Omaha, Nebraska to Port St. Lucie, Florida

A 1552-mile trip from a land-locked state to the one with the 2nd most coastline in the country. Away we go!

DAY ONE
Well, it’s going to be a VERY interesting start to this trip. An area of low pressure is deepening and shifting into the Central Plains as Monday gets underway. Strong southerly flow out ahead of it combined with the increased pressure gradient will make for some very gusty southeast winds, to the tune of 30-40mph at times. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, a good swath of rain will push through Omaha during the morning hours. It’ll be a bit of slow going to start off the day as we push through the rain and the wind, but the most fun we’ll have during the day is outrunning the severe storms that are expected to develop over KS and OK before pushing eastward into MO. While we should be well ahead of the worst of the severe weather, there is still a decent chance of some strong thunderstorms out ahead of this activity during the afternoon hours as we push our way through central MO past St. Louis during the early evening hours. Better hope the windshield wipers are new, because they’re going to get a workout all the way to Mt. Vernon, our end to this rather ugly weather day. Or picturesque if you’re a family of storm chasers!

DAY TWO

Low pressure will have shifted towards the IA/MO border by the morning, with heavy rains shifting through central IL ahead of the frontal boundary. As we start our day heading towards southern IL and ultimately towards Nashville, it’ll be a slow beginning as the heavy rain and some thunderstorms shift through our path. Luckily, this won’t be too long lived as the front looks to shift off to the northeast by the late morning hours. We’re still going to be in the warm sector of these systems however, so with a good amount of instability in the region, scattered showers and storms will dot the TN Valley as we cruise through Nashville towards Chattanooga. Hopefully Nashville escapes these storms, as they’re still dealing with the devastating flooding that hit there last week. Storms should be on the downturn towards the evening hours, especially as we make our way past Atlanta and pull into Macon, the stop for Day Two.

DAY THREE

Finally! After two days of rather interesting weather, high pressure is controlling much of Florida and the Gulf Coast during midweek with a general east to west flow occurring over the state. There could be a couple of popcorn or seabreeze thundershowers over the central part of the FL Peninsula as we drive past Gainesville and Orlando during the afternoon and evening hours. A beautiful sunset should greet us upon our arrival into Port St. Lucie. With a couple extra days of good weather expected over the region, should be a great vacation for everybody along the sands of the Atlantic Ocean!

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Off to the Sunshine State today, where it looks like it should be in abundance to start the week!

At 653pm EDT, the temperature was 77 degrees under partly cloudy skies. Showers and thunderstorms were very much absent over the Florida Peninsula today, as a ridge of high pressure shifting over the region pretty much put the kibosh on any development. Not even the seabreeze, which almost acts like a mini-front and can ignite when the collide over the states’ interior, sparked anything today. Much of Florida will once again be under the influence of this high pressure for the next couple of days while a very large area of low pressure will make headlines in the central part of the country. Should the seabreeze kick up again during the next couple of days, any suspect storms should form off to the western half of the Peninsula, keeping Port St. Lucie on the dry side. Break out the sunscreen!

Monday: Mostly sunny, some afternoon clouds. High 83, Low 72.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 84, Low 70.

TWC: Monday: Sunny. High 83, Low 71.
Tuesday: Continued sunny. High 84, Low 74.

AW: Monday: Mostly sunny, breezy. High 81, Low 71.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy, continued breezy in afternoon. High 81, Low 69.

NWS: Monday: Mostly sunny. High 83, Low 74.
Tuesday: Sunny and windy. High 83, Low 71.

WB: Monday: Partly cloudy. High 82, Low 70.
Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 82, Low 71.

As you can see, no clouds of note to really speak of around the area, let alone precip. However, on a somewhat more interesting note, we can see the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream lift northward off the east side of the state and off towards the Carolina coastline. Behold the wonders of infrared technology!

Omaha, Nebraska

A forecast for the heartland of America. Will it be a lovely couple of days?

At 12:52 PM CDT, it was 50 degrees under mostly cloudy skies at Omaha. An area of high pressure is found off to the east of Omaha currently, keeping the weather today rather pleasant, with most of the clouds staying off to the east. Tonight into tomorrow morning should be fairly quiet as well as high pressure pushes off to the east. However, changes are in the air for the Central Plains the next couple of days! An area of low pressure will be developing over the Western U.S. tomorrow, deepening as Sunday continues. A strong southerly flow will kick up ahead of this system, increasing the clouds and also producing some rain showers throughout the region, but nothing that should be too terribly heavy. Southerly winds will continue to blow throughout the night into Monday morning, keeping temperatures a lil bit on the higher side at daybreak.  Low pressure will eject out into the Central Plains Monday morning, with rain spreading into Omaha during the morning as well. Some thunderstorms are possible with this initial surge as it pushes through, with some heavy rains possible. Since the low will pass either right overhead or slightly to the south, chances of severe thunderstorms will be on the low side for NE at this time, but far better for Kansas and farther southward. All told, it’s going to be a rather soggy start to the workweek for eastern Nebraska. Hope nobody gets a case of the Mondays!

Sunday: Cloudy, a few showers. High 60, Low 38.
Monday: Rain, possible thunderstorms. Windy most of the day. High 58, Low 48.

TWC: Sunday: 50% chance of rain showers. High 59, Low 39.
Monday: Rain and thunderstorms, windy as well. High 56, Low 47.

AW: Sunday: Cloudy with some rain showers, windy. High 59, Low 39.
Monday: Rain, possible thunderstorms. Over 1″ of rain possible. High 56, Low 45.

NWS: Sunday: 30% chance of showers. High 60, Low 35.
Monday: 70% chance of showers and thunderstorms. High 58, Low 44.

WB: Sunday: 30% chance of showers. High 60, Low 35.
Monday: Showers likely. High 58, Low 44.

Here the thicker low clouds are found off to the easy in Iowa, with some higher clouds farther south in OK and KS. By tomorrow, it’ll be far more cloudier over the fields of Nebraska.

The Week Ahead: 5/9/10 – 5/15/10

We have a forecast scheduled for every day of this coming week, I hope you come prepared.

Sunday – Port St. Lucie, Florida; Road Trip: Omaha, Nebraska – Port St. Lucie
Monday – San Diego, California
Tuesday – Muncie, Indiana
Wednesday – Little Rock, Arkansas
Thursday – Providence, Rhode Island
Friday – Hickory, North Carolina; Road Trip: Providence to Hickory
Saturday – Lexington, Kentucky

Corvallis, Oregon to Danville, Virginia

This is going to be a full blooded journey, I tell you what. It’s going to push into it’s 6 days, covering 2815 miles. That’s a long ways. We’ll be able to move along at 64.8mph on average, which means each of those first 5 days we’ll cover 518 miles, leaving the rest of the drive for day 6, which isn’t until Friday. Yeesh.

DAY ONE

A system is charging going to slowly develop over the southwest, as all the best systems do. As this western trough digs over Arizona, an inverted trough will angle it’s way back northwest into Oregon, the site of most of our driving on day one. We will likely avoid any and all rain in central Oregon, but the best chance will be from Bend to Burns. Expect cloudy skies to fill in as we pass through Boise on our way into Bliss, Idaho, which is between Mountain Home and Twin Falls.

DAY TWO
I’m hard pressed to say that day two will be particularly rainy or snowy, but something will certainly happen, particularly after we’ve entered Wyoming. Expect some isolated showers and thunderstorms, but more prevalently, expect snow in the high mountain passes on our Mother’s Day. Just when you expect snow. Our day will end in the awesomely named Fort Steele, just east of Rawlins in Wyoming.

DAY THREE
The low will get better organized overnight, and rain will pick up as we stay in Fort Steele. We will in some murky weather as we head east into Nebraska, though temperatures will be on the increase. Fortunately for our purposes we will trail the actual cold front and will endure cloudy skies and light, post frontal rain instead of a squall line, which will be about 200 miles to our east. We will end the day in Henderson, Nebraska, which is west of York.

DAY FOUR
Wow, Day Four. You don’t see that much, and there is still more to come! We’re going to continue the same luck as we saw on Monday, trailing the front through the Plains. Expect some good clearing for us behind the front, with cool crisp weather in the wake of said clearing. We may encounter some cloudy skies and drizzle very late in the day as we approach O’Fallon, Illinois, which is in the Saint Louis metro. Other than that, good times for the drive on Tuesday.

DAY FIVE
The front will stall through Kentucky along an east-west angle, and will put down a LOT of rain over central Kentucky. Of course, our route takes us through southern Indiana, north of the. There is a decent chance we will stay out of the rain until we reach Lexington, after which we will dodge some hit or miss showers right on through to our Day Five destination, Pax, West Virginia, in the hill country of that particular state.

DAY SIX
The last few hours in the car from Pax to Danville are more than likely going to be dry, but there is still a chance that we could see some light showers out ahead of the next rapidly moving system in the Ohio Valley. That said, I don’t expect problems upon our arrival in Danville, but just know, we may see a shower or two.

Steamy days

Chattanooga was forecast to see some hot weather, especially when compared to what they should be at in early May. Temperatures fluttered around in the high 80s for the past couple of days, which. if nothing else will help the state dry out after their torrential rains. The Weather Channel and Accuweather tied atop the leader board.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 87, Low 57
Thursday – High 88, Low 60

Grade: A

Clearing out for spring

The middle of the week wasn’t too bad in Evansville. They saw some very early morning showers on Tuesday, but it recovered and was around 80 the next couple of days. Everyone who didn’t forecast an enormous warmup for Wednesday was able to claim a good forecast, with Weatherbug having the top spot, narrowly edging V-W and the Weather Service.
Actuals: Tuesday – .07 inches of rain/thunderstorms, High 78, Low 52
Wednesday – High 83, low 56

Grade: A

Snowballs?… Snowballs?!!?

May is the time most people start to think of warm weather, sunshine, and the fun summer activities ahead. However, Mother Nature likes to sometime put a monkey wrench into our cheery outlooks. An area of low pressure is developing today over the Central Rockies and will push into the Central Plains by later this evening. A slew of moisture is streaming up from the Gulf ahead of it and will get wrapped around on the north side of it, and will result in some snowfall over the Northern Plains. In addition, as the low shifts eastward through Friday evening, another swath of snow looks to fall over northern MN and WI, with a couple inches possible. We’ve had a ludicrously warm spring we’ve had here in the Twin Cities, we haven’t had snow since February 23rd which led to our first ever snowless March and April on record, so this possible snowfall isn’t going to make people in Central MN and WI very pleased. Snowfall isn’t uncommon over the northern tier of states in early May, but after the warm spring this part of the country has had so far, it’s certainly not a welcome visitor.

Windy

When I look at a surface map, I think of it like a topographical map. The high pressure is like a mountain, low pressure is like a valley. The closer the lines are (the isobars, lines of constant pressure) the greater the change in elevation on our topographical map. The air is like, say, water. It will always try to flow downhill, and will move faster in steeper elevation changes.
This is obviously an over simplification, especially since it doesn’t accurately describe the directionality of the winds. Due to forces like friction and the rotation of the earth, the wind blows roughly 90 degrees to the right of a straight high to low pressure line. Basically, if you stand with your back to the wind and lift your left arm, you are pointing to the lower pressure. That said, it does do a slightly better job describing the speed with which the wind will blow. A steeper pressure gradient does mean stronger winds, just like my mental topographical map would indicate.
This is, by the way, one of the most fundamental things a meteorologist knows. The first thing I remember learning about in my meteorology class was high and low pressure and the immediate effect on wind. I remember walking home from that class lifting my left arm, trying to figure out where the nearest low was. Memories…

Vatican City

The Holy See is the official name of the leadership body of the Catholic Church, and it’s reach is obviously global. The Holy See has been around for centuries, and for being such a small group of people, they are extremely powerful. That said, their territorial location, Vatican City, has only been around for about 90 years, and occupies only about 110 acres in the middle of Rome. Territorially, it is St. Peter’s Basilica and Square, the Sistine Chapel, the Papal offices and other administrative and religious landmarks. Their climate, therefore, is a lot easier to describe specifically. They have a Mediterranean climate, which of course means where the winter is the rainy season, and it is drier in the summer. It’s never cold, and it can get downright hot in the summer. The climate of the Vatican can be described so specifically, as we can even say that the paved St. Peter’s Square leads to slightly warmer temperatures on sunny days. The water from the numerous fountains (no joke) and position along the Tiber means the Vatican is anomalous compared to the rest of Rome in terms of available moisture, and can be more humid and misty as compared to the rest of the world. It’s an unusual nation, being so small, because you can look at such micro details and their impact on overall climate.
Lastly, the Vatican’s daily administrative details, like police and yes, weather advisories, are operated by Italy.

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