Ugh... I had to spend all my time forecasting for Yankee Territory today. It's a good thing things are relatively quiet in the South. Cold, but mostly quiet. How cold is it? Well, the afternoon temperatures in Virginia and the Carolinas are running mostly in the 40s and low 50s, more typical of December and January. Also, it did indeed snow for a while today in the mountains in West Virginia, and at lower elevation than I thought, down to 3500 feet. I suspect the higher peaks around there have a couple of inches on them.
In general, the chilly air mass is going to hang on for another day or so in the Southeast, but temperatures are going to moderate. Later this week, one front after another will move through, spaced out every couple of days. The air masses behind the fronts won't be as cool as the one we're dealing with now, but cool enough to knock temperatures back for a while. The farther east you are, the cooler it can get. But, the cool will only last a day before warmth surges northward ahead of the next front. So, temperatures will be on a roller coaster. The fronts won't have much moisture returning in front of them, so don't expect much rain.
Most of the area west of the Mississippi will miss out on the fronts, which will stall near the Arklatex. So, it will get progressively warmer and more humid back in Texas. Eventually, it will get summery again by the end of the week. The warmth and humidity will fuel some big-time thunderstorms when the next significant storm reaches the area over the weekend. The storm in question is an upper low west of California now. It looks as though it will cause storms later Friday or Friday night in West Texas, then into Oklahoma and North Texas on Saturday. Of course, the timing is uncertain this far out. But, the computer models are showing enough shear to be worried about a tornado outbreak. For now, I don't see another big shot of cold coming for a while, in fact, the end of the month looks pretty warm.
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Extreme rain through this weekend will cause flooding in the Carolinas; it's not really nice anywhere near the East Coast. Fortunately, it's nice elsewhere for now. The tropics remain active.
While it looks likely at this point that Joaquin goes out to sea, we still have a setup for parts of the Southeast to see some extreme rainfall.
Several separate storm systems will affect the South over the next several day with most of the action in the Southeast.
A big surge of moisture and perhaps a depression or storm will be heading into the Southeast early next week, while most areas west of the Mississippi remain warm and almost summery.
A storm over the East Coast is causing a variety of problems while the next area of interest will be the Gulf of Mexico.
This will be the last post for a while as I am headed down there to live through my forecast for a change. There's plenty of stuff to watch for while I'm gone.