Joe Lundberg

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A Deeper Dive Through the Transition Season

October 22, 2013; 10:51 AM

Tuesday, 11:45 a.m.

For those of you who have been a regular reader of my posts over the years here at AccuWeather.com, first of all, thank you! I don't get the time to respond to everyone of you as I would like, as my days are well packed! Secondly, you probably have come to know some of my passions and likes, such as warm weather over cold and my love of cycling. Every once in a while, I'll bring you up to speed on a ride I'm doing or have done, just because it is a part of me, and the weather has a huge bearing on these events.

Yesterday, for instance, was a day that I HAD to take advantage of! Knowing what was coming, I couldn't pass up a nice long bike ride and topped it off with a training run-walk in back of Tussey Mountain in the late afternoon light. The sights were breathtaking, and it was nice to ride in shorts - in comfort - one last time and don my SkirtSports gear for the run-walk up North Meadows road amidst the falling leaves.

Alas, the first cold front is now through my neck of the woods, and it will move off the New England coast early tonight, though it will stall across the mid-Atlantic. Much cooler air is drilling in behind the front, and once an upper-level disturbance moves by the region tomorrow morning, the chilly air will have free rein in the East the rest of the week into the weekend.

That feature in question is producing some wet snow across Iowa at this hour. In fact, in the Quad Cities area, the visibility is down to 1/2 mile in moderate snow. From a cyclist's standpoint, no thanks, I'll pass! I don't have studded tires! From a running standpoint, that would be kinda fun, and I'm sure I'll get some winter runs in whilst it is snowing in the coming months as I train for the Pittsburgh Marathon next May 4 and for an ironman next Aug. 24 if all goes according to plan.

Here's what that feature looks like according to the 12z Oct. 22 NAM forecast for tomorrow morning:

It's not going to be a heavy snow in any area, but under the cover of darkness, it may be just heavy enough in parts of the Ohio Valley tonight to cause travel issues.

It will then dart off the mid-Atlantic coast tomorrow afternoon and evening to carve out low pressure that will pass southeast of Cape Cod and pull a lot of moisture offshore. In the process, though, the cold air will rush right in, setting the eastern half of the country up for a couple of uncommonly cold days for so early in the season. To illustrate that more properly, here are the projected daily anomalies for Thursday:

As the cold air pours across the warm Great Lakes, bands of lake-effect snow will set up, though with the lakes being so warm, near the lakes themselves it may not be all snow. Just inland and up in elevation, though, any harder burst of precipitation will come down as snow and could yield more than a half a foot of snow in the snowbelt areas from extreme northeastern Ohio into southwestern New York, as well as along the Tug Hill Plateau.

There will be a wave of low pressure passing north of the Great Lakes Saturday, and that will allow some easing of the chill Saturday afternoon where there's a decent amount of sunshine well south of the track of this low. But across the Great Lakes into the Northeast, it will mean lots of clouds and some rain showers, even some wet snow in the higher ground of upstate New York and northern New England Saturday into Saturday night.

The cold should ease early next week, but there will be a heavy toll to be paid by someone, and it's looking more and more likely that the northern and eastern Rockies out into the Plains will be targeted for an early snow as cold, arctic air presses southward from Canada. As the cold air drills into the Rockies, there will be some rebound in the height field over the East, and that in combination with a south to southwest flow in the low levels on the back side of departing high pressure will promote some warming in the East, especially later Tuesday into Wednesday.

Even that warming will be short-lived, however. The dive deeper into the transition season of fall means the cold air plunging into the Rockies will come east as the week progresses, and by week's end, it will have moved right back into the East. Which means as it gets cold and maybe stormy outside, I'll be doing my plunges and workouts in the pool with that Aug. 24 date and Challenge Penticton set in my sights!

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Joe Lundberg
Joe Lundberg, a veteran AccuWeather.com forecaster and meteorologist, covers both short and long-term U.S. weather on this blog.