It’s a beautiful, warm day today! What about the rest of the week, the weekend and beyond? I thought I would take a few minutes to break down what is heading our way as we get into mid May. While Ohio and western Pennsylvania enjoy a great Thursday, we will be watching the Midwest and Plains states for another round of severe weather this afternoon: As the system that will spark the severe weather today tracks east on Friday, the threat for a few thunderstorms will go up in the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys by afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center does not have us in any sort of enhanced risk though…just a “general” thunderstorm zone:
The NAM model simulated radar at 2:00pm Friday shows spotty shower and thunderstorm activity: A look at the expected structure of the atmosphere Friday afternoon (via a model “sounding”) reveals a fair amount of instability. In the yellow area, air parcels will be “allowed” to continue rising because they will be warmer than their environment. With this much buoyancy in the atmosphere, thunderstorms can get going if there is enough of a “trigger” to force the air to start rising. Since the “trigger”, the cold front, will still be well off to our west Friday afternoon, I expect activity to be very spotty. A lot of us will be able to avoid thunderstorms through the end of the daylight hours.
Showers and thunderstorms are most likely with the arrival of that front Friday night and early Saturday. We should see a drying trend during the midday and afternoon Saturday. The chances for precipitation through midday Sunday are illustrated nicely on this graph (from the SREF model): Notice, there is a small chance for a shower or thunderstorm on Mothers’ Day. Will not be a washout.
Next week will start warm with a couple of chances for showers and thunderstorms. The wettest day is likely to be Wednesday. April ended on a wet note and we have had a few rounds of rain so far this month. 10 day precipitation totals across the region (legend on right):
Have we seen our last 32 degree temperature of the season? Is it safe to plant? Probably, but it’s not a 100% certainty yet. This chart shows the minimum temperature over 6 hour increments over the next 10 days, based on the European model. It shows to sub-32 degree readings (32 is red line toward bottom).
What about temperatures in general? While next week starts warm, the end of the week is likely to turn cooler than average. Notice the change in the jet stream configuration from Sunday to next Thursday. Sunday: Thursday: The pattern over the US basically reverses, with the big trough of low pressure in the West making its way east during the week.
In the meantime, have a great Thursday…enjoy the warmth!