Tag Archives: Altoona

Altoona, Pennsylvania to Eugene, Oregon

I’m back everybody! I spent a fortnight over in Ireland, which was my first ever trip across the pond. The weather was stereotypically Irish the first half of the trip, but the last 4-5 days were just SPECTACULAR. Lots of sun, few clouds, no rain, upper 50’s to low 60s. Gorgeous weather for my tour across the country. Meanwhile, back here in the states, I get back into the swing of things with a cross-country road trip, from PA to Oregon. In Ireland, it literally was a 2.5 hour drive to drive across the country. This trip… is going to take 5 full days to traverse the 2,674 miles. Ireland is the size of South Carolina! Well, time to get a move on…


We start out heading west from Altoona past Pittsburgh into northeastern Ohio. A cloudy morning is expected before breaking up some during the late morning hours. Dry weather is expected as we continue past Cleveland and along I-90 into northern Indiana. By early afternoon, we’ll see some shower activity as an area of low pressure works its way into the Ohio Valley. We could see some isolated thunderstorm activity as well, but the worst of things will remain far off to the south. Shower activity is expected to increase as we push into Joliet, IL for the night.


There could be a light rain/snow mix as we start the day heading westward, but we’ll quickly get out of that activity as high pressure is sitting over the Plains. Clouds will eventually give way to sunny skies as we make our way through Iowa, and with the dry weather expected throughout the day, a fairly easy day is expected as we pull into Lincoln, NE for the night.


It’s going to be more of the same today as a ridge of high pressure continues to control the Plains for our trip westward into Wyoming. A developing low pressure system over the Northern Plains will cause some gusty southerly winds in western Nebraska into eastern Wyoming, but dry weather is expected throughout the day once again. We end our long day in Rawlins, WY.


A cold front is sweeping its way through the Rockies today, which will bring some rain showers to our route as we make our way through southwestern WY into Northern UT. The system will be warm enough that we shouldn’t have to worry about snowfall on the highways, though there could be some in the much higher mountain elevations. Once we get past Salt Lake City/Odgen, UT, most of the activity should have shifted off to our east. We can’t completely rule out a stray shower or two as we push into southern ID, but shouldn’t be of much consequence. We finish the day in Twin Falls, ID. Almost there!


Our final day, and it’s going to be a long one. We’ll take I-84 northwest towards Boise, then eventually on Hwy 20 westward throughout Oregon. High pressure is pushing through the Pacific Northwest, so it should be a dry trip through Idaho and into eastern Oregon. Clouds will be on the increase as we push closer to our final stop, as a cold front looks to shift towards the WA/OR coastline late in the day. We should get to Eugene just ahead of the front’s arrival, but don’t be surprised if a few rain showers are there to greet us.

Averting winter one last time

Later in the week, most of the northern US was placed n the grips of a very chilly blast, but at the beginning of the week, Altoona defied the forecasts and did not see any accumulating snow. This was because precipitation fell mostly as rain, save for a bit of mixing on Sunday evening. You bet your butt it’s snowing now, but it was kept at bay one last time at the beginning of the week.The temperatures, strangely enough, mostly behaved, and Victoria-Weather had a decisive victory, which is especially strange given the precip type issues.
Actuals: Sunday – .06 inches of rain/snow mix. High 40, Low 34
Monday – .17 inches of rain, High 43, Low 29

Grade: B – C

Altoona, Pennsylvania to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

All right everyone, we’re on the road again. The trip today is going to be a long one, from western Pennsylvania to northern Idaho. It is going to take us about 4 days to make the trip that will cover 2311 miles. This means a pace of 68mph for at least 3 days. The fourth day will last 10 hours and will be longer, but those first three days will be over after 543.7 miles. We’re enjoying the far northern end of the country just as winter makes it’s first icy incursion.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)
Well, I can’t tell you that this is going to be a particularly enjoyable start to our trip. In order to get to the cold temperatures I threatened in the intro of this post, you will need a system to move through the pull in the colder temperatures. We will start out dry, but that will last maybe half an hour before we intersect the northwest flank of a very active system moving towards the Mid-Atlantic. Fortunately, this system will also bring north with it plenty of warm air, so as we drive from western Pennsylvania through Ohio and to Angola, Indiana, the precipitation we will be driving through will be rain.  Then, we will break through to a windier, colder environment as we finish off the drive into the south side of Chicago, where we will stop in Markham, Illinois.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
A trailing low, the one in charge of pumping cold air into the region, will be doing its job on Wednesday. There is a little bit of precipitation associated with it, and this will definitely be snow. We’ll be behind the cold front as we begin the day on Wednesday, and we should be able to stay dry through the Twin Cities. From that point, though, the chilly temperatures make for a conducive environment for flurry activity, which will be possible through central Minnesota, to the town of Osakis, between St. Cloud and Alexandria, where we will call it a day.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
A tendril of high pressure is going to be building into the  High Plains towards the end of the week. We will see some more flurries from Osakis to the North Dakota border, but from that point forward, we’ll be able to enjoy the vast horizon, as we drive westward. We’ll make it to Montana, and stop at Diamond Ring road near Terry.

DAY FOUR (Friday)
The next round of snw will move into Montana while we sleep, and there could be a ground blizzard through the eastern 2/3 of the state, before we reach the mountains. This could be a serious problem for us, as we may need to hold off driving on I-90, should the Montana State Patrol shut the road down. That will depend on the wind, because the snow won’t be terribly heavy. The wind will die down when we reach the mountains, but the snow intensity will pick up. We’re going to have to play it safe on this drive, as it’s going to be snowy all the way to Coeur d’Alene.

Coeur d'Alene

Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Altoona, Pennsylvania

We’re looking at a short, cross state trek through the Keystone State for our forecast today. The drive under normal condition is a winding one through the Appalachians, covering 171 miles and lasting 2 1/2 hours. If the weather cooperates, the rate of speed will be about 65mph. I don’t know if I have dropped enough hints, but the weather isn’t likely to be great.

There is a sloppy occluded/cold front moving quickly through the Great Lakes and Midwest today, and it will arrive in Pennsylvania overnight, ensuring a mix of precipitation statewide through the early morning hours. When we leave at 10AM, it will be winding down from west to east, but don’t be surprised to see some wet snow, perhaps moderate initially in Lancaster. The snow will mostly be at an end around Carlisle, save for in the higher western exposures, where lake effect breezes will continue. It will be done snowing heavily in Altoona when we arrive, but don’t be surprised if we see some additional wet flakes through the afternoon after we check in.

Altoona, Pennsylvania

We are going to western Pennsylvania for tonight’s forecast. Now is the time of year that they need to be constantly on the look out for flurries.

At 208AM, ET, Altoona was reporting overcast skies and some flurries. Altoona is the sole location reporting any snow, and a look at the satellite and radar wasn’t particularly revelatory either. Models suggest a lake effect fetch, and low topped, light snow would fail to show up on either satellite or radar imagery. There will continue to be a threat for these light snow showers until the prevailing flow switches to become more southwesterly.
When that happens, however, it will be because of an approaching cold front moving through the Upper Midwest. There will be a weak, broad wave rippling on the north side of a stronger jet streak running south of Pennsylvania. The boundary moving through Pennsylvania will as a result be diffuse and disorganized. Rather than a line of snow showers, it will be an indistinct swath of snow, without any embedded squalls or heavy snow bands. It will move through quickly with a quick couple of inches possible  overnight Sunday to Monday before the boundary kicks out of town thanks to the snow’s persistence. A deeper trough around the Front Range of the Rockies will be manufacturing a stronger system to trail this weaker one, and this new system will arrive later in the week. During the valid period of this forecast, however, its advance will lead to a slight warm up on Monday.
Tomorrow – Light snow early, then more moderate snow in the evening, High 40, Low 34
Monday – Morning snow, 1-2″ possible in total High 41, Low 32

TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy. (late rain/snow) High 44, Low 33
Monday – A shower of rain or wet snow possible early. Overcast. High 42, Low 36

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy (late snow) High 43, Low 31
Monday – A flurry early on in the morning; otherwise, cloudy High 44, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy (Late rain/snow), High 42, Low 30
Monday – A slight chance of snow showers before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, High 43, Low 33

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, rain and snow late. High 41, Low 31
Monday – Cloudy in the morning. Then becoming partly sunny (early snow) High 42, Low 35

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy (Late rain/snow), High 43, Low 30
Monday – Mostly cloudy with chance of light snow showers, High 43, Low 34

FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 42, Low 32
Monday – Light rain until morning. High 39, Low 31

Sorry for that sort of word salad of a forecast. It’s an interesting pattern, though. Disorganized, but there is a pattern. Tough to see on the satellite though, as there is a lot of high cloud activity across the country, and the northern, weaker system is bleeding into the strong, southwestern feature.


Altoona matches a record

It’s tough to forecast extremes. They are extreme, of course, because they rarely match those numbers, but in Altoona on Saturday, a record was indeed matched. The high temperature hit 99, tying an all time high. Victoria-Weather properly forecast the spike in temperatures yesterday, but a better forecast of overnight lows (perfect, in fact) gave the Weather Service the narrow victory.
Actuals: Friday, High 93, Low 69
Saturday, .04 inches of rain in a thunderstorm, High 99, Low 69

Grade: B

Great Falls, Montana to Altoona, Pennsylvania

On the road again! We are off on an east bound trek, but once again with Pennsylvania as a destination. It will take us about 4 days to get from Montana to Pennsylvania, covering 1928 miles. A blend of highways (rather than interstates) and interstates through urban areas will keep our pace slower than expected, at 64mph. We will cover 512 miles a day, however, on our cross country adventure.


We are in luck! There is a lee trough developing over the northern Plains, bringing a boatload of rain to the Dakotas overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. We will be starting in western Montana, however, and taking our time as we head eastward through rural parts of the state. It will keep raining in North Dakota through about 4pm which is about the time we hit the North Dakota line. Things will be drying out when we arrive in New Salem, the destination for Day One.

We continue to chase the system through the Upper Midwest as it hooks up with a low moving through Canada. We may encounter some clouds as we reach the Twin Cities in the late afternoon, but there won’t be any rain even after we arrive in Menomonie, Wisconsin, which is about 40 miles across the border from Minnesota.

Something resembling a cold front will develop from Ontario to about Kansas over the weekend. We will be north of it, mostly, through Sunday at least. When we hit Chicago, we might be greeted by an isolated thunderstorms or two, but nothing that will slow us down worse than Chicago traffic already would. Our day will end in Bristol, Indiana, just east of Elkhart and Goshen, watching clouds on the southern horizon.

If all goes according to plan, we have planned this trip perfectly. Our route will take us north of the rapidly developing cold front, which means we should stay dry. It’s going to slide south of Altoona so we will enjoy some bearable temperatures and mostly sunny skies when we arrive in town.

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Altoona is not named after former New York Jet Al Toon.

At 1153PM, ET, Altoona was still reporting clear skies and a temperature of 78 degrees. There was little by way of synoptic features across the east, but the heat and humidity have led to an unstable pattern, and the lightest ripple has been able to set off thunderstorms. At this time, however, it appears that Altoona is in for a quiet night.
Tomorrow, showers and thunderstorms should manage to stay south of Altoona and Pennsylvania as a whole as the develop over the southeast. An actual real live cold front will develop in association with a trough moving through Canada. The boundary will be dragged slowly south towards Altoona, and may set off a thunderstorm late in the day on Saturday, but by and large, the weekend will be very hot and humid.
Tomorrow – Hot. High 93, Low 67
Saturday – Hot with some thunderstorms late, High 98, Low 65

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 92, Low 66
Saturday – Partly Cloudy High 93, Low 67

AW: Tomorrow – Hot with a full day of sunshine High 95, Low 66
Saturday – Partly sunny and hot High 96, Low 69

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 95, Low 69
Saturday – A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny High 95, Low 69

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny…hot. High 93, Low 67
Saturday – Mostly sunny. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Hot. High 94, Low 69

Ghastly warm. Satellite doesn’t really tell you much right now, does it?

Temperature follies

I tell you what, a well placed front can absolutely make mincemeat of a forecast. A slow moving, but fairly active front moving through the mountains is just such a front. This is what happened in Altoona. The front didn’t quite get through town, and the lingering overcast prevented the city from cooling off by midnight Thursday. It was still 61 at midnight, which goes down as the high, and ends up 10 degrees warmer than any other forecast. For those that had hourly temperatures through the course of the forecast period, the other temperatures worked out all right, but it didn’t end up being a very good forecast. I guess it sort of did for Victoria-Weather who had the top spot.
Actuals: Wednesday – .01 inches of rain, High 64, Low 46
Thursday – .29 inches of rain, High 61, Low 35

Grade: C

Altoona, Pennsylvania to Blacksburg, Virginia

Such a short trip, only 5 and a half hours and 327 miles between the two loci on this trip. Somehow, it’s a 4 state journey. It’s a 58.2 mile an hour pace, but might be slower given the weather we are expecting. Let’s pack up and head south.

It’s going to be drizzly and fairly depressing as we start to head south from Altoona. We should be expecting some rain to be falling everywhere north of the Winchester area, where we will then be south of the Appalachians. After that, we should be making our drive on dry roads, though some high overcast will be possible the rest of the way from Winchester to Blacksburg, which is annoying. Maybe a spit of rain out those clouds, but not enough to seriously alter our plans. That time in Pennsylvania will be a nuisance though, that hasn’t changed.