Today's Weather Discussion: Tricky Weekend Forecast
Wednesday, Dec. 8:
For those of you like myself that have already had enough of the cold weather, the next couple of days hold at least a little relief, before winter's grip tightens again going into the weekend.
Not a ton to talk about tomorrow and Friday. A little ripple of energy moving through the Plains today will cross our region, bringing an increase in cloud cover tomorrow. Temperatures will warm up just a bit, finally, into the mid 40's for daytime highs tomorrow and upper 40's Friday. A litte more sunshine should peak out for Friday, while the weekend's storm system get organized to our west.
As we go through the next couple of days, we will be closely watching forecast trends for the weekend. For now, I'm going to hold off on posting any maps for the weekend, as forecast models have been very inconsistent over the past few days. I like to post maps here to help you understand what we are looking at in our forecasting, but my fear is that anything I show you today will change by tomorrow, so I'll hold off for now. It's always tricky when dealing with possible winter weather around here, as the rain/snow line always seems to fall somewhere across our region. With these forecasts, there is a lot of data to look at, and if you don't give forecast models time to agree on a solution, you run the risk of coming out with a forecast that has major "bust potential", so we'll hold off and hope for a little clearer picture on this system tomorrow, when hopefully I can present a more detailed update.
Here are my thoughts as of what I'm seeing today. A storm system will be located over the middle of Plains by Saturday morning, with SW flow pumping in lots of moisture. Clouds will increase Friday PM from the south, with light rain perhaps arriving as early as Friday overnight. Saturday will feature lots of rain, and maybe even a few rumbles of thunder across the southern half of the region. Latest rainfall forecast still show some heavy rain possible, with up to an inch of rain possible on Saturday. By Saturday night, cold air will begin to slam into the backside of this system, leading to a possible changeover to snow after midnight. Depending on how quickly this system pulls away from the area, some lingering light snow or snow showers may continue well into the day on Sunday. Forecast models have flirted with the idea of some accumulation across parts of southern IL, especially north of Route 13 and toward I-64. However, any sort of accumulation forecast will be greatly dependent on the exact track of this system, and with no consistent signal from the forecast models on a track, it would not be a good idea to mess around with accumulation forecasts right now.
One thing that we can absolutely bank on is that Sunday is going to be a very raw, blustery day, as more very cold air blasts into the area. A strong NW wind will gust up to 30 mph, and with temperatures struggling only to near 30, daytime wind chill values will remain in the teens. From there, things really get cold going into next week. A look ahead to temperatures Monday morning show overnight lows in the mid teens, and wind chills approaching zero. Daytime highs Monday will struggle to reach the mid 20's. These numbers could be even colder in the event that we do have snow on the ground. Even without any snowfall accumulation, I am a bit concerned with the possibility of patches of ice on local roads and sidewalks Sunday and Monday as any leftover puddles from Saturday's rain could freeze quickly in those kinds of temperatures. Much like this past week, looks like it will take several days for temperatures to rebound next week.
December is off to a cold start!