Thursday, 11:50 a.m.
After a long trip to southern British Columbia for the first time ever, I have returned, and the return was in time to beat a cold frontal passage. While it had been a little moist in the Okanogan Valley with a few showers around on a couple of days, it was nothing compared to the humidity I flew into in Pittsburgh yesterday and drove home in! There were a few thunderstorms attending this front, but virtually none severe. Behind that front, another push of relatively cool, dry air is moving out of the Midwest and across the Great Lakes into the Northeast today.
This front will not be as strong as many of its predecessors. No, it won't get much past Virginia before stalling. Surface high pressure building in behind the front will sail off the New England coast tomorrow night, so the southwest flow of air behind the high will quickly transport the humidity and some modicum of heat right back into the Ohio Valley on Saturday. The humidity will come back up in the mid-Atlantic on Saturday, but the heat will be harder to get in, thanks to more of a south wind, more clouds and a pretty good shot at a couple of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday.
These showers and thunderstorms will be tied to a feature rolling across Colorado today. It will generate some showers and thunderstorms there this afternoon, as well as from Kansas up into parts of the Dakotas. From there this feature will roll slowly across the Plains tonight, with low pressure eventually cutting through Minnesota tomorrow. This will mean more wet weather across the Midwest, with the potential for severe thunderstorms late tomorrow and tomorrow night across parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin in the very humid air ahead of the storm and its attendant cold front.
After that, showers and thunderstorms will move through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys as well as the Great Lakes on Saturday. Again much of this will be tied to the very same disturbance and the cold front moving in, but there may also be some streamers of moisture coming up through Texas from a tropical wave that is currently sitting just off the lower Texas coast. That feature will enhance rainfall along the Texas coast this afternoon and tonight, then into Southeast Texas tonight and tomorrow into Saturday before it gets stretched into parts of the lower and mid-Mississippi Valley.
All of that leads to this rather sticky holiday weekend from the Mississippi Valley on east. At least the East Coast won't have to deal with the impacts of Cristobal by then. Even though the storm is well out to sea and will pass hundreds of miles southeast of Cape Cod, it has been generating large swells and dangerous rip currents along the East Coast beaches. Those will die down tomorrow and not be a factor whatsoever during the holiday weekend.
The Northwest will be cooling again over the next couple of days thanks to the latest cold front. Little shower and thunderstorm activity will be noted with the front in the next couple of days, but things will change over the weekend as the front moves through the northern Rockies. A few showers and a couple of thunderstorms are likely to be ignited by the front across Wyoming and Montana Saturday, then become more intense in parts of the Plains on Sunday. As the front charges downstream into Labor Day, those strong thunderstorms could impact areas from Missouri to Michigan, while it quiets down nicely with somewhat cooler air invading the northern Plains.
I will give more detail to my experience in British Columbia and Challenge Penticton in a Saturday post. Suffice it to say now that I finished and have the hardware to prove it!
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