Falling temps....

>> Friday, October 28, 2011

Temperatures will fall through the day today behind a cold front now to our south. In fact, many Piedmont spots will see afternoon temps in the 40s with some 30s by tonight.

Some mainly light rain will spread into some areas today, then as an area of low pressure strengthens along the coast, the rain will get heavier at times tonight. Like I mentioned, it will be a very chilly rain with many Piedmont and Foothill locations in the 30s with the rain later tonight into Saturday morning.

As the thicknesses crash, some snow will be involved in some mountain locations, and I would not be at all surprised to see some snowflakes in the northern Foothills later tonight and Saturday morning.

While rain will be with us briefly Saturday morning, I anticipate lots of afternoon sun building in with windy conditions....gusts over 30mph at times out of the northwest. Couple that with temps struggling to make it to the lower 50s....it will be chilly.

Lows Sunday and Monday mornings drop into the low and mid 30s around the Piedmont....good enough for frosts and light freezes.

Be sure and check out my Winter Outlook in the post right below this one.


Winter Outlook 2011

>> Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here is the Winter Outlook Video....please see the discussion below for tons of specifics.

Before I get into the specifics of the forecast, I will lay the groundwork for my thinking on the upcoming Winter. Some factors that will impact the season.....

After a La Nina last Winter, the ENSO went to a neutral stage earlier this year and is now back into the weak La Nina category. My forecast is going with the idea of a weak to possibly moderate La Nina being in place through the Winter. In looking at some analogs, I used several years that were La Nina Winters that also had La Ninas the previous Winter.

We are in a cool phase of the PDO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I placed more weight on my analogs from the previous cold phase of the PDO.

NAO: Around our part of the country, the NAO is often what truly drives the ship in terms of the overall pattern. Looking at the longer-term, the NAO was in a largely positive phase through the late 80s into the early 200s, but recently, we seem to be heading into another longer-term negative phase, like occurred during the 50s and 60s.

Admittedly, this is an index that I am not overly comfortable with as of yet, but this is heading into the negative phase, which should lead to more blocking in the pattern.

While there is always short-term variability in the NAO, I am looking at it in the broader perspective. I am basing a lot of my Winter ideas on the thoughts that the NAO will have a tendency to be negative.

Solar activity:
Although it is now rebounding some, we are still in a relative minimum in terms of sunspot activity.

Finally, I always like to look at how the pattern has behaved in October. Lots of times, this can clue you in on the pattern for at least parts of the upcoming Winter. The pattern this month has featured overall a good deal of eastern North American troughing. There have also been several powerhouse storm systems as well as numerous closed upper air lows.

The forecast:
You can see the national maps below, but for this discussion, I will focus on the Carolinas and Southeast.

When looking at the Winter as a whole (December, January, and February), I am going with the idea of temperatures being near average. With that said, I would lean toward a colder than normal December and possibly January and possibly an above average February.

As for precipitation, for the Carolinas and most of Georgia and Alabama, I am going with the idea of near average precipitation with above average precip from Kentucky and the Virginias northward. I am going with below average precip along the Gulf coast into Florida.

So, what does that mean for snow?
I am always hesitant to forecast above or below average snow, especially around here since one good snow event can put you above average for the season, and even in individual winter weather events, there is a ton of variability in the totals from one spot to another. But I do think much of the region has a good chance of meeting or exceeding their annual snow averages.

I also want to mention that we are really overdue for an icing event in the CAD areas of the Carolinas into NE Georgia. So I would not be surprised at all to see an ice event in December or January.

As always, I reserve the right to adjust this forecast if necessary prior to the end of November.

Below are the national forecast maps. Please watch the video for more insights into the Winter Outlook.


One final day of warmth....

before highs tomorrow wind up being 25-30 degrees colder across much of the region.

Highs today will be in the mid and upper 70s with fairly breezy southwest winds right ahead of our advancing cold front. Behind the front, tomorrow will be a cloudy, cold, raw type of day with rain arriving by afternoon. Temps tomorrow will likely hover in the upper 40s and lower 50s for much of the Piedmont and foothills.

The rain will be pretty steady at times as we head through Friday night before the system exits Saturday morning. It is going to be a chilly, rainy go of it for area high school football games tomorrow evening.

It is interesting to note that thickness values are extremely close to the wintry precip category in the northern foothills and northwestern-most Piedmont late tomorrow into tomorrow night.

The chilly air will remain with us right on into early next week with some 50s for highs and 30s for lows.


Rina drastically weakened yesterday. The system will impact the Yucatan today and tonight and then likely continue to weaken as it meanders near and west of western Cuba.


Two more mild afternoons....

>> Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Highs today and tomorrow will remain well into the 70s across the region. Soak it in, because a big change will arrive by Friday.

A cold front will slice through Thursday night, and behind that front, much colder air will arrive. At the same time, another area of low pressure will develop and slide offshore, likely spreading some mostly light rain into the region later Friday and Friday night. Friday looks to be a cloudy day with some rain at times and Piedmont highs only in the low and mid 50s. Yikes!

It will remain chilly right on through Halloween. Highs this weekend will be in the 50s in most spots with lows well down into the 30s....maybe even a light freeze possible in some spots by Sunday or Monday morning.

Early next week, the European model wants to bring in another storm system for Monday night and Tuesday while the GFS keeps it offshore. I have leaned my forecast in the direction of the European model today.


Rina stands a decent chance of becoming a major hurricane today, and it will likely be a pretty bad situation for the Yucatan Peninsula later this week, including Cancun and Cozumel. From there, Rina will bend to the northeast, likely in a much weaker state, and could wind up near the Florida Keys down the road.

Winter Outlook...

I am continuing to work on my Winter Outlook and will hopefully have it posted later this week....


Fantastic weather for a few days, but. . .

>> Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We will enjoy more spectacular weather over the next few days with highs remaining in the 70s for most spots. Enjoy!

We will have a sunny sky today and a mostly sunny sky tomorrow before clouds begin to increase Thursday in advance of our next cold front. That front will usher in sharply chillier air by Friday with many highs returning to the 50s.

It looks like a little piece of upper level energy will be left behind the main trough that swings through Thursday, and that will likely lead to a coastal low forming by later Friday. For our area, the end result could be a chilly rain later Friday and Friday night, but at this point, I think it exits in time for a dry but chilly weekend.


Rina really took off in intensity yesterday, and as of this typing, is a Category 2 hurricane. See the video for more. It looks like the system will wind up close to Cancun and Cozumel late this work week, then slowly bend to the north and then northeast. While south Florida is not out of the woods, less model data is indicating that scenario this morning with most solutions aimed closer to western Cuba. But that is way to specific for that far away. Stay tuned.


More nice weather....

>> Monday, October 24, 2011

More nice October weather is on tap for the next few days. Some clouds are around the region at times today as both an upper level disturbance and a weak cold front swing through. I don't think either of these features have enough moisture to work with to produce any rain though, and highs will top out in the low to mid 70s.

We will see a sunny sky tomorrow and Wednesday with highs in the low to mid 70s. Then, a sharp cold front will swing through Thursday night. A few brief showers are possible Thursday night, and then it turns much chillier again for Friday and the weekend.

There is some uncertainty as to whether or not a piece of energy gets dumped into the Southwest as our next trough approaches. The European and Canadian models do just that, and the result is then some rain Friday night and Saturday as that piece of energy finally moves through. The GFS is cool and dry. I have left Saturday dry in my forecast package this morning, but just be aware that I might have to adjust that as the week unfolds.


Tropical Storm Rina is in the Caribbean Sea and will meander in the direction of the Yucatan Peninsula this week. The HWRF and GFDL models really strengthen the system, and in turn, allow it to get picked up by our incoming trough, taking it to Florida. Other models keep this suppressed well south of the US. We will watch it.


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