Friday, 11:55 a.m.
Since winter set in months ago, it has seemed like it has lasted forever, especially from the northern Plains and Midwest to the Northeast. At least April wasn't too cold in most of the nation, with pockets of cold in the northern Plains and Midwest and a few areas a little below normal in the East. By the same token, it just wasn't warm, either. Yes, there were a handful of days that were above normal where it felt like summer was knocking at the door, but there were many more days with temperatures stuck below average. It has seemed like we're running a marathon trying to shake off the cold season and welcome in the warm! We're closer to the finish line, but, as you find in any marathon, some finish faster than others. I'm going to be with the slow pokes, trust me.
Just look at the GFS ensemble seven-day means for Saturday through next Friday:
It's pretty evident that the last of the true cold season chill will leave the southern tier of states this weekend. In contrast, we just can't seem to get rid of the cold air in Canada! Every time we drain the cold pool, it fills up again, then behind any noticeable cold front, some of the chilly air is drawn southward into the northern Rockies and northern Plains. Sometimes it has made it to the southern Plains and Deep South, though that seems unlikely with this next front later next week.
That said, look at the GFS ensemble forecast for day 16, or Friday, May 16:
There are many members with chilly air over the eastern half of the country, some stronger than others. The concern is that with a deeper upper-level trough, any high pressure area that comes down through the northern Plains and Midwest may have enough chilly air associated with it for frost to form.
Now, if you're ready to cross the finish line and get on with the second half of spring and get ready for summer, the south and the central Plains look nice and warm in the coming days. Look at the projected six-hour maximum 2-meter temperatures for Monday afternoon:
There may not be any places that get over the 100-degree mark, but it's likely to get close. And the 80s are likely to reach parts of the lower Ohio Valley Wednesday afternoon, then larger areas of the Ohio Valley Thursday and Friday. Some of that warmth should reach into the mid-Atlantic states Friday and Saturday, though I have doubts about it ever reaching New England.
Speaking of marathons, I'm about to run in my first one in Pittsburgh Sunday! I've done the Skirt Sports half marathon (last June in Boulder, Colorado), so now I want that 26.2 sticker! Should you be at all interested in 'watching' me, my bib number is 4387. I won't be fast. Like ending the cold season, I just want to cross the finish line on my own power - and running! It will be the biggest leap of my abilities I've ever made to date, despite all the cycling I've done. I'll let you know how things go on Monday's post.
Despite the current cool spell in much of the country, summer's heat will return to most of the country as we move forward in August.
A fall-like chill has descended upon the country from the Rockies to the Appalachians, and it will be slow to ease the rest of the week into the weekend.
A deep upper-level trough of low pressure is caught in between two strong upper-level ridges, locking cool weather into Plains to the Appalachians and beyond.
A much cooler air mass will expand from the northern Plains this weekend to the Deep South and into the East by Tuesday, pushing temperatures much below normal.
Intense heat and oppressive humidity surging out of the central Plains will cause severe weather from the Midwest to the Ohio Valley in the next 72 hours, followed by much cooler weather next week.
Despite the heat and humidity in the East today and a surge of intense heat and humidity coming out of the central and southern Plains for a brief period of time, cool air will dominate the pattern through the end of July from the Plains to the Appalachians.