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Blog

Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

Filtering by Category: Medium Range Outlooks

3:15 PM | *An active weather pattern setting up for the southern and central Plains in terms of severe weather and flooding rains*

Paul Dorian

Unusually cold air has dominated the western states in recent days at the same time increasingly warm and humid air has ruled the southeastern states and this on-going split across the country will put the southern and central Plains right in the “battle zone” region in coming days.  The combination of this sharp temperature (and humidity) gradient and vigorous upper-level energy will bring a couple of serious threats to the southern and central Plains for severe weather and flooding rains.  The first opportunity for severe weather and heavy rainfall will likely come this Saturday and then perhaps an even more impressive threat will come from late Monday into Tuesday of next week.

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3:25 PM | *The snow just won’t stop for the Sierra Nevada mountains in California*

Paul Dorian

According to the latest “US Drought Monitor” report, the long-term drought in California is now “officially” over following the very wet winter season of 2018-2019. For the first time since 2011, the state has no region suffering from prolonged drought and the vast majority of the state California is “normal”. The reservoirs are full, the lakes are full, and there is a ton of snow in the higher elevation locations.  In fact, the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada – a major source of California’s water supply – has reached incredible amounts by doubling in the month of January and then doubling again in February and despite the calendar showing mid-May, more significant snow is on the way. 

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3:20 PM | *Showers/storms this evening...soaking rain event begins this weekend for an extended period*

Paul Dorian

There will be scattered showers and thunderstorms later this afternoon and tonight in the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor as a cold front approaches and some of it will be on the heavy side; especially, south of the PA/MD border. This rain event will be relatively short-lived compared to what is coming later this weekend and early next week. Following tonight’s cold frontal passage, weak high pressure will try to get us off to a decent start this weekend, but it will be facing long odds as low pressure will head our way from the Lower Mississippi Valley.  Rain is likely to return to the Mid-Atlantic region late in the day tomorrow or early tomorrow night and then continue off and on into Tuesday of next week.  The heaviest rainfall may come in two parts with one period centered on tomorrow night into Sunday morning and then a second phase from late Sunday into Monday.  Residual showers may very well last into the day on Tuesday in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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2:50 PM | *Winter just keeps hanging on in parts of the Northern Hemisphere*

Paul Dorian

It snowed on Sunday in the Swiss capital of Bern and it certainly wasn’t enough to disrupt travel or most outdoor activities as it only amounted to about an inch and a half.  It was, however, the latest snowfall ever recorded in Bern with the previous latest date for snow on May 1st in 1945. The unusual cold snap that led to this snowfall in Europe looks like it may continue for another ten days or so before more normal temperatures return to the central part of the continent.  The unusually late cold and snow hasn’t been confined to that side of the Atlantic Ocean as parts of the interior western US, for example, continue to get accumulating snowfall even as we slide well into the month of May.  In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Denver, Colorado receives another couple inches of snow later this week and new accumulations are possible in other parts of the Rocky Mountains.

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12:45 PM | ***Significant weather event next few days to include heavy rain and severe thunderstorms***

Paul Dorian

Deep upper-level low pressure will intensify over the next couple of days as it slowly grinds its way across the southern states.  The combination of this strong wave of energy in the upper atmosphere and an influx of very moist low-level air will result in a severe weather threat today in the region from Texas-to-Kansas and later tomorrow across Mississippi, Alabama and perhaps as far north as Tennessee.  In addition to the severe weather threat which includes the potential for large hail and tornadoes, heavy rainfall is likely later today in the south-central states and then on Thursday across the southeastern US.  Any heavy rainfall can result in localized flooding as much of the eastern half of the nation is experiencing well-saturated ground conditions. The heavy rainfall and severe weather threat will reach the eastern seaboard on Friday afternoon and evening with the possibility of strong-to-severe thunderstorms from the Mid-Atlantic region to Florida.

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1:10 PM (Friday) | *Back-to-back rain events for the Mid-Atlantic region with downpours and strong storms possible in each…a third significant rain event possible at the end of next week*

Paul Dorian

The grass will certainly get off to a good start in the Mid-Atlantic region over the next few weeks as water will be quite plentiful – much as it was for all of the last growing season. The Mid-Atlantic region will get hit by back-to-back rain events in coming days and each one can result in some heavy downpours and perhaps even some strong thunderstorm activity. Looking ahead, there is even a good chance at a third significant rain event at the end of the next week for much of the eastern US including the Mid-Atlantic as the overall wet pattern shows no sign of slowing down.

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2:30 PM | *Major spring snowstorm unfolding for the corridor from Denver to Minneapolis*

Paul Dorian

Yesterday at this time temperatures were in the 70’s across the Denver metro region and today they’re in the 30’s, a blizzard warning is in effect and the game between the Rockies and Braves has been called off hours ahead of time.  A major storm will bring a variety of impacts to the Rockies, central and northern Plains from later today into Thursday that will include heavy snowfall, whiteout conditions, and wind gusts as high as 60 mph.  The bullseye region for this springtime blizzard will extend from northeastern Colorado-to-central Minnesota and some spots in this corridor can see accumulations of 1-2 feet during this upcoming event.

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2:20 PM | *Powerful spring snowstorm on the way from the Rockies to the Northern Plains*

Paul Dorian

A major storm will bring a variety of impacts to the Rockies, central and northern Plains from later tomorrow into Thursday that will include heavy snowfall, whiteout conditions, and winds as high as 60 mph.  The bullseye region for this springtime blizzard will likely extend from northeastern Colorado-to-central Minnesota and some spots in this corridor can see accumulations of 1-2 feet during this upcoming event.

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10:20 AM | *More cold shots are quite likely in the eastern US as we progress through the month of April*

Paul Dorian

The month of April began with a colder-than-normal air mass in the eastern US and it looks like we’ll have additional cold air outbreaks over the next couple of weeks or so.  Teleconnection indices such as the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) both signal a sharp drop in coming days to negative territory which typically results in the penetration of cold air outbreaks from central Canada into the eastern US.  Medium-range forecast maps of 500 mb height anomalies support this notion of additional cold air outbreaks as we progress through the month of April with “high-latitude blocking” in evidence over northern Canada and Greenland.

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1:20 PM (Wed) | *Big warm up for Friday and Saturday...another cold shot arrives late Sunday and keeps us chilly into mid-week…deep upper-level low in the SE US early next week needs to be monitored*

Paul Dorian

It looks like we may have to wait a bit longer for sustained springtime warmth in the Mid-Atlantic region as despite a dramatic warm up on Friday and Saturday, we’ll turn sharply colder again for the first half of next week.  In fact, there can be a second cold shot late next week that makes its way into the Mid-Atlantic region which would mean we may have to wait until the second week of April for more sustained springtime warmth.  In addition, there will be a deep upper-level feature sliding across the southern states early next week with cold air in place across the NE US/Mid-Atlantic.  This system could push off the Carolina coastline and stay south of here, but it’ll be something to closely monitor in coming days to see if it can make a run up the eastern seaboard.

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