From Deep Freeze To Spring In 5 DaysJanuary 10th, 2014 at 8:47 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Like a hot rod squealing its tires and throttling up, our weather is revving up the heat in a short amount of time. We had near record lows last Tuesday (near 13 degrees). Now we are aiming for record highs by Saturday. The record is 75 degrees (1974). We are forecasting low 70s for now.
Today we are already warming up a bit. We started with lows in the upper 30s to low 40s. We even had a few 50s along the outer Banks. There is a light southeast wind that is allowing for the warmth. Also cloudy skies last night helped to warm the temperatures. We didn’t see much rain this morning, but scattered showers are pushing in from the west.
A warm front will move up from the southeast today.
This will help to warm things up further. Highs will be in the 60s southeast and upper 40s to the north. The metro will see highs in the 60s due to a few peaks of sunshine this morning. Moisture is pushing in from the southeast at the surface and from the west at the mid-levels. Surface winds will be southeast at about 8-12mph. Rain won’t be continuous today, but we have a 40% chance for passing rain showers through the afternoon.
At this point it looks like there’s a little less chance for rain (20%) over northeast North Carolina, and a higher chance (40-60%) between the Peninsula, Middle Peninsula, and the Eastern Shore. Rain will be mostly light. By this evening there looks to be a lull in the showers as the warmer weather pushes north. Temperatures will hold steady tonight with cloudy skies and a few spotty showers. Lows will be near 50. A deeper push of moisture is expected tomorrow morning. This will create a brief period of more scattered showers from about 6-9am. These will give way to a break in the rain around midday. In fact our model shows some sunshine breaking out around that time for a couple of hours. Then a cold front will be approaching from the west.
Ahead of the front there will be what we call a strong low-level jet. (Nerd Alert) Think of the jetstream aloft which is a fast moving river of air in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Well, this would be like a little brother that is only a couple thousand feet from the ground. That strong low-level wind allows very strong warming/moistening to occur. Also, some of those winds are able to make it down to the ground. Especially if you have heavy rain which can pull down some of the stronger winds to the surface. So outside of any storms we’ll see south winds gusting up to 35mph. In the warm/moist conditions we’ll likely develop some storms. These will be capable of producing even stronger wind gusts. Due to this we have a slight risk for severe weather tomorrow with severe wind gusts being the main threat. Those are winds of 58mph or greater, but again…only if severe weather forms. Here is what our computer model (Future Trak) shows for tomorrow afternoon:
The yellow area is where the strong storms are expected at that time, but stay tuned for model updates. This will likely impact the inauguration tomorrow in Richmond. High temperatures in the region will spike to the low 70s. The record is 74 (1974). The front will pass through by Saturday night. Then we’ll cool down to the upper 40s. We are expecting a pretty nice day on Sunday. Highs will be in the 50s with sunshine.
Down the road we’ll develop a few showers by next Tuesday. We’ll see mild temperatures through that time. Then we’ll cool down next Wednesday.
With all of this talk about the big changes in temperatures, some climate scientists are calling us wimps. Weather wimps that is. While it seems that this week’s cold blast was historic, it’s good to keep in mind that they were a lot more common in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s actually been a long time since we’ve seen a cold outbreak like this. Here is a really neat article about the subject from the Associated Press via Yahoo News. Scientists: Americans are becoming weather wimps.
Have a good weekend, and keep an eye to the sky on Saturday.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler