Monday, March 29, 2010

Weather worth writing home about!

What a fabulous spring week we have in store across the Mid-South! In the wake of a cold front over the weekend that brought storms Saturday night and cloudy and very cool weather on Sunday, high pressure is building in. This high will hold on for several days, making for some gorgeous days! High pressure is moving in not just at the surface, but well up into the atmosphere as well. This ridge of high pressure will help warm things up considerably over the central U.S. and then into the eastern portion of the country as we head into the week. In fact, highs in the lower 60s today will increase by about 10 degrees for Tuesday and several more degrees on Wednesday, putting the Mid-South near it's first 80 degree days of the year to end the week!

The map above shows the jet stream level (about 34,000 feet) forecast for Wednesday evening, when the ridge of high pressure is directly overhead. If you look upstream though (to the west), you'll notice a large trough of low pressure over the west coast. This is what meteorologists refer to as a "highly-amplified pattern" - featuring large "peaks and valleys" in the upper levels. Under the large peaks, like the one over the Mid-South, warm and tranquil weather is usually found, while under and just ahead of the valleys, like on the west coast, stormy and cooler weather is typically present. The jet stream is indicated by the white arrow over the brighter colors, which are higher wind speeds.

As that large trough approaches the region, it will bring our next round of unsettled weather. Computer models tend to agree that the magnitude of that trough will weaken as it moves east, but we're still looking for a frontal passage and accompanying precipitation sometime this Easter weekend, probably on Saturday. will continue to watch the scenario unfold and the forecast will be updated with the latest expected trends. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful weather! Before you know it, we'll be wishing we had the 70s back again!

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