Rain soaked but still warm

Temperatures for the beginning of the week in Lafayette were supposed to be well off the pace of their scorching summer thanks to a slow moving cold front that brought nearly an inch of rain last Monday and Tuesday. Still and all, Lafayette was able to climb back into the 80s on Monday, and nearly made it again on Tuesday. The forecast was a little warmer than anyone thought, but it was still much more comfortable that it’s been through the rest of August. Forecast.io had the winning digits.
Actuals: Monday High 83, low 67
Tuesday – High 79, low 64

Grade: B-C

Relief on the way?

Not enough can be said about the valiant efforts of the hotshots and local fire fighters that battle the massive wildfires in the western United States as they encroach upon populated areas. They save countless lives and millions of dollars, but even they will admit that the greatest fire fighter of them all is mother nature, and she is finally stepping in to fight the blazes next week.

As noted earlier in the week, smoke from storms in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada has spilled east so as to smother most of the International border as heat and aridity embrace the region. Fortunately, both those things are expected to change fairly soon, particularly with temperatures dropping in the Pacific Northwest and Canadian Pacific.

High pressure in the north Pacific will cycle cooler, moister air from the shores of Alaska, through British Columbia, and at the coolest, all the way to southern California. Rain won’t be as widespread as the region could use, but the relief in temperature will help those heroic fire fighters get a leg up.

Laredo, Texas to Washington, D.C.

Today we embark on a lengthy road trip, from the Mexico border to the nation’s capital! 1,723 miles separate Laredo and Washington DC, so it’s going to take 4 days to cover it all.

DAY ONE

High pressure is found over the Central Plains pushing into the Mid-MS River Valley. However, its’ effects are widely felt throughout the Central US and will keep much of East TX quiet throughout the day. The lone hiccup in the day may be some isolated shower/thunderstorm activity along the Central TX Gulf Coast, as the tail end of a weak boundary is lingering over the region and kicked up some thunderstorms in the Houston area today. This activity should be fairly isolated however so any impact should be minimal if we run into them between Victoria and Houston. The rest of the day should be smooth sailing as we finish the day in Lake Charles, LA.

DAY TWO

High pressure continues shifting eastward, and lucky for us, it’s sitting right over the route for the second day! No precip is expected as we head eastward out of Lake Charles along I-10 to Baton Rouge, then we continue on I-12 north of Lake Ponchartrain before heading north on I-59 out of Slidell. We continue along I-59 through MS before ending our day in Livingston, AL, just inside the border.

DAY THREE

Another enjoyable day thanks to high pressure! There’s a slight chance of an isolated shower or two over central AL during the late morning hours. But as we shift into far northeastern AL and make our way into TN, mostly sunny skies should continue to greet us as our northeastward trek proceeds. Partly cloudy skies are expected over eastern TN as we go past Knoxville and end our day in Bristol, TN, right on the TN/VA border.

DAY FOUR

Our last day! Will our luck finally run out when it comes to rain? Even though clouds will be on the increase today, and some scattered shower activity may dot the landscape, much of this activity looks to be caught up on the west side of the Appalachians, leaving our trip through VA fairly uneventful once again! We finish our day up cruising into DC under partly cloudy skies!

Washington, D.C.

Today we head off to our nation’s capital! Given the tumultuous nature of today’s news cycle, let’s see if the weather can help keep things calm with a good end to the work week.

At 1152pm EDT, the temperature at Reagan Natl Airport in Washington DC was 77 degrees under overcast skies. An area of low pressure is lifting into Quebec, trailing a cold front over the Northeast into the Mid-Atlantic states. The slow-moving nature of this system is cause for some heavy rains in PA today, where several inches fell in the southeast part of the state earlier today. Some shower activity is expected along the end of this front as it pushes through the region Wednesday, but should clear out by the late evening hours. As Wednesday turns into Thursday, high pressure will nose its way over the Eastern US, making for not only a pleasant Thursday, but also Friday.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High 87, Low 71.
Thursday: Sunny and cooler, less humid. High 81, Low 66.

TWC: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 85, Low 72.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 80, Low 62.

AW: Wednesday: A brief shower or two. High 86, Low 73.
Thursday: Sunny; pleasant and less humid. High 81, Low 63.

NWS: Wednesday: Scattered showers. High 85, Low 72.
Thursday: Sunny. High 80, Low 64.

WB: Wednesday: Chance of thunderstorms. High 84, Low 72.
Thursday: Sunny and cooler. High 79, Low 63.

WN: Wednesday: Partly cloudy with scattered showers. High 85, Low 70.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 80, Low 64.

FIO: Wednesday: Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 86, Low 71.
Thursday: Clear throughout the day. High 81, Low 63.

Southeastern PA has gotten hammered by heavy rains today, which seem to finally be shifting off to the south and east. Some of the southern end of this activity will continue to threaten the DC region into tomorrow.

Muggy in Miami

Ok, so it’s always muggy in Miami, and sometimes when I’m putting together a post I enjoy a little alliteration in the title. Really, the big factor in this verification was the fact that there was a little spritz of rain on Thursday morning, and temperatures were nice and warm during the day, hitting the low 90s on both Thursday and Friday. All of these things combined to give Accuweather the narrow victory. 
Actuals: Thursday – Rain reported, not measured, High 90, Low 79
Friday – High 91, Low 81

Grade: B-C

Lafayette, Indiana

I kept looking at the schedule (even marking it incorrectly on the coming soon post) and thinking we were forecasting for the Lafayette in Louisiana. Nope! I mmisread it the whole time, and we are going back to my old stomping grounds, the home of Purdue University and Lafayette, Indiana.

At 754PM, ET, Lafayette was reporting a muggy 78 degrees with fair skies. Indiana and Illinois were in the process of being overcome by some high stratus, precediing an area of low pressure in the Lower Missouri Valley. The rest of the evening looks to be fair, though still humid under continued southerly flow. 
The sharp cut off low in the Plains is going to associate with the mean upper level flow and slow down significantly. The leading edge of rain and thunderstorms will arrive in central Indiana by mid-day tomorrow, but the cold front itself will generally be occluded. A broad area of steady rain is possible through the day, through a few rumbles of thunder are likely to be embedded. The low will track just south of Lafayette early on Tuesday morning, which will bring the heavy precipitation to an end. Still, in the afterglow of this system, there will be a bit of light rain through most of the day on Tuesday. High pressure will move in late in the evening, but not in time to salvage the day.
Tomorrow – Rain with embedded thunderstorms, High 77, Low 66
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a smattering of shower activity, High 75, Low 68

TWC: Tomorrow – Thunderstorms. High 80, Low 66
Tuesday – Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 75, Low 67

AW: Tomorrow – Considerable clouds, humid; a couple of afternoon showers and a heavy thunderstorm High 79, Low 67
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, a shower or thunderstorm around High 77, Low 68

NWS: Tomorrow – A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm High 78, Low 65
Tuesday – A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy,  High 77, Low 68

WB: Tomorrow – Showers and chance of thunderstorms. High 78, Low 68
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms, High 76, Low 68

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with scattered storms, High 78, Low 65
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with showers likely, High 77, Low 68

FIO: Tomororw – Rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 79, Low 68
Tuesday – Rain starting overnight, continuing until morning, and breezy starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 77, Low 66

I’ve made my return to Lafayette, but it looks like I couldn’t bring any good weather along the way. Here is the satellite, showing clouds rolling in, as the beginning of a bummer of a week approaches.

Boring in Boulder

The forecast for Boulder, CO was pretty boring, and that’s how it panned out. Boring is good though! The isolated storms we figured would stay off to the south did just that and temperatures remained fairly steady as well. Not sure what Darksky was seeing though, they were… significantly behind the pack. Weather Channel and Accuweather tied for the win, just 1 degree ahead of Vic-WX.

Wednesday: High 88, Low 59.
Thursday: High 86, Low 59.
Forecast Grade: A

Weather Wayback… a quick bounceback

Presently in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, it is 97 degrees. It’s shortly below midnight, if that gives you any extra perspective. Back in November, just before Thanksgiving, Lake Havasu was coming off a splash of rain the Friday before, and was very slow to recover. Even the following Monday, it was only 72 degrees for a high on Monday, with temperatures climbing on Tuesday, but even then only into the low 80s. Again, at present, it is 97 degrees, just before midnight currently. Back in the autumn, it was The Weather Channel who had the top forecast in a much more comfortable day. 
Actuals: November 20th: High 72, Low 47
November 21st: High 82, Low 54

Grade: A-C

Stable pattern means smoke for the country

Once again, we are seeing a great number of fires, sweeping the western portion of North America. Fires are a natural occurrence, and good for the regeneration of hardwood forests, but with the urban sprawl moving ever deeper into the wilderness, the threat of fires to human livelihood increases, as does the threat for fires to be started by humans, either by accident, such as the Carr fire in northern California, or on purpose, such as the Holy Fire in southern California.

While the threat for fire is visceral in the west, the threat of smoke is real for much of the rest of the country, from something as simple as reduced visibility and haze, to poor air quality, respiratory issues and other safety and quality of life concerns.

The upper level pattern is fairly zonal, which is to say that the US’s upper level flow is moving predominantly west to east without many interruptions. The lone exception is a weak trough in the Pacific Northwest. The consequences are smoke pressing due eastward, right along the northern tier of states, both because of the predominant westerlies, but also because of the southerly flow within the trough, funneling California smoke in with the Washington and British Columbia haze.

One variable that helps to limit the amount of haze or smoke in the atmosphere is rainfall. It essentially cleans the skies up, as soot and smoke particles become captured in the water droplets, and the denser smoke gets scattered by updrafts. The southern US is enjoying some intermittent thunderstorms, while the threat for rain will shift northward for next week.

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