Summer-like Warmth Continues

| March 18, 2012 @ 7:17 am

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Looks like our summer preview will stick with us for the next few days until the weather system to our west finally makes an impact on the strong upper ridge. And yesterday the Birmingham airport once again tied the record high with a value of 86.

The upper ridge builds up across the eastern half of the country through Wednesday in response to a strong digging trough over the western US. And both the GFS and the ECMWF are in good agreement on the scenario through mid week. But that is when the trouble starts. The GFS closes off a low – European does the same thing – but the GFS detaches the closed low from the flow pattern. This means that the closed low gets lost for a day or so in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame before opening up the closed low and shunting it well north of us due to the strength of the ridge. The ECMWF doesn’t do that. It maintains the closed low and brings it across the middle Mississippi Valley as a closed low on Friday.

This is one of the biggest differences I’ve seen in the two models for some time now. So I’m fixing on a solution that buys more the timing of the ECMWF while hedging toward a reduction in strength of the upper low similar to what the GFS is doing but not as weak as the GFS is suggesting. This means we see a fairly good shot at rain and thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday with much of the rain out of here for next weekend. Definitely going to be a page turner to see which model has the better solution as we head into future model runs.

Looking further afield, there does not appear to be any serious cold weather for the rest of the month, but the GFS is suggesting a fairly cold trough to our west around April 2nd. In light of the differences of the two models in 5 to 6 days, I’m not planning to put much faith in the long range suggestions.

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Category: Alabama's Weather

About the Author ()

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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