Friday, January 28, 2011

Enjoy the quiet weekend

Weather won't make headlines this weekend in the Carolinas and elsewhere in the South.

After weeks and weeks of snow, sleet and relentless below-average temperatures, we're moving into a four-day period of really pleasant weather, considering it's still January.

Enjoy it. We've earned the fair weather and temperatures in the mid to upper 50s.

Next week looks like a different story.

All the computer models predict a strong storm system will form over the Southwest early next week and then move eastward and curve northeast. Initially, the storm was predicted to follow a southerly track, putting the western Carolinas on the cold side of the precipitation.

But the models have shifted the storm track, and nearly all meteorologists now expect the storm's center to pass well west of the Carolinas on Tuesday and Wednesday. That will put us on the east-southeast, or "warm," side of the storm.

We need the precipitation, as Charlotte is about 6 inches below average since the beginning of October. We don't need severe weather, though, and that's always a problem for areas on the southeast side of strong low pressure systems. We'll keep an eye on that possibility early next week.

And as the storm system swings northeast, heading up into the Great Lakes and then into Canada, it is forecast to drag very cold air into the United States later next week. For now, the computer models predict the worst of the cold air will filter southward from the upper Midwest into Oklahoma and Arkansas, possibly reaching the northern half of Texas.

Some moderation in the arctic blast is forecast for the Southeast.

What does all this mean, in daily forecast terms?

Through Monday ... Very nice conditions, with sunny to partly cloudy skies, and temperatures at or above average for this time of year.

Tuesday and Wednesday ... A rainy period, with the chance of thunderstorms somewhere in the Carolinas.

Thursday into next weekend ... A return to colder weather, but we don't know exactly how cold yet.

In the meantime, enjoy the break!


Anonymous said...

Steve, help me out with averages. The Charlotte area's average high for today is 52°F and the average low is 32°F. To me that means we have a 50% chance to be lower or a 50% chance to have higher temperatures for that day. Is that correct? It sure seems we've been on the low end for the last several weeks!

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