WSAZ - Blogs - Brandon Butcher

Sunny up front, interesting behind-the-scenes

High pressure continues to flex just enough control to keep the local area in the clear during the afternoons, but fog is still likely in the mornings.

Greetings one and all. Thank you for stopping by the blog today :-)

Got something I've found interesting in these past couple of days, though it may not make much of a head-turn when observing the skies this weekend-- that pattern has been largely in place all week. First thing's first...

HPC - Surface Map - Friday Afternoon

So no big deal right? High pressure, lots of sunshine, things looking good. Well, that cold air influx that is coming down along the Appalachians ends up being called "Cold Air Damming" as it's hard to get out of those valleys once the clear night air permits it to seep on in. The results for us in the morning are once-again the spectre of fog along the river valleys where the water is warmer than the cold air above it. Also notice the little kink in the pressure lines right over West Virginia that indicates a southerly breeze instead of a northerly one. Given the orientation of the mountains, this is a 'downsloping' breeze. In effect, warmer air is trying to arrive at the same time colder air is doing the same thing. Here's what it looks like at different altitude levels:

SREF - 850mb Temperatures (~5000ft)

SREF - 500mb Heights (~16,000ft)

In a normal environment, the 500mb height lines would be a good approximation for temperature, considering that air is usually following a more-or-less steady cooling rate with altitude. As I've said before on this blog, you could lop off the "5" and use the last two numbers for an approximation of the high temperature. Do that, and Saturday has the makings of the mid/upper 80s. However, this is not a normal atmosphere. We have cooling air advecting in at the lower levels, and then the warmer air riding in aloft. This creates an "inversion" where the temperature profile change with altitude is opposite of what it should be. On the one hand, it can keep the Sun shining bright, but if there's any moisture stuck in the lower levels of the atmosphere it becomes a real bear to scour it out. Despite our rosy perspective for the River Cities area, do not be surprised if you're heading into the WV Mountains to the east to see some cloud cover and cooler temperatures than you might expect. I'm thinking perhaps even the upper 60s for highs along Rt-219 in the east, whereas the Huntington/River-Cities area is looking more like 80. Nevertheless we'll hold onto the sunny part of the forecast (after the morning fog of course).

Sunday Showers?

We've been looking at this all week long, and the trend has been to push the showers further and further into Sunday, and even into Monday if we can. I'm feeling pretty good about rain-free conditions to start the Path 2 the Cure 5k in Huntington on Sunday afternoon, and even for the Kelly Pickler concert following it. It's beyond that where we go onto borrowed time...

At least in any rendition, we're not talking about a lot of rain. Look for the showers after sunset Sunday on into early Monday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Have a great day everyone!

-B

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