Laudable forecasts

Another summer, and another scary hurricane has made landfall somewhere in North America. Laura, while a strong storm and having made landfall in the US may not be as well remembered as storms like Michael, Maria, Dorian or Harvey for a variety of factors. Those factors are, of course, Covid-19, Civil unrest and the virtuous fight for social justice and racial equality, and the ongoing Republican National Convention. Laura was, depending on your home market, not even in the top three news stories of the day.

It’s too bad for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it turns attention away from those residents who were greatly impacted by this storm, particularly in Cameron and Lake Charles, Louisiana, but also because the forecasts were so good, and apparently so well heeded, the death toll is not as large as one might suspect from a strong storm striking the US Mainland.

in a time when science is so heavily scrutinized, it is important to remind the populace that we usually get it right, and the recommendations for safety and well being are rooted in good intentions and factual assessment. That, and the pain that Laura has brought (even through it came with a lower casualty total) will likely fly under the radar, so to speak

Another excellent forecast that came up in the last couple of weeks was the one for Durham, which was posted here about two weeks ago. Victoria-Weather and the National Weather Service collected the top forecasts thanks to solid temperature outlooks, despite heavy rain that was going to fall in the area.

Actuals: August 14th, .63 inches of rain, High 88, Low 73
August 15th, 1.37 inches of rain, High 84, Low 72

Grade: A-B

Cumberland, Maryland to Durham, North Carolina

After so many lengthy road trips lately, here is a refreshing change. This trip will take the better part of day, about 6 hours, and cover 385 miles. We will pass through the DC Metro and start our day in the mountains, so our pace of 66.5mph is actually pretty good.

Cumberland, Maryland

The mid-Atlantic is at the mercy of a pair of systems that are about a thousand miles apart. The first is a developing area of low pressure off the coast of Chesapeake Bay, and the second is wafting through Hudson Bay. The Hudson Bay feature is dragging a pretty effective cold front, given its length, through the Great Lakes and will press towards the Appalachians by tomorrow afternoon. It won’t be particularly active though, given the offshore feature’s presence, but it will be come increasingly cloudy as it departs. The initial part of the route through DC will be mostly cloudy, with some light rain to South Hill, Virginia, which will become more likely from there to Durham.

Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Time to get this forecast wagon hitched and on the road!

At 953PM, ET, Durham was reporting a temperature of 73 degrees with clear skies. There was a line of very weak thunderstorms extending from north of Fayetteville to south of Mount Airy, but it was continuing to diminish for the night. A lower level trough over the mid-Atlantic is churning up a few showers and thunderstorms throughout the area, and the persistence is leading to the threat of flash flooding where the storms sit in place, but it is clear and humid where they are not.
The low level wave will shift off shore and low pressure will deepen rapidly in the Gulfstream, The deepening low pressure will extend west to the coast, with moisture building into the Carolinas again on Saturday. Before that, a little bit of dry air will dig in thanks to the circulation of the deepening low, but the beginning of the weekend might be a bit drearier.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with late showers and storms, High 88, Low 73
Saturday – Scattered showers and storms, High 85, Low 73

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning with scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High 86, Low 71
Saturday – Thunderstorms. Potential for heavy rainfall. High 82, Low 72

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a couple of showers and a heavy t-storm, mainly later; watch for flash flooding High 86, Low 71
Saturday – Mostly cloudy and humid with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm around, some can be heavy late High 84, Low 72

NWS: Tomorrow – Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, High 88, Low 72
Saturday – Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8am High 85, Low 72

WB: Tomorrow – Cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the morning then partly sunny with showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon, High 84, Low 72
Saturday – Showers and thunderstorms, High 81, Low 72

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely, High 88, Low 72
Saturday – Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms, High 86, Low 72

FIO: Tomorrow – Possible light rain and humid throughout the day. High 86, Low 71
Saturday – Rain and humid throughout the day. High 83, Low 72

Interestingly enough, we just started watching the Last Dance tonight, and here we are, forecasting for Durham. Maybe not that interesting. Anyways, here is a look at the radar, showing those isolated storms. There is a lot of ground clutter that is making it look worse than is true on the ground.