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Monday, July 11, 2011

Southern Heat Wave and Southwestern Monsoon

As the southwest enjoys the moisture flowing in from the pacific the mid-west, mid-south, and south experience a scorching heat wave. 

Temperatures in the mid-south and south have been anywhere from the mid 90's into the +100, and lets not forget to add in the fact that there is humidity, thanks to the moisture flow from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing the heat index up into the 110+. It doesn't get much better in the evenings either, temperatures may drop down into the mid 80's over night just to heat right back up the next day. The heat is associated with a strong high pressure system positioned over the southern US associated with a stubborn, slow moving warm frontal boundary. Some locations have been getting relief from the scorching heat thanks to thunderstorms firing up along the frontal boundary, however after the storms have moved on the sun peaks back out and the temperature shoots back up with the help of even more humidity present. 

As slow moving as the frontal boundary is it is starting to move easterly and with that relief for the heat is on it's way. A cold front will be moving into the area bringing with it cooler temperatures and a better probability for thunderstorms. 

Below is a image from the water vapor satellite, showing the areas of moisture in the atmosphere. The purple/blue/green indicate moist air and the orange/red indicate dry air. It is a great indicator of where the frontal  boundaries are located along with high/low pressures. Below you can see the large area of high pressure along the gulf coast supplying the south with moisture as well as the gulf coast. 

There is an area of low pressure over northern Texas with a well defined frontal boundary over New Mexico, southern Colorado, all the way into the Ohio valley. Scattered storms are forming along the frontal boundary with a large severe cell moving easterly over Ohio. 

The southwest is experiencing it's monsoon season bringing rain and thundershowers daily. There is a chance of flooding due to the high volume of precipitation in a short amount of time and the dry terrain.  As low pressure systems form off of the west coast and move inland, they are supplying the southwest with the moisture needed for the monsoon season. The unstable air is reaching up into Colorado and Wyoming, supplying that area of the country with the fuel for a tiny monsoon season as well. This is a definite heat relief for the southwest experiencing daily 100+ dry heat days. 

Here is a visual satellite image, complements of Becky, showing the visual cloud cover.

The frontal boundary and scattered storms are visible with little cloud cover over the mid-south helping contribute to the 100+ temperatures. Good news though as the week goes on the heat wave will begin to cool  and the monsoons will continue!

Don't forget it is still hurricane season, but there is currently no activity in the Atlantic or the Pacific.

Hope everyone has a great week and stay safe when it comes to the excessive heat and flash floods!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weather Across the Country 06/07-06/10

I would just like to start off this blog with an apology.  I know we haven't posted one in a while, and we do apologize.  There have been a lot of changes in both of our lives, a new job for Brooke, moves for both of us and graduation from UNC for me.  But now that we are both more settled in our careers and new locations, we should be able to update the blog more often! 

Now that the writers of this blog, Brooke and myself, are a bit more spread out in the country, we will be doing a broader forecast than just the Colorado region.  

I'll start from in the west and work east.  There is a low pressure system sitting on the coast of California.  Over the next few days this system is going to track east and north, affecting the weather for the northern states.  Most of California will be in a fairly dry and mild pattern this week, since the system that's been keeping them wet and cool is pushing off to the east.  Expect high temperatures in the lower 70's towards the coast and becoming cooler, in the 50's in the mountains and higher elevations. 

Going further north, into Washington, rain showers will become more of a possibility for Tuesday and into Wednesday.  Staying very typical of the Pacific Northwest, rain showers will continue off and on this week. Periods of sunshine will be possible on Thursday, but showers will return Friday and continue off and on through the weekend.  Temperatures will be steady in the mid 60's.  

The states that are going to be the most affected by this system are Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 
This is the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) outlook for Wednesday.  The slight risk is located over ND, MN and WI.  They can expect to see severe thunderstorms, possibly a few tornadoes. There is a 15% hatched tornado risk over parts of all three states, but the main threat from these storms will be gusty winds, heavy rain, hail and lightning. 

Montana will be in a wet pattern this whole week, as they have been much of this spring.  This is typical because of the La Nina pattern we are in this year.  The Pacific Northwest is usually much wetter in this pattern, and this year is no different.  Conditions will be wet and cool, with rain showers and thunderstorms likely each day this week.  High temperatures will be in the 50's and 60's across the state. 

This low pressure system traversing to the north will have an impact on states south of Montana.  Wyoming and Colorado will see increased winds on Tuesday, as a result of a cold front swinging down from the center of low pressure.  Temperatures will start to cool, with highs dropping 10-15 degrees by Wednesday.  Tuesday will be dry, but Wednesday is my chance here in Wyoming to see a few storms.  Currently the SPC has a slight risk over southeastern Wyoming and northern Colorado and western Nebraska. There is also a separate area of slight risk from easter Kansas northeast up to the Great Lakes.

This is a more northern storm, so southeastern Wyoming and western Nebraska will have the best chance to see severe storms.  Definitely an area worth keeping an eye on.  

Going further east in the country, it looks like the eastern half of the US will start to see scattered rain showers from north to south, with maybe a few thunderstorms mixed in.  Rain will become much more widespread and heavier towards Thursday night and into Friday.  It will also slowly spread towards the north and east. 

Temperatures across the central and south part of the country will continue to be very very warm, in the lower to mid 90's at times with high relative humidities.  Highs don't cool off from the 90's till later in the week, closer to the weekend.  The far northeast will not be quite as hot, with highs only reaching the mid 80's.

So, to sum everything up.  Mainly dry and mild from California and Utah south and east into Texas. All the southwestern states will be dry and warm.  Going further north, winds increase for Wyoming and Colorado as the cold front moves through. Temperatures will drop from the lower 90's we've been seeing, to around 10-15 degrees cooler.  In the far northern states, Montana east to the Great Lakes will have a decent chance to see severe storms Tuesday, with rain and scattered thunderstorms continuing for most of the rest of the week.  They will be cooling down as well.

The eastern half of the country will have a chance at the moisture come Wednesday through Friday.  Rain showers and a few thunderstorms will become more widespread towards the end of the week and will gradually spread north and east.  Temperatures will remain steady, in the lower to mid 90's across the central US, with temperatures reaching the upper 90's and lower 100's in the southern states. It cools off slightly to the 80's the farther north you go.  

Overall, it is a fairly typical weather pattern for early June.  Enjoy whatever weather you will be getting this week in whatever part of the country you live in!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly weather forecast 1/23 - 1/29

The blog has been quiet for a week or so and we do appoligize. Becky started back to school at UNC to finish her last semester as an undergraduate!! Becky is also in Seattle this weekend and following week for the Americian Meteorological Societys Annual conference. Brooke has started a Flight Dispatcher class to become an FAA certified flight dispatcher. However here is a weekly forecast for Seattle, where most of our fellow Meteorologist will be for the week, Denver, and Greeley.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

National Forecast Overview

The low that brought all of the snow to the south and  east coast has moved off of the coast and high pressure has set in over the south east bringing with it clear skies and milder daytime and colder nighttime temperatures. A warm frontal boundary is moving over eastern NE with a cold front trailing behind to the west and north. Associated with the western cold front is a series of low pressure systems over MT and southern British Columbia and another low associated with the northern front located over northern MN. Cold temperatures are located behind the frontal system as a high moves in over ND. A trough is located over eastern CO and NM with a high pressure over CO and UT, influencing NM and AZ.

As the week comes to an end the low pressure systems will move southeasterly bringing snow to ND, parts of SD, NE, IA, KS, and WY. Rain will continue over western WA and OR with snow showers in western MT. There is a chance for snow in the CO Mountains as well as parts of northern UT, western WY, and ID. The high pressure over the south will push southeasterly as temperatures stay mild during the day and cold during the night and skies will stay clearer. Cold temperatures will set in behind the cold front over ND, SN, MN, IA, WI, MI, IL, IN, PA, NY, VT, NH, MA, CT, and ME. Expect snow in MI, OH, and lake effect snow over Lake Michigan, Erie, with rain mixed with snow in MN, WI, and parts of IA, IL, and IN. Snow showers will also be expected over ND, SD, MT, and parts of ID, UT, and WY.

The frontal boundary over eastern CO will continue to move south into TX. As it moves a low pressure system is formed and with it will be rain showers for the majority of central and eastern TX over the weekend.  The southwest will stay dry and seasonal.

More forecasts to come! Hope everyone enjoys their weekend and if anyone has any questions feel free to email us, follow us on twitter, and facebook!


Friday, January 7, 2011

National Forecast 1/6/2011 - 1/10/2011

This weekend expect snow for the northeastern US thanks to a low positioned over the far southern tip of Ontario, Canada and a series of low pressure systems positioned over the Great Lakes. Snow will also be expected over the Great Plains as a strong arctic air mass makes it's way south, bringing with it cold temperatures. Those cold temperatures will be felt from The Rocky Mountains, down to the Gulf coast, all the way to the east coast. There is ridge of high pressure in place over the southwest and Pacific coast that will remain stationary throughout the weekend bringing dry conditions to the southwest. There is a low sitting off of the WA coast that will move onshore bringing with it rain and snow showers to the northwestern region.

Current watches and warnings:
-Blizzard warning for north-central IA.
-Winter storm warning is in effect for eastern TN, KY, far western VA and NC, and eastern NY and western CT.
-Winter storm watch for central and northern CO, and southwestern KS, southeastern OK, southern AK, far northeastern TX, northern LA, and most of MS excluding the coast, and a portion of southern AL, eastern NY, southern VT, and western CT and MA
-Winter weather advisory for majority of MT, northern ID, western SD, ND, eastern SD and ND, western MN, and northern IA, south-central NR, north-central KS, eastern TN and KN, WV, western PA, western NY, and eastern PA and NY
-Lake effect snow warnings for the eastern coasts of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Erie.
-Lake effect snow watch for the northeastern Lake Erie shore.
-Freezing fog advisory for western NV.
-Wind chill advisory surrounding the warning areas.
-Red flag warning for southern NM and northern FL.
-Air stagnation advisory for eastern OR and central OR.
-Costal flood watch for costal MS, AL, and eastern coast of LA.

The low pressure system located off of the coast will make its way on shore over southern British Columbia Friday afternoon. Snow and rain will be associated with the system. Snow can be expected in northern WA, ID, and MT Friday afternoon with rain showers expected in costal WA. Saturday morning as the system moves easterly, snow and rain showers will follow as well as colder temperatures. Snow can be expected in WA, northern OR, ID, and eastern and western MT. Rain showers can be expected on the WA and OR coast as well as central MT. The rain in central MT will be associated with the center of circulation as it draws up some slightly warmer Pacific air. Come Sunday there will still be a chance for showers over the region with cold temperatures present.

There are currently a group of high pressure systems over NV and UT bring with them warmer temperatures during the day and dry conditions. Friday, the ridge stays in place which will bring those nice temperatures during the day and dry conditions. Saturday the high pressure begins to break down as a cold front will begin to make its way south. Sunday the cold front will continue to move into the northern part of the region and begin to influence the temperatures in northern CA, NV, UT, and CO. Some showers are likely in northern UT and northwestern CO on Sunday early morning. Saturday afternoon snow showers will begin to develop over the CO and parts of UT. The snow will continue into Monday with cold temperatures accompanying it.

Northern Plains:
Currently a trough is moving through eastern CO and a frontal system is moving through central SD, northeastern NE, and southern IA. Saturday snow showers will begin to develop over western NE and SD as the low pressure makes its way eastern over central MT. A high pressure system moves in over southern Manitoba, Canada and makes its way south over eastern ND and western MN. Snow will continue into Saturday overnight and into Sunday morning over western NE and SD. The high pressure remains over ND and MN, influencing the states to the south bringing with it cold temperatures and clear skies. Sunday the snow continues and pushes east over majority of NE, northern KS, eastern and central SD, and western ND. High pressure is still in place over MN. Cold temperatures will set in with the snow and preceding low pressure systems. Expect mild temperatures and dry conditions associated with the high pressure system over MN, IA, MO, IL, and WI.

Southern Plaines:
Currently there is a low pressure system positioned over southeastern TX with a cold front positioned over central TX, northern LA, MS, and AL. Saturday the cold front makes it's way south along the coast as cold temperatures set into the region. Saturday night a low pressure system develops over northern Mexico and moves easterly bringing rain showers into southern and central TX and southern LA. Expect cold temperatures over the weekend in the region as the arctic air mass makes it's way south. Temperatures will reach freezing Sunday evening into Monday morning.

Currently there are a series of low pressure systems over northern MI, northern Lake Huron, northeastern Lake Ontario and NJ. Snow showers will continue to develop over the Great Lakes today into tomorrow. The low pressure systems will continue to move easterly as the chance of snow will continue. There is a chance for rain showers over costal VA and NC. The rain will turn into snow showers Saturday night. Snow and rain mixed with snow will continue over the northeast into Sunday. Temperatures will remain cold over the Great Lake and northeast over the weekend.

Currently there is a cold front positioned over eastern TN and southern VA with a low pressure system over western VA and NC. Saturday expect rain showers to develop over NC and northern SC with a chance for rain mixed with snow over western VA, NC, eastern TN, and KY. The low pressure system will move off of the coast Saturday afternoon taking with it the rain and snow showers for the coast. There is still a chance for rain mixed with snow over eastern TN and KY and the majority of WV with snow showers for AL, MS, and GA. Sunday a high pressure system will move into the region bringing with it clearer skies and colder temperatures for Monday. Expect cold temperatures throughout the region. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! If there are any questions fell free to email us at You can also subscribe, follow us on twitter @bbweather, or on facebook!!

Thanks for reading!!
- Brooke

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Local Forecast for the Upcoming Weekend

I hope everyone has been enjoying the mostly sunny, but cold weather we've been having this past week since the departure of the last storm system over New Years.  This week's weather pattern has consisted of surface high pressure sitting to our west over Utah and Idaho, and an upper level ridge building in over the region.  We are currently sitting in a northwesterly flow, with a fairly tight pressure gradient and this has caused breezy winds in some locations, mainly in the mountains and foothills of Colorado, and of course in almost all locations in Wyoming. These gusty winds will last through this evening, and overnight, but conditions will calm down considerably for Friday and early Saturday, as the upper level ridge traverses over Colorado and Wyoming. High temperatures for Friday will be about as warm as today for the Front Range, in the mid 40's, but with change on the way, they will be starting to fall on Saturday, only getting to the upper 30s. 

Saturday night is when the pattern starts to break down and the weather will begin to change. A cold front will move through the region sometime in the overnight hours, so high temperatures on Sunday will be considerably cooler, reaching only the lower 30's.  All of the models are in agreement with precipitation beginning sometime on Sunday.  The Canadian model has the Front Range getting snow starting early Sunday morning and lasting off and on through late Monday night.  The GFS forecast model shows precipitation starting to fall later Sunday morning, at 18UTC, or 11 am standard time. The GFS is also predicting the snowfall to be more steady and not as sporadic as the Canadian shows.  The NAM seems to be more in agreement with the Canadian, and has us missing out on a lot of the snow.  As it gets closer to the weekend, we will have to see how the models evolve and which one ends up being more accurate.  The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center puts out QPF (quantitative precipitation forecast) amounts for each day up to 5 days out, with various time periods available.  This graphic is for 00Z Sun through 00z Monday, which is 5pm Saturday through 5pm Sunday in standard time.

Based on this graphic, precipitation amounts of a tenth to a quarter of an inch are possible.  So only an inch or two of actually snowfall is expected with this storm.  Not quite as good as last weekends storm, but it is still weather!  Almost all of Texas, and parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi look to be having some interesting weather this weekend as well.

After the cold front moves through and the precipitation moves off to the East, another arctic air mass will move in for the start of the week. Thicknesses will be decreasing considerably, with Colorado seeing heights as low as 522mb. This image is a 1000-500mb thickness map with precipitation.  It is valid for Tuesday at 06z, which is 11am on Tuesday morning.  That looks to be the coldest part of the week, with overnight lows on Monday night possibly reaching the negative teens.  High temperatures will be in the teens for Monday and Tuesday, before warming to the mid 20's for Wednesday. 

That is what the next week or so will look like for us here in Colorado.  A fairly typical winter type pattern of precipitation followed by high pressure and arctic air. 

Thanks for reading our blog, and as always please let us know if you have any questions, concerns or comments by posting a comment on here, Facebook (B & B Weather), Twitter (@bbweather), or just emailing us at

Have a great rest of the week and a good weekend!