A cut off low off the Pacific Coast eventually brought a pretty healthy burst of snow, rain and thunderstorms to the middle of the country before shifting into eastern Canada and New England. Along the way, it mangled some temperature forecasts in the Tucson area. The specific credit for that can be given to the gusty winds that hit 30mph on the 7th, and in the 20mph range on the 8th. High temperatures on the 7th were warmer than expected, and the lows on the 8th were well above normal, all thanks to winds coming out of the southern Rockies and the arid plains of west Texas. The Weather Channel had the top forecast, but won narrowly as everyone had similar forecasts. Actuals: December 7th – High 79, Low 39 December 8th – High 77, Low 55
(Please note, the days used in the forecast should have been “tomorrow” and “Tuesday” rather than Monday)
Some drives are pretty easy to navigate, like this one, which will take us entirely via interstate from Georgia to Arizona. It will take us three days to cover the ground, specifically 1,733 miles of ground. The final day will last 10 hours, with the first two covering 533 miles, all at a pace of about 66.5mph. Thanks a lot, traffic.
DAY ONE (Wednesday)
The weather in the south is looking brilliant. High pressure is rising from the south, not one of those Arctic domes of high pressure, so it won’t be terribly cold, either. We’ll slice through the south, from Atlanta to Grambling, Louisiana with ease. Just a terrific day for driving.
DAY TWO (Thursday) The drive will continue to be fairly pleasant on Thursday, but it will be warmer than the drive on Friday. This is because of southerly flow caused by an area of low pressure charging from northern Mexico into the southern Rockies. It’s going to be a big deal for a lot of people late this week, but let’s not worry about that now. We will get to Big Springs and the Permian Basin after a long drive through more than half of Texs.
DAY THREE (Friday) It’s going to be a bit different as we get going on Friday. After a night of rain and a few embedded thunderstorms, the last vestiges of precipitation will nearly be past Big Springs as we get going, and we should be out of it soon if it’s not done already. Cold air will be rushing in through eastern New Mexico into Texas. There will be plenty of sunshine, however, so getting out of the car for gas will be a real shock to the system. Snow will be falling in the mountains along the New Mexico-Arizona border, north of our route. We should make it into a surprisingly pleasant Tucson (temperatures, I mean, the people are always nice, I’m sure) late in the afternoon, just in time for dinner.
It’s been a very long time since we saw a forecast here, so I’m happy to be bringing this one to you, even if the Southwest doesn’t always have the most dynamic weather.
At 953PM, MT, Tucson was reporting clear skies and a temperature of 47 degrees. A cut off low sits over the southwestern US, allowing for the pocket of chilly air in the region, and evidenced by an elevated cold front visible on satellite over western Nevada. The cut off low projects to be quite impactful for the middle of the country late next week, but for the remainder of the weekend into Monday, it will sag back over the ocean as it drifts to the south southwest. Moderately chilly temperatures with generally clear skies will continue in Tucson. Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 40 Monday – Fair skies, High 75, Low 40
TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly sunny. High 74, Low 42 Monday – Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny High 76, Low 45
AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sun High 73, Low 42 Monday – Partly sunny and warm High 75, Low 45
NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 73, Low 47 Monday – Mostly sunny, High 75, Low 41
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 72, Low 40 Monday – Partly cloudy, High 73, Low 44
WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 73, Low 37 Monday – Mostly sunny, High 75, Low 41
FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 73, Low 38 Monday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 76, Low 38
Here is the satellite of the southwest tonight. Note the wispy cold front in western Nevada.
For most of us, a hundredth of an inch of rain is pretty inconsequential. In a place like Tucson, though, it is out of the ordinary, and forecasters should definitely attempt to account for any threat of it. Mea culpa. Last week, on the 8th, a hundredth of an inch did indeed fall on the city, which almost everyone handled correctly. It was a pretty snug forecast otherwise, a trend we have definitely been experiencing this year, and The Weather Channel ended up edging the competition. Actuals: Sunday, March 8th, .01 inches of rain, High 66, Low 51 Monday – High 75, Low 44
After a trip to Greensboro, let’s take a lengthy trip from Greensboro. It’s going to take us 3 1/2 days to location to location, and it will require a pace of 71.2mph to cover our 2065 miles, which is downright blistering. We’ll cover 569.7 miles on those first three days, leaving a little bit left over for the fourth day. Westward ho.
DAY ONE (Sunday)
I am quite taken with the rapid pace we will take as we get started off towards Tucson. We’ll alight through 4 different states as we begin, both Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, where we will finish things off. High pressure is stout in the southeast, and we won’t have any weather concerns between Greensboro and Boligee, Alabama, where we are going to stop for the night.
DAY TWO (Monday) Low pressure is emerging from the southern Rockies this weekend, and will be a rainy little system moving through the Plains. The tail of the cold front will dangle into the Lower Mississippi Valley as we also scoot through that same part of the country. Shower activity will be possible from about Ruston, Louisiana west into the Piney Woods of Texas. It should be cloudy but dry west of about the Tyler area, which will take us into the Metroplex by evening. The day will end in Fort Worth.
DAY THREE (Tuesday) Leaving Fort Worth on Tuesday, we will enter the vast expanse of west Texas. It will be at it’s warm, dry and dusty best. There will be no well organized system across the region, but west Texas will indeed be squeezed between features, which will render the region cloudier than normal, but not quite rainy. We’ll make it as far as Tornillo, which isn’t quite to El Paso. Texas is very big.
DAY FOUR (Wednesday) The next round of wet weather for the desert Southwest, and there certainly aren’t many, usually, will be running into the area on Wednesday morning. There won’t be much rain east of Las Cruces, but there will be a few showers with some elevation wet snow for the entirety of our drive on Wednesday. When you go to Tucson, you probably don’t expect rain, but alas, that’s what we are going to find on this occasion.
Let’s see what’s going on down in Arizona tonight. Anything? Anything at all?
At 853PM, PT, Tucson was reporting a temperature of 68 degrees with clear skies. The western US is much more active than usual, with a broad, strong trough angled into the west coast. The exit arm of the trough extends just to the southeast of Tucson, and some mid to high clouds shouldn’t be ruled out tomorrow. Low pressure will consolidate on the Colorado/New Mexico border through the day tomorrow, with precipitation becoming more widespread in southern New Mexico and the terrain east of Tucson. This feature will shift into the Plains, but the southwest will broadly be within a trough. Low pressure will develop over the Pacific west of the Baja, and the skies over Tucson will be a little bit more congested than usual to start the week. Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 69, Low 52 Monday – Mostly cloudy, High 74, Low 50
TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. High 67, Low 55 Monday – Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 75, Low 48
AW: Tomorrow – A shower or thunderstorm in the area in the morning; otherwise, rather cloudy and cooler High 68, Low 55 Monday – Partly sunny and warmer High 76, Low 47
NWS: Tomorrow – Scattered showers, mainly before 11am. Partly sunny, High 71, Low 54 Monday – Sunny, High 77, Low 45
WB: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with scattered showers in the morning then partly cloudy with isolated showers in the afternoon, High 66, Low 59 Monday – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 49
WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with scattered showers, High 71, Low 54 Monday – Mostly sunny, High 77, Low 45
FIO: Tomorrow – Possible drizzle in the morning. High 71, Low 46 Monday – Overcast throughout the day. High 74, Low 60
I sure could end up with egg on my face if (and probably when, knowing my luck) it rains in Tucson on Sunday. Check out the satellite, with heavier clouds just to the southeast of town.
Today we embark on a 5-day, cross-country road trip that’ll cover 2,337 miles. That’s a lot of snacks we need to stock up on! Let’s get a move-on, not a moment to waste!
An area of low pressure is shifting through far southern Quebec/New England, with a cold front trailing through NY/PA back to the OH Valley. There might be an isolated rain shower lingering in the Syracuse area at dawn, but most of this activity should be off to the northeast of the city as we depart on our westward journey. The day should be dry but cloudy to start, then clouds clear out as we pass Buffalo and follow the shores of Lake Erie to Cleveland. From there we turn southward and end our rather uneventful start to the trip in Columbus.
An area of low pressure looks to shift into the OH Valley to start the day, bringing some rain shower activity to the Columbus area as we head westward. Conditions improve a bit as we make it to Indianapolis, but a second round of showers is possible as we move through IL towards St. Louis as the tail end of a cold front works in from the north. Heavier stuff should remain off to the south as another area of low pressure lifts northeastward from the Lower MS River Valley, but keep an eye out on some shower activity as we pass St. Louis and finish the day in Rolla, MO.
A fairly quiet day is expected today as our leg is between systems. Some clouds may increase during the afternoon hours as we head out of southwestern MO past Joplin. Southwerly winds are expected to increase as low pressure begins to intensify in the foothills of CO/WY, but conditions will remain dry as we finish our relatively short day in Oklahoma City.
Low pressure speeds off to the north of our route today as it moves through NE to IL, while the tail end of a cold front sags into OK. Cloudy skies and perhaps a shower or two will greet our morning as we start heading towards Oklahoma City, but nothing particularly heavy is expected. Cloudy skies continue as we pass Amarillo but late afternoon/evening storms look to stay north of I-40 as we press onwards into New Mexico. Our day ends in Vaughn, NM.
A dry day is in store as we finish our lengthy trip. While low pressure gets situated over the Four Corners region, precip should stay well off to the north over central UT/CO. Gusty winds, particularly in mountain passes, could make for some interesting sections as we head west out of Las Cruces along I-10, but shouldn’t be too bad as we finally make it to Tucson!