Cleveland, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois

From the Southern Appalachians to shore of Lake Michigan, this trip will cover 625 miles. We’ll split it up into 2 days and give you a bit of an overnight rest in Indianapolis. Away we go!

DAY ONE

As we travel northward to Knoxville then onwards to Lexington, clear skies and calm winds greet us as high pressure looks to take hold over much of the Mid MS Valley and OH Valley. It’ll be more of the same as we make our way past Cincinnati to Indianapolis, our stop for the night.

DAY TWO

Nothing much else to speak of today either, as high pressure over the region will keep the trip from Indianapolis to Chicago dry and only seeing a few high clouds. Time to put on the sunglasses and visit Navy Pier!

Wet but Warmer

A strong cold front made its’ way through New England yesterday, dropping some heavier rains on Springfield, MA as it slowly lurched through the area. Nearly an inch of rain fell on the city yesterday as the heavier stuff moved through in the afternoon hours. Low temperatures stayed relatively warm both days, however, which helped propel TWC to the top forecast.

Tuesday: Trace of precip in drizzle. High 77, Low 60.
Wednesday: 0.92″ in heavy rains. High 72, Low 60.
Forecast Grade: C

Chicago, Illinois

After seemingly only forecasting for CA cities, I get to forecast for one of my favorite cities in the country, Chicago! Having grown up in sort-of nearby Rochelle, IL, Chicago has always been a favorite of mine, and owns all of my sports allegiances. Hopefully I have more success in this forecast than the Bears did against DeAngelo Hall this past weekend. Oh, burn!

At 2:51pm CDT, the temperature at Chicago O’Hare International Airport was 44 degrees under overcast skies. Chicago is finally settling down from the giant record-setting low-pressure system that plowed through the Central US a couple days ago, as well as pushing a swath of severe weather from the Central Great Lakes down into the TN Valley. The “Chiclone” as it was dubbed, or to steal jargon from last years’ blizzards, “Windpocalypse”, wound up becoming the strongest non-tropical low pressure system ever recorded on land in the United States, bottoming out at 28.21″ in Bigfork, MN. Always fun to see an all-time weather record fall! So why am I talking about the weather Chicago and the rest of the Upper Midwest has gone through in the last couple of days instead of what’s about to happen as we move into the weekend? Well, because with high pressure moving in behind this system, Chi-town will be bathed in sunlight and dry conditions. So, the fine residents of the city can get out and enjoy some pleasant weather and ponder if the Bears will get an offensive line, if the Blackhawks can repeat, or how long one can sit in traffic on Lake Shore Drive!

Friday: Mostly sunny. High 50, Low 33.
Saturday: Continued sunny. High 58, Low 38.

TWC: Friday: Sunny, High 54, Low 31.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 62. Low 39.

AW: Friday: Sunshine, poor hunting conditions (um, come again?) High 51, Low 30.
Saturday: Sunny. High 59, Low 37.

NWS: Friday: Clearing and sunny. High 51, Low 31.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 61, Low 39

WB: Friday: Mostly sunny. High 49, Low 32.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 59, Low 40.

Here we see the overcast skies still lingering over Illinois. They’ll break up for tomorrow though, and the sun will get to play for a few days

Cleveland, Tennessee

With Lebron James losing last night, we’re going to celebrate by forecasting for Cleveland. But, uh, not THAT Cleveland.

At 453PM ET, Cleveland was seeing a temperature of 69 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. Cloudy were pooled into the Chattanooga valley, but eastern Tennessee was post frontal, and should be done for the day where thunderstorm activity is concerned. A very large dry slot will fill into eastern Tennessee over the next couple of hours.
The trough that generated the extremely potent system across the eastern half of the country has stymied the advance of anything in it’s wake. A massive ridge of calming high pressure will build into the southeast tomorrow and Friday, but the clear skies will allow for some chilly overnight lows and a below average day on Friday.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 71, Low 50
Friday – Sunny and much cooler, High 66, Low 40

TWC: Tomorrow – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon high 71, low 57
Friday – Mainly sunny High 65, Low 39

AW: Tomorrow – Pleasant and not as warm with brilliant sunshine High 68, Low 48
Friday – Sunshine against a deep blue sky and pleasant High 64, Low 36

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 71, Low 53
Friday – Sunny High 65, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 71, Low 51
Friday – Sunny, high 62, Low 38

A little post frontal high pressure. Lucky for them in Cleveland. The radar shows the scattered showers sneaking into the Appalachians, away from town.

Thunder Mount

Rocky Mount was in the midst of a fairly dreary set of days early this week. There were actually severe thunderstorm watches and warnings throughout the Carolinas on Monday, and Rocky Mount was nipped by a thunderstorm. There was a bit of rain as well yesterday (actually more than on Monday), but that was really a lull in the thunder activity, as the area is under the gun for some twisters today as well. But for the past two days, the top forecast went to The Weather Channel and Weather Service.
Actuals: Monday – .03 inches of rain/thunderstorms, High 78, low 59
Tuesday – .1 inches of rain, High 81, Low 60

Grade: B

The Zambia

The Zambia is deep in the heard of Africa. It borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, a sliver of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania in a counter-clockwise rotation around the nation. The Zambia lies in the tropics, on the southern half, and therefore sees very warm temperatures, though they are somewhat modified because Zambia has a fairly high elevation. Their precipitation patterns are modified by the seasonal oscillation of the ITCZ, and being in the southern hemisphere, their rainy season is from November to April, while they run dry from May to September.
The Zambian Meteorological Service allegedly exists, however their website hasn’t been updated since 2006 and appears to have been created in Geocities.

No pressure at all

Well, there is a little. The system continuing to develop over the northern Plains is going to continue to lose pressure to that it’s barometric reading will eventually be equivalent to that of a category 1 or 2 hurricane. Given the friction at the surface, wind speeds will be held in check, and 100mph winds will not be a possibility (unless some conditions come together over Lake Superior. This is a similar situation as the one that saw the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald), however remarkably gusty winds, on the order of 70mph in some areas of Minnesota, will certainly be a possibility.
There is another difference between a hurricane of this intensity and a storm moving through the Plains. Hurricanes are known as “warm-core” while this storm is “cold-core” which, for our purposes, means it is pulling in cold air from the northwest. A storm of this intensity will be pulling in some dramatically colder air into the western flank. There are actually blizzard warnings out for North Dakota thanks to the forecast winds and the likelihood of rain changing to snow with the introduction of the cold air.
Of course, with such a dramatic clashing of airmasses, there will be the threat for very strong thunderstorms on the other end of the storm. There is a high risk for severe weather along the storms cold front, with the high risk running from around Detroit to Evansville, Indiana. There have already been tornadoes reported embedded within a line racing through the Ohio Valley. Frankly though, tornadoes in a line like the one racing through the Ohio Valley aren’t really the big story, as the line will be so broad and far reaching that even those not in a tornado warning thould take shelter while the storm makes it’s way through your area.
I don’t know what to say for residents of North Dakota, though, except for that it might be all melted by the time Halloween rolls around.

Springfield, Massachusetts

Massachusetts. I just wanted to write that one more time, because I have had a tough time spelling that in the past. Are you excited for a New England forecast? I sure am. Spent a lot of time in the southern US lately.

At 355PM, ET, Springfield was reporting a temperature of 60 degrees with clear skies and haze. This was all somewhat misleading, however, as an upper air system moving through the eastern US was triggering a band of rain showers from central Vermont southwest through New York, all while generating severe weather in the Carolinas.
A system is going to bomb out into the Plains over the next 12 hours and absorb the upper level trough in the East. After it starts to rain in Springfield tonight, the town won’t ever really clear out tomorrow. Tuesday will be mostly dreary with some shower activity leftover from the upper low, but a seasonably strong cold front will arrive on Wednesday morning. The system is dynamic enough that there is a chance for some early morning, late season thunderstorms. Heavy, flooding rain will be a possibility through the day on Wednesday.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with some passing showers, High 69, Low 53
Wednesday – All day rain with some embedded thunderstorms, High 69, Low 51 (non standard)

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy skies. High 72, Low 60
Wednesday – Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms High 72, Low 62

AW: Tomorrow – Some sun with a shower, warm; fog in the morning High 71, Low 53
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy and warm with a couple of showers High 70, Low 52

NWS: Tomorrow- A slight chance of showers before 9am. Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, partly sunny High 69, Low 57
Wednesday – Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Patchy fog between 8am and 11am High 71, Low 55

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy with showers with a chance of thunderstorms in the morning then partly sunny in the afternoon, High 70, Low 55
Wednesday – Showers with a chance of thunderstorms in the morning then showers likely in the afternoon, High 72, Low 59

This is going to be a nasty system, no doubt, but it will be at it’s nastiest over the Great Lakes, fortunately for those in Springfield. Here is the rain in the area already ongoing.

Unexpected lows

Lafayette was still supposed to see a reasonable southerly flow as a little system swung it’s way north of town over the past couple of days, which would bring some increasing humidity and of course, some warming temperatures. Temperatures didn’t respond as they were supposed to. Sure, everything was warmer than average, but every low was at least 4 degrees off. Unsightly. Then there was a mysterious .01″ of rain seen early Sunday morning, though it was discounted by the observer and no falling precip was ever reported. The Weather Channel and Accuweather had the top two forecasts.
Actuals: Saturday – High 82, Low 57
Sunday – High 87, Low 62

Grade C

Columbia, South Carolina to Rocky Mount, North Carolina

A trip through the Carolinas is in order for tomorrow. It will take us only 4 hours to cover the 254 miles, which will put us at a pace of roughly 62mph. Why don’t we get on our way?

There is a system that will be sweeping into the Carolinas as we drive between South and North. The moisture will wait to begin producing rainfall until the afternoon, until we are in the Benson, North Carolina area, leaving us only with about an hour of driving in the rain. We’ll get to experience the bulk of the activity while we are doing whatever it is we need to do in Rocky Mount.

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