Tag Archives: Sacramento

Back when forecasts were good

After such a cataclysmic verification for Rapid City yesterday, let’s step back in time, to the middle of September. The weather was dry in northern California, and the forecasting was easy. Sacramento was the scene of one of those forecasts, and while forecasts were a bit warm, they were only a handful of degrees, and not 10-15 degrees over the mark, as they were in South Dakota. Yes, these were indeed better days. Back then, we even let Weatherbug win a forecast every now and again. Crazy times I tell you.
Actuals: September 13th – High 79, Low 63
September 14th – High 78, Low 62

Grade A-B

Sacramento, California to Wichita, Kansas

OK, we get it. It’s cold out east. There will be record breaking cold temperatures this weekend in the wake of strong thunderstorms yesterday. Not only that, there is snow expected as far south as the Tennessee Valley and Washington DC. That part of the world is already getting headlines. What of the rest of the country? We’ll figure that out on a three day trek from northern California to Kansas. The drive will cover 1678 miles, which will be evenly divided at 559 miles a day, or the briskly paced 70mph. We’re going to find out what’s going on out west rather quickly.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

The weather out west is significantly more seasonable than it is in the eastern part of the country, though a not insignificant part of the reason for that is an area of low pressure over the Gulf of Alaska that is generating some nice warm flow out of the Mexican deserts. There may be some mid layer clouds to mottle the sun, but otherwise, the landscape will be stark, and our drive easy. We’ll end the day in the Bonneville Salt Flats of northwestern Utah, which is perhaps the most desolate seeming place on the planet.

DAY TWO (Friday)
Clouds will be building over Bonneville overnight, threatening some rain along the Idaho border, but the warm front associated with that low in the Gulf of Alaska will snake its way southeast to the northern Rockies and High Plains, where the baroclinic set up will feed off the descending air of the Rockies and start to churn into its own separate system. For our purposes, a big slug of moisture is going to make a hard charge through Wyoming, threatening our route with some very heavy snowfall, particularly from Rock Springs to Laramie. The good news is, the snow won’t be as intense as we are driving, but the bad news is that it will have recently fallen, and throughout the day, our expedience will rely on Wyoming DOT clearing the roads. Assuming we can maintain our pace, the best chance for snow continuing to fall as we drive through will be around Laramie, though when we are on the dry side of the Rockies, I think the snow showers will be a memory. A very visible one, because we will likely be able to see the snow falling in the Colorado Rockies. Wyoming will see the heaviest snow, we might not see any in Colorado, and I haven’t mentioned Utah, where we will begin our day. From Salt Lake City to Rock Springs, Wyoming, the higher passes may see some snow showers, but it will be cloudy and driveable beforehand. We’ll end the day in Berthoud, Colorado, west-southwest of Greeley.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
Behind our newly developed system, the same that brought snow to Wyoming on Friday, cold high pressure will build into the Plains. Very cold high pressure. Many locations will break records for lows, as well as low maximums. For April. Not just the day, for the entire month. But it won’t be snowing! That can be your solace in the ice box of Wichita.

Aerial of the Downtown Skyline of Wichita, Kansas with the Arkansas River and the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in the Foreground

Sacramento, California

Today we take a trip to the West Coast where we visit the capital of the most populous state in the country. It’s been sweltering there lately, will they finally see a cooldown?

At 905pm PDT, the temperature at Sacramento, CA was 72 degrees under fair skies. The Western US has been baking lately as an upper ridge sat over the region, sending the area shooting well into the 100s. Luckily for them, an upper low shifted into the area and cooled down things a bit, relatively, and brought in some shower activity to the Central Valley as well. Thunderstorms in the San Antonio area the other night brought about some spectacular images. Over the next couple of days, this upper low will begin an eastward shift, moving over Central CA and eventually over NV before dissipating. With the focus of precip being off to the north and east of the area already, dry weather is expected over the next couple of days, and decreasing temps.

Wednesday: Clouds clearing by afternoon. High 82, Low 65.
Thursday: Mostly clear. High 80, Low 61.

TWC: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 83, Low 64.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 81, Low 60.

AW: Wednesday: Periods of clouds and sun. High 82, Low 62.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 78, Low 59.

NWS: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 84, Low 63.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 79, Low 60.

WB: Wednesday: Chance of morning storms. High 81, Low 65.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 77, Low 62.

WN: Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High 84, Low 63.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 79, Low 61.

FIO: Wednesday: Clear throughout the day. High 84, Low 66.
Thursday: Partly cloudy starting overnight, continuing until afternoon. High 82, Low 61.

Here we see a healthy amount of cloud cover northeast of Sacramento, but it’s moving mainly away from the region as an upper low continues to sit offshore. This feature will move eastward over the next couple days, pushing precip off over the Great Basin.

Sacramento, California to Erie, Pennsylvania

One last thing to do tonight. We’re headed on a lengthy trip, 4 1/2 days from the Pacific to Eastern Time Zone. I can assure you that the weather at one end of the trip will be a bit different than the other. Expect a pace of 68.8mph, which will net 550 miles a day in our 2477 mile adventure. There is no time to waste, so pike into the family cruise.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

The drive from California eastward is always a terrifying hellscape of the western American wilderness. What if you break down? Well, you’re completely hose, because there isn’t anyone for miles. This is how we’ll feel everywhere east of Reno, all the way to the Bonneville Salt Flats of northwest Utah, wheere the day will end. The good news is, a ridge is settling into the region, and dry weather is expected.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
High pressure will still be in control of the western US, which is totally awesome! This will make the arduous drive through a Rockies go much more smoothly. We should make it through the rest of Utah and almost all of Wyoming before the day comes to a close. We’ll stop in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, right on the Nebraska border to end the day. Salt Lake City is going to seem huge when we drive through.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Friday’s drive is going to be just fine, and we’ll have a boundary in the southern Gulf of Mexico to thank for that. You see, there is a weak clipper forecast to move from Alberta towards the Upper Midwest just as we drive through Nebraska, but flow out of the Gulf will be virtually non-existent, thanks to that boundary down by the Yucatan and high pressure along the Gulf Coast. Instead of seeing any inclement weather, we will instead only see warming temperatures and somewhat breezy conditions. The day will end in Dexter, Iowa. I’ve stopped for gas there before in the real world. Nice town.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
The systems that have been keeping precipitation development at bay on Friday will breakd down for Saturday. Through about LaPorte, Indiana, we will enjoy some pleasant conditions, though with increasing bluster. Starting with light flurries in northern Indiana, the threat for a wet snow will increase as that Clipper picks up stronger Gulf flow. We will be away from the source of moisture and the center of circulation, so we shouldn’t see snow much more intense than nuisance level, but it will still be our nuisance until we arrive in Toledo, calling it a night there.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
Our little feature is going to be rapidly moving, and a some organization in the southeastern US will ensure it comes down faster than usual in the eastern Great Lakes. Most of the drive in Ohio will be fine, but Ashtabula is always snowy, and some of that flurry activity may stay with us all the way to Erie.

Sacramento, California

A cool front that lives up to its billing

In northern California, a cold front doesn’t necessarily have to arrive in a particular location to bring about an atmospheric change. Sacramento is a good example of that. A cold front moving through the Pacific Northwest, and it never even reached the Sacramento Valley, but the southwesterly flow ahead of the boundary brought low clouds and cooler temperatures to the region, since it was sourced off of the chilly Pacific. The cooler temperatures were even below forecast totals, which meant that those with cooler forecasts ended up with better forecasts. Victoria-Weather, who thought there may have been a touch of rain, tied with Accuweather for the top spot.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 72, Low 48
Wednesday – High 72, Low 48


Sacramento, California

Hi friends. Are you ready to see how the weather is in northern California for the middle of the week? I sure am!

At 753PM, ET, Sacramento was reporting a temperature of 64 degrees with clear skies. An upper level trough at the tail end of a strong Pacific jet streak is generating some upper level northwesterly flow across northern California, but clear skies are seen through all layers. Still, there will be a bit of an inversion, and dramatic cooling is not expected overnight.
The upper level trough will help generate a deeper surface low just off the coast of Washington. A cold front will sink south towards Sacramento by late evening tomorrow. Not much cold air will work into the Valley, but there may be a spot of light rain overnight. The system will be chased out quickly as low pressure develops along the stronger jet streak still over the Pacific. That will be a problem for Thursday, as Wednesday will be clear soon after the sun comes up.
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, a few light showers late, High 73, Low 46
Wednesday – Clearing and pleasant, High 71, Low 47

TWC: Tomorrow – Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies in the afternoon, High 75, Low 46
Wednesday – Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies in the afternoon, High 74, Low 45

AW: Tomorrow – Periods of clouds and sun High 73, Low 43
Wednesday – Partly sunny High 72, Low 47

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 74, Low 46
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, (late rain) High 74, Loe 46

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny, High 74, Low 46
Wednesday – Mostly Sunny High 74, Low 46

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 75, Low 46
Wednesday – Mostly Sunny High 75, Low 46

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning. High 78, Low 48
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 76, Low 47

The west coast is so difficult. We can’t even pin down a precip forecast, but at least those temperatures are in the same ballpark. Here is the satellite imagery for the night, with most of the activity off to the north of Sacramento.

Brisk Mornings

Californians are notorious for overreacting to any sort of cold weather that seeps into their state, especially most of my friends who live in the Los Angeles basin. Northern Californians are usually a bit more tolerant of it. That mindset was needed the last couple of mornings in Sacramento, as the temperature made it down to around freezing before rebounding into the mid-50s on predominately sunny, fog-free days. Luckily, Sunday morning stayed dry as showers eluded the CA capital. The Weather Channel narrowly took down the top spot.

Sunday: High 55, Low 33.
Monday: High 57, Low 32.
Forecast Grade: C

Sacramento, California

Sacramento is the capital city of California, and setting for Disney Series Even Stevens.

At 853AM, PT, Sacramento was reporting a temperature of 48 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. After a day full of rain on Friday, much of the region was seeing dense fog. Sacramento was one of the first sites to clear, but satellite and observations indicate that much of the region is still soupy. An extended, rainy trough running from Canada to the most active portion over the Desert Southwest is the culprit.
The system doesn’t have much upper level support for a deep, plunging round of cold air to help scour the area out. The strongest jet lies northeast of Sacramento and the most abundant moisture lies in the Southwest, and the two regions won’t phase together until they reach the Front Range. This will lead to a distinct lack of organization on the west coast. The back end of the the trough will still lie over the western Pacific, which will open the west up to some moisture, which will funnel into Sacramento for the next two days, leaving SacTown chilly and bleak into early next week.
Tomorrow – Foggy and drizzly early, then cool and cloudy, High 53, Low 39
Monday – Cloudy, with some fog early, High 54, Low 34

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 57, Low 38
Monday – Mostly Sunny High 58, Low 35

AW: Tomorrow – Variable cloudiness with a shower in spots High 54, Low 38
Monday – Partly sunny, breezy and cold High 55, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 10am. Mostly cloudy High 55, Low 40
Monday – Mostly sunny High 56, Low 35

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain showers in the morning…then a slight chance of rain showers in the afternoon. High 55, Low 40
Monday – Partly cloudy. High 57, Low 35

Looks like a fun day in northern California! It should be noted that NorCal is decidedly different than SoCal. Satellite shows the fog lifting.