Warmer without the rain

As one could probably imagine, things warmed up considerably in Wichita when the remnants of Alex finally pushed off on Tuesday. The Weather Channel’s gamble didn’t pay off, and temperatures yesterday pushed 90. This eventually gave Accuweather the top spot for the day, proving that they didn’t take the 4th of July off. Poor saps.
Actuals: Monday – .41inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 82, Low 68
Tuesday – High 89, Low 67

Grade: C


Two weeks in a row we take our travels to an island nation, though Iceland is a bit different from last weeks topic country, Cuba. Iceland, of course, is in the north Atlantic just on the outside of the Arctic Circle. They are generally too warm to be icy, at least on the coasts, because the Gulfstream that I constantly refer to in our East Coast forecasts eventually passes just south of the island nation. This keeps the Icelandic winters milder than one might expect for their latitude. The summers, however, don’t tend to be very warm. A hot day in Iceland is one that reaches the mid 70s. The path of systems that bring nasty weather to the northeast eventually takes them to Iceland. In many senses, Iceland is the place where systems go to die, and the country is often cloudy and precipitating in some fashion as an area of low pressure disbands over the area. Winds are also a common concern with the strong pressure gradients with those systems. Generally speaking, they never see any thunderstorms in Iceland, and only get lightning when one of their famous volcanoes erupts.
The Icelandic Met Office is the bureau that keeps Iceland abreast of the weather. Their site’s home page features three maps, one for wind, another for temperature and the last for precipitation. On the surface, Iceland appears to be one of those countries that keeps the weather forecasting behind the scenes, and hides things like radar or model data. With some digging though, the radar and satellite can be found under the “weather” tab, and further on the “observation” option on the sidebar. Further, under the “shipping forecast” option, you can poke around and find the actual surface analyses as well. So, while it seems the Icelanders are doing their meteorology in the background, they do offer a bit of a window into their world.
(I linked to their English site… for fun, check out Icelandic. They use a lot of letters.)

Heat wave

The difference between a summer and winter ridge is that in the winter, clear skies over night mean that temperatures over night plummet to well below zero. This is most common in the interior of the country, where they are far away from the warming effects of the ocean. In the summer, the persistently sunny skies inevitably lead to warming conditions. This is the case along the east coast, as you may have heard, where they haven’t had any rain or cause to break up the sunshine for over a week, and temperatures have responded by climbing into the upper 90s, even triple digits in some of the larger cities which will be aided by the concrete and asphalt in their quest for higher temperatures.
The east coast is also aided by the fact that the atmosphere isn’t as soupy in the mid Atlantic as it is further south in places like Atlanta and Birmingham, so the lower moisture don’t inhibit temperatures looking to skyrocket. Temperatures will continue to be toasty tomorrow for the east coast, and by toasty, I mean dangerously warm, in the neighborhood of 100+ degrees for many cities. Thursday may finally spell relief when a low in the Atlantic could bring some clouds and cooler weather.
It should be noted that with the flow of ridges, it is typically stagnant underneath them, as with the Megalopolis, however on the western flank, there is southerly flow, which could mean warmer temperatures, and almost certainly soupy weather in the Mississippi Valley as well, though there will be more widespread thunderstorms for residents there to cool off with.
Stay cool, residents from Concord to Charlotte! Only a couple more days to go!

Slow moving

As Anthony mentioned in yesterday’s forecast for Cheyenne, there is a huge, hot are of low pressure holding up traffic on the east coast. It’s making things get extremely warm for the the East Coast, and hung things up over the Upper Midwest as well. A boundary that threatened to move through Fargo Saturday night took until early Sunday to expend it’s moisture. The warm air built quickly behind it as a secondary cold front still hasn’t quite made it’s way through Fargo, and things were rather toasty in the city. Accuweather came through with the top forecast, when you realize I transcribed a 69 when I should have put in 59 for their Monday low.
Actuals: Sunday – .24 inches of rain, High 84, Low 63
Monday – High 83, Low 58

Grade: A

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Off we go to the capital of the least populous state in the US. For some reason, it’s totally opposite of what Wyoming is best-known for, Yellowstone Park. Perhaps they just like the nightlife in Denver better.

At 7:53PM MDT, the temperature at Cheyenne was 70 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. Most of these clouds were fairly high-based and will dissipate as the evening wears on. An upper-level trough has been very slowly pushing its’ way eastward over the last few days, mainly due to the overpowering ridge that’s parked itself over the eastern US with triple-digit highs. This trough will continue to slowly shift its way through the Northern Plains over the next couple of days as the mega-ridge breaks down somewhere. At the surface, a stationary front has set up shop from ND through northern WY back into ID. This front, however, will turn into a slow-moving cold front as it reluctantly travels towards the southeast. As the front approaches the Central Dakotas down into southeast WY, the base of the trough will be swinging through the Cowboy State as well. This influx of energy could set off some strong to severe thunderstorms around the capital late in the day into the overnight hours. A few lingering showers could last into early Wednesday, with much cooler weather expected as a cooler airmass settles in overhead. While there will still be a chance of some scattered showers/isolated thunderstorms on Wednesday, it’ll be significantly cooler. Gotta love these crazy summer months!

Tuesday: Increasing clouds, possible severe storms in evening/late night. High 78, Low 51.
Wednesday: Scattered showers early, slight chance of a passing shower/storm in afternoon. High 63, Low 49.

TWC: Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms. High 74, Low 49.
Wednesday: Isolated thunderstorms. High 60, Low 46.

AW: Tuesday: 40% chances of thunderstorms. High 76, Low 51.
Wednesday: Cooler with clouds and sun. High 67, Low 48.

NWS: Tuesday: Severe thunderstorms possible. High 78, Low 52.
Wednesday: Slight chance of showers/storms. High 63, Low 48.

WB: Tuesday: 40% chance of thunderstorms. High 76, Low 52.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High 66, Low 48.

Here we see a deck of clouds off to the north dropping some showers and isolated thunderstorms. These will be dropping southward tomorrow and affect Cheyenne by evening.

Gorgeous Weekend

Given that the 4th of July was on a Sunday this year, this meant lots of people would be out and about hoping to score some nice weather with their holiday weekend. Luckily, for the people of San Jose anyways, Mother Nature pulled through. Mostly clear skies and some breezy afternoon winds pushed temperatures into the mid to upper 80’s. Whatever was perplexing VW and others about the cooler Independence Day came to fruition, as the NWS nabbed the top spot with their cooler 4th of July. Hope everybody had a safe and happy weekend!

Saturday: High 88, Low 56.
Sunday: High 85, Low 56.

Forecast grade: A

Wichita, Kansas

The winner of the 4th of July lottery is Wichita. Everyone in Wichita, stop enjoying the holiday and come read about the weather! Of course, the way thins look, you may be inside already.

At 1207PM, CT, Wichita was reporting heavy rain and a temperature of 75 degrees. Most of their holiday looks to be a washout, as the remnants of Hurricane Alex are continuing to wring themselves out over the central Plains. A cold front associated with low pressure in the Canada was aiding in the continuing onslaught, but will eventually help things dry off. Presently, the last heavy round of rain was just entering Wichita, though most of the activity was training south to north, and the back side is still around Pratt, about 75 miles west. There was a wind shift between Great Bend and Russell that was probably the cold front.
Behind the elongated boundary and the remnants of Alex, an upper level trough and a surface short wave will begin to translate into Kansas. The short wave will induce some surface circulation and trigger even more wet weather Monday. The surface wave will deteriorate by the time it reaches Wichita, and the moisture will be left to wait for the strong upper trough to swing through the region and clear out the unsettled weather, and that won’t happen until late on Tuesday. It will be clearer, however, on Tuesday, so expect a warming trend.
Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms, High 83, Low 72
Tuesday – Sunnier, but still some stormy weather in the area, especially in the AM, High 89, Low 70

TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered thunderstorms. High 77, Low 71
Tuesday – A few thunderstorms possible.High 80, Low 70

AW: Tomorrow – A couple of showers and a thunderstorm around, some can be heavy late; mostly cloudy High 83, Low 72
Tuesday – Times of clouds and sun with a thunderstorm; humid High 87, Low 69

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy High 85, Low 73
Tuesday – Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy High 88, Low 72

WB: Tomorrow -Showers likely and scattered thunderstorms High 85, Low 73
Tuesday – Mostly sunny with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. High 88, Low 72

The Weather Channel is going perplexingly chilly. They must be looking for a lot of rain. Speaking of a lot of rain

Fargo, North Dakota

It’s going to be stormy today in Fargo, but what will the next two days bring to North Dakota’s largest city?

At 953AM, CT, Fargo was reporting 86 degrees with mostly sunny skies. A cold front associated with low pressure in Canada was sweeping through the Dakotas and would dictate today’s weather along the Red River. The front was clearly demarcated already at this early hour, with temperatures along the Minnesota border already in the mid 80s, however to the west in Devils Lake and Bismarck, temperatures were only in the 70s with dew points that were also about 10 degrees cooler. Across the river in Moorhead, Minnesota, dew points were in the 70s.
Nothing had been triggered as yet in this juicy, dynamic atmosphere, and the visible satellite gave no hints that anything would happen in the next few hours either. The system has languished in the Pacific Northwest for days, but is now moving much more quickly, and the wet weather should be at it’s in by day break tomorrow. Another trough sweeping through Canada may bring the threat for a sprinkle late on Monday, but attempts at fireworks tomorrow night will be dry and successful.
Tomorrow – Early AM showers, otherwise cooler and pleasant. High 80, Low 64
Monday – Pleasant for most of the day, with a very light bit of drizzle, High 81, Low 59

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly to mostly cloudy (early AM T-Storms). High 84. Low 67
Monday – Partly cloudy. High 84, Low 62

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy in the morning; otherwise, less humid with clouds breaking for some sun High 84, Low 65
Monday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine High 83, Low 69

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy (Rain thru 6am) High 81, Low 63
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 82, Low 57

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning High 81, Low 63
Monday – Partly sunny High 82, Low 57

A look at the visible satellite shows that not much is ready to blow up over eastern North Dakota…. yet.

Surprising chill

That’s a tough title to wrap your head around when, in fact, Jefferson City was in the mid 80s for highs for the past two days. When everyone forecasts highs a few degrees warmer, thanks to the clear skies and southerly flow, it is a little surprising that temperatures don’t get up to the neighborhood we were expecting. Victoria Weather still managed the top forecast.
Actuals: Thursday – High 82, Low 64
Friday – High 86, Low 62

Grade: C

The Week Ahead: 7/4/10-7/10/10

We’ll start on Independence day, then kep on moving through the rest of the week on what promises to be a fairly busy stretch.

Sunday – Wichita, Kansas
Monday – Cheyenne, Wyoming
Wednesday – Winchester, Virginia
Friday – Road Trip from Greenville, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee

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