20 June 2004
Spring is resprung
The National Weather Service's Forecast Discussion, which circulates behind the scenes, is available to the general public via the Web but is not promoted as a major forecast product. Which is a shame, really, since sometimes the Discussion tells you more than the actual forecast.
Here's what they sent down the line at 3:00 today:
SUMMER OFFICIALLY BEGINS AT 0057Z THIS EVENING...BUT NO ONE TOLD THE ATMOSPHERE. REMARKABLE AND PERSISTENT LONGWAVE PATTERN IS HIGHLY ANOMALOUS FOR 1ST WEEK OF SUMMER - MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLING SOMETHING ASSOCIATED WITH WINTER ARCTIC OUTBREAKS - WITH STRONG PERSISTENT VORTEX VICINITY HUDSONS BAY AND EQUALLY STRONG/PERSISTENT RIDGE NEAR W COAST OF NOAM.
That's "North America"; if there's a strong/persistent ridge near Noam Chomsky, I don't want to know about it.
The bottom line:
GENERAL PATTERN WILL FEATURE FREQUENT INTRUSIONS OF UNSEASONABLY COOL AIR FROM CANADA INTO THE CENTRAL/EASTERN U.S... CONTINUING NW FLOW ALOFT OVER AREA WHICH WILL BE STRONGER THAN USUAL FOR LATE JUNE...AND A FRONTAL ZONE MEANDERING BACK AND FORTH OVER AND THROUGH THE AREA. THERE DOUBTLESS WILL BE VARIANCE FROM DAY TO DAY IN TEMPS AND COVERAGE/AMOUNT OF PRECIP DEPENDING ON WHERE THE FRONT OR OTHER CONVECTIVE BOUNDARIES ARE. BUT BETWEEN THE COOL AIR INTRUSIONS AND EXPECTED CLOUD COVER ASSOCIATED WITH THE FRONTAL ZONE AND ASSOCIATED CONVECTION...EXPECT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF GENERAL COOL AND WET TO CONTINUE.
After one of the driest Mays on record, I suppose it's a good thing we're getting a June drenching. And better to soak now than two weeks from now when I hit the road not that whatever pattern exists here is necessarily going to hold through Kansas and Nebraska.