Temperatures Heading North
The good news is temperatures are slowly on the increase after a bitter cold start on Tuesday. Thursday appears to be the last stormy hurdle before the start of the holiday weekend. While Saturday appears fair at this point, models are acting a bit strange as to what happens with a storm over the nation’s midsection for Christmas and Monday.
After a bulk of the terrain away from the shorelines starts Tuesday below zero, temperatures will quickly rebound by midday. Overall, temperatures appear around 10° warmer than Monday’s highs. High clouds will filter the sun over most of the state by late afternoon. A breeze from the southwest over the state becomes more noticeable along the shores & higher elevations in the afternoon, a clear indication that high pressure has moved into the Atlantic and warmer air begins to filter in.
For Tuesday night, all areas stay above zero, with the mercury falling to the single digits for the Crown & High Peaks to the 20s along the coast, under partly cloudy skies.
Wednesday features some clouds over the mountains to start, with clouds on the increase everywhere in the afternoon and evening. The highs of the day range from the upper 20s for the mountains & north to around 40° for the coastline. Temperatures settle back in the teens for the north and west, 20s for the south and coast to start Thursday.
These “inside runner” or “Colorado Low” type systems appear to be a regular occurrence in our weather pattern going into next week. These systems put the state on the “warm side” technically, although the temperatures may not feel it. As we saw in the storm this past Saturday into Sunday, the state received a mixed bag of snow, a touch of sleet, freezing rain and rain. This system is no different. It’s still a bit early to get into specifics, but chances are good that what was seen on Saturday in your area will likely happen again. The good news is while it will mess Thursday up, the system will be gone in time for Friday and the start of the holiday weekend.
The mountains and north may see some snow showers Friday night into Saturday as a weak trough dips in from Quebec in association with a strong low cutting across Hudson Bay. That system will race for Labrador and be well out of the region by Saturday afternoon. The first half of the holiday weekend appears warmer, with 30s & 40s statewide as a Bermuda High makes an appearance and pumps warmer air in from the south and west. Santa should have no problem delivering the goods Saturday night over Maine as it appears for now.
Questions For The Remainder Of The Holiday Weekend
Watching models and understanding their quirks and blind spots has me raising a bit of a cautionary tone in regards to this system that appears to impact the Northern Plains & Great Lakes area this weekend. Some guidance wants to push this eastward, affecting our region Sunday night into Monday. Some ensembles hint at this idea, also. What concerns me is the European model has a bit of quirk with southeast ridges, which tends to overestimate them. Other models do not have that bias, hence they are more east with this system. For now, it is too far out to know of any level of confidence how this storm may or if it will affect the region Christmas Day into Monday.
One thing every regular reader of this column should understand about how I operate is that I intensely dislike surprises, especially on holiday weekends. I feel that it is my responsibility as a forecaster to lay all the the cards on the table. When I express ideas that are floating around, my intention is not to cause alarm, but to inform you of the possibilities. Often times forecasters are ridiculed when the forecast blows up, sometimes that may be justified, other times “stuff happens.” One thing with me, if a forecast I call blows up, I will own it and make good with it. Forecasting weather is a tough game to play, even with the most experienced meteorologists.
My motto is simple. Integrity first.
I will update on this as the week unfolds.
~ Mike Haggett
Special thanks to Tropical Tidbits and Pivotal Weather for their written permission to use their graphics in this post. Use of WeatherTAP images used within their written permitted terms of media use policy. Additional forecast information supplied by the National Weather Service, WeatherBELL Analytics and AccuWeather Professional.
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