Major cold front will bring rain, wind and temperature drop

The warm, sunny weather of the past several days is on the way out. Although our area has experienced several cold fronts over the past few weeks, none have come with quite the vigor which Tuesday’s front will. Northwesterly winds behind the front, a strong mid and upper level system, and a fresh supply (seasonally speaking) of Canadian air will all accompany the frontal boundary. Southerly winds continued this morning ahead of the front, with a broad area of heavy rain lingering just off to our west. The winds are expected to pick up as the afternoon draws on.

Along the frontal zone, an impressive thermal gradient will exist later this afternoon. Forecast models indicate the potential for a 25-30 degree temperature drop during the evening. Widespread heavy rain is expected to be accompanied by embedded thunderstorms, which could drop over 1″ of rain throughout a majority of the area. Making matters worse (or more dramatic, depending on how you look at it) is the potential for strong winds, nested just above the surface, to mix down in this heavier precipitation. Forecast models indicate the potential for wind gusts of 30 to 40 miles per hour as the front passes.

A strong cold front will approach the area this afternoon, with a  dramatic temperature gradient.

A strong cold front will approach the area this afternoon, with a dramatic temperature gradient.

By Wednesday morning, temperatures will have fallen into the upper 20’s to lower 30’s and a northwesterly wind will be noticeable. Highs will still rebound into the 40’s and 50’s, but the 80 degree temperatures and warm sun of the weekend past will be a distant memory. The cooler weather is expected to continue into the latter part of the work week — despite a temperature rebound as the airmass modifies, with highs moving back into the upper 50’s.

With the long term forecast in mind, it appears unlikely that our area will see a return to 70 and 80 degree weather in the immediate future. Medium and long range forecast guidance agree that lower than normal mid level heights will continue shifting eastward in a progressive pattern, beating down any attempt at ridging over the area through next week. Any warmer days will be short lived, and followed by the potential for unsettled weather. As always, we’ll be keeping an eye out for the next potential “gem” of a day. But for now, we endure some payback for this past weekends weather.

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