Weather Wayback… back when there was still winter

At the beginning of February, Anthony took a look at Kalamazoo as a weak area of low pressure was moving from Michigan towards the eastern Great Lakes. Behind the feature, westerly winds meant persistent flurry activity in our forecast city. The thing is, the fetch was under high pressure, so the ceilings weren’t terribly thick, so temperatures were able to vary. Accuweather, who scored points for the best temperature forecasts tied with the National Weather Service, who accurately forecast snow on both the first and second of February, but in general, this wasn’t a top forecast for anyone.
Actuals: Wednesday, February 1st – .06 inches of precip, falling as snow, High 37, Low 25
Thursday, February 2nd – Trace of snow, High 25, Low 11

Grade: C-D

Poughkeepsie, New York to Shreveport, Louisiana

Yet another road trip! What does this family have against flying places?! At least this isn’t a cross-country trip, but will still take 3 days to navigate from southeastern NY to northern LA. Hopefully we avoid the snow this time!

DAY ONE

Partly cloudy skies greet us this morning as high pressure sits off the New England coastline. Warm temperatures will greet the Northeast as upper 70s and maybe even some low 80s are possible as we cruise through northern NJ and into eastern PA. We’ll probably see some more clouds in the evening as we push into northern VA as a frontal boundary pushes closer to our route, but it should be a dry day as we finish in Harrisonburg, VA.

DAY TWO

The boundary that was pushing through the Appalachians overnight pretty much washes out by morning, with a lingering bit of it found over the Mid-Atlantic. A bit cooler temps will greet the region, but the conditions should be dry as we head southwestward through VA into eastern TN. Overall, another fairly good day!

DAY THREE

It’s going to be a long day of driving, but with high pressure controlling much of the Deep South and Gulf Coast, we shouldn’t have any real problems driving! Might be some patchy fog as we head out of Chattannooga towards Birmingham, but should burn off fairly quickly. We’ll continue along I-20 through Tuscaloosa and through Mississippi before pushing into northern Louisiana late in the evening. It’ll be late but eventually we finally arrive worry-free into Shreveport!

Iowa City, Iowa to Phoenix, Arizona

Two road trips in one day today. This one will see us take a southwesterly voyage, where as the other, later tonight, well, that will be southwesterly as well. Our drive will cover 1514 miles and will last for nearly 3 complete days. At this pace, our average speed will be 64.6mph. The third day will be slightly shorter, but in general, we will cover about 516.5 miles per full day of travel. It’s snowing in Minnesota today, so a trip down to Phoenix from nearby Iowa City certainly doesn’t sound so bad right now.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

A cold front is moving through the Mississippi Valley as we speak tonight. Flow aloft in support of the trough and behind it is fairly weak, and broadly ridging behind the initial front. What does this mean to the average traveler? It means sunny skies and light winds. We’ll make it through the most well populated part of our drive, and end up in Goddard, Kansas, just west of Wchita.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
Westerly flow and the mid-April time of year means we are in prime time for lee troughing and dry lines. Weak low pressure will indeed develop in eastern Colorado, with a dry line dangled south along the Texas/New Mexico border. We may see some storms touched off from Guymon, Oklahoma to Tucamcari, New Mexico, meaning that the Texas Panhandle will be a ripe environment for a few showers and thunderstorms. On either side of this area of thundertorms, we will be in pretty good shape. We won’t see a soul for miles at a time, but the weather will be most agreeable. The day will end in Clines Corners, New Mexico, which we will reach about an hour ahead of Alburquerque.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
Hot high pressure is sliding into the intermountain west, and will be in place by Thursday. It’s not a huge stretch that Arizona and New Mexico are dry and warm, but the set up is more reassurance that we are out of the woods in terms of thunderstorms. Phoenix will be warm and dry upon our arrival, which is pretty much what one looks forward to when they go to Phoenix.

Weather Wayback… Another time,, the same Longview

I have issued a forecast for Longview, Texas in the time since Anthony issued his own forecast on January 30th. Back at the end of January, it had become clear that Texas had already lost its taste for winter. Temperatures were in the mid to upper 70s for highs in the afternoon, and never got any cooler than the upper 40s. That’s unusual for the transition from January to February for almost everyone, so Longview needed the unwavering analytical mind of the Forecast.io robot to steer them right. Forecast.io did indeed have the best forecast, as their highs were a handful of degrees warmer than the human forecasters.
Actuals: Tuesday, January 31st – High 77, Low 48
Wednesday, February 1st – High 76, Low 56

Grade: B-C

Olympia, Washington to New York, New York

Well we just did a cross country road trip, so why not do another one? This family is a glutton for punishment. Today, we embark on a 2800+ mile road trip from the capital of Washington to The City That Never Sleeps. It’s going to take a full 6 days to make the trip, so here we go!

DAY ONE

Today starts our intimate trip of I-90 as we’ll be spending plenty of time getting to know it on this trip. A trough is continuing to push through the Pacific Northwest and into the Northern Rockies this weekend, kicking up widespread rain showers from Olympia through the Cascades. They’ll taper off a bit as we push through Central WA, but as we start to head through the tiny bit of Northern Idaho and eventually into western MT, we can expect some snow showers to greet us thanks to the elevation change. It will probably be some slow going for the evening as we end our night in Missoula, Mt.

DAY TWO

Today isn’t going to be much better than the end of Day 1 as the storm system starts to slowly push out into the Plains. However, the snow focused along the inverted trough will keep snow over a decent chunk of our trip today. Billings looks at getting a few inches throughout the day, which is where we’ll have to drive through as we eventually make our way to Wyoming. We’re only making it to Sheridan tonight, darn snow!

DAY THREE

Today will be a long day as we try and make up some time, but we’ll still be somewhat vexed by the storm system we’re “chasing” it seems. The early part of the drive through northwest WY should be cloudy but otherwise fairly quiet, and looks to stay that way until we pass by Rapid City, SD. As we continue eastward on I-90 through the state, we could see some more rain/snow showers by the time we make it to central SD. Luckily any activity should be fairly light and spotty, and eventually we make our way into Sioux Falls, SD for the night.

DAY FOUR

Finally we’ve escaped that storm system! It kinda fizzled out as it pushed into the Great Lakes overnight as high pressure built in behind it over the Upper Midwest. That bodes well for us as today’s trip through Southern MN and southern WI should be fairly uneventful. We end the night in Rockford, IL, only 30someodd miles from my hometown!

DAY FIVE

High pressure will continue to sit over the Great Lakes region throughout the day, so other than some morning clouds, another dry day is in store for us. We’ll traverse our way through Chicago and northern Indiana before negotiating some road construction in Northern Ohio. We’ll end our day in Youngstown, OH, only 1 day to go!

DAY SIX

High pressure still controls the Northeast although a weak boundary is kicking up some showers over NY and southern MI. Luckily, our route through PA and northern NJ will avoid any of those precipitation hiccups. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected, but should be smooth sailing weather-wise into NYC for the evening!

Altoona, Pennsylvania to Eugene, Oregon

I’m back everybody! I spent a fortnight over in Ireland, which was my first ever trip across the pond. The weather was stereotypically Irish the first half of the trip, but the last 4-5 days were just SPECTACULAR. Lots of sun, few clouds, no rain, upper 50’s to low 60s. Gorgeous weather for my tour across the country. Meanwhile, back here in the states, I get back into the swing of things with a cross-country road trip, from PA to Oregon. In Ireland, it literally was a 2.5 hour drive to drive across the country. This trip… is going to take 5 full days to traverse the 2,674 miles. Ireland is the size of South Carolina! Well, time to get a move on…

DAY ONE

We start out heading west from Altoona past Pittsburgh into northeastern Ohio. A cloudy morning is expected before breaking up some during the late morning hours. Dry weather is expected as we continue past Cleveland and along I-90 into northern Indiana. By early afternoon, we’ll see some shower activity as an area of low pressure works its way into the Ohio Valley. We could see some isolated thunderstorm activity as well, but the worst of things will remain far off to the south. Shower activity is expected to increase as we push into Joliet, IL for the night.

DAY TWO

There could be a light rain/snow mix as we start the day heading westward, but we’ll quickly get out of that activity as high pressure is sitting over the Plains. Clouds will eventually give way to sunny skies as we make our way through Iowa, and with the dry weather expected throughout the day, a fairly easy day is expected as we pull into Lincoln, NE for the night.

DAY THREE

It’s going to be more of the same today as a ridge of high pressure continues to control the Plains for our trip westward into Wyoming. A developing low pressure system over the Northern Plains will cause some gusty southerly winds in western Nebraska into eastern Wyoming, but dry weather is expected throughout the day once again. We end our long day in Rawlins, WY.

DAY FOUR

A cold front is sweeping its way through the Rockies today, which will bring some rain showers to our route as we make our way through southwestern WY into Northern UT. The system will be warm enough that we shouldn’t have to worry about snowfall on the highways, though there could be some in the much higher mountain elevations. Once we get past Salt Lake City/Odgen, UT, most of the activity should have shifted off to our east. We can’t completely rule out a stray shower or two as we push into southern ID, but shouldn’t be of much consequence. We finish the day in Twin Falls, ID. Almost there!

DAY FIVE

Our final day, and it’s going to be a long one. We’ll take I-84 northwest towards Boise, then eventually on Hwy 20 westward throughout Oregon. High pressure is pushing through the Pacific Northwest, so it should be a dry trip through Idaho and into eastern Oregon. Clouds will be on the increase as we push closer to our final stop, as a cold front looks to shift towards the WA/OR coastline late in the day. We should get to Eugene just ahead of the front’s arrival, but don’t be surprised if a few rain showers are there to greet us.

April brings a break

Jacksonville, North Carolina had a healthy round of severe weather to contend with as March wound to a close. When April rolled around over the weekend, it was as if the climate had changed with the calendar. Temperatures were pleasant and skies were clear as surface high pressure built behind the late March storm. The bad news is, storms will be on their way back as this weekend ends. There was a three way tie at the top of the leaderboard, with Victoria-Weather, Accuweather and the Weather Service drawing level.
Actuals: Saturday – High 75, Low 53
Sunday – High 69, Low 52

Grade: A-C

Burlington, Vermont to Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This is an interesting trip, which will last us three days, but won’t cross the Mississippi at any point. We’re expecting some strong storms in the southern US tomorrow, in particular, so hopefully we won’t be arriving in a region ravaged by storms. Like I said, the trip will last 3 days, covering 1632 miles, which means each day will consist of 544 miles, driven at a pace of 68mph. I think this is an interesting route, let’s see if the weather matches it,


DAY ONE (Sunday)

The most scenic day of our drive will also be the one with the best weather. The route through the interior of New England, and then on through the Appalachians will be without weather troubles. The timing – the weekend – will mean we should have few traffic issues either. We will see parts of 6 states (!) before we call it a night in Clear Brook, Virginia.

DAY TWO (Monday)
The system I promised to bring us weather at some point along his trip will be there on Monday. A strong cold front will be rolling through eastern Tennessee as we arrive in the area. It’s unlikely that the strong thunderstorms will impact us too severely until we reach the Sweetwater, Tennessee area. Strong thunderstorms may linger through Chattanooga, though the fact is, the damage will likely already be done. The strongest storms will steer clear of the mountain range we will be skirting. We’ll stop in Wildwood, Georgia, just across the border from Chattanooga.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
Day three will remind us more of Sunday than Monday. The system that brings us inclement weather on Monday in Tennessee will move very quickly out of the picture, and we will cover Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana without much concern. Baton Rouge should be sunny and pleasant for our arrival.

Thunderstorms to take a swing at Houston tomorrow

After a bit of a break in the severe weather today (there will still be a few storms in west Texas today) tomorrow looks to be quite active from east Texas into far western Louisiana.

An upper level trough will swing through the southern Plains tomorrow, and the local access to the Gulf of Mexico and the abundant available energy, including a great amount of helicity, will lead to a threat of widespread severe weather. As you can see from the map above, the SPC has a hatched area, including Houston, College Station and surrounding areas. That means they suspect a threat for significant severe weather.

What does that mean? Significant severe weather can mean strong tornadoes, of EF2 or greater, or hail stones larger than an inch in diameter. I suspect both of those criteria will be met tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Be sure to pay attention to the weather. It’s a Sunday, so you really don’t have a good excuse not to be fully plugged in.

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