Rockford, Illinois to Punta Gorda, Florida

Hey, it’s time to get road trippin’! We’re headed from Northern Illinois to South Florida in a road trip most Rockfordians can only dream of. We’ll take 2 1/2 days to cover the miles that need to be covered, which are all told 1,352. Our first two days will be pretty intense, covering 541.25 miles, but that’s thanks to some pretty stark terrain in Illinois and a speed of 67.7mph.

DAY ONE (Friday)

Sunset in Rockford, Illinois, USA.

Thanks to the fact that a route straight south of Rockford to the very bottom of the state takes a big jaunt to the east, towards Champaign, we will stay in the Land of Lincoln for at least 3/4ths of the day Friday, and then blow right through western Kentucky. There will be snow falling in northern Illinois thanks to a stalled boundary extending from the southern Great Lakes into the Plains. It could be breezy, but the light snow will only stack up a few inches, albeit those inches will be falling on a half a foot or so that is falling overnight tonight.. We’ll be out of it somewhere around Bloomington, and it won’t be chasing us on Friday, so conditions will be markedly warmer, and definitely drier as we make it all the way to the outskirts of Nashville.

DAY TWO (Saturday)

As we sleep in Nashville, a vorticity maximum will be gathering organization in the southeastern US, getting ready to mass an assault on Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. It will likely be pouring when we set forth from Nashville. The weather will only get nastier in the higher terrain between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, with some thunder possible as well, but then, somewhere between Chattanooga and Rome, it will let up. Georgia is a hilly, verdant state, and there may be some haze or fog all the way to Warner Robins before it relents. Then, enjoy some good old fashioned humidity south on to Lake City in north Florida.

DAY THREE (Sunday)

That little vort max I mentioned is really going to haul in the moisture and really latch on to the original cold front that brought problems to us near Rockford. Remember that bugger? So as it sinks south, expect quite a bit of rain and wind, and ultimately a bit of snow and ice through Georgia, the Carolinas and the rest of the southeast. Except Florida. A vigorous flow across the peninsula will likely lead to some stray pop up showers, bot those will diminish towards the coasts. Punta Gorda is on a coast. It won’t be so bad!

“Room to get Chillier”

When I wrote up the forecast for Lawton, Oklahoma, I mentioned that clear skies allowed a little room for things to get chillier. Boy, did they. A slow moving boundary to the northeast was producing precipitation and held back some colder air in the Plains. Well, it moved through Lawton, and it was much colder than anyone forecast. Super Bowl Sunday might have been difficult for satellite customers, with winds touching 40mph from the north for a good chunk of the afternoon. It brought in temperatures that were 10 degrees colder (at least) than most outlets foresaw. This carried over into Monday, where temperatures were, again, 10-15 degrees colder than expected, by almost everyone. Both for the high and the low. This was a fantastically ugly forecast. won handily because their forecast wasn’t a complete disaster. I can’t underscore how bad the forecast was for everyone else, though.
Actuals: Sunday – High 48, Low 20
Monday – High 43, Low 14

Grade: C – F

Rockford, Illinois

Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, late flurries, High 15, Low 2
Wednesday – Snow in the morning, then cold again, High 18, Low 11

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine early then becoming cloudy later in the day (late snow). High 16, Low -1
Wednesday – A mix of clouds and sun early, then becoming cloudy later in the day (early snow).High 20, Low 5

AW: Tomorrow – A mix of clouds and sun early, then becoming cloudy later in the day (late snow).High 16, low -3
Wednesday – A little morning snow; otherwise, frigid with clouds giving way to some sun; storm total 1-2″High 20, Low 6

NWS: Tomorrow – Increasing clouds High 16, Low 2
Wednesday – A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Partly sunny High 21, Low 9

WB: Tomorrow – Mosly sunny in the morning then becoming parly sunny. Late snow, High 13, Low 1
Wednesday – Partly sunny, a 20 percent chance of light snow in the morning, High 18, Low 10

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 16, Low 2
Wednesday – Partly cloudy wih a slight chance of light snow, High 21, Low 9

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy until night (late snow). High 14, Low -1
Wednesday – Snow (1–2 in.) until morning. High 20, Low 8

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Well, that was certainly a thrilling football game today, wasn’t it?! Now we head off to South Florida, one of the only things hotter than the offenses in Minneapolis were tonight!

At 135am EST, the temperature at Port. St. Lucie, FL was 63 degrees under overcast skies. A storm system is pushing away from the East Coast today, with a potent low pressure system bringing plenty of misery to New England (too soon?) while the tail end of the associated cold front is clearning the FL Peninsula. Some isolated showers along the front have shifted off to the east already, and with high pressure building in behind the front, dry weather is expected today and into Tuesday as well. More sunshine is expected on Tuesday, with temperatures inching up a couple of degrees.

Monday: Cloudy early, then clearing. High 74, Low 62.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High 76, Low 60.

TWC: Monday: Isolated AM shower, then becoming sunny in afternoon. High 74, Low 64.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High 78, Low 59.

AW: Monday: A little morning rain, then variable cloudiness. High 75, Low 63.
Tuesday: Partly sunny and pleasant. High 79, Low 59.

NWS: Monday: Early morning showers, then mostly cloudy. High 74, Low 61.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 80, Low 59.

WB: Monday: Partly sunny, chance of morning storm. High 72, Low 64.
Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 76, Low 59.

WN: Monday: No Data
Tuesday: No Data

FIO: Monday: Light morning rain, then mostly cloudy. High 71, Low 63.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy overnight. High 76, Low 63.

Just a few showers are left over south Florida as the system departs the region. Dry weather ahead!

Chilly On Top

Well it looked like a messy start to the weekend in Bangor as a system shifting by the region brought a couple inches of morning snow. Thankfully, it scooted out pretty quickly and was dry for the rest of the weekend, albeit much colder. VW’s more aggressive forecast for being cold spurred us to victory!

Friday: 1.9″ of snow. High 33, Low 2.
Saturday: High 13, Low -4.
Forecast Grade: A

Minneapolis is usually a bit warmer

Darren Rovell is the ESPN sports economics reporter, and he had this rather mean spirited tweet before the game was played or any of the numbers were released, Until Friday and Saturday, it really wasn’t as bracingly cold, and frankly, this time of year, it’s not generally this cold.

While the game was, far and away, the coldest Super Bowl in history (that is to say, the city temperature… it was played indoors) it was also a solid 20 degrees below normal, and it was in the mid 40s the week before.

It’s hard to convince people that Minneapolis isn’t generally this intolerable (weatherwise, it’s wonderful otherwise), especially if visitors are still looking at the local forecast. It’s not expected to reach normal for at least a week.

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on their victory!

January Forecaster of the Month

The big story this month was the icy cold that gripped so much of the country. Yes, there was extensive discussion of the bomb cyclone off the east coast, which made many people giggle, but the weather impacts were no joke. In the icy grips of winter, Accuweather kept their cool, and was the easy winner of the forecaster of the month title.

Lawton, Oklahoma

Hello, and good evening. We’re going to take a late night look at southwestern Oklahoma, if for no other reason than to take my mind off of the subzero temperatures here in Victoria-Weather’s home land.

At 1253PM, CT, Lawton was reporting clear skies with a temperature of 35 degrees. Fog has built in towards Dallas, helping temperatures linger in the 40s, but the clear skies for Lawton mean there is some room for things to get a bit chillier overnight.
An upper level trough in the Upper Midwest is driving a cold dome of surface high pressure to the south, and will continue to do so through the day tomorrow, but it’s inflection point will be to the east of Lawton, meaning the coldest air won’t move into to town, and a rebound to some slightly warmer temperatures will be easily attained on Monday.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 48, Low 32
Monday – Sunny, High 56, Low 24

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny and windy High 47, Low 34
Monday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 54, Low 24

AW: Tomorrow – Times of clouds and sun High 55, Low 35
Monday – Cooler with times of clouds and sun High 54, Low 24

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 52, Low 37
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 51, Low 36

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 51, Low 35
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 54, Low 25

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 52, Low 37
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 51, Low 26

FIO: Tomorrow – Breezy starting in the morning, continuing until evening. High 47, Low 27
Monday – Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon and breezy in the afternoon. High 49, Low 17

I didn’t expect this much disparity in the forecast today. I’m leaning hard on the GFS, but the NAM is completely off alignment with the GFS temperatures. We’ll see what wins out. Satellite shows that the low clouds don’t have high enough tops to register on the IR satellite tonight.

Bangor, Maine

Tonight we take a trip to the far northeastern corner of the US, the great state of Maine! Let’s see how this weekend will shape up in preparation for The Big Game!

At 953pm EST, the temperature at Bangor, ME was 31 degrees under overcast skies. A strong cold front is pushing through New England tonight, bringing plenty of snow to the area. A couple inches of accumulation is expected by the early afternoon hours when activity wanes as the system pushes out to sea. Much colder air will spill into the region as arctic high pressure builds over the Eastern Seaboard heading into the weekend. Temperatures will plummet Friday night before only rebounding into the teens for Saturday. Luckily, plenty of (cold) sunshine will help things seem fairly nice. Brrrrr.

Friday: Morning snow, clearing out in evening. High 32, Low 2
Saturday: Partly cloudy, much colder. High 16, Low -3.

TWC: Friday: Morning snow. High 29, Low 4.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 15, Low -3.

AW: Friday: Morning snow, clouds breaking. High 29, Low 4.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 16, Low -1.

NWS: Friday: Snow. High 34, Low 4.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 14, Low -1.

WB: Friday: Snow. High 30, Low 4.
Saturday: Partly sunny. High 15, Low -1.

WN: Friday: Partly cloudy with light snow. High 30, Low 5.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 14, Low -1.

FIO: Friday: Snow (2-4″) starting in morning, continuing until afternoon. High 37, Low 4.
Saturday: Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon. high 17, Low 4.

Here we see some light precip starting to slide along the Maine coastline, even though much of what we see isn’t hitting the ground yet.

Toledo, Ohio

Today we visit the historic city of Toledo. Fun Fact: Toledo was originally part of Michigan before it was given to Ohio in a compromise where they got 3/4 of the land that became the Upper Peninsula. Woo facts!

At 1153pm EST, the temperature at Toledo, OH was 23 degrees with a few clouds. High pressure is shifting out of the region as a strong area of occluded low pressure pushes over central Ontario. A warm front is lifting through Lower Michigan and while the radar might look like snow is on the way for Wednesday morning, none of it has been reaching the ground. Temperatures look to push into the 40s for Wednesday as southwesterly flow ahead of an impending cold front warms the area. Cold front finally moves through on Thursday, possible kicking up a mix of rain/snow showers across the area, but should be light in nature if they do develop. Temperatures will drop quickly Thursday evening behind the front as the flow switches to northwesterly. The weekend will be much cooler than the next 36 hours, so enjoy the relative warmth while you can!

Wednesday: Cloudy. High 41, Low 22.
Thursday: Continued cloudy, spotty rain/snow showers possible in afternoon. High 35, Low 12.

TWC: Wednesday: Cloudy, windy. High 44, Low 22.
Thursday: Cloudy. High 37, Low 13.

AW: Wednesday: An afternoon rain or snow shower. High 43, Low 24.
Thursday: Cloudy. High 39, Low 15.

NWS: Wednesday: Breezy, cloudy then slight chance of rain then rain/snow late evening. High 41, Low 22.
Thursday: Chance of rain/snow. High 38, Low 17.

WB: Wednesday: Chance of rain in afternoon, changing to snow late. High 42, Low 22.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy. High 37, Low 15.

WN: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. High 41, Low 25.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with slight chance of light wintery mix. High 38, Low 16.

FIO: Wednesday: Mostly cloudy throughout the day and breezy starting in morning, continuing until afternoon. Light showers later. High 43, Low 23.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy throughout the day, some showers early. High 36, Low 15.

A system is shifting through the Great Lakes, though it looks worse on radar than will be really happening at the surface.


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