Delightful weather...

>> Friday, October 22, 2010

We will once again get to enjoy some terrific weekend weather. Night will be chilly, but afternoons will be very, very nice.

Today will be sunny with highs about 10 degrees cooler than Thursday's highs. Many Piedmont highs will be shy of 70 with abundant sunshine.

A chilly night is ahead tonight. We will have a clear sky, high pressure will essentially be sitting directly overhead, and winds will be light....perfect conditions for what is called radiational cooling. Many lows will drop into the upper 30s....even some mid 30s in some spots.

As I mentioned above, excellent weekend weather will unfold. Highs will be in the 70s. Look for a sunny sky tomorrow with a partly cloudy Sunday sky.

Warm and unsettled next week...

We will have a couple of storm system roll through next early in the work week, and another around Thursday. Both systems will bring the chance of some showers and storms, and the mid-week period will be quite warm with some highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

Model madness has taken over toward Halloween weekend.....lots of uncertainty there.


Richard is stationary in the Caribbean Sea today, and the system remains a minimal tropical storm. However, the upper level winds are relaxing a bit, and the chances are good for Richard to become a hurricane at some point over the weekend.

The big high pressure that will give us the terrific weekend will also keep Richard suppressed to the south, and it looks like the system will make a landfall on the Yucatan. If the system emerges into the Gulf, it will be pretty far south.

Winter Outlook...

I have begin the process of typing up my winter forecast....I hope to have the discussion and its associated video cut by the middle of next week.


Winter Outlook 2010

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

**Issued October 27, 2010**

Above is the video to accompany the winter forecast. Please see it for all of the graphical information. I picture is worth a thousand words.

For those of you that are new to my winter outlooks, my goal each year is to put out my forecast prior to Halloween. The temperature and precip forecasts relative to average are based on December, January, and February, and any snowfall ideas are first flake to last flake, whatever month they occur in.

Last year's winter forecast worked out very, very nicely. I still have all of those maps saved, and the video is still on my youtube channel for those interested. Overall, it went about as well as a seasonal forecast can go.

This time around, my confidence is somewhat lower. One of the dominant weather players for this winter is a strong La Nina. The La Nina is a strong one, and that means there is a relatively small sample size of analog years with similar La Nina values. Due to the low number of analog years, this can sometimes lead you down the wrong path.

Another key factor is how the Atlantic behaves. For much of the year, the NAO and the AO have been on the negative side of things, or at most neutral. One recent exception is a positive spike in those values in early October. How these values unfold will play a major role this winter.

At this point, I am going with the idea that a neutral to negative NAO/AO combination will be with us, at least through the first half of winter.

So, with all of that said, here we go...

The analog years I have gone with are the winters of 55/56, 73/74, 75/76, 88/89, 98/99, 99/00. I have placed more weight in the analogs from the 50s and 70s....reason being a much closer match with the current solar cycle than the other years mentioned as well as a better overall match with the cycle of the PDO, or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

So, my overall forecast for the winter.

Please see the maps at the bottom for the individual month breakdowns of the analog years for temps and precip.

For the Carolinas
Temperatures: Above average Precipitation: Average to a bit below

That is very vague, so let's get a little more specific. I anticipate, relative to averages, December to be our coldest winter month. For the Southeast, I will go with average December temps. From there, January and February are look above average for the Southeast's temps.

For precip, each of the months look to be fairly close to average. The closer you get to the Gulf coast, the drier it looks overall.

Snowfall forecasts are always tricky. It only takes one quite healthy snow event to reach averages around much of our non-mountain areas. I do think we will have our chances this winter, however, unlike last winter where we had one potential event right after another, they will be fewer in number. If we can cash in on one or two of these potential events, then the region will do OK for snow. If not, then not so much.

I think December could be our best opportunity for winter events, with the potential dwindling a bit as the winter unfolds. However, even in a sea of above average temperatures, it only takes one well-placed upper level low to dump snow. So, back away from the ledge, snow fans. There is always hope.

So again, to recap, the coldest winter temperatures overall look to be during the first half of winter with above average temps taking over as we get deeper into winter. However, the mid-Atlantic to the Tennessee Valley could wind up being a battle ground for airmasses, so there will be some temps swings. And with colder air sitting fairly close by, that could lend itself to some ice or wintry mix events.

Again, please see the video...I get into lots of graphics with more detailed information in there.








Breezy Thursday...

After starting the day with fog in some Piedmont locations, our Thursday will overall be a sunny and breezy day. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s, and winds will gust out of the west over 25 or even 30mph at times. Up in the mountains, winds could gust over 50mph at times.

A dry cold front will clear through late today, and behind that front, we will cool down a bit more. I anticipate low to mid 40s tonight for lows and highs tomorrow shy of 70 in many Piedmont locations.

Great weekend...

We will continue our October trend of terrific weekend weather this weekend. Look for lots of sunshine and highs well up into the 70s.

Unsettled next week...

The weather pattern will change for next week. The week overall looks pretty mild, and there will be at least two storm systems impact the region. The first system comes Monday into Tuesday. The second, and likely stronger, system will roll through late in the work week. Each system has the potential to bring some showers and even some thunderstorms.

Behind the late-week system, some colder air will try to invade for Halloween weekend.


TD 19 formed last night in the Caribbean Sea. This system stands a good chance of becoming Tropical Storm Richard relatively soon.

Overall, an eventual track off to the west or northwest is likely, and the system will likely head toward Central America and/or the southern Gulf of Mexico. Stay tuned on this one...

Lots of info can be found on the Tropical Weather Page of the site...


Some AM showers...

>> Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some showers are spreading through the region this morning, and they will exit fairly quickly. In fact, for most of us, the chance of showers will be over by lunch time. We will see a good deal of clouds today, although some sun will work in later this afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 60s to lower 70s.

A cooler night is on tap tonight with lows in the 40s under a clear sky. Tomorrow's weather looks nice, although it will be fairly breezy. We will see a sunny sky and highs in the 70s.

Friday will be a touch cooler with upper 60s to lower 70s again, but highs over the weekend will be well up into the 70s with lots of sun.

More active pattern next week...

As I mentioned yesterday, the overall weather pattern will become more active next week. The first storm system looks to move through later Monday into Tuesday. Mild and more humid air will get pulled northward ahead of that system, and showers looks possible, especially Monday night into Tuesday. At this point, some thunderstorms even look possible as well.

Later next week, another system will likely move into the eastern US...probably late in the work week. Behind that system, a significant push of chilly air could invade much of the eastern half of the country. Still some uncertainty there though....


The disturbance in the Caribbean is slowly organizing, and a recon plane is in the system this morning. It is quite possible that we could have a tropical depression or maybe even Tropical Storm Richard later today.


Warm afternoon temps today...

>> Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The region will enjoy lots of sunshine today, and highs will respond accordingly, warming into the lower 80s in many Piedmont locations. Places near the highway 74 corridor really saw temperatures held down a good bit yesterday due to fairly thick high clouds, but today will be warmer.

Clouds will roll right back in tonight as a cold front approaches. That front will bring a limited shower chance, mainly tomorrow morning. The best chance of seeing a shower will be roughly along and north of I-40, and even there, any showers will be brief and relatively light.

Behind the front, a cool, dry airmass will settle in Thursday through the weekend with some 70s for highs and 40s for lows and lots of sun....altogether, nice Autumn weather.

There are some indications that the storm track will become more active next week. Next week looks relatively mild overall, but a big plunge of cold air will invade the US by the end of the week....the big question is where??


There is still a disturbance in the western Caribbean Sea, but it remains fairly disorganized.


Warm afternoon temps...

>> Monday, October 18, 2010

We enjoyed a wonderful weather weekend with chilly nights and sunny, comfortable afternoons. As we get back into the regular routine today, some high clouds will stream overhead at times, but a lot of sun should get through with highs around 80 degrees.

Tomorrow's weather will be much the same with some mid and high level clouds at times and highs close to 80.

A weak cold front will slide through Wednesday morning, and there will be the chance of a few showers very late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. However, any showers will be brief and relatively light in nature.

Behind the front, cooler, drier air will arrive Thursday through the upcoming weekend. Highs will likely return to the lower 70s at most with some chilly nights on tap again.

Fall foliage...

Many elevations above 4000' or 4500' in the mountains have now passed peak color, but some great color is there to enjoy this week in the 2500' to 3500' range.


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