A meteorologist can never win

Yesterday it rained here in Minneapolis, and it wasn’t exactly expected to happen. All afternoon, I had people telling me what a bunch of liars meteorologists are, since we collectively botched the forecast. And we did, I’m not denying that.
At least, though, I’m not one of those TV meteorologists who has to deal with complaints when they actually are giving important and up to date weather information. This lady just doesn’t care about that storm.

Minneapolis looks like a market where meteorologists will be receiving more complaints tonight, as a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for just north of town. I’m not lying.

Davenport, Iowa

Off to the Quad Cities for this likely to be warm forecast. Enjoy.

At 552PM, CT, Davenport was reporting a temperature of 80 degrees with clear skies. A warm front that has developed through the morning has lifted through the Quad Cities, and Davenport was several degrees warmer than a few sites just off to the northeast of the city. The system is dong an excellent job drawing hot, humid air in from the south, and the temperature dichotomy should make for some interesting weather tomorrow and Monday, though most of it will stay northwest of Davenport.
An unseasonably strong jet trough over the Rockies is generating the area of low pressure in the Dakotas that is drawing the hot air north into Davenport. A ridge in the east is the stronger system, however, and is doing an excellent job of blocking any systems that will attempt to shift east. As a result, the jet will operate as a conveyor belt, with the next system setting up over Nebraska and following a similar track through the Dakotas. The result for Davenport will be even more warm air imported from the south.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy and warm, High 90, Low 68
Monday – Continued warm with partly to mostly cloudy skies, High 91, Low 70

TWC: Tomorrow – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. A stray thunderstorm is possible. High 89, Low 68
Monday – Slight chance of a thunderstorm High 92, Low 69

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy, very warm and more humid with some sun; an afternoon shower or thunderstorm in the area High 89, Low 65
Monday – Breezy, hot and humid with times of clouds and sun; an afternoon thunderstorm in parts of the area High 93, Low 66

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly cloud High 89, Low 66
Monday – Mostly sunny High 90, Low 69

WB: Tomorrow -Mostly sunny. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon High 89, Low 66
Monday – Mostly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms High 90, low 69

Everyone else is calling for thunderstorms, but if they form, I think they will be on the other side of the Mississippi, and if they do develop, they won’t be terribly organized. Here is the satellite. There is a tornado watch in eastern South Dakota.

The Week Ahead, 5/23/10-5/29/10

We’re sneaking up on June with this week. Where does the time go? We have no city forecasts this week, but we do have a few road trips!

Monday – Road Trip from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jackson, Mississippi
Tuesday – Road Trip from Jackson to Atlantic City, New Jersey
Thursday – Road Trip from Portland, Maine to Elmira, New York.

Dover, Delaware

Off to America’s first state, and the capital Dover for the weekend forecast. I think it’s going to be a mildly interesting forecast.

At 1255PM, ET, Dover was already reporting a temperature of 82 degrees with partly cloudy skies. A weak surface low was feeding off of some fairly widespread instability in the center of the country, triggering showers and thunderstorms for most of the Ohio Valley and importing the clouds seen in Delaware.
The weak wave aloft feeding the weak circulation at the surface has certainly hung around much longer than was initially forecast, but it’s influence will continue to wane with a strong trough over the northwest moving into Upper Midwest. Still, the remnant moisture of the weak surface system will work it’s way into the Mid-Atlantic, bringing the threat for some murky skies and passing showers for the extent of the weekend.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, chance of drizzle, High 71, Low 61
Sunday – Isolated showers, cloudy, High 70, Low 60

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies (PM rain) High 72, Low 60
Sunday – Scattered thunderstorms possible High 70, Low 61

AW: Tomorrow – Not as warm with sun and clouds (PM Rain) High 72, Low 59
Sunday – Variable cloudiness with a couple of showers High 71, Low 58

NWS: Tomorrow – A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, High 74, Low 60
Sunday – A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 8am High 72, Low 59

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny (PM rain) High 74, Low 60
Sunday – Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. High 72, Low 59

That shower activity in the center of the country looks quite impressive on satellite. There are some weather watches with thunderstorms in Indiana and Georgia with this guy as well.

Quite a disparity

We forecast in the mountains of eastern Montana, and as anyone can tell you, it’s a challenging place to forecast for. It was for 4 of our forecasters on Tuesday when we put together the forecast for Great Falls. Victoria-Weather’s was the only forecast to call for a cool down after the rain on Thursday, and it paid off, as the low on Thursday came late and dipped to 35. This bugs me, because I actually brought our low up when seeing that the meteorological consensus was that the front wouldn’t carry as much cold air behind it. This is why your mom tells you to believe in yourself. Even after all of that, however, VW had a much better forecast than everyone else.
Actuals: Wednesday – .08″ of rain High 71, Low 51
Thursday – .06″ of rain, High 59, Low 35

Grade: B

From the comments…

I have definitely been remiss in mentioning the coolest comment I think I’ve ever received. If you’ll recall, about a week and a half ago, we featured Tonga on our country profile. In response, Mr. ‘Ofa Fa’anunu responded in the comments, providing some details on the Tongan Meteorological Service:

Just like to add that all 6 of our meteorological stations are manual (operated by humans) and are located at the 6 airports in Tonga. 65% of our work is towards aviation and the rest to public forecasts, Marine forecasts and climate. The Tonga Met Service is also responsible for tsunami warnings and for Coast Radio Surveillance. Weather Observations and reporting in Tonga started in 1929 although data is only available from 1944. There 28 staff. 6 Forecasters, 3 Climate Officers, 6 Coast Radio Operators and 13 Meteorological Observers. The Head Office is located at Fua’amotu International Airport on the main island of Tongatapu.

(see http://www.met.gov.to for further information)

keep up good work!!
best regards
‘Ofa Fa’anunu
Director Tonga Met Services

That’s right. Mr. Fa’anunu is the director of the TMS! You can certainly take his words to heart. Recently, he was also elected Vice President of the WMO Southwest Pacific Region, so not only is he willing to share his knowledge with our website and you readers, he is well respected among the leaders of our meteorological community. Thank you for your contribution, Mr. Fa’anunu, and best wishes to Tonga!

Let’s get Oxnarded

With the rain they saw in Oxnard on Tuesday, they received 10 times their monthly total. Of course, they average .01″ in the month of May, so by many other people’s standards, the rain wasn’t too terribly heavy, but in Oxnard, it was quite a bit. Especially on the heels of last months .69″ of rain. It’s a veritable monsoon down there! The Weather Channel had the top forecast.
Actuals: Tuesday – .10 inches of rain, High 66, Low 53
Wednesday – High 63, Low 53

Grade: A

Great Falls, Montana to Fayetteville, Arkansas

We’ll be spending the end of the week in the Plains, as we swiftly cover 1467 miles in three days, the third shorter than the first two. Given the lenient speed limits where we are traveling, we’ll cover some serious ground every day, about 536 miles a day at an average of 67mph. Tough to argue with that.


A cold front will be sweeping into town as we depart Great Falls, bringing some cold air, wind and rain with it. We should be able to stay ahead of it, as the system is going to tend to shift back to the north, rather than to the east, and by the time we turn south from Moore, Montana, we will likely be in the clear. Of course, when we turn south, the front will catch up with again, and we will be dodging showers and storms right through Billings before the threat finally, truly comes to an end. A nasty thunderstorm complex in the southern Plains will stay south of our route into South Dakota, and we will likely be dry with some partly cloudy skies over Kadoka, South Dakota, which is in the Buffalo National Grassland, and is our stop for the night.

Any and all inclement weather is expected to have to shift out of the Missouri Valley, for the most part, as we drive on Friday. There will be some morning showers in Kadoka, but the drive through South Dakota, Iowa and into Missouri is expected to be pretty decent. The day will end in Mound City, Missouri.

Saturday too will not be a problem behind the wheel. A temporary high pressure will establish itself over western Missouri and the Ozarks. The drive into Fayetteville will be enjoyable and easy, so enjoy the scenery on the trip into town.


Sudan, the largest nation in Africa, is a very arid country in the north, and much moister to the south. It ranges from the Sahara/Nubian Deserts along the border with Egypt and Libya, to some swampy rain forests along the southern border with Uganda. By and large, the nation is dry in the middle as well. The southernmost reaches of Sudan have a 9 month rainy season from April to December. The rainy season is shorter as one works to the north as the ITCZ and flow from the Bight of Guinea work their way north into central and a little bit of northern Sudan, before fading back south again in the winter. The whole country is hot year round, with it being a dry heat in the north, and more humid to the south.
The Sudan Meteorological Authority is the governing body for any Sudanese meteorological related questions you might have. Their site is entirely in Arabic, however, so I can’t provide any further guidance beyond that.

Great Falls, Montana

We have standards here at Victoria Weather. We wouldn’t. for example. allow ourselves to forecast fore merely Good Falls. No no, we’re not happy unless it’s GREAT Falls.

At 953PM, MT, Great Falls was reporting a temperature of 60 degrees with cloudy skies. A system centered further south in Colorado managed to extend an inverted trough into Montana, triggering some scattered showers and thunderstorms, of which some were spanning from Deer Lodge to south of Havre, with some stronger thunderstorms towards central Montana. Another shower tonight certainly could not be ruled out.
The upper level pattern is somewhat active. The precipitation in the area at this time is associated with a weak trough, independent of the overall flow. There will be a break in the shower activity for Great Falls on Thursday as this feature shifts east and dissipates, however a much stronger, more organized jet trough is angling into the Pacific Northwest, generally promising gustier winds. The strong trough will stall out and draw the independent wave to be absorbed back into the mean flow. Expect rain to redevelop in the afternoon, continuing a rainy midweek pattern and ushering in some cooler air.
Tomorrow – Scattered showers and storms. High 71, Low 51
Thursday – Afternoon thunderstorms redevelop, High 60, Low 42 (non standard)

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies. High 68, Low 53
Thursday Partly cloudy and windy. High 60, Low 48

AW: Tomorrow- Mostly cloudy with a shower or thunderstorm around in the afternoon High 73, Low 48
Thursday – Cooler with times of clouds and sun; an afternoon shower or thunderstorm around High 61, Low 44

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy High 68, Low 48
Thursday – A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy High 63, Low 46

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain showers. High 70, Low 50
Thursday – Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain showers. High 65, Low 45

A look at the radar shows all those showers and storms I was JUST TALKING ABOUT.

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