Tag Archives: Athens

Sun in the shadow

Last Sunday, we sought a little perspective on the coming forecast for Athens, Georgia. We found that there was a persistent northwesterly flow with high pressure advancing to the area. This placed Athens, and pretty much only Athens, in a rain shadow cast by the Smokey Mountains. The sun was due to be out, and most precipitation was shunted west and south. The correct forecast was to err on the warm, dry side, which Victoria Weather did, winning the forecast by a decent margin.
Actuals: Monday -.07 inches of rain, High 90, Low 73
Tuesday, .01 inches of rain, High 93, Low 72

Grade: A-C

Jonesboro, Arkansas to Athens, Georgia

As a Midwesterner, I love driving through the southeast. The weather is warmer, the drivers are faster and the roadside attractions are different. This one day trek seems fairly ordinary at first glance, but I can tell you that I would enjoy it. We’ll move through our route at a clip of 61.9mph, but I bet you we could go faster because slow drivers will stay in the right lane!

The weather in the southeastern US has been quite stormy over the last several days, and while that is going to continue tomorrow as we drive through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, it will be considerably less active. High pressure is going to shift further to the east, opening up the back end and the Plains for showers and storms. This means that our best threat for rain and thunderstorms will be in northern Mississippi early Iin the day, but by the time we pass Hamilton, MS, the threat for persistent, heavy storms will have been lessened. In fact, I would say that after we have passed through Atlanta, the threat for showers and storms will be virtually nonexistent. Hotter than the dickens, though.

Athens, Georgia

It would be more exciting if we are off to Greece, I will admit, but Georgia can be fun too! Especially when you start taking their weather into account, which frankly is all we’re taking into account.

At 551PM, ET, Athens was reporting a temperature of 86 degrees with clear skies. Through all layers, there wasn’t much organization or a recognizeable boundary in the southeast, but a deep trough and an advancing area of high pressure in the portion of the US is cordoning off the area of instability, leading to a whole lot of general convection in the southeast. Athens is in the clear for now, as it appears a gentle northwesterly flow is stranding moisture in the southern Appalachians.
The next two days will be more of the same. The ridge will continue to sink towards the southeast, amplifying precipitation through the Southeast, as the available area of instability is further restricted. Still northwesterly flow will keep Athens in a somewhat more favorable position. Athens will mostly be dry for the next two days, but there will be an isolated storm in the area. It could be worse though, and it probably will be 50 miles from Athens in any direction.
Tomorrow – Isolated thunderstorms, High  90, Low 72
Tuesday – Isolated thunderstorms High 93, Low 72

TWC: Tomorrow – Scattered showers and thunderstorms High 88, Low 72
Tuesday – Patly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 90, Low 72

AW: Tomorrow – Times of clouds and sun, a shower or thunderstorm around; humid, High 87, Low 72
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy, a shower or thunderstorm around, mainly later; humid High 90, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 3pm. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy High 89, Low 72
Tuesday – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny High 90, Low 72

WB: Tomorrow – Chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. High 83, Low 71
Tuesday – Chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon, High 87, Low 72

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely, High 89, Low 72
Tuesday – Partly cloudy with thunderstorms likely  High 90, Low 72

FIO: Tomorrow – Rain starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening. High 87, Low 75
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 90, Low 73

Here is a broad look at the radar, showing a nice window up around Athens where things ain’t so bad. Everywhere else is a mess, though.

Athens, Georgia to Spartanburg, South Carolina

Only a short road trip today, barely clocking in at longer than 2 hours! This could barely be considered a road trip, but it must be traveled! What will be happening for this tiny voyage?

Athens, GA

The slow-moving upper-level low over the Central Gulf Coast continues to pump copious amounts of rain over LA/MS, bringing massive flooding to the low lying coastal areas. Thankfully, all this activity should be off to our west today as an area of high pressure sitting off the East Coast is keeping it at bay just enough. Cloudy skies are expected through the day, however, and could be an isolated midday shower near Spartanburg, but nothing to really worry about.


Athens Accuracy

North Georgia began August between two features. A weak midlayer boundary to the southeast and a stronger system through the Great Lakes. High pressure was the order of business in Athens, and without the typical late summer cloud cover, temperatures got very warm. It was in the mid to upper 90s through the afternoons, which was pretty close to where most had them. Accuweather and The Weather Channel edged the rest of us by just a hair, but it was a good forecast all around. High pressure will do that.
Actuals: Sunday – High 96, Low 68
Monday – High 97, Low 70

Grade: A-B

Athens, Georgia to Merced, California

Let’s close this weekend out with a long excursion. It’s a 2431 miles and will take us an entire work week. We’re going to be on a pace of 64.5mph, which will gain ourselves 516 miles a day, with Friday being a shorter drive. This is a long drive, certainly, but a cross country trek could certainly be longer. It’s a long trip. Let’s get going.

DAY ONE (Monday)
Athens, GA
It’s an unusual stretch of summer time weather across the southern US. There isn’t much by way of showers and thunderstorms, despite what you would typically see this time of year in terms of nearly constant convection. There is a broad system in eastern Canada that is steering in stable air. It doesn’t happen often in the southern US, but we should drive through Dixie in August with nary a thunderstorm in the forecast. We will reach Wheatley, Arkansas which is east of Little Rock by the end of the day.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma will be relatively bland on Tuesday. All I-40 and no precipitation to speak of. By the time we reach Oklahoma City, though, we will run into a complex of showers and storms, generally on the west side of town. They will actually be fading with the afternoon heat of the southern Plains leading to a developing cap. By the time we reach Weatherford west of town, we’ll be through the shower activity. We’re going to stop for the night in Elk City, where it should be dry.

DAY THREE (Wednesday)
It will be another dry day as we head west. There will be some mid level clouds throughout western Oklahoma when we get going, but in the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico, it will be sunny, dusty and breezy. Maybe keep the windows up so dust doesn’t get in our eyes. The day will end in Bluewater Village, New Mexico. They have a Dairy Queen!

DAY FOUR (Thursday)
OK, so we’re going to be driving through the desert. Arizona will be a little cooler, since we’re driving at elevation, but the Mojave will be very warm. The funny thing is, though, the monsoon is going to be switched off until very late. We’re not going to see any thunderstorm activity through the drive into southern California. We’ll stop at Kelbaker Road right into the Mojave Preserve. Hot.

DAY FIvE (Friday)
Thunderstorms will be cropping up in the higher terrain, thanks to a resurgent monsoon over the west. Fortunately, the drive from Barstow to Merced will be right in the middle the San Joaquin Valley. Expect a partly cloudy sky in Merced. A weak wave moving through northern California will bring some cooler temperatures to Merced. That’s going to be nice after our dusty trek until this point.

Athens, Georgia

Tomorrow – Sunny, High 95, Low 68
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 98, Low 68

TWC – Tomorrow – Sunny High 96, Low 69
Monday – Sunny, High 96, Low 69

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 94, Low 67
Monday – Partly sunny High 97, Low 70

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 95, Low 69
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 95, Low 71

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 95, Low 69
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 95, Low 71

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 95, Low 70
Monday – Partly Cloudy High 95, Low 72

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy overnight. High 95, Low 71
Monday – Partly cloudy overnight. High 97, Low 71

Looks like most are staying away from that trap, the GFS’s crazy warm temperatures. Probably for the best.


It’s a common situation when you have excellent weather, such as what they had in Athens over the past two days. Everyone was packed in tight atop the leader board, with the top forecaster, Accuweather, registering only 2 degrees better than the last place outlet, WeatherNation. Everyone else was in between. As for the weather, it was cooler than normal, but not any cooler than expected, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 61, Low 31
Thursday – High 66, Low 36

Grade: A

Athens, Georgia

The Masters just wrapped up a couple days ago, just a couple of Bubba Watson length drives up the road from Athens. Weather during the Masters was gorgeous, will it be the same for the next couple of days in Athens?

At 2:51pm EDT, the temperature at Athens, GA was 60 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. The cold front that brought almost an inch of rain to the area yesterday and early this morning is shifting off to the east and is bringing most of the clouds in the area with it. Some lower clouds continuing to linger around the area this afternoon should lift out of here by early evening, with mainly clear skies expected tonight. Behind the cold front, high pressure is expected to shift over the area for the next couple of days, so quiet and dry weather is anticipated. Hooray! Bad news? Temperatures the next couple of mornings will be rather chilly, dipping down into the mid-30s. If they can brave a brisk start to the next couple of days, they’ll be alright.

Wednesday: Sunny. High 63, Low 33.
Thursday: Increasing afternoon clouds. High 66, Low 35.

TWC: Wednesday: Sunny. High 61, Low 34.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 65, Low 37.

AW: Wednesday: Sunny, and pleasantly cool. High 63, Low 32.
Thursday: Partly sunny and pleasant. High 67, Low 36.

NWS: Wednesday: Sunny. High 60, Low 33.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 65, Low 37.

WB: Wednesday: Sunny. High 60, Low 33.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 65, Low 37.

WN: Wednesday: Sunny. High 61, Low 34.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 64, Low 37.

Here we see the strong cold front that brought significant rain to the region pushing off the East Coast. Quiet weather ahead!

Weather Guessing

Old people like to call me a “weather guesser” but sometimes, we are forced into the role. You want a yes or no answer, and all we can say is that it “might” rain at your exact location. The southeast is notorious for this. It looks like there could be thunderstorms every day in the summer, so when forecasting for Athens, the best answer is to say, well, there might be thunderstorms. Any firm decision will bite you in the butt. Two outlets, ourselves and The Weather Channel said no rain on Tuesday, but some on Monday. And we whiffed. Accuweather had the top forecast, thanks in part to the fact that they only missed on part of their precip forecast.
Actuals: Monday, High 83, Low 67
Tuesday, .01 inches of rain, High 87, Low 65

Grade: B