Friday, 11:30 a.m.
Temperatures this week have been soaring to record levels across the country. The core of the record warmth has been in the central and southern Plains, with a few locations earlier in the week over the century mark. I recall in looking at some of the modeling late last week, and some were forecasting 100-degree temperatures for Monday and Tuesday. It verified! Over the past two days we've backed off that heat some, but the what has remained of it has come eastward. Look at the highs from yesterday:
A cold front has been moving out of the Rockies and across the Plains, and the air behind this front and the storm mow moving through Minnesota was originally cold enough to support snow in parts of Nebraska and South Dakota in the past 24 hours. It has warmed since then, and it will continue to moderate in the next 24 hours. By the time the front moves into the East, there really won't be any appreciable cooling. Indeed, many places along the mid-Atlantic coast into New England will end up warmer on Saturday and Sunday.
The next storm rolling into the Northwest today will move into the Rockies Sunday, and as it does, it will pull colder air southward out of western Canada. Check out the 12z May 9 NAM 500mb forecast for Sunday afternoon:
This will induce low pressure to not just form in the lee of the Rockies but quickly deepen, pulling the cold air into it down the Front Range of the Rockies. As it turns dramatically colder, rain will develop, and even though it's the second week of May, that rain will change to snow in a lot of places through Wyoming and Colorado. The snow will likely make it out into western Nebraska and western Kansas Sunday night and Monday morning before it moves farther east.
But as that is going on, the strength of this storm will cause southerly winds to strengthen out ahead it, pulling warm and increasingly humid air right back up from the southern Plains and the Deep South into the Tennessee and Ohio valleys. Furthermore, with the air east of the Appalachians remaining warm on Sunday, it will set the stage for a warm start to next week. The warmest day is probably Tuesday when push comes to shove, with temperatures uniformly in the 80s across the Ohio Valley into the mid-Atlantic region. Compare the projected maximum 2-meter temperatures on Monday afternoon to those of Tuesday afternoon from the European model:
Those are some 90-degree highs being forecast in Virginia next Tuesday!
Clearly over the next week, summer is taking the upper hand over the eastern half of the country, but winter will try one last time to blast the Rockies and parts of the Plains. And it's likely to turn quite a bit cooler in the southern Plains for the middle of next week, perhaps challenging records in parts of Texas.
One last point. In the wake of this upper level low rolling into the Rockies, the heights will balloon along the West Coast. Look at the projected heights and anomalies for Wednesday morning:
This could promote record heat up and down the West Coast next Tuesday and Wednesday, especially in California. Summer is fast approaching, and that heat wave will bear that out!
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