Thursday, 11:30 a.m.
I managed to sneak out for a ride yesterday after work and logged 50 miles in doing so. It was windy and warm, and almost humid, as temperatures surpassed 80, and the dew points charged up through the 50s. It felt so good to work up a good sweat for a change without wearing layers! One week ago, the wind chills were in the teens, and I saw flurries!
After the ride, another sure sign of spring? A thunderstorm. With hail! Up to the size of pennies in my backyard, though most were the size of peas and marbles. And that was just the first thunderstorm! Three more followed in the ensuing hours, dumping an inch or more of rain across central Pennsylvania. The day before on our evening ride, as we rolled along through some lower spots filled with water, the sound of the spring peepers made it almost impossible to carry on a conversation in places, it was so loud.
The contrast from one side of a back door cold front to the other is nothing short of stunning. Look at the 11 a.m. temperatures:
That kind of contrast is likely to cause some more strong to severe thunderstorms to erupt along that boundary this afternoon, as temperatures south of it jump through the 70s into the 80s yet again. The real story, though, will be the cold front beginning to accelerate across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and the Gulf Coast states. With such warmth and growing moisture ahead of the front and a lot of chilly air behind it, more strong to severe thunderstorms will erupt this afternoon into tonight with and ahead of that boundary. Look at the latest severe weather outlook:
The threat of severe weather will diminish tomorrow as the front sweeps over the Appalachians into the East. However, north of that back door cold front, this will be more a heavy rain event, and a cold rain at that. In fact, some snow will fall across far upstate New York and northern New England, as the cold air there won't get out of the way. The projected snow totals into tomorrow night:
And that does not include the snow that falls today and tonight across the upper Great Lakes, the Upper Midwest and into the eastern Dakotas:
Okay. So the snow isn't so much a sign of spring! Actually, the pattern dictates more snow again next week, believe it or not. One system early in the week could dump snow on the northern Rockies, and a second one later in the week may bring snow across parts of the eastern Rockies, High Plains and Midwest. It seems we can't rid of snow right now across the northern tier states and especially up into Canada:
As long as that snow pack remains, and it should stay deep into next week, we're not likely to go into a truly warm pattern across the entire nation for more that a few days at a time. Indeed, many of the computer forecasts suggest the second half of the month will have plenty of chill to go around.
Summer's heat and humidity will expand into the East over the Labor Day weekend, while at the same time it turns cooler from the Northwest to the northern Plains.
A series of cold fronts will impact the weather now through the weekend, largely across the northern half of the country.
Just as I head for British Columbia to do an Ironman, the recent heat is leaving and heading onto the Plains, while it cools off in the Northwest for a spell.
A disturbance in Wyoming will be the focal point of unsettled weather into next week from the northern Plains to the Northeast, keeping heat at bay.
Record rains have inundated parts of the mid-Atlantic over the past 24 hours. A disturbance coming from Arizona will produce showers and thunderstorms with locally heavy rain as it heads for the Midwest this weekend.
Closed lows aloft will bring wet weather to the Northeast and the Northwest into the midweek period, with cool air spreading from the Midwest to the East Coast the rest of this week.