Monday, January 13, 2014

Roller-coaster temps this week thanks to mainly dry cold fronts

Temperatures this week will mimic some of the best roller coasters around as multiple cold fronts move through the area.  Fortunately, the fronts will be moisture-starved, bringing little to no rain with them it appears.  The fronts will be noticeable to Mid-Southerners however, marked by cold weather and gusty north wind behind them and warmer days as wind shifts back to south ahead of the next front.  This is what we refer to as a "progressive pattern," meaning that systems do not stall out, but continue moving through every couple of days.  Much like a roller coaster car that doesn't stop in the valley or at the top of the hill, but heads straight for the next loop!

The image below is taken from this morning's GFS (American) computer model showing near-surface temperatures for the next 7 days.  High temperatures for each 6 hour period are in red and low temperatures for each 6 hour period in black.  The daily highs are labelled with the vertical axis on the left indicating the temperatures in degrees F.  Friday morning's low is also labelled as it will be the coldest morning this week.  I'll bet you can even pick out about when the fronts will come through!  Precipitation is represented by blue bars (scale to the right for amounts in inches).  You'll notice that after today's rain (the first 2 blue bars), there is no more precipitation expected from the GFS until early next week, despite the hills and valleys in the temperatures.

GFS Monday morning model data showing temperatures in pink and black (highs and lows for each 6 hour interval, respectively) and precip (blue bars).  Warm temps are expected Tue, Thu, and this weekend, while cold days will be Wed and Fri when highs will probably stay in the 30s!

The official MWN Forecast calls for pleasant days on Tuesday (with a very small chance of a shower as the first front moves through) and Thursday with cold, windy days on Wednesday and Friday.  A moderating trend is expected this weekend.  It looks like another cold snap will arrive early next week.  Overall, a not-unexpected pattern for the middle of winter and thankfully not as cold as the start of last week!

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--Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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