Unstable

No, the title doesn’t allude to the mental state of Anthony and myself. It describes the summer time atmosphere in Decatur. As Anthony correctly described, the heat in the afternoons led to the development of showers and thunderstorms over Alabama, some of them clipping Decatur both Tuesday and Wednesday. As it turned out, the coverage of thunderstorms was enough that temperatures on Wednesday didn’t reach the 90s as had been initially forecast. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast, thanks in large part to out right-down-the-middle forecast on Tuesday.
Actuals: Tuesday – .12 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 87, Low 68
Wednesday – .12 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 86, Low 66

Grade: B

An update on Agatha

As you may have heard, the first name storm of the Pacific season, Agatha, has continued to cause incredible damage across Central America, namely because of the torrential rain that the area has seen with the system. Flooding, landslides and associated problems have led to the deaths of around 200 people, unfortunately. As I mentioned earlier this week, a weak storm can even be catastrophic for a place like Guatemala given the amount of rain that can be expunged.
Of course, the most amazing images for many are the enormous sinkhole that showed up in the center of Guatemala City, consuming anything on the surface above it. The water moving through the faulty sewer systems below eroded the sub surface rocks, which led to this sinkhole when the weight of soil above eventually collapsed. Impressive imagery, no doubt.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is likely not as famous as it’s components. Perhaps you have heard of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, two of the emirates included in this union, which lies on the southern side of the Persian Gulf, between Qatar and Oman. As you could imagine, most of the country is extremely arid. Even where it isn’t it rarely rains. Along the shores of the Persian Gulf in those two more famous cities and other coastal areas, the humidity can be oppressive, owing to the triple digit temperatures and the access to the moisture of the Persian Gulf. Tropical systems are rare and often sheared apart by the mountains of the Oman Peninsula before they make their way into the the area. When they do, they provide more ran than many parts of the country typically seen in decades.
The United Arab Emirates has a National Center for Meteorology and Seismology. The Center has a very nicely animated home page. Note the drips of water running down the screen. Temperatures are running about 40 degrees over there, as you can see, with quite a bit of dust. Of course, that’s 40 degrees Celsius, or about 105 degrees. The site has everything you might need, from radar to satellite. The aviation weather button at the bottom of the screen takes you to some encoded data for airports not only in the UAE but some other nearby airports in Oman and Qatar. The nation is extremely affluent and home to many foreigners, so their site is decidedly well constructed and easy to navigate for the casual outsider such as ourselves.

May Forecaster of the Month

We’re already into June. Can you believe it? It seemed lie it took forever, that’s for sure. The summer months and the conversion to fall, that’s when Victoria-Weather tends to make up ground on other sites. Fortunately, we had a pretty good winter too, so we’ll be poised to win the forecaster of the year award as well. If I haven’t spoiled things already, here’s the news… Victoria-Weather was the May forecaster of the month, rather easily.

Decatur, Alabama

Off to the Deep South, where it NEVER thunderstorms this time of year…

At 1:53pm CDT, the temperature at Decatur, AL was 80 degrees under fair skies. A few thunderstorms are found just off towards the east near Huntsville, but otherwise right now seeing a little break in the action. The overall regime for the next couple of days doesn’t look to be changing much as the main jet stream stays fairly zonal over the northern tier of the US. A Bermuda High looks to stay rather persistent over… well… Bermuda, which keeps a general southerly flow going over the Southeastern US, keeping the flow of moisture from the Gulf open. Add in the normal afternoon instability that always results when temperatures push into the 80s and 90s over the region, and you get scattered thunderstorms over pretty much the entire area every afternoon. Just be sure to keep an eye on the radar as these types of thunderstorms seem to pop up quickly and die out just as fast. Happy Memorial Day readers!

Tuesday: 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms. High 86, Low 67.
Wednesday: 40% chance of some scattered thunderstorms. High 89, Low 67.

TWC: Tuesday: 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms. High 84, Low 66.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, 20% chance of isolated thunderstorms. High 88, Low 66.

AW: Tuesday: 60% chance of thunderstorms. High 87, Low 67.
Wednesday: 20% chance of thunderstorms. High 94, Low 65.

NWS: Tuesday: 40% chance of showers and storms. High 87, Low 66.
Wednesday: 20% chance of isolated showers/storms. High 92, Low 66.

WB: Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, 40% chance of storms. High 87, Low 66.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, 20% chance of storms. High 92, Low 68.

Here we see the thunderstorms currently off to the east, and moving away from the Decatur area. Will we see some of this activity move overhead in the next couple of days? Time will tell…

Agatha makes landfall

On the heels of yesterday’s hurricane season preview from Anthony, we have our first landfall of the Pacific season. Tropical Storm Agatha came ashore in Guatemala yesterday, and has already dropped enough rain to create a massive sinkhole in Guatemala City.
Storms in central America have a tendency to be major rain producers, given the abrupt rise in elevation along the coast. Often, the storms, even when not strong, expend all of their moisture in torrential and often tragic expedience. Flooding rains are almost always the greatest threat with storms in places like Guatemala. Here’s hoping Agatha doesn’t linger too long over Central America.

2010 Hurricane Season Approaching

With Summer soon approaching, Mother Nature’s activity will be in full swing across the US. Blazing hot temperatures, ridiculous humidity, swaths of thunderstorms on a daily basis, severe weather outbreaks, and now… hurricanes! The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30 (The Eastern Pacific season is already underway, that one runs from May 15 – November 15), and pre-season forecasts are predicting an above average season. Dr William Gray, one of the leading hurricane season forecasters, and his team at Colorado State University are currently predicting 15 named storms, 8 becoming hurricanes, and 4 of those becoming major hurricanes (achieving Category 3, 4, or 5 intensity). Normally, the CSU team is relatively close in the grand scheme of things with their seasonal forecasts, and is hoping to redeem themselves after being off last year. Their 2009 forecast had numbers of 14, 7, 3 initially, but amended it downwards to 12, 6, 2 in April 2009; Even then it didn’t pan out too well when the season finished with a below-average 9, 3, 2. Given the historical accuracy of Gray’s forecasts, I’m apt to lean towards their predictions, as opposed to NOAA’s forecast put out just a couple of days ago, where they predict 14-23 named storms, 8-14 hurricanes, and 3-7 major hurricanes. 14-23 named storms?! Really?! Why don’t they just issue forecasts of “Sunny with high temperatures of 72-94 degrees” while they’re at it?

In any event, all it takes is one storm to cause countless damage to a populated area, or set a region back many years in infrastructure. Having lived in North Carolina from 1995-1997, and living through Hurricane’s Bertha and Fran I can be the first to tell you that these storms are no joke and should be prepared for carefully and seriously. But never fear, us here at Victoria Weather will keep you informed of any impending storms coming close to the US!

The Week Ahead 5/30/10-6/5/10

Wow, already into June. A few summer time forecasts for you next week.

Monday – Decatur, Alabama
Thursday – Auburn, Alabama; Road Trip from Benton Harbor, Michigan to Auburn
Friday – Hanford, California

Going somewhere for Memorial Day?

Well, the good news is, there shouldn’t be any widespread snow to slow down your travels! If you plan to be outside this weekend, know that there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms throughout most of the southeast. We could be looking at severe storms for the Carolinas today, though for the most part, storms will be your garden variety thunderstorm activity.
A cold front sneaking through the center of the country will be setting off storms over the Upper Midwest, some that could be severe over the Dakotas southeast into northeastern Colorado tomorrow, then in the western Great Lakes by Sunday. By Sunday, the front will be developing its strongest storms, however, over Kansas and Oklahoma. Eventually, by Memorial Day most of the rain will be in the Ohio Valley, but the severe threat will be lessened.
A couple of waves in the northwest will mean rain in the northern Rockies through the weekend, coming back into Washington by Memorial Day, meaning Seattle wil be pretty wet to end the weekend. Expect a few showers as well over New England Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, but an otherwise manageable weekend.
It sounds pretty wet, but I have to say that since most everything on the map is moving and not stalled, almost everyone will be able to enjoy some pleasant weather for this coming holiday weekend, though perhaps not for the entire weekend.

Portland, Maine to Elmira, New York

We’re taking one day to travel through interior New England, driving from beautiful downstate Maine to beautiful downstate New York. The 462 miles of the trip are mostly not on major interstates, and we won’t move terribly swiftly. We will only inch along at 60mph, but it’s all right, given the scenery.


There is a cold front setting itself up through the mid Atlantic, kind of following an arcing path through that area. It’s going to set off some thunderstorms over eastern New York this afternoon, but will slowly drift out of our route tonight. We’re going to have to deal with some trailing showers, probably after we reach the Oneonta, New York area lasting into Elmira, but the rest of the drive will be quiet and very easily manageable. Enjoy the drive!

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