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Friday, 11:25 a.m.
It has been a week of extremes across the country, and while they will not end this weekend, they should begin to ease next week as we move into May. Getting there might be a bit of a problem. Some highlights to close out the month of April:
1) Still no thrill in the chill for the Northeast. Record cold is almost a lock across the region. And not just tonight as skies clear in many areas from Pennsylvania on north into New York and much of central and southern New England. Some areas of upstate New York and New England back into Michigan will challenge or break record lows tomorrow night, then, as the weekend storm exits, stage right, high pressure will build into the eastern Great Lakes by Monday morning to promote another clear, calm, cold night in much of the region:
Frost is a real possibility into northern Virginia, and there may be subfreezing temperatures in some of the valleys of northern West Virginia Monday morning!
2) Weekend storm will lead to a chilly rain. And it may not be all rain, too. There's still a valid concern for wet snow to mix in with the rain for a time late Saturday and Saturday night in the higher terrain of central Pennsylvania. Here's the NAM forecast for Saturday evening for the mid-Atlantic, showing expecting three-hour precipitation and 850mb temperatures:
While boundary layer temperatures may yet be too warm for this to happen, it did just a few days ago, so I would definitely worry about it Saturday evening for a time! Meanwhile, the rain developing in the northern Plains this afternoon will spread across the Midwest tonight and across the Ohio Valley tomorrow. Along the southern edge of the rain, there will be some strong thunderstorms, too.
3) Severe weather will move east. Yesterday, a feature coming through the Rockies spawned three tornadoes in southeastern Colorado overnight. That disturbance is tied to the storm mentioned above, and the air south of the storm is very warm, as evidenced by all the record highs of late in Texas! So it is very reasonable to assume that with such contrasting air masses in close proximity to one another, strong thunderstorms will erupt:
That risk is carried eastward on Saturday into the Ohio and maybe the Tennessee valleys, but it will be centered on Kentucky.
4) South to stay warm and dry. Not much to add here, expect that fronts won't make it anywhere close to the Gulf Coast deep into next week. Which means warm and dry weather will continue.
5) Tropics showing life. The latest image from the Caribbean:
That's a potent little system down there, fighting against obvious shear. Development is very unlikely, but it is expected to remain a rain-producing entity that may bring some much needed rain to South Florida early next week.
6) After a cool entrance into the weekend, warmer in the West. The big upper-level trough coming inland now will mean a cool start to the weekend. Look at the ensemble predictions for tomorrow:
By Monday, the air mass will have moderated considerably, and it will largely be dry this weekend, until another cold front comes through the Northwest with some showers on Monday.
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