Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our area -- surrounded by weather news

It looks as if the Charlotte region will be surrounded by big weather news over the next several days, while the computer models struggle to figure out how far south the arctic air will descend next week and beyond.

In the immediate future, we're in for some very warm weather -- except for Friday.

Temperatures are soaring well into the 60s today, but they'll be limited to the upper 50s by clouds and showers Friday, as a warm front slides northward across the region. But remember -- even the upper 50s are a lot milder than the average high of 50 degrees in Charlotte at this time of the year.

The three days after that, Saturday through Monday, will be downright silly with the mild weather. High temperatures will push into the lower 70s each day, and there'll be some sunshine accompanying the warmth Saturday and Sunday.

While all this is happening to us, areas near the Charlotte region will be dealing with big weather news.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are threatening parts of the deep South today, and while the severe weather probably will weaken by Friday, there will still be a chance of flooding rains to our west. The heavy rain is expected to fall in Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and maybe southern Kentucky.

A few showers are likely in our region, but what we get will pale in comparison with what falls to our west.

Meanwhile, to the northwest, bitter cold will be the story.

An outbreak of arctic air is forecast to plunge into the Rockies and upper Midwest by early in the weekend, and some of the temperature contrasts will be ridiculous. Fargo, N.D., is expected to have a high of 40 degrees today. That's downright tropical in January for North Dakota. But by Monday, the afternoon high is forecast to be 2 degrees.

Eventually, the cold air will reach the Carolinas. The best guess is that it arrives next Friday, but it's hard to tell how much cold air will actually move into the Southeast.

The computer models seem to hint at the coldest air being held north of the Carolinas. But I've seen posts on weather bulletin boards, noting that cold air -- which is heavy, dense -- sometimes spreads a lot farther south and east than the computers predict.  Given that a storm system could be moving across the Southeast late next week, we'll need to watch the temperature forecast closely.

Beyond that, who knows?

Consensus earlier this week was that a prolonged period of cold weather was headed for our region. Now a lot of the computer models are hedging on that, showing only a couple of short-lived cold snaps -- and nothing more than slightly-below-average temperatures (i.e., highs in the upper 40s) for late in the month.

Meteorologists have done a good job of determining the various players in our forecast, but the science of figuring out how those players interact is the tough part.

7 comments:

Miss Julie said...

Thank you, Mr. Lyttle. I always enjoy reading your weathery blog. And you're right on to describe our weekend weather as "downright silly." That seems like a perfect description.

Anonymous said...

So - beyond the next week - who knows? At least you're honest Steve - unlike CO's partner WCNC. Their chief weather hyper - Brad Panic has been off the rails about the big freeze for the last week.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on Brad Panic and the big freeze. There's nothing in the last 18 months - or in future models - that makes me think we'll see anything more than upper 40s for highs going into late January. As much as I like chilly winters, I think the rest of this winter will stay relatively tame.

Ettolrahc said...

Sorry, you would have to have a video of you standing out in a storm, hurricane or have it snowing for us to believe you as a valid source for talking about the weather. :)

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Anonymous said...

There is a massive wall on the NC/VA border that will keep cold winter out of NC for the second year in a row. Your sleds and snow shovels will become museum pieces. Snowmen will never stand in NC yards again. Enjoy the early arrival of blooms and bugs by Groundhog Day!

jacobmontereal said...

Good to know that your place is surrounded by Weather news.