Let the games begin...

As we turn our attention to the holiday weekend, there is a little funny-business afoot. We will get our sunshine and hottest weather yet this season, but also a few sneaky opportunities to be spoiled with showers. Take note, lest you get caught unawares.

Helllooooo Thursday!

Today is a day of transition-- out of the muggy showery weather and into the muggy sunny weather :-) Seriously though, the showers and clouds that have been instigated by our weakening upper-air system are going to be withering with much less coverage today. The hi-resolution simulated radar handles the perspective nicely:

NAM - SimRadar - Thursday PM

So a fewer number of scattered showers this time around, and more opportunities for sunshine. Since most of the upper-air disturbance is on the away side of the mountains, most of the showers that spot up will be held up out that way, rather than rumble down appreciably toward Huntington. As always, downpours can be squeezed out of any one of these.

A large dome of high pressure fills in behind this system, sending temperatures soaring well above normal for this time of year, and indeed higher than we've seen this young season. The models have been trending warmer and warmer with each run. See where they are today:

GFS - MaxTemps - Saturday GFS - MaxTemps - Sunday GFS - MaxTemps - Monday

The mid-90s looks a bit of a stretch to me. Many areas are still starting off the morning with damp ground and plenty of dew, and the trees/plants are working about as hard as they will any other time of the year. This will suppress temperature and increase humidity. It's not going to feel any better out there, but I suspect the actual temperature measurement in an official measuring station won't get up this high. Those bank/car thermometers--it's anyone's guess. The problem with temperatures like this, as we talked about yesterday, is that they reach (and exceed) a threshold called the 'convective temperature' at which point the air is simply too unstable to not kick something up. This means that just about any forcing or lifting mechanism is going to touch off a few storms.

...And it just so happens we've got some candidates this weekend (unfortunately). Let's take a look at them.

First up...

That strong storm system racing into Canada in recent model runs now looks like it wants to have a trailing tail that stretches down close to us...

WRF - Friday PM GFS - Friday PM

I like the presentation of the WRF between the two. I think the energy/moisture will be concentrated farther north, and the grid-resolution of the GFS is smearing precipitation returns more widespread than what will verify. At this point, we'll go with a 'close call' (miss) on this one, but if the temperatures do get up into the low 90s something will pop.

Next Up...

When we get into the holiday weekend itself, the heat/humidity will have had a day or two to percolate overhead, picking up where it left off in terms of destabilizing the atmosphere from the day before. Since there won't be any large scale weather-makers in town (no fronts, no appreciable winds, etc.), we're going to bring in another model product that assesses the potential for 'air mass' thunderstorms. These would be ones that form in the heat of the day-- a "nature's air conditioner" of sorts that kick on once that 'convective temperature' has been reached. The NAM only goes out so far on this product, but we can at least have an initial peek into what we might be looking at:

NAM - K Index - Saturday PM

Once you start getting into the 32+ range on K-index numbers, it is more likely than not that storms will be firing. We'll have to look at the eastern mountains on Saturday for the starting points, and then see if they trickle down to the hilltowns closer to Charleston thereafter (like yesterday).

Both these situations are not game-changers for any afternoon or evening plans. This includes festivals and cookouts all around the tri-state. I'm merely pointing to the possible firing points for storm activity. Keep in mind that whatever does pop should be rather scattered, and will occupy just a small part of the day (otherwise, how else would it get into the 90s without sunshine?) Typically, these storms wouldn't be severe in nature either, but always something for your friendly local meteorologist to keep an eye on :-)

Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking

Accuweather Radar

Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active Warnings
Current Temperatures HD Doppler Radar Estimated Rainfall Active NWS Warnings
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Have a great day everyone!

-B

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