Weekend Update, and the Return of the Cold

Weekend Update, and the Return of the Cold

As the late-week warm-up continues, we take a look ahead to the Saturday system, and determine when the COLD air will return.
Thursday, January 5, 2012: Weekend Update (no Kevin Nealon), and The Eventual Return of The Cold

Good Thursday morning, everybody.  It's another chilly morning, but plenty of sunshine will work together with winds from the southwest to boost temperatures into the 40s again today.  Yesterday, we hit 43°, but today we will make a run into the middle 40s, peaking near 46° in the afternoon.  Only a few clouds will spill across the Ohio River into Kentucky.

We're still keeping an eye on the Saturday system, that continues to be more of a "cloud event" for most of us, with just a few light rain showers in southern Kentucky.  There has been good agreement with this in the computer models over the past few days, so confidence is high that most of the action will stay south of I-64, and any action in Kentucky will be light (probably well under 0.25" of rain even near the Tennessee state line).

Here is this morning's GFS forecast for precipitation between now and Saturday evening.  Anything locally on this map would be falling on Saturday as liquid rain.

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

Less than 0.10" of rain is produced in southern KY, except for those ON the TN state line, where 0.10" or 0.12" is forecast by the GFS. 

A much more significant storm system should arrive on Wednesday of next week, producing a much more widespread, heavier rain.  It will also be a game-changer, as a sweeping pattern shift will probably unfold as it crosses the Ohio Valley and East Coast.  Temperatures will tumble behind the midweek system, and this will set the table for opportunities for snowfall around mid-month.  A ridge will build into the west, and a large trough will dig into the east.  This more amplified pattern in the jet stream will allow cold air that has spent much of the winter "locked up" in the Arctic to spill south into the eastern US and Ohio Valley.  As the new pattern becomes established, take a look at the mean position of the upper-level flow, 8 to 10 days into the future as forecast by the GFS and EURO.  (This would put us into the weekend of January 13 - January 15.)

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology.

There is hope for the snow fans.

Until then, enjoy this warm-up!


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