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Update - Emerging sunshine (finally), a warming trend, and showers lurking

Explaining the stubborn clouds of Saturday, and looking ahead to next week's temperature trends and opportunities for rainfall.

Updated - see below

It's April Fool's Day :-)

...And I don't have any pranks or things going on (though I can't say the same thing for my kids). There are a few stories in TV WeatherCaster lore where someone attempted to do 'fake' forecasts for ha-ha's, but let's just say they didn't go over too well with viewers. I'll be playing it straight today-- on the blog anyway.

First, a matter of clean-up from yesterday...

 ---Tangent (skip if uninterested)---

So yesterday we were talking about 'emerging' sunshine, 'gradual' sunshine, 'evolving' sunshine...Whatever word you like to put on it. However, for many folks it never came. I wanted to go back and explain why that ended up happening, something I will tend to do from time-to-time because I don't like it when a forecast is wrong and I think if I explain things there may be a benefit in the end.

On yesterday's blog, I pointed to a graphic that showed the relative humidity at around 10,000 feet altitude. I explained that for clouds that bring rain, they will typically show up in this particular imagery. Well, yesterday very few folks (if any) had showers after the early morning hours, but it was still cloudy nonetheless. So here's another image that should help explain why:

This is from the NAM model showing 8pm Saturday's conditions. This is the same relative humidity from different altitudes levels overhead. On weather maps and computer models, we measure weather above the surface differently than at the ground itself. It's probably confusing, so I'll gladly expand on it if someone asks in the comments section. Suffice it to say that the top graphic is the one at the highest altitude (about 3 miles in the sky), and the lowest one is just above the ground. The second from the top is more-or-less the same imagery and information we looked at yesterday. Notice how the humidity is pretty low (less than 30%) at this level and above it. Now, look at the levels closer to the ground. The humidity starts to shoot up, especially closer to the surface, where at times the humidity is over 90%. This basically means that these stubborn clouds form underneath the main flow of air and can get trapped in the lower levels of the atmosphere despite what is working to dry out the air above.

Needless to say, the clouds were...

...And no, I'm not playing that song. I never liked that group. But my younger sister did, then refused to admit it, then went back to liking them again when they went on tour this past summer. Eesh.

---End Tangent---

So now that that's over with, we will get sunshine today. Palm Sunday church goers, golfing tee-timers, and easter egg hunters will be able to enjoy their outdoor activities. But, later in the day today we'll have to keep our eyes on approaching rain (similar to Friday evening):

GFS - Sunday Evening NAM - Sunday Evening

Thunder can indeed be a part of these, but since they'll be arriving after the prime heating hours of the day, it will be less of a threat. We'll be keeping an eye on things though, and updates may occur time permitting.

Looking ahead, we're still expecting the next larger-scale system to come in in the Tuesday/Wednesday time-frame:

GFS - Tuesday Evening HPC - Precip Totals

At this point it's looking to be more of an event for other parts of the country, but it should still be enough for the umbrellas.

One final thing before we get going with the day. I'd like to talk about the temperatures we'll be seeing this coming week. I think it's sometimes useful to talk about them in terms of how far from normal they are or will be (otherwise known as an 'anomaly'). We've looked at these images before, so let's show the next few days in sequence...

GFS - Temp Anomalies (Sunday - Wednesday)
Click for a larger image

The central part of the country has been under this unseasonably warm air throughout the entire month of March, and it looks like it's going to keep on right into the start of April. But for our area, we'll dabble in the 15-degrees above normal range, particularly Tuesday (this would be near 80). By Wednesday, following the showers, cooler than normal temperatures will drop by, but still good enough to keep us in the 60s. Note the deep cold in the west, and the marginal cold in the east. It's actually been snowing in New England this weekend.

4:30pm Update - The Storm Prediction Center has placed part of the area under their "slight risk" for severe weather (usually when they do this, someone gets something. You can see the overall convective risk outlook in the tracker tools below, but here is the breakdown of what and where they think the main threats will be:

SPC - Hail Threat SPC - Wind Threat SPC - Tornado Threat

The main threat here (as usual) would be wind and hail, though the hail threat does seem elevated with this bunch-- primarily to our west. Naturally, there will be a risk for spot downpours and plenty of lightning, but this system will once again be approaching during the waning ours of sun influence. We'll have to see if any stay strong before stumbling across the region. The place to be on watch the most would be in eastern Kentucky, perhaps between Grayson and Lexington.

Okay, here come the tracking tools.

Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking

Accuweather Radar

 From the Storm Prediction Center (below): Click For a Larger Image

Activity Overview Storm Outlook Watches Potential Watches Storm Reports

 

Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active Warnings
Current Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active NWS Warnings
Click For Larger Click For Interactive Radar Click For Larger Click For Larger

Have a great day everyone!

-B

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