Warming Up, Then More Messy Weather?
Thursday, Jan. 13:
It looks like we're finally getting ready to thaw out just a bit as we move closer to the weekend. However, temperatures will still be pretty chilly....cool enough that we still may have to deal with some frozen precip by the beginning of next week.
First, let's talk about the next couple of days. Here's a look at the weather map as of 6PM tonight:
High pressure centered across the Mid-South will continue to help keep skies relatively clear tonight. As this high slips off to our east, our winds will become more southerly tonight and tomorrow, which will get the warming trend started. Meanwhile, clouds ahead of a cold front over the northern Plains will begin filtering into the region tomorrow...leading to partly sunny skies. Clouds will continue for Saturday, but temperatures near 40 should make things more tolerable.
The big question mark in the forecast for the past few days has centered around a chance of wintry precip from Sunday - Tuesday. Unfortunately, the forecast models are still not helping us nail down anything definite. At least one of the models I look at regularly, the GFS model, is beginning to suggest a little more of a northern track to this system, which would lead to a better chance of precip staying liquid for most of the area. I wanted to show you the latest info that this model is showing today:
Above is the map at 6PM Sunday, showing very light precip yet to arrive from the west. The thing I want to point out is the thin, solid yellow line that runs through central MO & into southern IL & western KY. That is the "540 line"....a rough first guess at the rain/snow line. With the 540 line perhaps falling somewhere across the northern half of the area, this leads me to think that there would be a chance of some light freezing precip at the onset of this system late Sunday night....mainly in southern IL.
Moving on to 6AM Monday morning (above)....this model brings a warm front into the region, pushing that 540 line up to near St. Louis & Effingham. If this plays out, by Monday morning and into that afternoon, any precip should be just a cold rain.
Onto Monday evening at 6PM (above), the 540 line is still well to our north, with anything falling as light rain.
Finally, the map at 6AM Tuesday shows colder air moving in behind a cold front, sending that 540 line across the Ohio River. This may mean a switch back to snow by Tuesday morning....but by that point, most of the significant moisture will be well to our east, resulting in light precip.
All that said....there are still significant differences between this model and others, so take the forecast above with a big grain of salt. Bottom line for this precip chance, I wouldn't be surprised for all of us to see both some rain and snow....but all of this looks like it should be light. Right now, I'm not too concerned with this system.....but we'll be on top of things, and as models come into better agreement, we'll let you know.