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Weather pattern heats up-- unfortunately literally

Opportunities for snowfall are few and far between in the coming days, as temperatures will be sent well above normal. Before that happens though, some of us will get a little something...

Good Sunday morning to you one and all.

Looking at the radar maps (below) it's clear that those showers and snowflakes did not make much of an advancement toward our southern mountains. As expected, nothing much has come of this first push-- except maybe those clouds.

The next system we've been monitoring comes in this evening.

NAM - Sunday Evening NAM - Sunday Night

This is because of a weak cold front that swings through the tri-state. The moisture comes in behind the front, specifically because of the lake-effect combined with the push of cold air. It's actually looking a little better on the NAM this run (and it is my model of choice for this one). Since temperatures may well cross the 40s this afternoon in the lowlands, a bit of rain may gum up the works to start. I would expect the Charleston area on up I-79 have the best lower-elevation shot at needing to dust some snow off the windshields Monday morning, while a couple inches of snow will fall in the WV mountains.

Pattern Change...

Then everyone who loves snowstorms will just have to take a little break. These next storm systems have March written all over them. Let's have a look why...

Starting with the upper-air charts...

ECMWF - 500mb Chart - Monday Night ECMWF - 500mb Chart - Thursday Night

So the first thing that happens is a nice deep plunge of vorticity into the southwest US. That's fine, a lot of our bigger storms can start that way. The problem becomes evident in our second map-- the red blob of vorticity actually shoots so far south that it gets completely separated from the main flow and fails to retain any of the cold air with it. A more attention-grabbing vorticity picture would instead be the next push behind it-- note how the deep dive in heights is supported all the way through. The next thing to remember about these southwest US blobs of vorticity is that they tend to slow down. The southwest US is like the Bermuda Triangle for weather when one of these cut-off systems get stuck in there; anything can happen.

It's now looking like Thursday before the energy from this storm makes it to the Ohio Valley. Here's what it looks like on the GFS:

GFS - Thursday Evening GFS - Friday Afternoon

..Which matches a lot of what the Euro is saying as well. On this map, the solid black lines represent temperatures at the 850mb level, but there are a couple of lines that are shaded a little differently. The thickest black line represents the 0-C line (freezing point), while the thicker red line represents +10-C (50 F!). We don't normally get this one in our area in the middle of January, but it's here nonetheless. That is in the warm air out ahead of the main storm system, but notice how the cold air never filters in behind one the storm pushes through. We'll be stuck in the mild doldrums for a few days no less. Take a look at some of these temperatures.

GFS - Max Temps - Thursday GFS - Max Temps - Friday GFS - Max Temps - Saturday

It's be appropriate to say that "a lot can happen between now and then", but unfortunately this is continuing to confirm what we talked about just about a week ago for this coming week. 70-degrees in Louisville Friday?!

When do we right the ship? Well, if the GFS Ensemble Means have anything to say about it, we'll be waiting a while...

GFS - 500mb Ensemble Means - January 11th (Friday) GFS - 500mb Ensemble Means - January 21st (Monday)

That's entirely too long in my opinion. If, and that's a big "if", we have to way thaat long to get seasonably cold air to return, then there had better be a present waiting for us ;-)

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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