Bipolar temperatures

When things are dry, as they were in Provo the past couple of days, temperatures can fluctuate wildly through a day. On Tuesday, Provo saw temperatures bottom out at 41, then climb during the day to 86, a 45 degree spread. Egads. Things were a little bit more stable on Wednesday, when there was some moisture and even a thunderstorm in the area, and the high was only 24 degrees warmer than the low. The Weather Service and Victoria-Weather topped ’em all with the best forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 86, Low 41
Wednesday – Thunderstorm reported, precipitation not measured, High 84, Low 60

Grade: C

Madera, California to Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Just one post today, and it’s a road trip, from the Central Valley of California to the shores of Lake Michigan in California. It’s a 4 day journey to cover the 2241 miles. That means we will pick up 536 miles on the first three days (the 4th will be longer) at a rate of 67mph. Here’s hoping for high pressure the whole way through!


There is an area of low pressure over the Great Basin, but even this system will keep all of it’s associated moisture north of the route. Against our better instincts, we’ll actually head south to start, and that will take us through the dry desert, the Las Vegas metro and into beautiful southwestern Utah, near Toquerville which is fairly close to Zion National Park.

The cold front associated with the low that will stay north of us will also not cause us much concern. Instead, we’ll be able to enjoy the magnificent scenery and hope the radiator in our car is functioning properly, as we’re going to fight the elevation changes all the way to Frisco, Colorado, which is east of Vail.

We’re just going to keep on chasing that front right on out of the mountains. It will be rather dry and cool for the entire trip, and the sun will be shining brilliantly the whole day through. Expect to arrive in Wood River, Nebraska (near Grand Island) wondering what happened to all the mountains.

This is where we’re going to make our money. Lots of turns to pay attention to, and quite a bit of country roads. It will still be sunny, still be dry, still be cool. It’s going to be a good way to pull into Sheboygan.

United Kingdom

Hey, A country most people have heard of, and can actually find on the globe as well! The UK straddles the Prime Meridian, and as meteorologists, we use Zulu time (a.k.a. UTC time, or basically London time) exclusively in our forecasts and observations. The UK sits to the northwest of mainland Europe mostly between 50 and 60 degrees latitude. This is the same latitude as the southern half of Hudson Bay up in Canada, so why doesn’t London get crazy amounts of snow like Southern Canada get? All of that is thanks to the North Atlantic Current, which as an extension of the warm Gulf Stream keeps Northern Europe relatively mild throughout the winter months. While the temperatures aren’t normally too extreme (with the all-time high around 101), they can get below zero at times, with a record of nearly -18 on 3 separate occasions, all in Scotland of course. To illustrate this, Winnipeg is roughly around the same latitude as southern England, but England’s average high temperatures vary from 44-69 deg F (only a 25 deg difference), while Winnipeg’s ranges from 9-78 deg F (69 deg difference!). The vast majority of the western and northern portions of the country are more hilly/mountainous while the southeastern section is significantly flatter. Given this topography, it’s easy to figure out that the lion’s share of the precipitation falls in the western part of the country, varying from over 100″ in parts of the Scottish Highlands to under 25″ at times around Cambridge. Just because they don’t have a ton of rainfall doesn’t mean bright sunny skies all of the time though, as it rains on well over 100 days in Cambridge.

Obviously, as one of the countries on the meteorological forefront in the world, the UK has a very in-depth website to peruse through. Simply called the Met Office, they are the UK’s National Weather Service. Forming back in 1854 and evolving through the years, they constantly are at the forefront of new technology and bringing better forecasts to the masses. (Note: the Met Office assisted the US in forecasting a window in which D-Day operations could occur back in 1944, correctly so as well. How different could this world be today if D-Day wasn’t successful? Something to think about!). Navigating their webpage one can find updated city and region forecasts for the country in 3 hour blocks for the 1st 2 days then by day onward. Radars are updated every 30 minutes on their website as well, in addition to current satellite images. Since obviously they use the metric system, everything is in Celsius and millimeters for temperatures and precipitation, but I’m sure all of our math-savvy readers will be able to handle the conversions! Along with Climatology pages and a plethora of information, the Met Office’s website can keep you occupied for hours seeing what they have to offer.

Name Game

Well the ’10 Hurricane Season has picked up in a hurry the last couple of weeks with the conveyor belt of Danielle, Earl, Fiona, and the short-lived Gaston, and Hermine which is weakening over Texas currently. As per the typical 6-year cycle, the next name would be Ivan. However, since Ivan back in 2004 became the 10th most intense system ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin before smashing into Gulf Shores, AL as a Category 3, Ivan was retired and replaced with Igor. Somehow I think if Igor lurches along the coastline at 3mph, there’s going to be a lot of “Yes maaaaaaaaaaaster” jokes floating about.

Typically, tropical storm names are used that reflect the various parts the of the world they affect. Names in the Atlantic Basin borrow from Europe, North and Central America; Western Pacific typhoons borrow from Indonesia, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, and so on. That being said, wouldn’t it be somewhat interesting if the NHC, in an attempt started dispersing names to the highest corporate bigger? Imagine “Hurricane Igor, sponsored by Target”, or “Tropical Storm Ralph Lauren”. Ridiculous I know, but how about they had to donate $1 million to affected regions should the storm make landfall somewhere as well? That would be some good press to have. There would have to be discretion though, as “Hurricane 2000 Flushes” would lead to incomplete weather reports across the nation, as anchors and forecasters would be too busy laughing to finish their segments. In the meantime, we await you Igor!

Sweltering Summer Finish

Labor Day unofficially marks the end of summer, with kids going back to school, trees begin the fall change up north, and wearing white becomes a fashion faux pas. Down in Midland, however, clear skies gave way to temps in the mid to upper 90’s each day as subsidence outside of Tropical Store Hermine kept things quiet. The Weather Channel continued their winning ways on the strength of a warm Sunday forecast.

Sunday: High 97, Low 65.
Monday: High 95, Low 70.
Forecast Grade: B

Provo, Utah

There isn’t much to Utah when you get away from I-15. Um. Provo is along I-15.

At 354PM, MT, Provo was reporting a temperature of 68 degrees with clear skies and very dry air. A dominant area of high pressure had moved into the area, forcing all the moisture south and east into Colorado and eventually on to the High Plains.
Monsoonal flow is expected to return Wednesday, particularly southeast of Provo, but moisture may be robbed by Tropical Storm Hermine which is going to move into Texas. Tomorrow will still be dry, thanks to the high pressure moving into the area, with cool overnight los and warm afternoon highs.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 83, Low 40
Wednesday – Isolated thunderstorms, High 81, Low 54

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny skies. High 83, Low 45
Wednesday – Windy with times of sun and clouds. High 81, Low 58

AW: Tomorrow – Pleasant with plenty of sun High 80, Low 40
Wednesday – Partly sunny and breezy High 83, Low 55

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 82, Low 45
Wednesday – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms High 85, low 56

WB: Tomorrow – Becoming partly cloudy, High 79, Low 45
Wednesday – A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning, High 82, Low 53

A look at the satellite shows the quiet skies over Utah.

Midland, Texas to Killeen, Texas

Texas is a big state. This is how a trip that stays in state can last over 5 hours. Expect a slow drive (56.7mph on average), as we’ll need to take quite a few state highways and county roads as we cover the 296 miles between the two cities.

Most of Texas will be in great shape tomorrow, and Midland and Killeen are no exceptions. An area of low pressure off the Mexican coast will prevent any moisture from filtering past the Texas coast, while the recent influx of cooler air will keep temperature more manageable than they have been all summer. It should be a happy drive to Killeen.

Fall arrives quickly

Altoona was a few degrees warmer than anyone expected. Nevertheless, when a cold front passed through town on Friday, temperatures did drop by 20 degrees or so. Behind the front, gusty winds on the order f almost 30mph were the story. Victoria-Weather, on the strength of our low temperature forecasting had the top results in Altoona, but the real winners were residents, as high temperatures never dropped below 70.
Actuals: Friday – Rain detected, not measured, High 90, Low 61
Saturday – High 70, Low 54

Grade: B

Midland, Texas

It’s a very Texas day here, and tomorrow will be no different as we road trip to Killeen. Hopefully this forecast goes better than our jaunt to Laredo.

At 1153AM, CT, Midland was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 75 degrees. An area of high pressure over the center of the country had worked it’s way south into West Texas.
A weak spin in the lower levels of the atmosphere over the southern Gulf of Mexico will organize itself into a very rainy system south of the Mexican border. This developing system will organize flow so as to rob moisture of a trough in the northern Rockies that would otherwise be the perfect type of system to inject some stormy weather for the area. Instead, expect sunny, dry weather for Midland for the beginning of the week.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 93, Low 62
Monday – Sun continues High 95, Low 68

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. Hot. High 96, Low 64
Monday – Sunshine High 97, Low 69

AW: Tomorrow – Bright and sunny High 93, Low 64
Monday – Bright and sunny High 93, Low 68

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 93, Low 57
Monday – Sunny, High 94, Low 67

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, Hgh 93, Low 60
Monday – Sunny, High 94, Low 66

I think those low temperatures are probably going to be the deciding factor in this one. I’m really surprised at the disparity. The satellite shows some dominant high pressure for the center of the country. Beautiful, but a little chilly.


I had mentioned the pressing area of cool high pressure and the threat for increasing clouds in Laredo, but I discounted the threat for rain. I was a fool! The rain did come, much to the chagrin of ourselves and Accuweather, but even more surprisingly, temperatures about 12 degrees cooler than expected came into town, thanks to those clouds on Friday. The Weather Service was the closest, though not great on this one.

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