Wednesday, 11:15 a.m.
Thanksgiving Day is upon us. No matter what your political persuasion, I'm willing to bet you have something to be thankful for. That you can read this post means you're alive, right? I would believe there are many thankful for that alone, right? It also means you have power, or access to power, which is no small feat in the mid-Atlantic in the wake of Sandy. It doesn't take long to come up with a pretty lengthy list of things to be thankful for when you take the time to stop to think about it.
I'm thankful for the quiet weather in most of the country, specifically in my backyard. It's allowed me to ride more days than not this deep into the month. I've been able not only to cut the lawn one final time, but, with the help of one of my daughters, also get all the leaves finally raked up (there's still a few desperately clinging to trees, but I'm not going to worry about them now!). I've even managed to get some of the lights up, and I am toying with the idea of putting some outside on an evergreen tree out behind the horseshoe pits just to be different.
That weather has been anything BUT quiet in the Northwest of late. Several inches of rain has soaked western Oregon and western Washington since the weekend, with well over 7 inches in Astoria, Ore. It's not a shock, given the parade of systems that were essentially lined up out over the Pacific. The last of these disturbances is rolling through the region now, and it will finally be followed by a break in the rain and mountain snow across the region for Thanksgiving Day. Another one will follow on Friday, but the bulk of the wet weather will be restricted to western Washington and northwestern Oregon. Here's the Friday evening NAM forecast:
There will be a significant change in the weather downstream the rest of the week into the start of the weekend proper. The system coming through the Northwest now will race across the country and clear the New England and mid-Atlantic coast by Saturday morning. Ahead of the front, a nice surge of mild air throughout the northern Plains and Midwest today, lingering in the Midwest and Great Lakes down into the Ohio Valley tomorrow. Precipitation with the front will be relatively insignificant. Showers will attend the front from eastern Oklahoma and Missouri to Michigan tomorrow night, and those showers will hold together Friday into Friday night as the front charges across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys into New England.
Snow will also fall behind the system, but most of the accumulating snow will be restricted to portions of North Dakota and northern Minnesota, where a few inches may pile up tomorrow afternoon into Friday morning.
Once the front is through, the cold winds blowing off the Great Lakes Friday night and Saturday will lead to some lake-effect snow showers. However, in general, the snow amounts will be fairly light, and none of it will survive downwind of the Appalachians. Nevertheless, it'll be much colder behind the front this weekend throughout the Northeast all the way down into the Deep South and Southeast.
After that, we'll have to turn our attention to a new system plowing through the Northwest into the Rockies Saturday night and Sunday. That will eventually carve out a storm over the Plains by Monday morning, one that should expand the snow cover to the north of its track. That means parts of the northern Rockies as well as parts of the central and northern Plains and Midwest are likely to see snow early next week. Can winter be far behind?
A dominant ridge will keep it hot from the Ohio Valley to the East into next week, while the disturbance north of Cuba is slow to develop as it approaches the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Two systems will delay the onset of warm weather in the Ohio Valley and the East over the next week or so, but then it should get warm all across the country heading into the Memorial Day weekend.
A turn to much colder air over the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states will set the stage for a rain and snow storm later this weekend before it turns much warmer later next week.
It's warm now, but will turn much colder this weekend, with a storm threat later Saturday into Sunday. Warmth will return by the second half of next week.
Though it is cold now east of the Mississippi, with a couple of opportunities for snow into the weekend, a blast of warmth is due for much of the country east of the Rockies next week.
Warm air will once again surge eastward from the Plains to the East Coast this weekend and early next week. A strong storm next Tuesday and Wednesday will then be followed by colder air later next week.