Soaker

A cold front has stalled itself along the Appalachians and Smokeys. The city of Nashville is underwater, if you haven’t heard, and the state of Tennessee is in the midst of a full blown catastrophe, with dozens dead due to the rising floodwaters. Kingsport, our forecast from Saturday, was spared that degree of unpleasantness, though the beginning of the week was not enjoyable to say the least. After a brief tease of some rain in the midst of near 90 degree heat on Sunday, they got over an inch of rain on Monday. As it turned out, Weatherbug tied us for the top spot on this one.
Actuals: Sunday – .07 inches of rain, High 89, Low 60
Monday – 1.08 inches of rain, High 79, Low 65

Grade B

Evansville, Indiana

Far southern Indiana, along the shores of the Ohio River for today’s forecast. What mysteries does Evansville provide?

At 954PM, CT, Evansville was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 71 degrees. A fairly inactive cold front lurked to the west over central Illinois, generating a temperature drop off of 10-15 degrees. At this time, however, Evansville was looking at another unseasonably warm day with sunny skies.
A frontal passage over the weekend brought dew points down to the more manageable 50s, and will allow temperatures to spike with the drier conditions. The warmer temperatures may generate enough energy for some showers and storms, particularly to the north later today and into early tomorrow morning.After those scattered showers and storms move out, likely around sunrise, Evansville will see a prolonged period of pleasant weather. A system moving along the US/Canadian border will bring a slight chance for inclement weather late on Wednesday, however the bulk of the forecast period will be dry and the system to the north will aid in southerly flow which will keep things quite warm.
Tomorrow – AM Showers and storms, High 79, Low 55
Wednesday – Increasing clouds late, High 83, Low 57

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. (AM showers/storms) Warm. High 82, Low 55
Wednesday – Sunshine. High 87, Low 56

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny (AM Showers) High 82, Low 55
Wednesday – Very warm with sunshine high 85, Low 55

NWS: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy (AM Rain), High 79, Low 54
Wednesday – Sunny High 84, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny (AM Showers). High 79, Low 54
Wednesday – Mostly sunny. High 84, Low 56

Not bad for hours that residents of Evansville are actually awake. A look at the satellite shows that front that swept through over the weekend, and some poofy clouds that may end up as thunderstorms tonight.

Two disparate forecasts, both very wrong

There were two schools of thought on the forecast in Bangor. One said that things would warm up on Sunday after a warm front passed though and some stout southerly flow picked up. Another said the temperature would drop off precipitously on Sunday as clouds and drizzle rolled in. The forecasts could not have been more different. As it happens, they were both wrong. Extremely wrong. The temperature was able to climb to near 80 both days of the weekend, and the lows were also much warmer than expected. On top of that, the rain that was supposed to come on Sunday never came, and instead we looked at some isolated drizzle on Saturday. We could say that The Weather Channel was the winner in Bangor, but the truth is, there was no winner. Well, except for the people of Bangor, who saw such excellent weather.
Actuals: Saturday – rain reported, not measured, High 79, Low 45
Sunday – High 79, Low 55

Grade: D (very close to an F)

April Forecaster of the Month

The past 18 months or so have been tough for the folks from State College. They have been missing on a lot of short term forecasts and have been putting out some ludicrous long range forecasts, Well, this past month, they managed to stay at the top of the standings with several quality prognostications. It came down to the last forecast in Allentown, however, when they had the top forecast and The Weather Channel came in 4th, allowing Accuweather to sneak by the denizens of Atlanta for the top spot. Congrats Accuweather, it’s been a long time coming.

Now here is a look at some tornado safety tips.

Bangor, Maine to Kingsport, Tennessee

Usually when we do these road trips, I break them into 8 hour days, and if there is any left over time (according to Mapquest), I add an extra day if there is more than 2 hours. Today’s trip from Maine to Tennessee is 18 hours and 1 minute’s worth of driving. Awesome. it’s a 1073 mile trek through the busiest corridor in the United States, I-95, so we’ll go at the relatively slow pace of 59.6mph, and cover 476 miles on those first two days, leaving about 120 miles for the third day. I think that will be manageable.

DAY ONE

By the time we are in Parsippany, New Jersey, the first stop for today’s journey, we will have covered 35 of our route’s turns, according to Mapquest. Amazing. The drive through Boston and New York will be mostly agreeable in terms of weather, though hot, humid conditions will build, necessitating the use of air conditioning or a rolled down window in order to hear the denizens of New York calling you a moron. Not that you are, of course. A boundary shifting towards the east, kind of a cold front associated with a low over eastern Canada and kind of a warm front associated with the strong system in the Mid-Mississippi Valley will mean a threat for some isolated sprinkles after Hartford and until we reach Parsippany.

DAY TWO
Our second day of travel will be considerably wetter, as we drive right along the east-west oriented part of our cold front/warm front combo, from Parisppany to to about Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In that line, there is a good chance we will see very heavy rain and some isolated thunderstorms. There may be a break in the action when we get south of Chambersburg, because after passing through the 34 combined miles of Maryland and West Virginia, we will be on the lee side of the Appalachians, which will help stamp out the thunderstorms for a while. Sure, there will be a few showers as we approach Dublin and Newbern, Virginia. Pick one of those cities, and that’s our destination on Monday.

DAY THREE
Hey, good thing we waited to finish this trip! The front will be through, and clearing, cooler conditions will be taking hold of the Smokeys when we arrive. Instead of torrential downpours, we will arrive in Kingsport in style, with pleasant weather all around us.

Kingsport, Tennessee

We’re taking a trip to the far eastern tip of Tennessee for the second week in a row. This may be a messy beginning of the week.

At 1153PM, ET, Kingsport was reporting a temperature of 83 degrees with partly cloudy skies. A line of showers and thunderstorms extends from the Daniel Boone Forest in Kentucky to just east of Crossville, and is marching methodically to the east towards Kingsport. The systems primary cold front was generating a line of thunderstorms and an energetic environment ahead of the cold front and the SPC has issued a “high risk” for parts of western Tennessee. This energetic part of the system still has a while before it can reach the Smokeys, and will likely be taken apart before any severe weather can reach Kingsport.
Expect just a few showers and storms today and tomorrow ahead of the primary system, but not anything particularly intense. The primary cold front will arrive instead late on Monday with the heaviest rain and thunderstorms. With this frontal passage, there will be a threat for some strong winds and even some small hail, something that is not expected today or tomorrow. With strong southerly flow ahead of the front, expect hot and humid weather tomorrow, with only a minor cool down with rain and precip on Monday.
Tomorrow – Isolated midday thunderstorms, High 88, Low 63
Monday – Strong storms and heavy rain in the afternoon, High 80, Low 62 (Non Standard)

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy and windy with a thunderstorm or two possible in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High 89, Low 68
Monday – Showers and thunderstorms High 77, Low 68

AW: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sun with a couple of thunderstorms around; breezy High 85, Low 62
Monday – Mostly cloudy with a shower or thunderstorm around High 80, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Breezy High 87, Low 62
Monday – Showers and thunderstorms in the morning…then showers likely and a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Breezy High 77, Low 62

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Breezy High 89, Low 64
Monday – Showers and thunderstorms in the morning…then showers likely and a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Breezy. High 81, Low 63

It should be noted that the NWS was having problems with their site, and those numbers are estimates of things like “upper 80s” and whatnot. They’ll still do better than the Weather Channel, who I am not sure knows what they are doing on this one. A look at the radar shows rain on the way.

The Week Ahead: 5/2/10-5/8/10

Wow, we’re already to the end of April. Tornado season is upon us!

Monday – Evansville, Indiana
Tuesday – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Friday – Road Trip: Corvallis Oregon to Danville, Virginia
Saturday – Omaha, Nebraska.

Bangor, Maine

We’re headed off to Maine for today’s forecast. I think we only do this forecast whenever it’s raw and nasty up in Maine, so I wonder what it will be like with an early May forecast.

At 1153AM, ET, Bangor was reporting a temperature of 62 degrees with partly cloudy. The entire East Coast was enjoying a pleasant midday, with an area of low pressure centered over the Great Lakes that extended a tongue of high clouds into central New England, though there was little by way of surface forcing. A separate low over southeastern Canada was generating a gusty off shore flow.
A broad trough is running over the western part of the country, and the northerly component is shifting east. Bangor will be dry and pleasant for the next 36 hours or so. The low over the Great Lakes will occlude, and the occluded front will push into Downstate Maine overnight Saturday into Sunday. Expect some chilly rain to take the weekend out after a rather pleasant beginning to the weekend. Cloudy skies are anticipated when rain is not seen on Sunday, but the lifting warm front and passing occlusion will make things warmer.
Tomorrow – Sunny and warm, High 64, Low 40
Sunday – Rain begins early, cloudy, High 75, Low 48

TWC: Tomorrow- Mostly sunny skies (showers after 10pm). High 69, Low 40
Sunday – Few showers. High 74, Low 48

AW: Tomorrow – Warmer with times of clouds and sun High 73, Low 37
Sunday – Rather cloudy and warm; a shower in the afternoon High 74, Low 48

NWS: Tomorrow – Rather cloudy and warm; a shower in the afternoon High 76, Low 36
Sunday – A chance of showers high 65, Low 50

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny. High 77, Low 35
Sunday – Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers in the afternoon High 66, Low 50

This is a stunning change in philosophy between two forecasting camps. Three forecasters have temperatures climbing from Saturday to Sunday, two have them dropping precipitously. Stunningly variant. We’ll see how this goes. The satellite is seen below.

Severe Season Is Upon Us

There isn’t any “official” start to the severe weather season, like the start of hurricane season is June 1, but it’s been a fairly quiet spring so far as far as severe weather outbreaks across the country. Outside of one outbreak over the Carolinas in late March, not much has happened. That changed in a hurry last week when many severe storms erupted ahead of a very strong occluded/cold front over the Southern Plains and Lower MS Valley over April 22-24. A couple days ahead of time the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued a moderate risk for the region, and on the morning of April 24 the SPC issued a rare High Risk, the first one this year. This came to fruition when a supercell dropped a tornado in far northeastern LA then rolled into MS. By the time the tornado finally dissipated, it had tracked for an incredible 149+ miles, one of the longest on record. Sadly, 10 people perished from this storm in 3 separate cities as it inflicted EF4 damage in cities across the state. The NWS out of Jackson, MS has a nice write-up and summary of the outbreak. With another strong cold front looking to move through the Central US over the next couple of days, it always pays to be vigilant to weather forecasts and heed warnings when they are issued. We know it’s tempting to want to go outside and take pictures or even chase after these storms, but please leave that to the professionals and seek safe haven for yourself. While there are hundreds of storm chasers across the US documenting storms, relaying storm reports to the authorities, and hoping for each cell to drop a funnel cloud, they never want to hear about them hitting towns and causing fatalities, since human life is worth infinitely more than any picture is worth.

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