Tag Archives: Ames

Here comes spring

I will say that a lot of the early part of the year has been marked by one thing: A complete and utter disaster on the forecasting front. There have been many universally poor grades, and the forecast that was issued for Ames last week was no different. The good news is, the forecast went awry because it was significantly warmer than expected, and completely dry. It hit 60 degrees on Tuesday, so I think most residents of Ames will be ok with this type of a forecast bust. Weatherbug can claim a victory this time around.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 60, Low 31
Wednesday – High 52, Low 31

Grade D

Ames, Iowa

A return to forecasting clearly too long in the making… my regular model page is not functional, so I need to go old school with this forecast. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like a terrible forecast.

At 1253PM CT, Ames was reporting a temperature of 48 degrees with clear skies, a far cry from a weekend beset with rain and snow. High pressure is stretched out from the Midwest to the Southeast, allowing the region to dry out for a brief period.
A strong southwest to northeast jet runs just south of Iowa, and doesn’t show signs of moving in the next 48 hours. A perturbation along the flow will kick off showers and storms around the Ozarks, kicking a now familiar inverted trough north into the Mid Mississippi Valely on Wednesday. Fortunately by this point, temperatures should be warm enough that widespread condensation, and thereby widespread precipitation, are not likely.
Tomorrow – mostly sunny, High 51, low 32
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, isolated showers High 40, Low 28

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies during the morning hours will become overcast in the afternoon. High 53, Low 33
Wednesday – Cloudy early with showers for the afternoon hours. Thunder possible. High 45, Low 29

AW: Tomorrow – Some sun, then turning cloudy and mild High 51, Low 31
Wednesday – A bit of freezing drizzle in the morning; mostly cloudy; watch for icy spots High 44, low 30

NWS: Tomorrow – Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny,High 51, Low 31
Wednesday – A 40 percent chance of rain after noon. Mostly cloudy, High 41, Low 30

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny until late afternoon then becoming mostly cloudy
Wednesday  – Mostly cloudy. A 50 percent chance of light rain in the afternoon. Colder, High 44, Low 31

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 51, Low 31
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy with rain, High 41, Low 30

FIO: Tomorrow – Foggy starting in the evening, continuing until night. High 46, Low 32
Wednesday – Foggy starting overnight, continuing until morning. High 35, Low 31

Wow, The Weather Channel even calling for a little thunder. . I’ll believe that when I see it. Here it? Anyways, here is the national satellite, as the Ames area is pretty quiet.

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-16 ABI BAND 07 OR_ABI-L1b-RadC-M3C07_G16_s20180580252218_e20180580255002_c20180580255041.nc

Temperatures plummet in Ames

It reached the incredibly balmy temperature of 42 degrees in Ames on Thursday. That’s a full 4 degrees warmer than the warmest forecast. After it reached that mark, however, temperatures didn’t stop dropping. It was a midnight low and high both Thursday and Friday, which surprised everyone. That cold air wasn’t supposed to be THAT strong, and it wasn’t supposed to dive south that aggressively. There were a lot of things going on with this forecast but none of them seemed overwhelming. I guess, as it has been this winter, the cold air was the thing to keep an eye on. Accuweather had the top forecast this time around.
Actuals: Thursday – high 42, Low 15
Friday – .03 inches of precip (about 1/2″ of snow) High 15, Low 0

Grade: C

Ames, Iowa

There is a terrifying storm organizing in the southeast, prepared to move up the eastern Seaboard. We will discuss it throughout the next couple of days in the forum, so stop in for updates. Our forecast today takes us to a much more hospitable location. What do the next two days hold?

At 1053AM, CT, Ames was reporting a temperature of 17 degrees with mostly sunny skies. The area saw snow overnight and into the morning, and the band was still seen on radar, from Marshalltown to Des Moines and points southeastward, but safely out of Ames for the day.
Ames is within a sharp upper level trough, and at its base lies the crippling winter storm rising out of the Gulf of Mexico. Flow through the western leg of the trough is fairly weak, but a laminar jet leading into the trough is strong, giving rise to another clipper emerging out of the Canadian Rockies. It will sweep through the Upper Midwest overnight tonight sending a quick burst of cold air into Iowa, with the boundary stalling just south of town. This shouldn’t generate much if any snow in Ames, as most Gulf moisture is still being drawn towards the tremendous coastal winter storm, and temperatures are going to be near freezing. As noted, however, the boundary will stall in southern Iowa. As the more impressive system lifts northeast, the Gulf will open up, and the chances for snow will increase again over Iowa, however by this point, heavy precipitation is very unlikely.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 33, Low 15
Friday – Mostly cloudy with a stray flake possible early, High 17, Low 7

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 38, Low 15
Friday – AM Snow Showers High 22, Low 17

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy and windy High 36, Low 13
Friday – Colder with intervals of clouds and sunshine High 19, Low 3

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny (late snow), High 37, Low 17
Friday – Partly sunny (early snow) High 22, Low 12

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny (late snow) High 37, Low 17
Friday – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming mostly sunny. High 22, Low 16

WN: Tomorrow – Scattered Snow Showers High 37, Low 18
Friday – Partly Cloudy High 21, Low 16

I don’t think it will be too bad in Ames. The warm up is leading to model projections of a little bit of ice mixing in, but that is clearly not the common opinion among forecasters. Here is the radar showing snow skipping out of town.

Ames, Iowa to Wenatchee, Washington

Back on the road. It’s been a minute since we went on one of these. We have three days to cover the ground between our two cities. It’s 1634 miles between the two cities, but it’s mostly fast moving interstate that we will speed along at an average speed of 67mph. That said, our days will be through after 536 miles (approximately). Let’s head out.

There is finally some warm air moving into the middle of the country with a weak surface circulation moving out of the high plains. There is some thought that it will kick up some showers and clouds in Minnesota and Wisconsin early tomorrow. Elsewhere, a weak wave will pull east-northeast from the southern Plains towards the mid-Mississippi Valley, producing some showers for the south central US. We will drive right between the two areas! We’re in the clear! The drive will take us to Buffalo Gap National Grassland in South Dakota with nary a drop.

The pattern is taking systems further north than they have been, which is great news for us. There is going to be some lee troughing in the northern Rockies, which means that there will be a sharp warm up as we get west of Billings, even on top of the 60s that we will start in. Great! We’re headed to Bozeman to end the day.

The next system over the Pacific will batter the British Columbian coast, and send some low level moisture into the Pacific Northwest. This might mean some lower clouds and some light showers on the western exposures over western Montana and northern Idaho, with things beginning to clear out as we arrive in the rain shadow of central Washington. Rain will loom over Mount Ranier, but Wenatchee will be dry and mostly sunny.

Corvallis, Oregon to Ames, Iowa

Oregon State to Iowa State! It’s going to take 3 1/2 days to cover 1910 miles. Through the mountains and some wintry weather, we will still average 67.9mph, which is pretty darn speedy. That’s a daily log of 543.5 miles. Let’s cover the ground between these two college towns.

There is a weak system rotating into the Pacific Northwest, and is taking with it a good deal of cold air. There will probably be rain in Corvallis and north to Portland, but when we take an easterly turn we will see a rise in elevation and a change to snow not far from I-5. Owing to the geography of the region, it won’t be constantly snowing as we head east, but our best chances will be as we start to head uphill at the various ridge lines in the area. The chance for snow will pick up as we hit the Sun Valley in Idaho, so our stop for the night in Mountain Home will be well timed.

The snow won’t really let up on Sunday either. The flurry activity will be persistent over southern Idaho, but a big band of snow will set up over northern Utah and far southern Idaho. A band will develop and fall as we make a southerly turn at the I-86 split, which will lead to some whiteout conditions and even a rogue stroke of lightning. Light rain is possible in the Great Salt Lake Basin, but in the Wasatch, we may again see some flurries. The snow will build north and not east in our last couple of hours of driving, so it will be cloudy, windy but also dry when we stop for the night in Hadsell, Wyoming, a few miles from Rawlins.

The low is moving through the Rockies and will deepen on the lee side of the the Rockies, with some warm air pumping north into the Dakotas. Before that, however, we will have to contend with some snow and wind in the Wyoming Rockies. It will end around Cheyenne, and the drive through Nebraska will be ominous looking, but dry. The day ends in Bradshaw, Nebraska, just ahead of York.

Our area of low pressure is going to do an excellent job of pumping moisture north. The drizzle will pick up throughout Iowa as we begin the day and with it, some low clouds and fog might make things challenging. We will get into Ames before anything gets really nasty, thanks to the short day, but bear in mind, it does look like Ames will be, in fact, really nasty at some point early next week.

Ames, Iowa to Lawton, Oklahoma

We are on our way for a simple one day drive. I say simple because the route is easy and the mileage is, like I said, only enough to last us one day. The weather will not be so agreeable. The 664 miles will be covered after nearly 10 hours of driving at a speed of 66.8mph. So let’s see what’s going on down I-35

A system spiraling over Texas is going to lift to the north, bringing some occasionally heavy rain with it. Unless you are driving in it, this rain activity is actually quite welcome for a region stricken by drought for the past couple of years, if not longer. It will be dry south through the state of Iowa, but as we pass into Missouri, we can expect to encounter some rain, that will rapidly become heavy. The heaviest rain will continue through northern Missouri to Kansas City, with moderate showers continuing on to Emporia. After that, the drive through Wichita and Oklahoma City will be overcast, as we project to be camped under an inverted trough the rest of the way to Lawton. Don’t be surprised if we see some spits of light rain the rest of the way, but more than likely, we will be dry when we conclude our trip.

Ames, Iowa to Anniston, Alabama

It’s an alliterative road trip to take us to the end of the week from soggy Ames to humid Anniston. We’ll take almost 2 full days to cover the 922 miles that we we want to cover. The route will allow us to cover 63mph, and about 506 miles on the first day. It’s going to be damp at beginning and end. How about the middle?


The only issue we should have on our first day will be leaving Ames. With the recent flooding the town has seen there is a possibility that some roads could still be underwater, making travel a bit sticky as we try to get out of town. The route will take us along a lot of Iowa state highways, which will introduce us to quite a few fun small towns before we are ultimately surprised to come across Saint Louis. The day will end without incident in Goreville, Illinois in the far southern part of the state.

For the most part, the second day of driving, Friday won’t be too bad either. Sure, when we cross into Alabama, we could start seeing some thunderstorms, but that will only be the last hour or two of the entire drive, so we shouldn’t complain. Expect some thunderstorms in and around Anniston upon arrival.

Grand Forks, North Dakota to Ames Iowa

Today’s trip will cover exactly 8 hours. Right on the nose. How about that. It’s a 528 mile journey, so if you do the math, that means we’ll average about 66mph, thanks to driving that will exclusively cover interstates. Let’s just hope that Ames isn’t underwater when we arrive. For once, Grand Forks isn’t.

The trip will get off to a somewhat rocky start with a cold front sweeping into northern Minnesota. Overnight, there could be a little bit of severe weather in eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota. The boundary isn’t moving terribly quickly, and we’ll be able to sink south of and shower or thunderstorm activity tomorrow after we have reached the Alexandria, Minnesota area. Since it’s still early in the morning, I don’t think we’re going to be in for any huge thunderstorms, just some nagging rain and thunder. South of the front, everything looks good. Look for the typically clear and warmer weather ahead of a front, which will envelope us all the way into Ames.

Ames, Iowa to Johnson City, Tennessee

We’re taking off for a 2 day journey from Ames to Johnson City, a journey that covers 931 miles. On the first day, we’ll try to cover about 500 miles on that first day. It’s not an easy, interstate heavy drive down to Johnson City, so we’ll move slowly at about 62mph. We’ll make it though, even though we will deal with quite a few showers and storms along the way.


A system developing over the center of the country will be shifting into Iowa in the morning, bringing with it some heavy rain.for the beginning of our drive with some isolated thunderstorms embedded with it. Expect heavy rain from Ames to Des Moines as we travel south, then rain continuing, but not as intense as we head towards the Quad Cities. There will be redeveloping showers as the afternoon carries on, with heavy showers possible anytime through the afternoon. Don’t be surprised if we have to pull off the road due to visibilities near Peoria or Champaign. It will still be raining, with some thunder, as we sneak into Indianapolis at the end of the first day.

Don’t be fooled by the weather at the beginning of the day. We’ll see wet weather to our east and some clearing skies in the morning in Indianapolis, and we’ll be able to enjoy some of it as we head south into Kentucky. The heavy rain will really pick up after we hit Louisville and start veering off towards Lexington then south to Johnson City. We’ll stay just ahead of the crushing rain that will eventually sneak into Johnson City, but we’ll definitely experience it. Have fun with THAT.