Thunderstorms and heat – summer in the south

There wasn’t a strong, well organized system expected to move into the southern United States as last week concluded, unless you think that the rotation and axial tilt of Earth is a strong, well organized system. Monroe saw just what every town in the south is constantly threatened by on Thursday and Friday. Hot weather with isolated thunderstorms in the area. The forecast was not a particular revelation, as the pattern was one that is seen the region over this time of year, so there is some justice in the fact that there was a four way tie atop the leaderboard. Victoria-Weather, The Weather Channel, National Weather Service and Forecast.io all took a share of the lead.
Actuals: Thursday – Thunderstorms reported, not measured, High 92, Low 76
Friday – Thundestorms reported, not measured, High 95, Low 73

Grade: B

Southwest Continues to Swelter

Extreme heat and the Desert Southwest are two terms that go together during the summer months like peanut butter and jelly. Having been to Las Vegas in the midst of a June heat wave myself in years past, I can attest to how unpleasant it feels. Trust me, a “dry heat” is still ridiculous when it’s 110F+. These last couple of weeks have seen cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, places no strangers to heat, crushing decades or century-old records. Las Vegas hit 106 degrees for a high on June 15th. They’ve hit 105+ every single day since then, making it 25 consecutive days of 105+ (an all-time record streak that could be in jeopardy over the next couple days since forecasted highs are around 106). Phoenix has hit 118+ 3 times in the last 3 weeks. Palm Springs, CA hit 122 4 separate days in that same time-span, tying their all-time record high for the month of June in the process. Los Angeles broke their record high for the day Saturday, hitting 98 at the USC campus before cooling a smidgen to 96 Sunday (record was 100). With most of summer still ahead of us, we can expect more sweltering records to fall.

Stormy Saturdays

The forecast for Dothan heading into the weekend was a pretty typical summer forecast for the region, constant chances of afternoon thunderstorms. One just passed by the area on Friday, but Saturday saw a direct hit, dumping over an inch of rain in the process. It was a close battle, but WeatherNation edged out VW and the NWS by a single point.

Friday: Thunderstorm reported in vicinity. High 94, Low 76.
Saturday: 1.04″ in thunderstorm. High 93, Low 72.
Forecast Grade: B-D

A few videos from Minnesota storms during the past week

The fun part of the summer for a meteorologist in the Plains is that thunderstorms tend to erupt with higher tops and more abundant lightning. In that spirit, here are a couple of videos that celebrate both of those ideas. The first is a thunderstorm rolling into the Twin Cities from the northwest on the 4th of July. Look of over the tops of the trees, and you can see some fireworks in the foreground as the storm moves in.


The below video is from tonight, and looks at the top of a developing storm to the southwest. Look how tall that storm gets up there! We only took a glancing blow from this storm, but it continued on south, and continues to bring strong thunderstorm with severe wind and hail in southern Minnesota.

Thunderstorms are entertaining, especially from a safe vantage point. These videos are just two examples that demonstrate their beauty from a distance, in my opinion.

Dothan, Alabama

Today we head down towards the Gulf Coast region to find out how the fine people of Dothan, Alabama are doing today. Is a dry start to the weekend in store or will thunderstorms dot the landscape?

At 153am CDT, the temperature at Dothan, AL was 77 degrees under fair skies. Activity has subsided during these overnight hours as per usual. High pressure founds off the Southeast coastline extends its axis into the northern Gulf of Mexico, suppressing chances of any nocturnal activity from really reaching them. Some scattered airmass thunderstorms are expected to pop up during the afternoon hours on Friday, which is pretty typical for these summer months in the Deep South (gotta love that GOM moisture!). Tail end of a boundary looks to swing into the region on Saturday, however, which is expected to increase the coverage of thunderstorms throughout the region. Constant daylong rains aren’t expected, but odds are Dothan will see some storm activity over the next couple of days.

Friday: Scattered afternoon thunderstorms. High 92, Low 75.
Saturday: Thunderstorms likely. High 89, Low 74.

TWC: Friday: Afternoon thunderstorms. High 91, Low 75.
Saturday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 87, Low 74.

AW: Friday: A thunderstorm around. High 92, Low 75.
Saturday: A stray afternoon t-storm. High 88, Low 75.

NWS: Friday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 93, Low 75.
Saturday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 89, Low 75.

WB: Friday: Increasing chances of afternoon thunderstorms. High 89, Low 75.
Saturday: Chances of thunderstorms. High 87, Low 76.

WN: Friday: Partly cloudy with scattered storms. High 93, Low 75.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. High 90, Low 75.

FIO: Friday: Light rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 90, Low 73.
Saturday: Rain starting in the morning. High 88, Low 75.

Much of the Gulf Coast region is clear tonight, but the afternoon hours the next couple days should paint a different picture as diurnal convection develops.

Memphis, Tennessee to Monroe, Louisiana

Short trip as we head closer to the weekend. We’re only covering 321 miles, on a trek that will last only half a day. We will keep a pace of 68.3mph, as we will keep it to the interstates.



Much as it has been for a few days now, there will be a band of showers and storms mirroring the more intense swath at the base of an upper level trough along the Canadian border, reflected from the Carolinas to the Lower Mississippi Valley. A few bands of isolated showers and storms will crop up as we tick past noon, which means that the second half of our drive will be the most suspect. There will be an isolated shower or thunderstorm as we press south, probably from Winona, Mississippi, through Jackson and then west towards Monroe. It won’t be a washout by any means, but the threat for a remote storm doinking us certainly enough to consider, especially since rain could be heavy enough to slow traffic. Fortunately, Monroe is not a town with a lot of traffic.

Monroe, Louisiana

Tomorrow – Isolated thunderstorms, High 94 Low 73
Friday – Mostly cloudy, a few thunderstorms, High 94, Low 73

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon High 92, Low 76
Friday – Scattered thunderstorms in the morning. Cloudy skies late High 91, Low 75

AW: Tomorrow – Sunshine and patchy clouds with a thunderstorm in parts of the area in the afternoon High 91, Low 76
Friday – Periods of sun and clouds with a shower or thunderstorm in the area High 91, Low 76

NWS:: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny,  High 92, Low 76
Friday – A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny,  High 91, Low 75

WB: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Becoming mostly cloudy. High 91, Low 76
Friday – Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High 90, Low 76

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with scattered storms, High 91, Low 77
Friday – Partly cloudy with scattered storms, HIgh 91, Low 75

FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain in the afternoon and evening.High 93, Low 75
Friday – Light rain until afternoon. High 92, Low 74

Enjoy the forecast, I hope residents of northern Louisiana are able to endure the heat!

Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee

Just a short little trip as the Independence Day holiday winds down, we just have a half day trip through Mississippi for our journey tonight. It’s 298 miles between the two towns, which we will cover at a pace of 65mph. It’s going to be a hot, short trip, so let’s go before the sun heats up the car in the lot.

 

Unfortunately, there actually is a deep digging trough into the lower Mississippi Valley, even this late into the summer. The low itself lies over central Missouri and will generate a cold front through central Arkansas. Moisture feeding the boundary will bring showers and storms to northern Mississippi, but there is a chance that some isolated showers and storms crop up outpacing the main area of rain fall through central Mississippi. That remote chance will sneak into our route north of Kosciusko, while the more persistent activity will enter the picture around Batesville. Slow moving showers and storms, with the potential for flash flooding will arrive as we reach Memphis, so wear your galoshes!

Bend, Oregon

Happy Independence Day everybody! Hopefully you had an enjoyable extended weekend and got to enjoy some fireworks today. As we ease our way into a short work week, let’s head off to Central Oregon and find out what’s happening in the lee of the Cascades!

At 555pm PDT, the temperature in Bend, OR was 91 degrees under fair skies. A broad upper-ridge is found over the western US with a lingering boundary/low pressure system found over eastern Washington. the boundary is expected to dissipate by tomorrow morning, but essentially a thermal low is going to continue hanging out over eastern sections of WA/OR over the next couple of days as toasty temps in the 90s are anticipated. Very little chance is anticipated in the overall pattern as we push into the weekend, so in the meantime, the conditions in Bend will be hot and quiet.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 92, Low 56.
Thursday: Continued sunny and hot High 93, Low 57.

TWC: Wednesday: Sunny. High 95, Low 58.
Thursday: Sunny. High 94, Low 58.

AW: Wednesday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 93, Low 55.
Thursday: Mostly sunny and hot. High 93, Low 55.

NWS: Wednesday: Sunny. High 93, Low 52.
Thursday: Sunny. High 94, Low 57.

WB: Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High 90, Low 58.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 90, Low 58.

WN: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 93, Low 52.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 93, Low 57.

FIO: Wednesday: Clear throughout the day. High 89, Low 61.
Thursday: Clear throughout the day. High 88, Low 62.

Here we see much of the western US is clear and quiet, just some high wispy clouds over eastern OR. Much of the same is in store for the next couple of days as temperatures remain high.

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