Warm and Wet

| January 9, 2013 @ 7:56 am

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We’re headed into a period of warm and wet weather for about the next week or so. All of this thanks primarily to an upper flow pattern with a deep trough over the western US and a substantial ridge over the eastern US. This keeps us in a southwesterly flow pattern that taps moisture from the Pacific and northwestern Gulf. A frontal zone will continue across the Southeast US as it comes parallel to the upper flow. The net result is a pattern that has very little change and we are in the wet/warm side of things.

The deep closed low over Mexico will eject quickly today and Thursday moving to the eastern Great Lakes area by Friday. Biggest rain days are today and Thursday, but we will stay in a pattern favorable for showers into Friday and the weekend. With the trough positioned west of us, small impulses will kick out of the main trough increasing rain chances from time to time. So expect clouds for the most part with little peeks from time to time at some sunshine.

Rainfall amounts over the next 5 days will be highs across the Lower Mississippi River Valley where 4 to 5 inches of rain could occur. While we will stay wet our rainfall totals are likely to come in between 1 and 2 inches.

Severe weather threat remains possible but marginal. There is no slight risk area. It appears likely that lapse rates will not be sufficient to support severe storms. One caveat, however, is that should temperatures and dew points climb a little higher than what is currently expected, the potential for severe weather could go higher. So we’ll keep a wary eye on the evolution of the overall weather conditions to watch for these changes.

With the frontal boundary in and near us as well as that southwesterly flow aloft, we should stay warm and wet into the first of next week. That is when we see a possible shift in the overall pattern which would mean a return to more seasonal temperatures. The pattern is forecast to become a split flow with a closed low hanging back over Mexico while the long wave trough position moves eastward. This would spell a return to colder conditions for much of the eastern half of the country. Still no real extremes, but that will be a major shocker considering that the temperatures over the weekend are expected to be nearly 20 degrees above seasonal averages. So just dropping back to the average highs and lows (53/34) from forecast values (72/58) will seem like a cold wave!

The longer range projections, referred to here as voodoo country, suggest that we will come back to the western trough/eastern ridge toward the latter part of January around the 24th. But we know how those projections that far out can change dramatically.

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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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