Agatha makes landfall

On the heels of yesterday’s hurricane season preview from Anthony, we have our first landfall of the Pacific season. Tropical Storm Agatha came ashore in Guatemala yesterday, and has already dropped enough rain to create a massive sinkhole in Guatemala City.
Storms in central America have a tendency to be major rain producers, given the abrupt rise in elevation along the coast. Often, the storms, even when not strong, expend all of their moisture in torrential and often tragic expedience. Flooding rains are almost always the greatest threat with storms in places like Guatemala. Here’s hoping Agatha doesn’t linger too long over Central America.

2010 Hurricane Season Approaching

With Summer soon approaching, Mother Nature’s activity will be in full swing across the US. Blazing hot temperatures, ridiculous humidity, swaths of thunderstorms on a daily basis, severe weather outbreaks, and now… hurricanes! The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30 (The Eastern Pacific season is already underway, that one runs from May 15 – November 15), and pre-season forecasts are predicting an above average season. Dr William Gray, one of the leading hurricane season forecasters, and his team at Colorado State University are currently predicting 15 named storms, 8 becoming hurricanes, and 4 of those becoming major hurricanes (achieving Category 3, 4, or 5 intensity). Normally, the CSU team is relatively close in the grand scheme of things with their seasonal forecasts, and is hoping to redeem themselves after being off last year. Their 2009 forecast had numbers of 14, 7, 3 initially, but amended it downwards to 12, 6, 2 in April 2009; Even then it didn’t pan out too well when the season finished with a below-average 9, 3, 2. Given the historical accuracy of Gray’s forecasts, I’m apt to lean towards their predictions, as opposed to NOAA’s forecast put out just a couple of days ago, where they predict 14-23 named storms, 8-14 hurricanes, and 3-7 major hurricanes. 14-23 named storms?! Really?! Why don’t they just issue forecasts of “Sunny with high temperatures of 72-94 degrees” while they’re at it?

In any event, all it takes is one storm to cause countless damage to a populated area, or set a region back many years in infrastructure. Having lived in North Carolina from 1995-1997, and living through Hurricane’s Bertha and Fran I can be the first to tell you that these storms are no joke and should be prepared for carefully and seriously. But never fear, us here at Victoria Weather will keep you informed of any impending storms coming close to the US!

The Week Ahead 5/30/10-6/5/10

Wow, already into June. A few summer time forecasts for you next week.

Monday – Decatur, Alabama
Thursday – Auburn, Alabama; Road Trip from Benton Harbor, Michigan to Auburn
Friday – Hanford, California

Going somewhere for Memorial Day?

Well, the good news is, there shouldn’t be any widespread snow to slow down your travels! If you plan to be outside this weekend, know that there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms throughout most of the southeast. We could be looking at severe storms for the Carolinas today, though for the most part, storms will be your garden variety thunderstorm activity.
A cold front sneaking through the center of the country will be setting off storms over the Upper Midwest, some that could be severe over the Dakotas southeast into northeastern Colorado tomorrow, then in the western Great Lakes by Sunday. By Sunday, the front will be developing its strongest storms, however, over Kansas and Oklahoma. Eventually, by Memorial Day most of the rain will be in the Ohio Valley, but the severe threat will be lessened.
A couple of waves in the northwest will mean rain in the northern Rockies through the weekend, coming back into Washington by Memorial Day, meaning Seattle wil be pretty wet to end the weekend. Expect a few showers as well over New England Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, but an otherwise manageable weekend.
It sounds pretty wet, but I have to say that since most everything on the map is moving and not stalled, almost everyone will be able to enjoy some pleasant weather for this coming holiday weekend, though perhaps not for the entire weekend.

Portland, Maine to Elmira, New York

We’re taking one day to travel through interior New England, driving from beautiful downstate Maine to beautiful downstate New York. The 462 miles of the trip are mostly not on major interstates, and we won’t move terribly swiftly. We will only inch along at 60mph, but it’s all right, given the scenery.


There is a cold front setting itself up through the mid Atlantic, kind of following an arcing path through that area. It’s going to set off some thunderstorms over eastern New York this afternoon, but will slowly drift out of our route tonight. We’re going to have to deal with some trailing showers, probably after we reach the Oneonta, New York area lasting into Elmira, but the rest of the drive will be quiet and very easily manageable. Enjoy the drive!

Some fun storm reports

Yesterday, there was some severe weather in the Front Range, Upper Midwest and in Florida. Nothing that was so bad that it led to death or injury, so I feel I can make light of some of the reports. For example, they had some hail western Texas.

2055 200 1 SE LARIAT PARMER TX 3432 10289 WINDSHIELD BUSTED OUT (LUB)

It done got busted out! The first number, by the way, is the time, the second is the size of the hail, in hundredths of an inch (so that is 2 inch diameter hail) followed by the location, including latitude and longitude. That in mind, check out the size of this hail:

2053 375 2 NW PROGRESS BAILEY TX 3430 10283 (LUB)

That’ll wake you up. Almost 4 inches in diameter! That’s about the size of a softball!

In new Mexico, of course, they aren’t as familiar with sports, so they compare their hail size to other objects:

0120 200 8 N BUCKEYE LEA NM 3292 10350 HEN EGG HAIL REPORTED 8 MILES NORTH OF BUCKEYE ON SH 238. (MAF)

This is why people have garages, hail up to 4 inches in diameter. It looks like an active day again in the High Plains, so there will be many more hail reports today, I’m sure. And it’s only May! Several more months of thunder to deal with, no doubt.

Grenada

Many people have only heard about Grenada because of the US invasion of the tiny island nation in the Lesser Antilles. Though I have no personal experience with the island, I have no reason to believe it isn’t a tropical paradise. The island, like most in the Lessers is at the mercy of the ITCZ and trade winds. It is wetter in the summer and fall months when the ITCZ and the trades bring a nearly constant threat for showers and thunderstorms. The winter is actually rather dry in Grenada, as they don’t have any systems to move through, and the temperatures all around are quite similar since they are parked in the middle of a warm ocean. Grenada is far enough south that most hurricanes stay to their north, and Ivan was the first hurricane they had seen in almost 50 years. Grenada has no national weather service.

Jackson, Mississippi to Atlantic City, New Jersey

Or drive today will take us to the gambling haven of Atlantic City from the.. something haven of Mississippi. It’s a 2 1/2 day journey covering 1168 miles. Our first two days will cover 495 miles at the slow pace of less than 62mph. Lots of urban driving. Let’s collect our chips and hit the road!

DAY ONE

It’s going to be a hot one tomorrow. Our air conditioner will be cranked up to full blast, which is fine, because the windows will need to be closed when it rains. After we find our way through Mississippi and are in Alabama, the heat of the day will start kicking up scattered showers and thunderstorms that will follow us right on into Knoxville, Tennessee, our destination for day 1. Nothing will be severe, per se, but some downpours will be heavy enough to make us need the lights and both hands on the wheel.

DAY TWO
Expect a similar drive on Thursday as we had on Wednesday, with thunderstorms ramping up in the afternoon, after we have been on the road for a few hours. The day will take us through Virginia and into Maryland, and the rain will become a more pressing concern after we pass the Roanoke area. Our drive will end in Cooksville, Maryland, west of Baltimore.

DAY THREE
Just a short little trip over to the Jersey Coast and Atlantic City. It will still be rather unstable over the mid Atlantic, but the cooler Atlantic may keep things from going up right over Atlantic City. The drive in will be rainy, with a weak front finally closing in on the area, but we will spend the rest of the day in a casino, so does it truly matter?

A first taste of summer

It’s only late May, but the banks of the Mississippi in Iowa have already seen the temperatures climb to the lower 90s, like in Davenport the past couple of days. Thunderstorms, as I predicted, remained out of Davenport, and the city merely saw a couple days of hot, humid air. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast.
Actuals: Sunday – High 90, Low 71
Monday – High 92, Low 69

Grade: A

Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jackson, Mississippi

We travel from one namesake to another as we go off on a 2-day trip through the Deep South. Whoever could have sponsored this journey? Randy? Peter? Michael? Maybe we’ll find out at the finish of our 852 mile trip.

DAY ONE
We start off the trip on a cloudy note, as some east-northeasterly flow over the region continues to keep some patchy morning fog and low status clouds over the Carolinas. During the morning the clouds will lift up and the fog will dissipate, we don’t expect to see much sun throughout the day as broken clouds will linger throughout much of the region. Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms will dot the region as well, which will also be aided by an area of low pressure that’s pushing closer to the Carolina coastline from the waters of the Atlantic. Expect thundershowers to be waning as we pull into Atlanta, GA for the night.

DAY TWO
It should be a somewhat less cloudy morning as we continue our westward trek, aided by a general high pressure and an upper ridge not to far off to the north. Breaks in the clouds for sun to sneak through will become more numerous as the morning progresses. However, it won’t be totally devoid of activity, as some afternoon showers and a few isolated thunderstorms are expected to pop up as we trek into through Alabama. It should be easier to dodge them today than yesterday, however, and be a fairly uneventful afternoon as we finish our drive into MS towards Jackson.

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