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Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday's Bust

High Temperatures Monday:

  • Danbury: 80

  • Torrington: 70

  • Waterbury: 70

  • Windsor Locks: 69

  • Bridgeport: 62

  • New London: 51

I'm not happy today. Today was one of those really annoying days for a meteorologist. At one point Groton was cloudy, foggy and 48 degrees while Danbury was cooking with sunshine and 80 degrees heat! That’s a 32 degree temperature difference within 70 miles! One person on facebook said she “turned on the air conditioner for the first time today!” Another viewer cursed me out because he called off from work expecting temperatures in the upper 70s. I didn’t have a prayer in hell of getting this forecast right. BUT I always look back at previous forecasts to see what I can do differently next time. I never want to make the same mistake twice.

I mentioned last night if the clouds were stubborn to break, temperatures would be cooler than advertised. I also knew if the clouds broke sooner, temperatures would skyrocket over 80 degrees. There was a huge bust potential either way.

There was a lot of low level moisture combined with a low level jet located along the shoreline. I knew there would be a cap keeping the warm air in the upper atmosphere from mixing to the surface. But I assumed even a small amount of sun could break the cap causing temperatures to skyrocket very quickly. This happened in Danbury with a 20 degree temperature rise in four hours. But the clouds took too long to break in Hartford and almost everywhere else. We couldn’t break the cap in time to see temps take off.

We also had the wind working against us, blowing out of the south (over the cool water of the sound) instead of blowing out of the southwest (over warm land).

In retrospect, I think I should’ve stressed the uncertainty in the forecast. I also think I will take the low level jet/cap more seriously in April. In the warm summer months, with a high sun angle, temperatures would’ve made it into the 90s. But in spring, I was giving the sun more credit than it deserved.

By the way, I watched the satellite and temperatures ALL DAY. Watching the clouds break up was like watching paint dry or water boil. Except in this case, the water never boiled. And I never got around to cleaning the house. GRRRRR!

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