BLOG: A Bit of Everything!

I thought I would touch on several different subjects today since there are no HUGE weather stories coming up. It is a beautiful day today, and Thursday looks good as well. This evening, grab a jacket and look skyward as there are a couple of cool things happening. As you may have heard me talking about, Mars is at “opposition” right now. What’s the mean??? Well, the planets travel around the Sun at different speeds and trajectories. But once every 2 years, Mars and the Earth “line up” briefly, with the Earth directly between Mars and the Sun. This makes Mars appear particularly bright.

An illustration, from the iOS App “Solar Walk” (A great app…costs a few bucks but is stunning): marsMars will rise around sunset in the eastern sky and will move almost right overhead after midnight.  Look for the brightest object. A good telescope or even binoculars will allow you too see the planet’s trademark red tint.

Also tonight, an excellent pass of the International Space Station. Here are the details: iss

Ok, as for WEATHER, the next couple of days are looking good…although Thursday will be windy. Sustained winds by afternoon will probably be in the 15-25 mph range with gusts to 40: sfcwind

And Holy Turbulence Alert for planes landing or taking off…winds at 5,000 feet will be up around 70-80 mph in parts of the region: 850

 

Rain will visit us a couple of times in the coming week, namely Thursday night/early Friday and Sunday night/Monday. Monday could be a real soaker, depending on the speed of the front (which is still up for debate). Total rain over the next week may be 1.5-2″ across the region: qpf

There are a lot of forecasting challenges early next week revolving around the speed of a strong cold front and how much moisture will be lingering when the coldest of the air arrives. It is not outside of the realm of possibilities that we see snowflakes next Monday night. The European model gives some accumulations to the parts of the Great Lakes region: eurosnowThat’s just one run of one model and again, uncertainty is quite high. Something to keep in mind though.

A word about the longer range. Overall, a somewhat cooler than average pattern seems likely for the next 10-14 days. It’s April now so a cooler than average day can still mean a high of 54. But still, there are not many signs of our first 80 degree day in this 10-14 day period. The Climate Forecast System model shows a cool-ish 10 day period from April 13-23: 1424

 

The same model does bring in the warmth at the end of April and start of May. Here’s April 23-May 3: 244Let’s hope that is right.

Now, the REAL long range. You may have heard that El Nino is likely to come on strong this Summer and Fall. A reminder: El Nino is a significant warming of the waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean: elninowatertemperatureThis warming can influence global weather patterns and the strong ones (like we had in 1997-98) can have very significant consequences in many regions of the world. Some of those consequences are very bad and strong El Ninos have been known to contribute to many deaths, particularly in less developed countries.

In our part of the world, the effects of an El Nino event are most pronounced in the WInter, although a somewhat cooler-than-average Summer season can sometimes result. nino

Winters tend to be warmer than average around here in El Nino situations. Stay tuned on this, as we will surely have a better grasp on the intensity of the El Nino in a couple of months.

Thanks for reading!

Eric

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