Today's Weather Discussion: Work Week Rain Chances
Saturday, Nov. 20:
Finally some sunshine today across most of the area as we stirred up the atmosphere enough to mix out a stubborn batch of low-level moisture. Unfortunately, sunshine will be in short supply over the next several days as a slow-moving and widespread weather system will keep much of the eastern half of the country unsettled through at least the first half of the upcoming week.
If you have some leaves to rake or other outdoor chores to take care of before Thanksgiving, tomorrow and part of Monday should allow a window of dry weather to get those things done. Temperatures will be mild tomorrow, with highs moving into the mid 60's for most of us. Clouds will be increasing as moisture continues to stream in ahead of a developing area of low pressure to our west. Here's the setup as of Sunday 6PM:
We will be in the "warm sector" of this system on Sunday, with winds coming out of the SW. The area of low pressure over western WI will lift NE across the Great Lakes, with the low over eastern CO lifting NE and pulling a cold front slowly to the east. The cold front will move into central MO by Monday night, with increasing chances of rain by the second half of the day on Monday.
It looks like we'll experience two main waves of rain next week. The first good chance of rain will be Monday night and early morning Tuesday as the front stalls as it enters our area. I wouldn't be surprised if we were dry during most of the daytime hours on Tuesday.
A second area of low pressure will lift NE along the front Tuesday night & Wednesday, leading to the second wave of precipitation. This is where the models begin to differ on what to do late Wed. and into Thursday. One model (GFS) is much faster in clearing the front through the region, while another model (European) is slow in pushing the front through, and actually keeps wet weather around into Thanksgiving Day. The GFS has been very consistent over the past couple of days about getting rid of the rain by Wed. night.....but at the same time, it was also too quick to clear our area of this past week's system as well. At this point, I think it might be possible that some light rain may persist into early Thursday morning for KY & TN. We'll definitely have to keep an eye on that as folks try to plan for travel delays and such. One thing that looks nearly certain is that Wednesday will be a crummy day for travel.
With this being more of a stalled front scenario rather that a progressive, faster-moving front, I think the chances of organized severe weather are pretty low with this system. A few rumbles of thunder are certainly possible though, and it looks like a pretty healthy dose of rain can be expected too, with area-wide totals between 1-2" looking likely. Here is the HPC (NWS) rainfall forecast through 6PM Thursday:
Thanksgiving Day looks much cooler, with daytime highs possibly not making it out of the upper 30's if clouds take a while to clear out....lower 40's with sunshine. Black Friday shoppers will have to brave the cold while waiting to get into their favorite stores, with lows expected in the 20's. A dry pattern appears likely for next weekend, so travelers shouldn't have anything to worry about around here for the back-end of the holiday weekend.