The beginning of the week was quite cool, as a slow moving boundary moved towards Blacksburg a week after the arrival of Florence. Temperatures were unable to get out of the low 60s thanks to the overcast that buried the region. Despite all those clouds, there was only a splash of rain, which was great, given how little the area actually needs. Forecast.io was the only outlet not to have rain on both days, and they did indeed stay dry on Monday, just like those robots said they would. As a result, Forecast.io was the winner. Actuals: Sunday – .06 inches of rain, High 63, Low 59 Monday – High 62, Low 52
We have two forecasts in the bag for Blacksburg, including one from about 10 days ago as we awaited the landfall of Florence. The thought was that the lingering shower activity in the area would erode and give way to a nice beautiful day before things turned south. Well, that didn’t happen. Rain never cleared out, and showers lingered from last Friday to last Saturday. Not only did that throw precipitation forecasts out of alignment, but the extra clouds also through the temperature forecasts off. In the end, it was Weatherbug who had the top temperature forecast, thanks to their cool bias, but also because they nailed that precip. Actuals: Friday the 14th, .14 inches of rain, High 75, Low 68 Saturday the 15th, .41 inches of rain, High 70, Low 66
We’re going to make a return to Blacksburg today. Fortunately, I have been busy enough in the rest of my life that we didn’t smash these two forecasts back to back. How is southwest Virginia coping in the aftermath of Florence?
At 355PM, ET, Blacksburg was reporting a temperature of 70 degrees with heavy rain. Temperatures have come down swiftly with the rain, and sites nearby, such as Roanoke, which has not seen rain as yet, are still in the low 80s. Given the rain that has afflicted the region over the past couple of weeks, the high country of Virginia was under a flash flood watch. The remnants of Florence are spiraling off to sea from eastern Canada, trailing a lingering cold front south to the Appalachians and connecting with a disturbance parked over south Texas. The Canadian feature is going to spin poleward, while the feature in Texas is going to be drawn north into a developing low over the northern Plains. This will leave the boundary over Blacksburg at least through the day tomorrow, and as the Texan feature drifts north, it will be reinvigorated with moisture, which could mean more dangerous rains for the Blacksburg area. Tomorrow – Isolated showers and storms, High 67, Low 62 Monday – A few less clouds, still a chance for rain, High 68, Low 58
TWC: Tomorrow – Considerable cloudiness. Occasional rain showers in the afternoon High 65. Low 60 Monday – Cloudy with periods of light rain. High 66, Low 58
AW: Tomorrow – Cloudy, a couple of showers; cooler but humid High 65, Low 60 Monday – Low clouds, a little rain High 66, Low 59
NWS: Tomorrow – A chance of showers before 9am, then a chance of rain after 9am, Cloudy. High 62, Low 55 Monday – Rain likely, mainly after 3pm. Patchy fog. Otherwise, cloudy, High 64, Low 57
WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain, High 65, Low 61 Monday – Rain likely. Patchy fog, High 66, Low 59
WN: Tomorrow – Cloudy with chance of light showers, High 62, Low 58 Monday – Mostly cloudy with light rain likely High 64, Low 57
FIO: Tomorrow – Light rain starting overnight, continuing until morning. High 64, Low 56 Monday – Overcast throughout the day. High 66, Low 57
So that’s quite a bit chillier than what we’ve had going on. The air mass is warmer, but the clouds butted up against the mountain will not be cooperative. Here is a look at the popcorn thunderstorms battering the region this afternoon. Not a good way to dry out, that’s for sure.
We’re going on a westward journey, trying to head away from Tropical Depression Florence. The trip will take a day and a half, spending a lot of time astride of the waterlogged Appalachians, and covering 907 miles. The first day will be through after 528 of our miles have been covered thanks to a pace of 66mph. Let’s find some dry land.
DAY ONE (Monday) As we head southwest out of town, it will seem we are headed for the part of the country that had the worst taste of Florence, but we will be on the Tennessee side of the border, likely able to avoid the threat of flash flooding on the well maintained interstates. Florence will be moving northeast, as it happens, so while we will still be driving through her rains, they will be diminishing throughout the drive. We might even break into some dry roadways around Nashville. Rain will be intermittent to non existent for our drive in western Kentucky. We’ll stop in Calvert City, Kentucky, a town that might not endure any rain from the broad scope of Florence. That will be nice, as we will definitely want to dry out.
DAY TWO (Tuesday) Tuesday will be about as different from Monday as you could hope. High pressure will be seated right in the middle of the country. A disturbance in the Dakotas might bring some clouds or a very isolated shower as far south as northern Missouri, but we’ll be sitting pretty in the southern part of the state, where Joplin will be hot, humid and bathed in sun.
As we await the arrival of Florence on the Carolina coast, there is a hair of good news for Blacksburg, as the storm is forecast to take a bit of a job to the south. This is terrible news for Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, which now stand to take a more direct impact. Let’s see what Blacksburg will endure.
At 1135AM, ET, Blacksburg was reporting a temperature of 73 degrees with overcast skies across the region. A lingering surface trough is draped on the Atlantic side of the Appalachians, with a dwindling supply of light rain showers and overcast dotting the landscape. Florence loomed off the coast, and her slow drift towards shore will work to disintegrate the smattering of moisture. Thursday will actually be quite pleasant, without a threat for showers nor the onset of tropical winds. As Florence moves closer to the coast, some of the spiral bands may start to lap Blacksburg. Isolated showers and storms are possible. Overland hurricane bands are more apt to produce lightning, as well as brief, isolated tornadoes. It won’t be a wash out for Friday, but Florence won’t quite be on shore by the end of the day yet either. Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 80, Low 66 Friday – Isolated showers and thunderstorms, High 77, Low 68
TWC: Tomorrow – Cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 80, Low 66 Friday – Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. High 76, Low 67
AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy; humid High 80, Low 68 Friday – Cloudy, a little rain; humid High 78, Low 69
NWS: Tomorrow – A slight chance of showers before 7am, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, partly sunny,High 81, Low 66 Friday – A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 3pm. Mostly cloudy,High 78, Low 67
WB: Tomorrow – Patchy fog in the morning. Mostly cloudy in the morning then mostly sunny with a slight chance of showersand thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 77, Low 67 Friday – Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, High 75, Low 68
WN: Tomorrow – Parly cloudy with isolated storms, high 80, Low 66 Friday – Mostly cloudy with scattered showers, High 78, Low 66
FIO: Tomorrow Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 81, Low 64 Friday – Overcast throughout the day. High 78, Low 68
Things are going to go down hill fast in the Carolinas and Blacksburg, but in Blacksburg, there is more time to prepare. Check out the satellite of the looming storm, headed for the Carolinas.
The forecast in Blacksburg was a tale of two seasons. First, there was the threat for frost on Monday morning, though it was not realized and temperatures only dipped to 38. Tuesday brought a slow moving warm front with rain falling through the day, though only a quarter inch fell in town. And the warm front had to wait to bring it’s raised temperatures, as the clouds brought cooler highs than they saw on Monday. The warmer Monday lows, an the dreary Tuesday were good news for a handful of outlets. Victoria-Weather was steady across the board, Accuweather slipped on the Tuesday high, while Forecast.io stumbled with Tuesday’s low. All three drew level atop the leaderboard for the day.
Actuals: Monday – High 62, Low 38
Tuesday – .25 inches of rain, High 56, Low 39
Hey, let’s take a trip on the forecasting express to the home of Virginia Tech University.
At 315PM, ET, Blacksburg was reporting a temperature of 57 degrees with clear skies. Winds were blustery from the west, hitting gusts of 20kt. In the wake of an area of low pressure now over the Canadian Maritimes, a cool batch of high pressure within an upper level trough has settled in. There were still a few remnant clouds over the coastal areas of Virginia, but the mountains were clear.
At the base of the upper level trough, there will still be a bit of baroclinicity as it pivots through the beginning of the work week. A trailing surface trough over the Plains will redirect some southerly flow at this boundary, touching off some shower and storms will crop up from near Greensboro northwest to Indianapolis, and won’t move a whole lot through the day on Tuesday. This means there is a threat for showers and storms most of the day in Blacksburg after tomorrow should mostly be enjoyable.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 61, Low 36
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with periods of rain and thunderstorms, High 58, Low 41
TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 60, Low 39
Tuesday – Rain, High 60, Low 41
AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and cool High 61, Low 39
Tuesday – Partial sunshine with a passing shower in the afternoon High 60 Low 40
NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 58, Low 36
Tuesday – A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy High 58, Low 41
WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 59, Low 40
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. High 61, Low 42
WN: Tomorrow – Sunny with areas of frost, High 59, Low 34
Tuesday – Mostly cloudy with scattered showers, High 59, Low 41
FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until morning. High 60, Low 37
Tuesday – Rain starting overnight. Hgh 57, Low 36
There is going to be a bit of a chill in the air tonight, but the rain will be at the leading edge of some warm air. Right now, we just have some fair weather cumulus in the coastal plains.
The forecast for Blacksburg came just at the right time, if you are looking for an easy versus a difficult forecast. A cold front had just passed through the region, and in its stead, there was a brisk westerly flow down the Appalachians into the towns along the eastern slope of the old hills. There were winds that gusted as high as 33 miles an hour in Blacksburg on Friday, and these winds helped keep temperatures in the 50s for highs right on through Saturday. The only outlet to predict 50s on both days was The Weather Channel, and that resulted in their forecast victory.
Actuals: Friday – High 53, Low 40
Saturday – High 52, Low 34
Today’s road trip will be a scenic scoot down the East Coast, from CT to VA. It’s a 619-mile drive, so while it’ll be a very long day, it’s doable. Plus, we gotta get into town before the weekend hits! College towns get a little crazy on the weekends. Pack up tonight, we’re leaving early in the morning!
Strong low pressure continues to sit over southern Quebec. While cloudy skies greet us at dawn, dry conditions are expected over the area as most of the precip gets caught up over western PA/NY. However, gusty winds will be prevalant throughout the day as the strong pressure gradient whips them up, particularly as we make our way through southeastern PA and eventually through MD/Northern VA. Skies will clear up more as we push through VA, in the evening, and we eventually pull into Blacksburg, ending our long day.
Today we venture east, to the home of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg! What weather will greet students this weekend? Let’s find out!
At 955pm EST, the temperature at Blacksburg, Virginia was 56 degrees under fair skies. A cold front worked through the area earlier today, but dry conditions were experienced as the heart of the system is working through the Great Lakes. Gusty westerly winds are anticipated for Friday as the strong low pressure system shifts towards New England, but dry weather is expected. High pressure pushes overhead for Saturday so more sunny skies will be in store for the weekend. Might be a bit chillier than some people would like for the next couple of days, but at least the sun will be out!
Friday: Mostly sunny, quite windy. High 54, Low 37.
Saturday: Sunny, calmer winds. High 47, Low 33.
TWC: Friday: Mostly sunny and windy. High 52, Low 38.
Saturday: Sunny. High 50, Low 34.
AW: Friday: Mostly sunny; breezy, cooler. High 51, Low 38.
Saturday: Sunny, but chilly. High 48, Low 34.
NWS: Friday: Sunny and breezy. High 51, Low 38
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 47, Low 32.
WB: Friday: Sunny. High 51, Low 38.
Saturday: Sunny. High 47, Low 32.
WN: Friday: Sunny. High 50, Low 37.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 46, Low 32.
FIO: Friday: Partly cloudy in morning and breezy until afternoon. High 51, Low 38.
Saturday: Clear throughout the day. High 47, Low 32.
Here we see low clouds caught up on the western side of the Appalachians in PA/WV, with clear skies in VA. More of the same is expected tomorrow!