There was a little bowling ball of low pressure in the North Pacific late last week that was prepared to barrel into the San Francisco Bay area. We knew from the beginning that it could go sideways on us a bit and throw off ourr forecast in Napa. Only one outlet, Weatherbug, suspected it would get weird the way it did: by arriving a full day early. Rain was reported on both Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a surprise to the other outlets. Weatherbug would have won with their temperatures, but secured it thanks to having the only correct precipitation forecast. Actuals: Tuesday – rain reported but not measured, High 61, Low 45 Wednesday – rain reported but not measured High 64, Low 51
A bitter, brutal cold is about to seize the nation. Well, it will seize the part that is east of the Rockies. What about California? It has to be warmer there, right?
At 854AM, PT, Napa was reporting a temperature of 49 degrees with clear skies. The West Coast was under the influence of a strong, high amplitude ridge which is pinning some fog in the Central Valley, and keeping the Bay Area free of any significant entanglements, with only a smattering of mid-level clouds blotting the horizon. Underneath the high amplitude ridge, a weak perturbation will evolve over the Gulf of Alaska. It is small enough in stature and its origin in the open ocean lend a lot of model insecurity with the progress of this feature. Right now, it appears that there is some consensus that the wave will head directly for the Bay, arriving late on Wednesday, and that alone will force us to leave precipitation in the forecast, however there is a high degree of uncertainty. Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 63, Low 45 Wednesday – Chance of showers late, with partly cloudy skies otherwise, High 60, Low 43
TWC: Tomorrow Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon, high 66, Low 47 Wednesday – Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 63, Low 46
AW: Tomorrow – Clouds breaking for some sun, High 64, low 47 Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, a touch of rain High 58, Low 45
NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 65, Low 48 Wednesday – A 30 percent chance of showers after 11am. Mostly cloudy, High 60, Low 46
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning, High 65,Low 45 Wednesday – Mostly cloudy, a chance of showers, High 64, low 46
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 65, Low 48 Wednesday – Mostly cloudy with scattered showers, High 60, Low 45
FIO: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 64, Low 51 Wednesday – Rain starting in the evening. High 59, Low 47
This will be an interesting verification, given all the directions we could go. Here is the satellite, with heavy clouds over the Valley, and more sporadic, almost orographic clouds closer to the Bay.
Wine country would have been a good place to be for a visit as May departed and June arrived. Save for a spot of light rain in Napa on Wednesday Morning, skies were sunny and temperatures reached the warmer estimations of forecasters in the region. The Weather Channel, who did not break the cardinal sin of missing out on light rain in California ended up securing an easy victory. If only there was a beverage to toast them with.
Actuals: Wednesday – Trace of light rain, High 79, Low 54
Thursday – High 81, Low 48
One of the first road trips we ever took on Victoria-Weather many, many moons ago, was from Gainesville to Chico, California. This won’t be terribly different in terms of route or distance, but I should hope almost 10 years later, that the trip itself will be a little different. It will take us 5 complete days, covering 2731 miles, at a pace of 68mph to reach Napa. We will cover 546 miles a day in our efforts to cross the country.
DAY ONE (Thursday)
Boy, is the forecast map looking more and more like summer, expecially in the southern United States. The NAM and GFS are looking at sea breeze thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast with varying degrees if intensity. With these small scale events, the NAM’s precision often makes it the better model. If that is indeed the case on Thursday, watch out for strong thunderstorms with heavy rain, particularly over southern Alabama as we navigate our way north towards Hattiesburg. We will see more isolated thundershowers in Mississippi as the day winds down, and the stop for the night will come in Magee, about 50 minutes southeast of Jackson.
DAY TWO (Friday)
A little vort max is expected to develop around the Mississippi Delta by the afternoon, so the threat for organized thunderstorms along our route will be fairly low. Still, with latent moisture still high, and heat in the afternoon, don’t be surprised to see a smattering of showers over northern Louisiana and Texas as the heat of the afternoon sets in. We’ll dodge rain drops most of the day, which is fine, because we will need to keep the windows rolled up and the AC on the whole day. We’ll stop for the night in Bellevue, Texas, which is about 45 minutes southeast of Wichita Falls.
DAY THREE (Saturday)
The drive through north Texas and northern New Mexico will be fairly active. Most of the region will be under the influence of a broad, weak area of circulation, with a smattering of showers early in the day, with thunderstorms filtering in later. The rain will back into New Mexico as the day progresses, with thunderstorms butting up against the higher terrain that makes up the spine of the Land of Enchantment. We will almost definitely get a bit of precipitation, but it certainly won’t be a washout. The day will end on the west side of Alburquerque.
DAY FOUR (Sunday)
Showers and thunderstorms are going to be a thing of the past, especially as we cross northern Arizona. There might be a few isolated spots of rain in New Mexico, but that activity will wait to develop until after we have left the state. Northern Arizona will provide us with no problems, and the only issue we will have in southern California will be finding a place to stay. Incredible that the coast can be so populous, and inland, it’s so empty. Let’s say around the Camino Airstrip by Bigelw Cholla National Wilderness, we will stop for our final evening.
DAY FIVE (Monday)
High pressure! Ridging! Driving through California will be a piece of cake! Except for any traffic through the bigger towns of the central Valley, of course, but traffic through inland towns is so much easier to manage. The day will end in Napa, with sun and a glass of wine.
We’re headed off to northern California and wine country for our forecast today. The North Bay is the destination if many wine lovers. Let’s see if there is anything to whine about.
At 1154AM, PT, Napa was seeing nice weather, with clear skies and a temperature of 69 degrees. Most of northern California was seeing clear skies, though there were a few patchy clouds around Sacramento. A sharp upper level trough being backed by an advancing Pacific jet was edging it’s way ashore is producing a few clouds along the coast north of Ukiah.
As the trough wades inland, expect a few more clouds to pass through northern California Tuesday morning with some showers materializing in the higher terrain closer to the Sierras by midday. The short waved nature of the parent trough means that things will be resolved quickly, with sunny skies returning quickly to the region.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, HIgh 75, Low 54
Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 76, Low 54
TWC: Tomorrow – Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 79, Low 54
Thursday – Mostly sunny, High 80, Low 53
AW: Tomorrow – Clouds breaking for some sun High 77, Low 57
Thursday – Plenty of sunshine High 79, Low 54
NWS: Tomorrow – Partly sunny (light rain) High 78, Low 52
Thursday – Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, mostly sunny High 78, Low 52
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy (early rain), High 77, Low 56
Thursday – Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming sunny, High 79, Low 54
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 79, Low 52
Thursday – Partly cloudy, High 79, Low 52
FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 76, Low 53
Thursday – Partly cloudy until morning. High 80, Low 54
I’m posting this late, but I can tell you that there is quite a bit of rain in NorCal this morning. Here is what the satellite looked like when I wrote this forecast yesterday.
There was a full tenth of an inch of rain in the Napa area on Thursday, which is good news. So long as rain doesn’t come in multiple inch increments at a time, rain is almost always good news in California. What ISN’T good news, on the other hand, was that I forgot to put Accuweather’s temperature forecast into the forecast for Thursday. How do I even do that? That invalidates this entire verification, which is too bad, because Victoria-Weather nailed it.
Actuals: Thursday .1″ of rain, High 64, Low 53
Friday – High 68, Low 47
There are some issues with the site this morning. Clearly, it is unprepared for my return, or was propped up by the spam messages that accumulated in my absence. Anyways, if the publish time doesn’t jive with the times I mention in the post, that’s why.
At 854AM, PT, Napa was reporting a temperature of 54 degrees with clear skies. There was a slight thermal ridge extending up the west coast, but a developing jet structure over the central Pacific was helping to enhance an occlusal low off shore of northern California, and does not portend to a dry end to the week.
The wave will move inland over far northern California, and particularly across southern Oregon overnight tonight. Rain will extend south to the Bay area shortly after midnight, and rain will continue in Napa through the morning, before beginning to taper off in the afternoon. While the rain will shift into the Pacific Northwest, the upper level pattern will begin to form into a weak trough that descends all the way towards Napa, which will keep the region overcast through midday on Friday. The trough will be through by afternoon, and as an upper level ridge redevelops late in the day, sunshine is expected to return to close out the week.
Tomorrow – Rain likely, with some clouds lasting through the day, High 65, Low 53
Friday – Cloudy, particularly in the morning, with some clearing later, High 64, Low 47
TWC: Tomorrow – AM Showers High 69, Low 52
Friday – Mostly Sunny High 70, Low 46
AW: Tomorrow – A stray shower in the morning; otherwise, considerable clouds
Friday – Sun and some clouds High 67, Low 44
NWS: Tomorrow – A 50 percent chance of rain, mainly before 11am. Mostly cloudy High 69, Low 50
Friday – Mostly sunny High 69, Low 45
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain in the morning…then a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. High 58, Low 45
Friday – Partly cloudy High 58, Low 42
WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Cloudy with Scattered Showers High 70, Low 50
Friday – Mostly Sunny High 70, Low 45
That’s some pretty bad luck, having such a rainy forecast, despite our daily adventure taking us to the stereotypically dry California. The state is in a drought, though, so it’s nice to have a little rain for local residents.
This is a very long trip, taking us from the east coast of Florida all the way to the San Francisco Bay, but after trips too and from Anchorage last month, this is nothing. Since there is so much ground to cover, we will move at a relatively quick pace of 65.9mph, and the first 5 days will be through after 527 miles of driving with the final day being shorter than that. Let’s buckle up the kids and go tour the southern US of A.
DAY ONE (Thursday)
We should get going before afternoon convection gets going in the Florida Peninsula, but there may be a stray rumble of thunder as we head north through Orlando, but much of north Florida will be dry. Muggy but dry. Ther ecould be an isolated storm along the coast again after we have turned west, but for the most part, I-10 will run well north of of the threat. Look out the driver’s side from Tallahassee westward and there could be a towering thunderhead. The better chance for rain will come as we approch Pensacola, where I-10 dips further to the south. We’ll make it into Alabama and the town of Robertsville by the end of the day, where they may be experiencing the last gasps of afternoon convection.
DAY TWO (Friday)
A combination of three things will make the Friday drive interesting. First is an area of instability over the western Gulf which will eject a good deal of moisture north into Louisiana. Second is a deep, digging trough full of cold air that is plunging all the way down into Texas as the weekend approaches, which will only enhance the thunderstorm threat over Louisiana and east Texas. Third is the fact that we will drive smack dab through the heart of Houston in a blinding rain storm complete with vivid lightning. YEEEEEEEHAW. Alabama and Mississippi will be fine, the rain will really pick up west of Lafayette and continue all the way to Brookshire, which is just west of Katy, one of the more notable Houston ‘burbs.
DAY THREE (Saturday)
The heavier showers and storms are going to continue to be pressed further south by the advancing mass of cool air, and as we head west, we will be entrenched in a cloudy, drizzly mess. This should last most of the day, though the threat for drizzle will really clear up after San Antonio. After San Antonio? Nothing. Not falling from the skies, not in terms of local population, nothing. West Texas is rather sparse. We will end the day in Balmorhea, which is west of Fort Stockton but still 200 some miles to New Mexico.
DAY FOUR (Sunday)
Model guidance suggests a lot of mooisture welling north into west TExas, thanks in large part to another tropical system in the Pacific, and the remnants of that thing in the Gulf. Expect some showers and storms to bubble up from Balmorhea to Van Horn, and then again around Las Cruces, New Mexico, but that activity will be confined to the higher terrain. The rest of the drive on Sunday will be through southern Arizona, which is not known for it’s rainfall. We will end in Marana, Arizona, which is just northwest of Tucson.
DAY FIVE (Monday)
Now is the easy forecasting part of the trip. I can say with confidence, even though we’re 5 days out, that I don’t think it will rain across the desert as we drive through it. The biggest issues will be traffic, as we clip Phoenix and Riverside. WE will begin the drive north by the end of Monday, and stop in Lebec, which is west of Lancaster, to end the day.
DAY 6 (Tuesday)
Nothing doing in the weather department again on Tuesday as we finish the trip to wine country. There was an earthquake in Napa last month. I would forecast for the earthquake outlook, but it’s impossible to predict those. Sorry. Besides, I’m a meteorologist, not a geologist.
Everyone knows that hot dry temperatures help grapes turn into raisins. One would assume then, that the last two days in Napa would have turned a lot of the vineyards into raisin farms. Temperatures were in the 90s each of the last two days, which was about what was expected, but the dry air led to temperatures to drop into the upper 40s, which wasn’t a commonly held assumption. Some outlets even had lows in the 60s. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast, but even we didn’t quite anticipate the bottom falling out like it did.
Actuals: Friday – High 91, Low 48
Saturday – High 96, Low 49