Quiet Midweek, Severe Weather Likely Saturday
END OF WEEK WARMUP LEADS TO RAIN AND STORMS
After a cold front passed through earlier this morning, a chilly night is in store with lows in the 30s across the viewing area. A light freeze is possible in some of the more sheltered rural locations, while the urban areas should fall to the 33-35 degree range.
Wednesday and Thursday will see dry weather and highs in the 60s before drastic changes begin weatherwise heading into the weekend. A strengthening storm system to our west will begin to shift winds locally to the south and southeast, pumping in Gulf moisture. The air mass will warm as well with highs in the 70s by the time we reach Friday and Saturday. While showers and perhaps a rumble of thunder will be possible Friday, the approaching storm system will intensify winds aloft, setting the stage for a severe weather episode on Saturday.
While computer models have consistently showed a severe weather threat for several days now, there are still questions on both the timing and magnitude of the threat. A warmer and slightly drier air mass Saturday will set the stage for higher-end severe weather, with damaging winds and tornadoes likely, a couple perhaps on the stronger side. Widespread rain and cloud cover on Saturday would hamper storm intensity, although very strong winds aloft will still bring a severe weather threat including damaging winds and isolated tornadoes in that scenario. The timing is also still in question as some models move a line of severe thunderstorms through during the afternoon, while other models keep the line west of the area and pushes it through Saturday night. All of these variables will become clear as the severe weather threat gets into range of higher-resolution forecast models tomorrow night and Thursday.
A cold front will push through late Saturday night, providing a VERY temporary respite to the rainfall. The front will stall on Sunday and return as a warm front, pushing high-octane humid air back into the area. Rain and thunderstorms will be in the forecast from late Sunday into the middle of next week, with mild temperatures as lows will be in the upper 50s to lower 60s and highs around 70.
Keep it here on WLTZ First News for the latest weather information through the rest of the week. I will also update my social media channels with the latest: @djbarkerwx on Instagram and Twitter and http://www.facebook.com/djbarkerwx.
There’s no need to panic or drastically change plans at this point. Just have a way to get weather information on Saturday. We will break in on-air, of course, for any tornado warnings in our viewing area.
-Meteorologist Dana Barker