Frank Strait

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Friday Morning Grumpy Update

January 4, 2013; 2:00 AM ET

It's late, so late it's early, and I had a rough day today (car trouble), I'm mailing this one in.

Well, not exactly, I actually had a good bit of time to study the weather today. I just don't have a whole lot of time to do a video, and besides, I'll look all angry and bitter and struggle not to cuss. So, I'll just write some this evening and try to stay in Bobby Bowden mode, dadgummit. Actually, I'll just write out some bullet points. I think I have some bullets for my dadgum car right about now, actually.

I shouldn't bash my dadgum car so much; it's a Saturn and it's been extremely reliable, for the most part. I have only bought gas, tires, oil and an intake manifold gasket for it over nearly three years. However, the issue I'm having now, which appears to be a loose electrical connection somewhere, is a very frustrating one. Especially when it's one in a circuit that when broken the car won't start. At least it's only left me stranded once, and it has a manual transmission, so I don't actually have to have the starter to get the thing started, although there's some pushing involved and it's best to have help in that situation.

OK, first, it's snowing in West Texas early this morning. This is making me even more dadgum angry because I wasn't looking closely enough to see this back on Wednesday. The snow is even spreading into Central Texas and I'm starting to wonder just how far east it's going to get. It looks as though the snow will get into the Hill Country, though it should be mixed with rain and slushy there. Farther south and east, it should be another cold rain though some sleet is going to mix in in some areas. Be sure to have a look at the visible satellite pictures later today, maybe y'all will see some of your snowcover, if the clouds break. If not, check it first thing Saturday morning.

This storm still looks as though it will fade away as it pushes east because moisture is going to be bottled up south of a front that's sitting over Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. By the way, that dadgum front, it's going to cause a lousy weekend for a good bit of Florida. The Texas storm is going to pass by well north, but it will be partly responsible for the front sitting still and/or shifting back and forth all weekend long. That zone will be the battleground between the upper ridge (that dadgum upper ridge for y'all in the Southeast that want to see some snow) over the Atlantic fighting with the storms farther north that want to send cold air south behind them. It looks as though another upper disturbance will dive south right behind the departing Texas storm and cause a bigger slug of rain over Florida Sunday. After that, the upper ridge is really going to take charge for a while down there, and the old front will gradually wash out. By the way, South Florida will stay south of this front, so it's going to stay pretty dadgum warm down there until we do get a front down there. That may be two weeks from now... 80s, 80s and more 80s.

The next story should be the lack of a story for a few days as a seasonably chilly mound of high pressure settles in for a few days. It will just be a few days, though. The next storm, now spinning well off the West coast, will hit us around the middle of next week.

This storm I think will take the low road and get stuck over the Southwest and northwestern Mexico for a while before heading out. We have seen this a few times already over the last month or so. The models have struggled some as they usually do in this setup. As usual, the dadgum GFS is way faster to bring it out than the Euro. Again, the Euro historically has had a bias on keeping such weather systems stuck over the Southwest too long, but it doesn't seem to be as bad as it used to be about it. The end result is that the models vary quite a bit on the timing and intensity of this storm early next week. The GFS, at least from 12Z, had a friend in the UKMET run, but the other models, at least the 4-5 I looked at, were all with the Euro in general. So, that's where my loyalties lie, especially after seeing so many 18Z GFS ensemble members looking like the Euro. That means that we are looking at a fairly potent storm tracking from Texas to the Great Lakes next week. There should be a long enough period of return flow ahead of the storm that it gets pretty dadgum warm and unstable ahead of it, so I fear we have a chance to see some severe thunderstorms with it. But, the Euro is rarely actually perfect, so there are some questions still about exactly when this storm will hit and how bad it might be. Just stay tuned to us here as we get closer to the event.

Earlier, it looked as though cold air might be heading back in right behind that storm, but now it looks later and that it probably hits the West first before it hits the middle and eastern parts of the country. I can't recall if I mentioned it here, but I've been thinking if we seriously get thrown into the deep freeze (and somebody will be, just not sure exactly who yet, but the eastern part of the U. S. is a leading candidate) because of the stratospheric warming that's well underway now, it probably doesn't really hit until at least Jan. 15, maybe as late as Jan. 20. The GFS has been, at least at times, seeing that it can get really cold starting around the middle of the month. While it does look cold, the latest GFS run doesn't look too dadgum cold, at least not for the South, around Jan. 15 through 20. The long-range Euro stuff doesn't look terribly cold for the South, either.

Of course ... I mentioned the 1985 cold snap back on Wednesday ... while Jan. 21, 1985, was the coldest day ever for a lot of southerners, that arctic outbreak was very transient. For example, in Charlotte it was back up to 50 three days later. If you get a day that's 30 degrees below normal along with a month that's otherwise 1 below normal on average, you don't being the average down all that much. For the record ... in Charlotte the whole month averaged about 5 degrees below normal, even without the extreme cold around Jan. 21, it was a cold month overall.

OK, I'm starting to dadgum babble now so I'll call it a night. Hopefully, I will have a dadgum video for y'all early Saturday. And sound wiring in my car, dadgummit. Zut alors. Sacrebleu. Habersham.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Frank Strait
Frank Strait's weather blog is focused on the Southern States in the US. Get weather videos daily from this weather blog from AccuWeather.com.