Monday, 10:45 a.m.
The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to the summer season. Many take a three-day or even a four-day vacation as we slow down and take time to remember and honor those who have given their lives in the name of freedom in past conflicts around the world. I'm very thankful that while my father actively served in the Navy in World War II, he remains alive and well, and I look forward to seeing him and other family members later this week.
The folks in the Northeast might not believe this talk about summer, though. Not after getting dumped on in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as the high ground of northeastern New York state. Several inches of snow in many places between 1,000 and 2,000 feet of elevation, but reports of up to 3 feet of the white stuff in the highest peaks of Vermont. Late May? Seriously? Unreal.
And if that was not enough, some places had to deal with another late-season frost across the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes earlier this weekend, and even this morning in parts of north-central and northeastern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and central and northern New England. I know it is no way comparable to the 'Year Without a Summer,' but it is almost June, and we're still dealing with some of these amazing shots of cold air from Canada! Let's hope they're done for a few months. There's no need to shorten the growing season any more! It almost feels like we've given away a month of warm weather already!
Just look at the lows from this morning as an example of the lingering chill:
On the other hand, there is warmth, and it will expand steadily to the east and east-northeast in the coming days. Look at how warm it was on Sunday over parts of the Eastern Rockies and western Plains compared to surrounding areas:
A broad warm front now stretches from northern Illinois to southern West Virginia. Along and north of that boundary, not only is it cloudy, but it's also unsettled, with showers and thunderstorms scattered about from westernmost Virginia through West Virginia to Ohio to northern Indiana and central and northern Illinois. And with the clouds hanging tough on the north side of that boundary, it's going to remain much cooler than average this afternoon.
The warm front will make slow but steady progress northeastward this week. By the end of the day tomorrow, that front will extend from central Michigan southeastward to southern Pennsylvania. Once again, along and northeast of that boundary, expect a lot of clouds along with some showers and thunderstorms. It'll remain relatively cool, too, especially where there is little to no sun.
In contrast, here comes the warmth on the southwest side of that boundary. And the humidity. With sunshine, temperatures will easily climb into the 80s tomorrow from Illinois into parts of Ohio and West Virginia, as well as much of Virginia. However, the real warming will come the following day, as the warm front moves into upstate New York and New England. Look at the projected 6-hour, 2-meter maximum temperatures from the 6z 27 May GFS model for Wednesday afternoon:
By Thursday and Friday, that heat will expand farther north and east into upstate New York and New England, with a few places topping 90 from eastern Pennsylvania to Virginia. A few more places will do it Friday, even up into New England. And that's likely to persist into the weekend before a cold front can dent the heat and humidity in the Midwest Saturday, the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Sunday and finally the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region on Monday.
Through it all, the atmosphere will be charged up. By that I mean the potential for a lot of rain, especially from the northern Plains and Midwest into the Great Lakes and upstate New York. Areas to the south will only have a couple of instances of of it being stormy, while areas a little farther north will lie in the battle ground between the burgeoning area of heat and humidity to the south and the cool air trying to hold its ground to the north.
Furthermore, with an upper-level disturbance sneaking through the mean upper-level trough over the Rockies, we're likely to see some outbreaks of strong thunderstorms from West Texas up into the central Plains before the cold front comes through to quiet down the pattern late in the weekend and early next week, even if only for a brief period of time.
And we're still keeping a wary eye out on the tropics. There remain some nervous rumblings about potential development this weekend or early next week in the northwest Caribbean. There is nothing definitive on this as yet, but it is something that is being watched for every day and could at the very least lead to some wet weather heading to Florida in time.
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