it’s just something interesting to point out.

It’s been unseasonably warm through a good portion of the Eastern US, and the last few days over the Central US, but this system looks like it’s going to give at least a few states in the Northern US a rude awakening that Winter isn’t as far off as we’d like to think it is.

Weekend Warmth

The weekend forecast for College Station, TX was pretty straightforward: Hot and dry. That’s pretty much how it panned out as well. The only hitch in the forecast’s giddy-up was that the overnight lows were just a smidge higher than some had expected. Oh well, I doubt too many people were complaining about it being 74 instead of 72. Weatherbug narrowly edged out NWS/WN for the victory.

Saturday: High 97, Low 74.
Sunday: High 94, Low 74.
Forecast Grade: A

Kokomo, Indiana to Bangor, Maine

Let’s go for a drive. And while we’re at it, let’s go for a drive in the fall before the Lake Effect machine gets going. It takes two days to get from northern Indiana to Maine, though the second day might be an hour longer. The distance is 1,151 miles, which we will navigate at a speed of 65.5mph, pinning us somewhere in New York to conclude day one, with the left to spare on day two.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

By Cameronloyd03 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61605902

Fall is coming to the northern part of the country, and it s coming in the form of a cold front sweeping into New England as we speak. Cool high pressure is pressing into the Great Lakes, and as we leave Kokomo, we will be headed right into this high pressure. We’ll make our way through northern Ohio and drive the southern shore of Lake Erie, all with barely a cloud, and make it to Le Roy, New York, south of Rochester as we take our sole pause on the journey.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
As that cold front gets off shore, it will phase with an upper level trough, and start development into an early season nor’easter. Terrific! Most of the drive in the Empire State will be dry, but east of Albany, the rain will start. It will be persistent and accompanied by stiff gales all the way through Massachusetts. Leaves are still on trees, so watch out for branches and debris on the roads, but as we pass through Haverhill and into New Hampshire, we will be in the clear, back into that cool, perhaps cloudy high pressure, into Bangor.

Bangor, Maine

Coming Soon…

As we saw with our monthly review earlier today, we haven’t been terribly active with our forecasts lately and, well, that doesn’t seem to be likely to change in the near future. We’ll still try to make sure to that everyone has a good look at everything that’s going on out there.

Boston, Massachusetts

Toledo, Ohio

September Forecaster of the Month

We didn’t really do a lot of forecasting this month, as most of our attention was tied to the dangerous and persistent tropical season. Dorian and Imelda took a lot of our attention, but when we were, albeit briefly, focused on the Mainland, it was WeatherNation who snuck in for a victory.

OutletMonth wins
Weatherbug1
Victoria-Weather0.2
WeatherNation0.2
National Weather Service0.2
Forecast.io0.2
Accuweather0.2
The Weather Channel

Outlet
Month winsyear wins
Victoria-Weather0.213.15
The Weather Channel11.7
Weatherbug110.58
WeatherNation0.27.81
National Weather Service0.27.48
Forecast.io0.26.95
Accuweather0.26.81

College Station, Texas

As we head into the first weekend of October, we head into southeast TX to take a look at College Station, home of Texas A&M! Can we expect some football weather or is the south still holding on to a bit of summer?

At 953pm CDT, the temperature at College Station, TX was 83 degrees under fair skies. Normally the people of the city would be gearing up for a big Football Saturday and root their Aggies on, but not this weekend as it’s a bye week for them. Luckily, the fans don’t have to be outside watching them play as it’s shaping up to be a very hot weekend in southeast TX. Weak high pressure continues to linger over the region while the main dome of it is parked well out east. An area of low pressure is shifting through the Central Plains into the Upper Midwest and while it will bring rain and thunderstorms from MN/WI down into KS/OK, it’s going to be pretty quiet on Saturday as just some isolated thunderstorms may pop off towards the LA/TX border. The cold front dropping through the Plains will gain more steam throughout the day on Sunday, bringing showers and storms to AR/OK and northern TX, but by the time the front makes it to the area, it should be during the early Monday morning hours. In the meantime, temperatures look to hit the mid-90s all weekend. A sweltering start to October!

Saturday: Partly cloudy and hot. High 94, Low 72.
Sunday: Partly cloudy, continued hot. High 95, Low 72.

TWC: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 95, Low 72.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 95, Low 73.

AW: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 95, Low 71.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 94, Low 72.

NWS: Saturday: Sunny. High 95, Low 73.
Sunday: Sunny. High 94, Low 72.

WB: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 94, Low 74.
Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 93, Low 74.

WN: Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 95, Low 72.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 94, Low 73.

FIO: Saturday: Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High 94, Low 72.
Sunday: Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 94, Low 71.

It’s a quiet night for the most part around southeast TX tonight, some storms are lingering east of Houston. A fairly quiet couple of days are in store so enjoy this hot weekend!

Oxnard, California to Dallas, Texas

Tonight we embark on a 1,500 mile trip, from the Pacific Coast to the Big D. What weather will this weekend road trip encounter?? Let’s find out!

DAY ONE

As an upper-level trough shifts through the Pacific NW, an area of low pressure at the surface is developing over western WY and trailing a cold front of sorts back through the Great Basin. Luckily for us, all this activity is going to stay to the north of our Day One travels as we head east out of Oxnard through the northern LA Basin and then eastward on I-10 past Palm Springs and through the desert, eventually ending the day in Phoenix.

DAY TWO

It’s going to be a full day heading east on I-10, and better have those sunglasses because it’s looking like a pretty good day for traveling! There’s a slight chance of a few evening isolated thunderstorms, but those are just expected around the Big Bend area of the TX/Mexico border and should be off to the south of where we end our day in Van Horn, TX.

DAY THREE

I-20 is gonna be our home for the final leg of this stretch. It should be a pretty quiet day as we pass be Odessa, Midland, and Abilene. As we approach our final destination, there could be some widely scattered showers and thunderstorms as the tail end of a cold front shifts through the Red River Valley. Most activity should be off to the north over OK though, so odds are it’ll be a dry evening as we pull into Dallas!

Monroe, Louisiana to Fresno, California

Just to provide some context for just how big these United States are, we will be staying entirely west of the Mississippi and remain in states that border either the Gulf of Mexico or the nation of Mexico, and we will still be traveling 1,842 miles and taking 3 long days to get where we are going. We’ll even take interstates, so we’ll cover 68mph, and 546 miles per those first two days, and we’ll STILL have a lengthy 11 hour day to finish with.

Monroe, Louisiana

DAY ONE (Wednesday)
There is a stout ridge of high pressure in the southeastern United States, and most of the precipitation for the next couple of days will be ridge riding on the north side of this dome, meaning very hot, dry and mostly sunny weather in the southeast, including in Louisiana and east Texas. The western edge of this dome will be in west Texas, but we will stop in Childress, before we run into the associated showers and thunderstorms. Hopefully, the AC works in the hotel.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
As is the nature of shower activity on the backside of high pressure, it won’t be moving anywhere, but it’s coverage will probably expand through the day on Thursday. Expect some showers and storms through Amarillo, and as we cross into New Mexico, rain will lighten, but persist. In fact we may see rain persist right up to Tijeras, butting up against the foothills of the mountains surrounding Albuquerque. We’ll be in the clear, however, by the time we reach New Mexico’s biggest town, and will drive in sun to Manuelito, just before the Arizona line.

DAY THREE (Friday)
High elevation rain showers may encroach the hills east of Manuelito, but that will be the only threat for this long finishing day of our trek. Strong low pressure is going to develop in the Rockies, kicking up a Santa Ana wind that may necessitate a firm grasp of the steering wheel. particularly as the day reaches it’s final stages, and we turn north into the San Joaquin Valley. Fresno will be mild and could be fairly breezy.

Fresno, California

Storms will blossom very quickly in the Upper Midwest

There is an enhanced risk for severe weather today in Minnesota, though at present, the radar is pretty sparse, save for a few showers in northern Minnesota and the first severe storm in northwest Iowa.

This radar imagery is from about 4:15. Here is a look at the HRRR forecast radar for about 630 this evening.

It looks as though the guidance is a little behind schedule, but the most important thing to note, will be how fast this line develops. This is the forecast radar 45 minutes later, or 715.

This looks like a strong line from Mankato to Storm Lake. Note the distinct blobs within the line. The threat for tornadoes and large hail is real tonight, and it is evidenced by the depiction of discrete cells within this line.

Eventually, and only within another 45 minutes, the storm will metastasize into a line. It will still be strong, and straight line winds will be added to the mix of threats.

This is the epitome of the “pay attention to the skies” days in southeast Minnesota and northern Iowa. Strong, dangerous storms are likely tonight, and they are likely to develop rapidly. It is possible that strong storms can develop and produce tornadoes even between radar scans with rapid development such as this.

Stay alert, heed local warnings, and listen to your gut. If it seems dangerous, take shelter, even if a warning has not yet been issued.

*Even as I was writing this, a tornado watch was issued for the region*

Imelda stalks where Harvey still haunts

Meteorologists everywhere feel a twinge of guilt and pain every time severe weather targets life and property. We all love the weather, but when it turns ugly, it hurts a little differently, like we have somehow been betrayed. It’s worse when the bad weather is somewhat unanticipated.

Imelda was never anticipated to be a strong storm, in terms of central pressure, or wind speed, and it wasn’t anticipated, originally, to linger very long. Eventually, the storm did slow down and tracked over the same tract of land for about 48 hours. The result is images that resemble those from Hurricane Harvey, particularly between Houston and Beaumont.

Here is a look at the heaviest rain of the past 24 hours. There is a swath from the Woodlands in the east Houston metro to Beaumont that saw 10+ inches of rain today. Over the course of the storm, that same area saw close to 2 feet.

I’ve underlined Houston and Beaumont on the map which should show you something else from a couple of different perspectives. Either you will see this map, depending on your perspective. Either you will note that the is a lot of rain for a very large area, or you will note that this is actually a lot less rain than the area saw with Harvey. Both conclusions are true, and should be telling.

Even though there is quantitatively less rain from Imelda, there was a lot of rain for a very large area IT was disruptive, deadly, destructive and evocative of the all time crisis that Harvey brought. This should underscore just what a nightmare Harvey was, but also sound an alarm about the eminent threat of any tropical feature. Just because Imelda’s torrential rain affected a smaller footprint doesn’t mean it wasn’t a major catastrophe. Imelda didn’t bring 5 feet o rain, but 2 is still pretty overwhelming.