Friday, 11:30 a.m.
With the Memorial Day weekend finally upon us, thoughts now turn to summer, vacations (boy, do I need one!) and trips to the beach (again, I really, really miss the water!). It's a time of the year when the pace of life just tends to slow down as kids get out of school, amusement parks and water parks are open wide, and you're thinking of outdoor activities, backyard barbecues and a visit to the local mini golf palace.
In some areas, that trip to the beach is a viable option this weekend, like along the central and western Gulf Coast and maybe even the West Coast of Florida beaches, too. Even the mid-Atlantic and southern New England beaches will probably be packed this weekend with some reasonably nice weather, though those brave enough to enter the water won't stay long with water temperatures generally in the 60s or lower.
That leaves places from North Carolina southward to the east coast of Florida. There, all eyes should be focused on an area of disturbed weather that stretches from west of Jamaica to off the Carolina coast:
The center of lowest pressure is probably north of the Bahamas now, and some of the modeling is quickly developing that low over the Gulf Stream in the next 12 to 24 hours. Look at the latest NAM forecast for tomorrow morning:
With relative high pressure blocking the escape of this low to the northeast, as Alberto was eventually able to do, this storm, named or not, will probably be forced to go back to the west, which means areas from eastern North Carolina to northeastern Florida is vulnerable to being affected by this storm in one way or another. Much like Alberto, this promised to be a pretty small storm, one that would not have widespread rains associated with it, at least initially. Nevertheless, moisture could be thrown into the eastern Carolinas and down to at least northeastern Florida tomorrow and Sunday, and even farther west on Memorial Day, perhaps into the Florida Panhandle and Alabama.
The rain from the storm may not be enough to cause widespread flooding issues and may, on average, be a welcome thing given the dryness of last year. And across the interior, the wind probably wouldn't be a big deal, either. At the coast, though, a place where a lot of people flock to on holiday weekends like this, the wind and waves could be a real big headache tomorrow and Sunday. When you combine that with any rain, it won't exactly be the best beach weather there.
Keep abreast of the latest on this system throughout the weekend by constantly checking back to AccuWeather.com for the latest news and information.
The two other main stories of interest this weekend will be the heat, or the lack thereof, depending upon where you are. The center of the heat will be in the Ohio Valley. Look at the projected temperature anomalies for Sunday:
90s are certain two, if not all three, days of the holiday weekend throughout the Ohio Valley, and probably portions of the lower Great Lakes, parts of the Midwest and the middle Mississippi Valley. I don't know if we'll see too many places reaching 100 degrees, but records will be wiped out in the coming days. Some of the heat will reach the East, but the hottest day will probably wait until Monday.
Meanwhile, from that same image, you can see the utter lack of heat across the western Dakotas and the Rockies. There will be some easing of the chill on Memorial Day, and more so as we go deeper into next week, but for the holiday weekend, it just won't be conducive for typical summertime activities.
Despite a downturn in temperatures in the Northeast, most of the country will remain milder than normal for at least the next week.
Even though there's some snow on the ground over the interior Northeast today, the pattern going forward shows little sign of the winter season to come in most of the nation.
The record warmth of recent days will be replaced by a much colder air mass following a cold front moving from the Ohio Valley to the East. Rain will change to snow in the higher ground of upstate New York and northern New England.
Matthew is a dangerous hurricane bearing down on the east coast of Florida. While it ravages Florida and parts of the Southeast into the weekend, it will spare the Northeast of its fury.