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Update - Finally some showers-- but will they get to everyone?

We'll be on rain patrol today... Some much needed moisture heading in, but there are some factors that may keep the showers out of some areas that need it. We also keep tabs on that storm system that looks to arrive this weekend.

Updates below...

Good Wednesday morning to you all.

Hopefully things are going to go right today because showers are on the menu. The action is going to start along that stalled out front to our south that we talked about yesterday, then push northward. This would be a great thing, as much of the area hasn't seen a whole lot of rain in the rain gauge this month just yet:

Huntington - 0.33" (for the month so far. The same period last year: 6.01")
Charleston - 0.08" (for the month so far. The same period last year: 3.46")
Parkersburg - 0.34" (for the month so far. The same period last year: 4.29")

The average amount of rain thus far in the month typically expected is around 1.8". This means that some folks are running at just 5% of their monthly rainfall expectations. That's not going to get it done. I realize last year was quite ridiculous to the other extreme, so it would be nice to get some normalcy around here. :-)

Here's what the models are pulling for with respect to this system (not a whole lot of change from yesterday):

 GFS - Wednesday PM WRF - Wednesday PM
   

The GFS model is much more progressive with a good shower for most of us, but unfortunately in my opinion the WRF simply does better in these near-term time frames. It has a better ground resolution as well. It wants to focus showers more in the mountains, and cut them off as we get closer to the Ohio River. We'll have to see how this plays out, but here's another thing to consider:

GFS - 700mb RH - Wednesday PM WRF - 700mb RH - Wednesday PM

The indications look pretty consistent between the runs that there will be a sharp cut-off line for the north/west extent of the showers today. In fact, we may see a dynamic at work where the cloud shield itself simply ends and folks in Ohio and Kentucky actually see sunshine. At this stage, most of us in either model scenario will at least be stuck in the clouds, but I do think this element is an important one to mention should the rain make a shift farther south or east.

---Long Range Weather Tangent---

I know a lot of folks have their sights set on a decent weekend of weather. Among other things, HillBilly Days is nigh, and everyone wants the Jalopy parade to go off without a hitch-- well, a without a weather one anyway. Let's return to the GFS model, just to show how the computers have been handling the weekend event. As we've said before, it's been a little here there and everywhere:

GFS - Sunday (model run from last Sunday) GFS - Sunday (model run from Monday) GFS - Sunday (model run from Tuesday)
     

 Notice how with each successive model run, the storm system was resolved weaker and farther south. In addition, the wrap-around of the colder air (denoted by the red-dashed line) was not as easily pulled into the system. All three solutions still mean rainfall is coming this weekend though, and some folks look to get a decent amount:

HPC - Weekend Rainfall

Though the bulk of the rain has shifted southward with the main focus of the storm, the Appalachian Trail still collects a healthy dose of moisture for the plants, and this would appear to include the Pikeville, KY area where HillBilly Days is going on. However, Thursday is still going to be a real gem, and there's still plenty of time to keep an eye on this one (change has certainly happened before).

For anyone that wants to see crazy weather maps, the GFS is off to the races again in the later time frames... Take a look at what it wants to see happen on this coming Tuesday...

 Look familiar? I sure think so. This time around it wants to generate a storm event with snow in it (as opposed to a perhaps too-extreme term 'snowstorm') for the New York City area. Let's just say I don't have my hopes up. The European forecast model in these later forecast periods can sometimes be prone to the same sort of craziness, but it usually reels the situation back in gradually, as opposed to the GFS's jumping all around. A consensus view still holds for the possibility of flakes in the Canaan Valley to finish off this system this weekend, but it's certainly more muted than the way it looked earlier in the week (as expected). Anytime you see things like this on a map, it's always flagged for concern. It will be interesting indeed if it takes that system that it wants to bring well to our south now and churn it up the coastline Nor'easter style. It would be quite out of place climatologically and would require the blending of all the steering currents in the atmosphere into one big stream. Like I said: we'll just see about this.

---End Tangent---

When the rain starts to fall and inch northward, I'll try to post some updates about the expected spread and rainfall amounts headed in. For now, enjoy the constantly updating weather maps :-)

Update 9:00am - The rain is just pitter-pattering into Huntington, but so far the more needed healthy washing hasn't occured. As expected however, this very sort of thing is happening in the southern mountains and coalfields-- right where they don't need it:

HAS Precipitation Forecast HPC Precipitation Forecast

 Overall, not a whole lot of rainfall from this one, but beggars can't be choosers. Hopefully we'll get closer to normal this weekend and not have to put up with this rainfall deficit all summer long.

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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