HIGHLIGHTS: Rain with a few thunderstorms today, then the cold air returns
If you've been outside this morning, you've likely noticed how warm and moist the air feels. This combination of mild and humid conditions along with a good amount of vertical wind shear will create the possibility of showers and a few strong thunderstorms this afternoon. Widespread severe weather appears to be unlikely at this time; however, this could change, so it is imperative that you stay informed this afternoon. The current setup looks like we will have on and off showers through the early afternoon hours, before the main line of showers and thunderstorms moves into our area. High-resolution, short-range model guidance suggests that a line of showers and thunderstorms will move into our western counties around 2-3 p.m., and will move from southwest to northeast across the area, exiting our eastern counties by around 6-7 p.m. During these four hours, this line of thunderstorms may bring damaging winds, heavy rain, and there is a slight risk that a tornado could spin up in one of these lines. While damaging winds and tornadoes certainly sound threatening, it is the flood risk that you need to take the most seriously, especially if you live in a low-lying area. Please seek higher ground if you live in a flood-prone area and waters begin to rise. Many locations along the mountains have seen a lot of rainfall over the past day or so, so streams, creeks, and rivers will continue to rise regardless of how much rainfall you receive today. If you are driving, do not drive through any fast moving water! You cannot know for certain how deep that water is. Turn around, don't drown!
Once today's round of showers and storms moves through the area, we will quickly head back into a more winter-like pattern, with temperatures on Saturday likely remaining stuck in the 30s. Lows on Saturday night will fall into the upper 10s and lower 20s, the start of another cold outbreak. Looking at the upcoming synoptic-scale pattern, while there is certainly going to be colder than normal temperatures upcoming, both the extent and duration of this cold outbreak appear to be shorter than the cold outbreak experienced over the past few weeks. As mentioned previously, the first shot of cold air will overspread the area Saturday and will stick with us through the weekend into the early part of next week. There will be a brief moderation of temperatures in the early-to-mid part of next week, before a stronger second shot of cold air moves in for the mid-to-late part of next week. Thankfully, it looks like a pattern change might be in the cards for next weekend, as long-range forecast models suggest that ridging may begin to occur over the eastern United States.
Have a great Friday and weekend!
Chase Scott Graham