Going all in

Central California was in the midst of a hot streak over Labor Day weekend, and Madera was no exception. My general rule of thumb for the heat, and with sunny skies is to always bet on the over. That is to say, it will probably be a little warmer than the forecast. Also, in clear dry nights, the temperature bottoms out a bit lower than the forecast. By following those two rules of thumb, Victoria-Weather was able to collect the victory in central California.
Actuals: Sunday – High 100, Low 55
Monday – High 103, Low 61

Grade: B-D

Hinesville, Georgia to Madera, California

We’re ending the summer with a long trip across the country. It will take 4 and a half days, covering 2568 miles. That puts us on a brisk pace of 69.4mph, which won’t seem as great, since we will be on this pace for the better part of a week. The result of each day of driving will be 555 miles traveled. Not bad at all, actually, even if it will still take until Thursday to arrive.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Hinesville, Georgia

Low pressure in the Great Lakes is demonstrating a nearly perfect comma shape, dangling a cold front from its eastern periphery southwestward towards the southern Plains. The front itself is in pretty rough shape, speaking of precipitation, and isn’t bringing a wintry onslaught, thanks to another system up in northern Canada., but it is going to dangle into our day one route. driving through Georgia and Alabama should mostly be ok, but some isolated showers and storms may pop up at the end of the day’s drive near the Alabama-Mississippi border. They shouldn’t be too obtrusive, but certainly possible. The day ends in Hickory Flat, Mississippi.

DAY TWO (Monday)

The front will be behind us as we leave on Labor Day morning, and while it will probably be cloudy until we hit Arkansas, it shouldn’t be rainy. The sun will be out not long after we reach Arkansas, and we will enjoy the sunshine all the way to Yukon, an Oklahoma City suburb.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)

Even a subsequent area of low pressure churning through the northern Plains and Great Lakes won’t be enough to pull up a return flow into west Texas. The drive from Oklahoma to New Mexico will be dusty and lonely. We’ll make it past Albuquerque, and the day will conclude in Highland Meadows, which is about 20 minutes west of Albuquerque.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)

The drought continues in the west, and as if to confirm that for us, we will drive through Arizona, which is desertified at the best of times, and end our drive in the Mohave Natural Preserve about an hour into California. About 5 hours left for our Thursday in some blistering heat.

DAY FIVE (Thursday)

Make sure that AC is working. We’ll turn north at Barstow, and it will remain plenty toasty all the way up past Fresno and into Madera. Don’t be surprised if 110’s buckle roads for the last stretch of the drive. Some clouds my finally cool things down on our first full day in Madera, but it sure will be hot when we arrive.

Madera, California

Madera, California

We’re off to the central Valley of California today, to reexamine one of the ongoing hardships wrought upon our planet this summer. Drought continues in California, with fires east of the Madera area. Is there hope on the way?

At 1153AM, PT, Madera was reporting sunny skies and a temperature of 87 degrees. There was a heat advisory in place for the central Valley and the southern California high country along the Nevada border was under an excessive heat watch. High pressure on the west coast was particularly robust and allowing of the abnormal heat.
Low pressure is spiraling independently in the eastern Pacific, and it will give a guide to the shape of the surface ridge through the next couple of days. It will ride well off shore north to the Gulf of Alaska low and begin to merge with that feature. the ridge in the west will change generally unchanged, but the onshore will carry over the Coastal Range and only make it hotter by Monday.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 101, Low 58
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 103, Low 59

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine High 102, Low 58
Monday – Sunshine and clouds mixed High 104, Low 62

AW: Tomorrow – Sunny and hot; danger of dehydration and heat stroke if outside for extended periods of time High 99, Low 59
Monday – Mostly sunny and hot; danger of dehydration and heat stroke if outside for extended periods of time High 103, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, high 98, Low 61
Monday – Mostly sunny and hot High 101, Low 65

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 99, Low 62
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 103, Low 65

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 99, Low 59
Monday – Mostly sunny, High 102, Low 64

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 98, Low 63
Monday – Clear throughout the day. High 101, Low 67

A look at the satellite imagery shows smoke in the clouds across the Sierras, but not much in the way of onshore cloud cover.

One off

Madera was the first of our trio of California forecasts this past week, and was the city the farthest from fire danger. It came down to how temperatures were handled by forecast guidance. Victoria-Weather was off the forecast by one degree on every verifying time by one degree, low every time. That’s just as tough to do as getting the forecast exactly right, I would say. The Weather Channel was off by a couple of degrees at two different times, and V-W and TWC ended up with a tie in Madera.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 69, Low 36
Wednesday – High 67, Low 34

Grade: A-B

Salisbury, Maryland to Madera, California

All right, friends, it’s about time we engaged in a cross country, 5 1/2 day monster of a road trip. we will cover a whopping 2,914 miles to get from the East Coast to central California. A lot of time on interstates will mean a brisk 66.2mph pace and 529.8 miles covered a day on those full days in the car. We might see snow, and we might see fires Sounds pretty dynamic, doesn’t it?

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

Salisbury, Maryland

Things will be off to a good start on Tuesday, with warm high pressure settling into he Appalachians and throughout the DC/Baltimore region. We shouldn’t have any issues, even with tolls, as we will be traveling the southern route through Ohio, the one that avoids the toll road, but not Columbus. We’ll stay in Lake Darby, a western suburb of the Ohio State Capital.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
I have some good news for Wednesday! It probably won’t snow! A warm front will reach north towards the southern Great Lakes overnight, and we will be in rain almost from the time we get moving. There is a chance at some thunderstorms over southern Indiana and Illinois, but by the time we reach Missouri, the cooler air will be moving in. The thunder threat will long be over, and instead a chilly rain will overtake the thunder. Maybe after we stop for the night in Devil’s Elbow in central Missouri, a wet snowflake could mix in.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
Undoubtedly, our coldest day will be Thursday, Halloween. How cool is it that we will start Halloween in Devil’s Elbow? We’re going to contend with the remnants of a few snow showers for the first couple hours of the day, concluding before we reach Springfield, and then Oklahoma will simply offer a chilly wind as we nagigate the Sooner State. We will only just start to enter Texas when we call it a day in Shamrock, where west winds suggest we will finally be reaching a bit warmer air.

DAY FOUR (Friday)
November will get off to a pleasant start. Nary a cloud in the sky as we head through the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico, and temperatures should start warming a bit too. We’ll stop for the night in Manuelito, New Mexico, on the Arizona border.

DAY FIVE ( Saturday)
Another day on the road out west, and another day with little to worry about. We’ll navigate Arizona without a concern, and reach southern California where it will be much warmer than we are used to. The day will end near Barstow, but far away from the fire concerns near the coast.

DAY SIX (Sunday)
I suspect that by next weekend, the fire danger in California will be significantly dampened. That will make for a less hazy drive through southern California. Madera looks to be in fine shape for our arrival.

Madera, California
By Jcarrello – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52965015

Madera, California

The big news story out of California is once again the wildfire season, aided heavily by a robust Santa Ana wind regime. Madera lies in the Central Valley, set away from the flaming hillsides in Wine Country and northwest of Los Angeles, and are under no threat from the flames, though those brisk Santa Anas will surely cause some concerns, won’t they?

At 853 AM, PT, Madera was reporting a temperature of 46 degrees with clear skies and calm winds. Other places further south in the Valley were reporting some light haze as the brisk winds on the hills and mountains of the Golden State was not settling into the Valley.
The atmosphere is finally going to start doing some favors for the beleaguered region, as a strong trough is getting ready to dig into the Great Basin, breaking up the Santa Ana high, and allowing winds to subside. There will continue to be some breeze, though it will shift to become more north-northwesterly as a cold front tries to sneak into the area. With wind off the ocean and picking up the Kincade Fire of northern California, smoke and fog will become more likely in the Madera area Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday evening. Expect some cooler temperatures, though depending on the moisture transported into the region, those could be blunted by a lack of radiational cooling.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, with some haze possible, High 70, low 37
Wednesday – A bit cloudy with haze and morning fog more likely, High 68, Low 35

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 71, Low 37
Wednesday – Mostly Sunny, High 68, Low 34

AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sunshine, High 71, low 36
Wednesday – Plenty of sunshine, High 69, Low 32

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 69, Low 39
Wednesday – sunny, High 68, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, Patchy frost in the morning, High 69, Low 49
Wednesday – Sunny, patchy frost in the morning, High 67, Low 36

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 69, low 39
Wednesday – Sunny, high 68, Low 37

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 72, low 37
Wednesday – Clear throughout the day. High 70, Low 34

Not often that Victoria-Weather finds itself smack dab in the middle of things. The biggest surprise to me was that the GFS has a warming trend for Wednesday, and it was wholly rejected by all outlets. That doesn’t happen often. Here is the satellite image for central California. If you look closely, you can see the plume from the Kincade Fire north of San Francisco Bay.