Thunderstorms will organize on Tuesday

There have been strong thunderstorms throughout the Plains, especially the northern Plains, where even at this late hour, there are severe thunderstorm watches from Wisconsin to Wyoming, including one around Sioux City Iowa that was recently issued.

This is the calling call of advancing warm air, these late night areas of convection. Storms can be strong, and will feed off of each other overnight, but will dissipate tomorrow morning.

Then, the next round will step in almost immediately. A more well organized area of low pressure will slide into the Plains tomorrow, and will generate helicity and updrafts within a juicy environment. The SPC has a much more perilous forecast for tomorrow. Check out the area that is hatched on this forecast map.

Hatched areas are those in which there is a threat for “significant” severe weather. In this case, I would expect hail over an inch in diameter or tornadoes EF-2 or stronger.

Storms will continue through the night, but the bigger threat will come tomorrow in the Plains. Expect some good video of some photogenic activity as it rolls through chase country.

Rains ruin a weekend

It was raining last Thursday when we started looking at Lancaster for our end of the week forecast. There was a splash of drizzle on Friday, but that didn’t foretell of a quiet day on Saturday, Saturday was drowned out by .83 inches of rain, and it didn’t even clear out for Sunday. I hope local Mothers’ Day activities were at least in gazebos instead of on the deck. The NWS had a great forecast, so there was plenty of time to plan if anyone listened to them.
Actuals:  Friday – .02 inches of rain, High 60, Low 51
Saturday – .83 inches of rain, High 55, Low 48

Grade: A-B

Warm Weather Then Washout?

Spring is finally taking hold over the Upper Midwest, with temperatures this weekend finally pushing into the 80s for the first time all year in the Twin Cities. The forecast not only calls for a couple more days in the 80s, but even a possible run at 90 for Tuesday. Sweltering even! However, the big story of the next few days isn’t the increasing heat, it’s the impending deluge that is taking aim at the Upper Midwest. A couple areas of low pressure look to eject along a stationary boundary that’s setting up over the region, and with them comes plentiful moisture from the south. The SPC has issued a Slight risk for southern MN for Monday and also extends through the area for Tuesday. This boundary is going to the the likely focus of training thunderstorms over the next couple of days, which could inundate newly planted crops when farmers were able to take advantage of the last few dry, sunny days. Rain is always good to help kickstart some new crops, but too much of a good thing could stop them before they even get a chance to get going.

Storms will stretch the length of the Plains

Spring systems moving through the northern Plains have been dangling cold fronts and touching off severe storms in the central and southern Plains for a few weeks now. The bulk of the deadly tornadoes have occurred from the Mississippi Valley eastward, but by and large, they have been from the Ohio River south. As May ends and June approaches, the onus will begin to shift north.

For the next two days, there is at least a marginal threat for severe weather as far north as the Dakotas and Minnesota.

The threat isn’t from a particularly extraordinary system, but rather a fairly minor area of low pressure. The change is that there is much more warmth filtering north than there was a few weeks ago, had a similar system passed by.  The base level is more unstable, and less is required to touch storms off.

Wind and hail will be the greatest threat throughout the region, but don’t be surprised to see an isolated tornado along the Minnesota-Iowa border. Gusty winds will be more likely on Tuesday, when the threat will again stretch the length of the Plains.

Great Expectations

With a system passing just south of the Fargo area during the middle week, there was great anticipation for a momentous warm up across the area when it departed. Temperatures proceeded to plummet overnight into Wednesday morning as clear skies and a bit of a cooler flow filtered into the region. That was the fatal flaw in the forecast. The high on Wednesday didn’t recover to match the expected highs, ensuring that there wasn’t a really good forecast to be had. I’m not going to say everything was all bad from a forecasting standpoint, however, as meteorologists and the weather recovered nicely, with a high of 70. WeatherNation was solid on Thursday, and ultimately had the privilege of claiming victory for the whole day.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 63, Low 41
Wednesday – High 70, Low 43

Grade: C-D

Steady As She Goes

A hot, dry forecast was in the books for Brownsville, and it didn’t disappoint. It was a bit cloudier in the mornings than expected, but that didn’t stop temperatures from hitting the 90s both days. Temperatures were very even across both days, which I’m sure made it easy for people to plan how to go about their days. Accuweather edged out the victory.

Wednesday: High 90, Low 77.
Thursday: High 91, Low 78.
Forecast Grade: A-B

Visalia, California

Good morning! It’s getting warm everywhere, but in California, it never really gets that cold anyway.

At 756AM, PT, Visalia was reporting a temperature of 53 degrees with clear skies. An area of low pressure in the Pacific Northwest was inducing a westerly flow across California, transporting cooler Pacific air into the Valley, but keeping skies clear.
A look at the satellite suggests the ongoing trend for the next couple of days. Clear skies will persist at the lower terrain, mid level flow will generate some clouds in the Sierras. The upper level trough will break down, through flow will continue to bring moisture into the Sierras. Expect a few showers in the mountains, but Visalia will continue to be free and clear.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 72, Low 46
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 71, Low 47

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and some clouds. High 74, Low 46
Monday – Mainly sunny. High 74, Low 48

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and cool High 73, Low 46
Monday – Mostly sunny and cool High 74, Low 47

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 73, Low 48
Monday – Sunny – High 73, Low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 72, Low 47
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 72. Low 47

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 48
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 73, Low 48

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 78, Low 45
Monday – Clear throughout the day. High 78, Low 45

So FIO is going a little on the warm side, I guess. here is a look at the satellite, showing those high clouds over the Sierras I had mentioned.


There aren’t any beaches to speak of in Bremerton. Shoreline, definitely, but probably not anything you would traditionally call a beach. The weather was nice enough that if there were beaches, many Seattle area residents would have been at them on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ahead of a spit of rain coming from the Gulf of Alaska, temperatures were near 70 with mostly sunny skies during the day. Rain inched in just before Wednesday turned to Thursday, which was earlier than expected, throwing off everyone’s forecast. Accuweather was the best around, and earned victory.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 71, Low 41
Wednesday – Rain reported, not measured, High 69, Low 46

Grade C-D

Jonesboro, Arkansas

A storm system has been affecting the south the last few days, but will it finally give way to the residents of Jonesboro?! Or will it be a soggy Mother’s Day weekend?

At 953pm CDT, the temperature at Jonesboro, AR was 64 degrees under overcast skies. A slow-moving low pressure system brought plenty of rain and storms to the area over the last couple of days, but as that moves off to the east overnight tonight, high pressure will be building over the region. Clouds should dissipate overnight, giving way to a sunny morning. These clear skies are expected to last throughout the Mother’s Day Weekend, with temperatures perking up a few degrees for Sunday. What a lovely weekend!

Saturday: Sunny. High 78, Low 55.
Sunday: Sunny and warmer. High 83, Low 55.

TWC: Saturday: Sunny. High 77, Low 54.
Sunday: Sunny. High 82, Low 58.

AW: Saturday: Pleasant and warmer. High 77, Low 54.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and pleasant. High 81, Low 55.

NWS: Saturday: Sunny. High 77, Low 55.
Sunday: Sunny. High 82, Low 57.

WB: Saturday: Sunny. High 76, Low 56.
Sunday: Sunny. High 80, Low 57.

WN: Saturday: Sunny. High 77, Low 55.
Sunday: Sunny. High 82, Low 57.

FIO: Saturday: Clear throughout the day. High 79, Low 56.
Sunday: Clear thoughout the day. High 84, Low 56.

Here we see some rain showers off to the south of Jonesboro, the last vestiges of the low pressure system pulling away from the area.

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