Kennewick, Washington to Greenville, North Carolina

Are you ready for a lengthy trek cross country? We are heading from the northwesternmost state in the land to the eastern part of North Carolina, and will take us 5 days to make that trip. This is the perfect summer road trip, if you ask me. The mileage will hit 2810 miles, for a pace of about 67mph, with the first 4 days ending after about 535 miles, with a 10 hour day coming on Sunday. Let’s get to North Carolina by the end of the weekend, shall we?

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Kennewick, Washington

Sometimes, in the eastern-US focused weather community, we forget that in the summer, that constant thunderstorm threat we are used to just doesn’t exist for a big part of the early summer. Such is the case this week in the Pacific Northwest. Quiet weather will allow us to take in the scenery from Washington, through Oregon and Idaho until we reach Howell, in the Utah panhandle.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The seasonal monsoon is preparing to develop in the southern Rockies, and indeed some guidance is pointing towards thunderstorms in the Colorado Rockies. Fortunately, we will not be traversing the Colorado Rockies, instead passing through Wyoming before ending up in Bushnell, in far western Nebraska. Rain is not expected to obscure our day.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Nebraska us a long, arduous state to pass through by car, but if you like driving and identifiable benchmarks, then Nebraska is for you. We’re headed off the road for Nebraska City, then south through Iowa and Missouri, where we will stop in St. Joseph. Nebraska is going to be in fine shape. Lingering humidity will likely lead to morning fog, that I would hope will burn off by the time we reach St. Joseph.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
A slow moving, lingering trough extending into the Ohio Valley will make things a bit drearier on Saturday. By the time we reach southern Illinois, clouds with a stray sprinkle will become increasingly likely, with a rogue stroke of lightning not out of the questions. This will continue eastward, as we call it a day in Carefree, Indiana, which is west of Louisville.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
It’s just the time of year, but more wet weather will be possible on either side of the Appalachian range, but with low pressure developing in the Great Lakes, the better chance for rain or even a rogue thunderstorm will come up in eastern Kentucky and before we reach Charleston in West Virginia. There will be a healthy rain shadow in North Carolina, but we are headed far enough east, some oceanic flow will lead to isolated storms along the coast, including in Greenville, as we arrive, exhausted, at the end of our long day, at the end of our long trip.

Greenville, North Carolina

The north Atlantic is off to a fast start

Hurricane season usually peaks around early September, when the tropical seas are at their warmest. Last season, there were 8 storms that were ongoing in the month of September. That was a particularly active season, but that burst of storms happens when it usually does.

The storms started with Dorian and ended with Lorenzo (Erin came and went before September came around, while we all remember how long lived Dorian was) before all was said and done. Now, keeping in mind that it is only the 11th of July, note that the storm that clipped the mid-Atlantic this weekend was Tropical Storm Fay.

That means it was the 6th storm of the season, which didn’t come, even during last season’s intensity, until September. That’s a pretty remarkable thing. We usually don’t get to our F’s until at least late August, but the NHC has had to be particularly busy this year.

That sounds pretty dramatic, but check out this forecast map for Fay.

It was a shortwaved feature that didn’t last long, and wasn’t well organized until it had aid from the jet stream near the coast. The life span isn’t dissimilar from the rest of the storms of the 2020 season. The strongest storm of the season was Arthur, which had a 60mph max gust at his core.

In short, we have made it to July with 6 named storms, and none of them have become a hurricane. The NHC also does not have any areas being monitored for development into a tropical feature, which seems to suggest we are in the clear for a few days, at least.

Despite the brief areas of organization, this hasn’t been a terribly destructive early storm season. Sure, some of these bubbles have reached the lowest threshold to be named but nothing has approached the more significant threshold to be identified as a hurricane.

There hasn’t been a great deal of excess energy in the north Atlantic this season (in fact a fair bit less recently with that well advertised Sahara dust cloud muddling the skies), but continued improvement in monitoring and identification, as well as a slight aberration towards organization in the grand scheme of things, we have a lot of names already used, and the real meat of the season isn’t even here yet.

Longview, Texas to Fargo, North Dakota

The Dakotas have been some of the stormiest states in the country lately, and we are on our way there! It’s a pretty straight shot from east Texas to the farthest east portion of North Dakota. The drive is a two day slog, covering 1086 miles at a pace of 64.7mph. Day one will be a hair shorter than day 2, concluding after 518 miles. It’s the weekend!

DAY ONE (Saturday)

Longview, Texas

The culprit behind some severe weather today in northern Nebreaska is a short little wave on the back side of a broader low in Quebec. Short little waves tend to move very quickly, as will this one, shifting out of the Dakotas towards the western Great Lakes. Through Texas and Oklahoma, expect a more laminar, westerly regime, which will mean hotter, dustier air for our Saturday. As the day concludes, though, some instability in eastern Kansas could lead to a stray rumble of thunder at the tail end of our day. The activity will be scattered in nature while hugging the Missouri border, and we may just as soon be dry all the way to Hoyt, north of Topeka, by the end of the day.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
High pressure will nose in behind the system, bringing some seasonably more favorable temperatures to our drive. Low 80s in the eastern Dakotas instead of the mid 90s. I think we might appreciate that for a bit, especially after leaving Texas. I know the locals like it too. Fargo isn’t so bad in the middle of July.

Fargo, North Dakota

Coming soon…

Here we are, in the middle of road tripping season, and I think there are several people eager to get out on the open road. Let’s move around the country here in July.

Road Trip from Longview, Texas to Fargo, North Dakota

Road Trip from Kennewick, Washington to Greenville, North Carolina

Fayetteville, North Carolina
Road Trip from Greenville to Fayetteville

Road Trip from Gadsden, Alabama to Reno, Nevada

Oxnard, California to Palm Coast, Florida

Happy 4th of July, everyone. The neighborhood fireworks are rocking my residence in celebration. We can celebrate the country by taking a cross country trip, which will be completed in 4 1/2 days, covering 2539 miles. That means our four full days will be consumed by 564 miles, thanks to the 70+mph afforded by these coronavirus emptied interstates.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Oxnard
Oxnard, California

The first day of our trek is definitely going to be one that makes us wonder why anyone leaves the southwestern US. Not a cloud will be in the sky, save for one or two rising above the San Bernadino range very early in the day. The sweltering heat of southern Arizona may remind us of the rationale for living somewhere else, though, an our day will end in the outskirts of southeastern Tucson.

DAY TWO (Monday)
There will be some thunderstorms along our route on Monday, that’s one piece of news. The other piece of that news is that those storms will pop up after we’ve made our way through the region. The threat will come around El Paso, but that will fire up in the evening, as we are checking in for the night in Ozona, further to the east.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
Driving through the San Antonio and Austin areas should be a pretty easy task, but closer to Houston, and perhaps as we pass into Louisiana, things may get a bit dicey iingering showers and storms associated with a lingering disturbance well east of our route (and the United States mainland, actually) and the ever present sea breeze could lead o a stray shower as we watch the show, wrapping things up ion Jennings, Louisiana, between Lake Charles and LAfayette.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
The drive along the Gulf Coast will be comfortably familiar for anyone who lives there. Quiet if hot and humid during the day, with an increasing threat for showers and thunderstorms as the instability gets to be too much. So after about 2, probably from Mobile eastward, we’ll have a real threat for showers and storms. Nothing too bad, but something that will definitely be there. We’ll stop in Madison, Florida, with a few hours to go on Thursday.

DAY FIVE (Thursday)
Some low pressure might organize late next week off the Carolina coast, which could provide some focus for thunderstorms in the southeast. IT’s for this reason that I would say thunderstorms might actually pop up in the morning in those last ew hours of our drive, rather than just with the peak heat. By the time we reach Jacksonville at the Atlantic coast, however, I think that storm threat will greatly abate. Stinkin’ hot, though.

Palm Coast, Florida

Super dewps

Never underestimate the ability of a high dew point to hold temperatures back. That was the case in College Station on Wednesday, with dew points in the 70s throughout the entire 24 (actually 48 hour period of the forecast), but another cause was a particularly vigorous onshore breeze that even let in a few drops of mist late in the day on Wednesday. Temperatures were a degree or two cooler than most outlets anticipated as a result. Generally, it was a decent forecast, though, with The Weather Channel and Accuweather claiming a tie.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 92. Low 81
Wednesday – High 94, Low 79

Grade: B-

Independence Day Ring of Fire

We’ve made it to the middle of summer, and the biggest summer holiday of them all. Some fireworks displays are still on, while others are cancelled out of an abundance of caution with the continued coronavirus pandemic. Whether or not we will get the patriotic displays, the atmosphere is certainly going to feel as it should on the 4th of July.

It’s going to be very hot for a lot of the country for Independence day, with 90s blanketing much of the country, save for the Pacific Northwest, where significantly cooler weather will take hold.

The overall pattern isn’t terribly strong, atmospherically, given there is a mountain range between the two air masses. There isn’t a vibrant jet structure to give rise to a solid dome of high pressure, but there isn’t organized low pressure either. Instead, we are looking at a pattern that will rely heavily on lower level features, which are provided more by the physical features at the surface than patterns in the atmosphere.

There is low pressure off shore, and sea breezes and weak oceanic circulation will lead to showers and storms along the east and Gulf coasts tomorrow. Lee troughing under zonal, west to east flow will lead to enough instability to lead to strong storms in the Plains, especially the northern High Plains, as noted in tomorrow’s SPC outlook map.

Large swaths of the country are going to be able to enjoy time on the lake or at the cabin, or perhaps watching fireworks displays from their decks or balconies. Socially distanced, of course.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July, everyone.

June Forecaster of the Month

Was it just me, or did June fly by? Maybe it was the extended vacation I took in the middle of the month, huh? Well, one outlet that appreciated it was the robot army of Forecast.io who thrived in the shorter session. Way to go, robot army!

OutletMonth wins
The Weather Channel1
Weatherbug1
Forecast.io1
Victoria-Weather
WeatherNation
National Weather Service
Accuweather
OutletMonth winsyear wins
The Weather Channel18
Weatherbug16.16
Victoria-Weather5.75
WeatherNation3.41
Forecast.io13.33
National Weather Service3.08
Accuweather2.25

College Station, Texas

East Texas is always a haven of interesting weather. How interesting will it be this week?

At 1253PM, CT, College Station was reporting a temperature of 90 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. A brisk southerly wind imported moisture from the Gulf, leading to a dew point in the mid 70s, and the general cloudiness of the region.
Low pressure in the lee of the Rockies will trend towards dissipation over the next 48 hours, which will snuff out the brisk south winds, leading to a much clearer, and likely much warmer mid-week, even as moisture lingers in the atmosphere.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 93, Low 78
Wednesday – Hotter and sunny, High 97, Low 78

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly cloudy, High 93, Low 79
Wednesday – Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals, High 95, Low 79

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy and humid with intervals of clouds and sunshine High 93, Low 80
Wednesday – Breezy in the morning; otherwise, humid with intervals of clouds and sunshine High 93, Low 80

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 94, Low 79
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 95, Low 78

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 91, Low 80
Wednesday – Partly cloudy, High 92, Low 80

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 94, Low 79
Wednesday – Partly cloudy, High 95, Low 78

FIO: Tomorrow – Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 94, Low 78
Wednesday – Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 96, Low 77

Oppressive. Here is a look at the satellite imagery, with clouds across Gulf Coast Texas.

Do you remember Cristobal?

This forecast, issued on the 11th for Fayetteville, came so long ago that Tropical Storm Cristobal was still mentioned in the text. While this forecast was for North Carolina, the tropical feature wasn’t a major influence on the forecast, but a lingering cold front and a return of hot humid air was. The Weather Channel was the top forecaster way back in the middle of the month.
Actuals: June 12th – .02 inches of rain, High 83, Low 69
June 13th – High 84, Low 66

Grade: A-B