Weather Briefing: Friday, January 26th, 2018

HEADLINES: Rain this weekend, Turning Cooler next Tuesday

 American (GFS) Model Forecasted Precipitation and Mean Sea-Level Pressure for Saturday evening with hand-analyzed surface features. This map shows the general synopsis for this weekend's weather conditions.

American (GFS) Model Forecasted Precipitation and Mean Sea-Level Pressure for Saturday evening with hand-analyzed surface features. This map shows the general synopsis for this weekend's weather conditions.

A few clouds have begun to move into the area this morning in advance of a cold front located over the central United States. As the cold front moves to the east, it will pull up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico as well as interact with a developing area of low pressure moving across Florida and up the Atlantic seaboard. These factors will lead to heightened rain chances for the weekend, particularly on Sunday. At present, short-range computer models keep things dry through the early afternoon hours on Saturday, with some precipitation possibly moving into the area by the late afternoon hours. Precipitation will be on and off from Saturday evening all the way through the day on Sunday. The heaviest of the precipitation looks likely to remain to our south, over the upstate of South Carolina; however, around 1/4" of rain looks to be about the average estimate of rainfall for this event, with higher amounts (up to 1/2") south of Interstate 40 and lower amounts north of Interstate 40.

 North American Mesoscale (NAM) Model estimated precipitation for this weekend.

North American Mesoscale (NAM) Model estimated precipitation for this weekend.

As we head into next week, conditions will clear off on Monday; however, the cold air behind the front will likely not make it over the mountains until Monday night. Once it makes it over the mountains, things will be much colder for Tuesday, with computer models now suggesting a stronger upper-level trough than previously anticipated. Currently, it appears that many locations will struggle to make it out of the 30s during the day, and will fall into the upper 10s and lower 20s at night. Thankfully, this cold spell does not appear like it will last for a long time, as a ridge will try to develop over the area for Wednesday into Thursday. High Temperatures should rebound into the low-to-mid 50s by Thursday. Lows at night will still remain chilly, as high pressure will keep things clear and dry for almost all of next week. 

 European (ECMWF) Model forecasted 500-millibar heights (lines) and Anomaly (shading) for next Tuesday.

European (ECMWF) Model forecasted 500-millibar heights (lines) and Anomaly (shading) for next Tuesday.

There is considerable uncertainty in the forecast after next Thursday, with the two main long-range computer models disagreeing on the overall weather pattern. The European Model is suggesting that a "cold dome" will form over Canada and the northern United States; however, it also suggests that zonal (west-to-east) flow will setup beneath the cold dome, keeping conditions relatively calm for us, with slightly below-average temperatures possible. On the other hand the American (GFS) Model is suggesting that a high-amplitude trough will develop over the Eastern United States, allowing for the possibility of a strong disturbance developing, which could bring interesting weather for us next weekend. Fortunately, there is still a lot of time for the models to try and agree on something.

Have a great weekend!

Chase Scott Graham