Shaun Tanner has been a meteorologist at Weather Underground since 2004.
By: Shaun Tanner , 6:49 AM GMT on November 06, 2012
After what seems like an endless election cycle, Election Day 2012 is finally upon the United States. It seems like weather plays at least a minor part of every national election, so let's take a look at what the weather will be like nationwide on Tuesday (and yes, while the biggest weather factor for this election could actually be Hurricane Sandy, I am more concentrated on the forecast for Tuesday itself).
The Northeast is expected to be quite chilly with temperatures for New England in the 30s and 40s. You will have to move southward into Virginia and the southern Ohio Valley in order to see temperatures in the 50s.
Dry conditions are expected for the Ohio Valley and Northeast, so expect minimal weather-related issues. By the way, this is not to say the dry conditions will continue into Wednesday as a strong nor'easter will move up the eastern seaboard.
With regard to weather, the Southeast could possibly be the most active area in the country this Election Day. A developing storm will swing through Alabama and Georgia before moving out into the Atlantic Ocean in the afternoon and evening. While the rapid intensification of this storm will not happen until it is over open water, it will contain enough moisture as it moves through the Southeast to produce moderate to occasionally heavy rain in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. The intensity of the rain could produce some polling problems as people hit the streets to get to polling places.
Afternoon temperatures should be relatively pleasant as most areas should expect temperatures in the 50s-70s. Some higher elevations of the Appalachians should expect afternoon temperatures in the 40s.
Nothing too much of note is expected in the Plains as the region will be in the transition area between a developing low pressure trough in the east and a high pressure ridge in the West. A few morning showers are possible for coastal Texas, including the Houston area, but dry conditions will govern weather conditions from Nebraska through Texas.
Temperatures are expected to be pleasant, with the warmest areas in southern Texas possibly reaching into the 80s.
I am going to through in the Dakotas into this region as well.
A storm from central Canada will move steadily from the Dakotas into Wisconsin. Because of its origin in Canada, it will carry a fairly good amount of cold air with it. This cold air is expected to produce cool rain and even some snow mostly in Minnesota.
This area of the country will also be quite cool, with areas from North Dakota through northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan only rising into the 30s by the afternoon. Meanwhile, 40s are expected for the rest of Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of the Ohio Valley.
A high pressure ridge over much of the West will give way to a Pacific storm that will move into the Pacific Northwest beginning in the afternoon and lasting into the evening. This should lead to minimal problems at polling stations, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, with the exception of higher elevations of the Cascades and Rockies, which will be cooler.
Rain and high elevation snow will begin in Washington and Oregon late Tuesday evening and into Wednesday.
The warmest area of the country will be the Southwest as a high pressure ridge will continue to provide unseasonably warm temperatures for early November. Areas of Southern California and Arizona will rise into the 90s once again, while inland areas of California should expect temperatures in the 80s. Needless to say, this should be good weather for voting.
All-in-all, this appears to be a good day for voting throughout the country. This is especially true since a strong Nor-easter is expected to affect the Northeast on Wednesday, while a major storm is anticipated to move onto the West Coast and further into the Rockies later this week and into the weekend.
In fact, in order to find weather that cound affect voter turnout, one may have to travel to Alaska. A strong storm in the Gulf of Alaska is expected to bring heavy rain to the panhandle, while a mix of rain and snow could fall as far north as Anchorage.
So get out and vote!
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.