Cooler, drier weather behind cold front

Warm, humid air with showers and thunderstorms were the main characteristics of the airmass on Saturday — but a distinct cold front moved through the area later on Saturday evening and the airmass has changed dramatically since then. Winds shifted from southerly to west-northwesterly by late Saturday evening into Sunday morning, and temperatures in the mid levels will drop even more considerably Sunday morning. Although overnight temperatures won’ t be frigid (especially in comparison to what we were dealing with 5 days ago), highs on Sunday will only reach into the mid 40’s, considerably cooler than Saturday.

Fair weather will be the main weather story through early week, despite the potential for a few showers on Monday. Sunday looks quiet, with around average temperatures and a westerly breeze. With no precipitation or hazards expected, it will be a sufficient close to a weekend which had only featured unsettled and dreary conditions to this point.

NAM model forecasting high temperatures in the mid 40's on Sunday afternoon.

NAM model forecasting high temperatures in the mid 40’s on Sunday afternoon.

Winter returns by mid and late week

Forecast models are in good agreement on a more wintry pattern returning to the area by the middle to latter portion of the upcoming work week. And while this may not necessarily mean the immediate potential for widespread snow and cold, it will mean the development of a trough in the Central and Eastern United States. Our first chance for wintry precipitation will come as early as Wednesday, when forecast models agree that a weak low pressure system will move near the East Coast

GFS model forecasting a weak coastal system providing the area with snow and rain on Wednesday.

GFS model forecasting a weak coastal system providing the area with snow and rain on Wednesday.

The complicated scenario features a deep, energetic trough moving through the Mississippi Valley — but a pattern progression still in its embryonic stages. So the progressive nature of the pattern remains, and models are in good agreement that the trough will be shunted off to the east. The main low pressure area looks likely to develop well seaward. But as mid level energy moves near the east coast, an inverted trough and secondary low pressure development may occur near the east coast — supporting precipitation in our area.

Despite even the increasing likelihood of precipitation, uncertainty remains regarding precipitation type. Forecast guidance is up in arms in regard to the boundary layer temperatures and suggests somewhat limited support for snow. That being said, rain and snow would both be possible should the storm track as models suggest — and we would have to wait for further intricate details on temperature support for snow accumulation.

While we wait to analyze more data on this potential storm, the few days beginning on Sunday and progressing into the early part of the week look to feature quiet and benign weather with near average temperatures.