The general flavor of the forecast is an easy one... It's the next layer down where the difficulties lay. Of course I could say something like, "Today's weather will be partly to mostly cloudy with an occasional downpour....depending on where you are...highs 68-82..." but the lack of specificity reduces its usefulness regardless of how technically accurate it ends up being. A lot of folks out there are always looking for the specifics of when and where for them when they watch a forecast on TV, so the challenge is vast when covering such a large area of people with similar forecast interests.
At first our focus for these scattered showers will be in our western counties, but will eventually encompass the entire tri-state as deeper moisture and humidity work in...
SPC - Precipitable Water / Radar - 10:00AM
The "precipitable water" fields are getting juicier over the tri-state today, most so along the Ohio and Big Sandy Rivers. Showers that appear in those areas will carry some downpours as the come through. In southern Ohio and North Central Kentucky there is a thunderstorm complex that flared up in the overnight that is dropping in. They are nocturnal animals, so it remains to be seen just how long into the day this one will last. Until it fades or becomes the re-launch point for afternoon storms, expect good rains and rumbles to come of this (mostly to our west).
And this is how it goes... We'll be tracking these showers like whack-a-mole, with brightening skies in between. Initially I wanted a high up around 80, but I do think that some spots are going to be stuck in the 70s unless better sunshine can break through.
Friday presents similar challenges, as we'll still be out ahead of the main front. That front presents its own challenges, but at least it's a front.
When it comes to the weekend, there is SO much going on, that there's not a place in the tri-state that isn't real close to a local festival. What's more, that means there's not a time of day that, if/when it were to rain, someone's getting upset. The models have been in flux on the timing of this front, but not on the reality that we'll all get some rain on Saturday.
The NAM model wants to bring the showers in earlier in the day, but even the GFS pushes the rain across to Blacksburg, VA in time to complicate the VATech-Marshall football game. Unfortunately, it's best to have a plan for showers and instead hope to be pleasantly surprised.
GFS - 700mb Chart - Sunday Morning
The models have been trying to handle tropical moisture bubbling up from the Caribbean along with an upper-level disturbance rotating through the base of this passing trough (the one carrying the front that brings us the rain on Saturday). Sunday is still complicated, but so far the recent model runs have been more promising (and positive). Drier air is coming in to kick the moisture on to the other side of the Appalachians. Sunday afternoon looks like returning sunshine for the western counties, while the eastern mountains will hold onto the departing clouds the longest. We just have to get through this last batch of moisture before we take the first week of fall in fair skies.
Have a great day everyone!