Soggy Start to Weekend

The dissipating system that moved in from the Gulf continues to spin itself out over the Deep South, bringing some periods of rain to the Jackson area. Friday saw over half-inch fall, including 0.30″ in only 7 minutes at one point. Saturday saw slightly less rain over the region, but with cooler temperatures than most people predicted. TWC had a significantly cooler high for Saturday than everybody else, and turned out to be closest with it only topped out at 89. Then again, the Jackson ASOS decided to go kaput from 11am-230pm. Perhaps Jim Cantore ulplugged it to keep TWC on top? The world may never know…

Friday: 0.59″ of rain. High 95, Low 75.
Saturday: 0.11″ of rain. High 89 (maybe?), Low 75.
Forecast Grade: B

Heat Relief Imminent?

For the better part of the last 2 months, the Central and Southern U.S. has been sitting in Mother Nature’s pressure cooker. Seemingly endless streaks of Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings have plagued the country from Texas and Kansas eastward to portions of the Ohio Valley and the Deep South. My road trip to St. Louis last week was met with their first 100 degree reading in 2 years, along with a Heat Index well above 110, and topped it again the next day. They’ve also hit 98-100 degrees the last 5 days in a row. Up here in Minneapolis we just went through our longest heat wave of the summer, cracking 90 on 5 consecutive days and hitting our summer high of 96. Wichita, KS has been 100 or higher for 12 of the last 15 days including 3 days of 108 or higher. Tulsa, OK has seen the last 2 mornings in which the LOW temperature could only cool off to 84 degrees, only the 5th time on record that’s happened on consecutive days and should this mornings’ low of 86 hold up through midnight, it would mark the 2nd warmest low on record.
Thankfully, some relief is in the way for the start of next week. A large trough is looking to dig its way into the Central US and FINALLY give a bit of a reprieve to the region. Minneapolis could see high temperatures in the upper 70s for Monday and Tuesday, St. Louis looks to “chill” into the mid to upper-80s, and see humidity levels drop down to more tolerable levels as well across the region. Hopefully this will bring a bit of a break to people’s air conditioning bills, but enjoy it while it lasts since we’ll see some scorching temperatures yet this summer.

The Week Ahead: 8/15/10-8/21/10

We are featuring a trio cities that begin with A this week. I guess that’s your “Sesame Street” moment. Also, it’s time for another look at the local blogs of a city, which is highlighted in orange on our map.The city is Sacramento, so if you know of any good weather blogs in Sac-to, let us know!

Sunday – Amarillo, Texas; Road Trip from Morgantown, West Virginia to Amarillo
Monday – Grand Forks, North Dakota
Tuesday – Road Trip from Grand Forks to Ames, Iowa
Wednesday – Anniston, Alabama; Road Trip from Ames to Anniston

Chattanooga, Tennessee

We’re keeping it in the southeast this early afternoon with a trip to eastern Tennessee.

At 1253PM, ET, Chattanooga was reporting a temperature of 93 degrees with clear skies. The remnants of TD 5 continued to spin idly over southern Mississippi, which was cutting off much of the moisture that would typically be expected for the area this time of year. There were still isolated cells over north Georgia, but most of the area was free of thunderstorms.
The weak remnants of 5 will continue to reside over the eastern Gulf Coast for the next several days. Expect the system to keep most of the heavy weather away from Chattanooga for the next 48 hours, however an encroaching cold front from the west will introduce the threat from wet weather Sunday, while a lingering boundary that has seemingly not left since March may bring a very isolated storm Saturday afternoon. All in all, by the standards of the southeast, expect fairly tranquil conditions.
Tomorrow – Very isolated storms, High 95, Low 75
Sunday – Storms becoming more scattered, High 91, Low 75

TWC: Tomorrow – Variable clouds with scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon. Humid High 89, Low 76
Sunday – A few thunderstorms possible High 90, Low 75

AW: Tomorrow – Very warm with periods of sun; a couple of afternoon showers and a thunderstorm High 94, Low 75
Sunday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine, hot and humid with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm High 97, Low 75

NWS: Tomorrow – A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny and ho High 95, Low 76
Sunday – A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy and ho High 94, Low 74

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 95, Low 76
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 94, Low 74

Who needs models? Certainly not Accuweather! Let’s jack that temperature all the way up to 97! Here is the satellite, showing the most inclement weather down there along the Gulf Coast.

Springfield, Missouri to Jackson, Mississippi

It’s another delightfully brief road trip that will take us through the Lower Mississippi Valley on Friday. It will take roughly 8 hours to get from southwestern Missouri to western Mississippi, and will see about 494 miles tick off the odometer. If we’re driving a hybrid, that’s one tank of gas! We’ll be making the drive at about 61mph, if you were curious.


It’s just a nasty, unstable pattern for much of the country. There is heat and humidity everywhere, with weak little thermal troughs rippling through an indefinite pattern, touching off thunderstorms in a seemingly crazed, aimless pattern over almost all the country east of the Rockies. One such trough will continue to bring wet weather from southern Missouri to about Nashville. I suspect we will see a thunderstorm or two as we begin the drive, particularly until we reach the Arkansas border near West Plains. We should be drier but incredibly warm through Arkansas, with the rain from the tropical system in the Gulf potentially reaching as far north as Memphis, but we should be dry until we get to about the Kosciusko exit on I-55. It will probably be quite rainy in Jackson when we get to town.

Jackson, Mississippi

Our theme of a Southeast week continues as we head off to the state capital of the State of Mississippi, Jackson.

At 1054AM, CT, Jackson was already reporting a temperature of 91 with clear skies. The hot, clear air was aided by the fact that the remnants of Tropical Depression 5 was hanging just off the coast, directing mostly easterly flow in central Mississippi, causing a mixing of the atmosphere rather than conflicting airmasses generated by onshore flow.
The weather of the next several days will be dictated by what the dying system in the Gulf, which isn’t expected to move much as it spins itself out. Expect the system to keep Jackson dry for the rest of today and probably into tomorrow morning. Expect a trough over the northern Plains to open the Gulf up to souterly flow again. The lingering low pressure of 5 will also be drawn north, taking with it the copious rainfall leftover from the tropical system. Expect a nice day today then very rainy weather for the next two days.
Tomorrow – Very heavy rains, with flash flooding a concern, High 94, Low 78
Saturday – Rain and thunderstorms still likely, though less rain overall, High 95, Low 76

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Humid. High 92, Low 74
Saturday – A few thunderstorms possible. High 88, Low 74

AW: Tomorrow – Variably cloudy with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm High 98, Low 78
Saturday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm in the afternoon High 92, Low 77

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall High 93, Low 77
Saturday – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy High 92, Low 77

WB: Tomorrow – Chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning, then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Locally heavy rainfall possible in the afternoon, High 93, Low 77
Saturday – Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms, High 92, Low 77

Those temperatures are really going to depend on the rain and how good the coverage of that is. In the meantime, here is a look at the radar, showing rain trying to push deeper into Mississippi.

Introducing the worst weather movie ever: Storm Cell


I happened to catch Storm Cell on TV a last weekend Sucker that I am for weather movies, I turned it on. It was probably the worst movie I have ever seen in my life, regardless of genre. But I thought I would introduce you, the readers, to this movie. In a way, it would be fun to rewatch this cinematic garbage if only to pick out the errors.
Back in 2008, the WE Network had a popular show entitled “Twister Sisters” on their airwaves that chronicled a real life pair of women who lead excursions into the Plains to hunt tornados. It was among the better tornado based reality shows out there, and the sisters got lucky, tracking a lot of tornadoes in front of the camera. Lifetime decided to get into the act, instead making a movie about a female storm chaser and replacing tornadoes and factual accuracy with familial angst and a love interest. It was a devastatingly terrible movie. Here are some of the hilariously incorrect scenes in the movie.
– Early in the movie, she takes a young interviewer out on a storm chase. She made the decision, after she opened her computer, it ran some calculations and came up with “tornado threat: WATCH”. Almost immediately after they departed, they come across a massive tornado. The storm chaser (her name was April, I believe) opened her computer which now said “tornado threat: WARNING”. Nice work, computer. She said some gibberish about lower inflow updraft jet winds or something.The storm eventually fell apart, which she thought was odd, and that there must be another tornado taking all the energy from the one they were watching. Totally. The chaser opened her computer again, and sure enough, there was another “tornado threat: WARNING” as told by her computer. “We have to call this in,” She said. “Don’t they have people to do that?” asked the anonymous passenger. “Yeah. Me,” stated the chaser quite boldly. If only the weather service had the same tornado threat software on their computer, perhaps we wouldn’t need chasers at all anymore.
– The tornado hit her daughters high school, so they decided it was time to take a vacation and went to visit storm chaser’s brother in Seattle. While watching the news, the weather report showed a warm front approaching Seattle from the west and a cold front from the east. Concerned (not that the local weatherman has no idea what he’s doing, of course) storm chaser April opens her computer and looks at a satellite image of Washington to see what looks like a hurricane bearing down on them. Increasingly concerned, she runs the tornado threat program. Tornado threat: WATCH! She puts it out of her mind though, because she’s on vacation. Later, her daughter comes in to check her e-mail and gets upset to see the program running. Mom says we weren’t here for work! Also, we’re bumped up to tornado threat: WARNING. Cut to a dock on the Puget Sound and a fisherman tying his boat up. DEAD. Tornado kills him. It wasn’t even raining. IF fact, the hole time, judging by the clothes the characters were wearing, it must have been cool and dank. There were a lot of jackets and trench coats. Perfect weather for tornadoes. Back to the brother’s house. The brother is a county sheriff, so he gets the call that there has been a tornado. Immediately, he confronts his sister, asking if she had anything to do with this. Stupid weather person, making weather happen near them. And let me just say, even if there were storms coming, there is no worse place to chase, I would imagine, than Seattle. Mountains, trees, lots of traffic. Of course, that’s only one of several logical inconsistencies with the movie.

I could only make it through about an hour of the movie. I can’t imagine there weren’t more later.

Watching out for Number 5

The low we were monitoring in the eastern Gulf at the time we issued the Tallahassee forecast has since been labeled Tropical Depression 5. There isn’t much chance that it will be a hurricane at any point in it’s life cycle, and there is even a chance that the system won’t even become a Tropical Storm. It is expected to stall over the Mississippi Delta, providing more problems for an area that certainly doesn’t need any. The system also showed a more northerly track than I had indicated in my forecast on Sunday, and they saw a thunderstorm in Tallahassee yesterday.In the end, Weatherbug and The Weather Channel ended up getting the top forecasts.
Actuals: Monday – High 96, Low 77
Tuesday – .38 inhes of rain, High 94, Low 78

Grade B

Republic of the Congo

There are two Congos in our world today. One is the former Zaire, and the country we will highlight today is the one that has always been the Congo, the one that feature Brazzaville as it’s national capital. If you are still confused, here’s a map of the country. It’s located right on the equator, so the Congo sees a typically consistent climate. It’s hot, humid and very rainy all year long. Fortunately, much of the eastern part of the country is found at higher elevations, which allay some of the heat, but rarely much of the humidity or rain.
The Congo is a member of the World Meteorological Society thanks to their meteorology department, the Direction De La Meteorologie Nationale. Their website is is entirely in French and looks like it was probably designed in the late 90s. As such, I found it difficult to penetrate for our purposes.

UPDATE: I looked at a weather forecast. The most recent was from 2008. So I don’t think the site is presently maintained.

Most of Asia underwater

Lately , if you look at any news service, you’ll see stories about tragedies in India, Pakistan, and China as heavy rains have led to devastating flooding and a very high casualty rate. The meteorological issue is the Hindu Kush and Himalaya ranges that dominate the region. Typically, we don’t have to worry about such devastating consequences in the region because areas to the north and west of these ranges are typically quite dry. Unfortunately in this instance there has been ample moisture coming from the north, wrapped around the mountains through China, and a northerly wind has driven that moisture into the mountains until it is forced to formed high precipitation rain storms. Of course, given the mountains and valleys of the region, this makes the area more prone to flash flooding and land slides, which have been so devastating to the area. A look at the satellite shows a broad swath of thunderstorm activity in western China still posing a threat to the area.

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