Timing is everything, particularly in the world of weather. As you can see on our forecast page over the course of the coming 7 days, once again, a real roller coaster ride is apparent with some significant day to day changes in temperature and precipitation chances.
A cold front moved through much of the state this morning with northerly winds that have been increasing all day long. The colder air behind this system has been somewhat delayed in its arrival and is just now making its presence known.
Falling temperatures through the afternoon and evening hours will drop all the way to the low 20s by early Thursday morning. Northerly winds of 10-15 will also bring wind chill values into the teens and possibly even the single digits for some locations to start the day.
Despite lots of sunshine, temperatures will be slow to recover on Thursday as NE winds of 10-20 mph should keep us in the 30s to near 40 for daytime highs.
But, Friday into the day Saturday will see a nice rebound, and again this is where timing will be everything.
Friday morning will start off in the upper 20s, but SW winds and lots of sunshine will bring afternoon temperatures well into the 50s and perhaps even near 60 for the more western counties.
Saturday will also start off with S to SW winds and temperatures in the low 30s, but the timing of the next cold front will make a huge impact on how the day ends.
You may recall that earlier in the week the forecast for Valentine's Day was much colder than is the case on our current forecast. The reason is the expected timing of that next cold front, which earlier in the week looked to be moving through that morning, but now looks to be later in the day. That will allow temperatures to warm up much more than earlier thought; but there remains a high bust potential as subsequent data runs may flip the solution back to an earlier frontal passage once again.
In other words, if you have special plans on Valentine's Day, advise keeping a close eye on the forecast, as this is not a high confidence solution at present.
Have tried to illustrate that with the zoomed map which is valid at 3PM on Valentine's Day for a level just above the surface. The dashed lines are temperature contours and show a sharp gradient from the much colder air moving in from the north and the much warmer air in place to the south.
If that timing should change by just several hours, it will make a huge difference in how warm our afternoon is.
At least this system will be dry; but we cannot say the same about a stronger system coming our way early next week.
Sunday will be much colder with highs only in the 40s under partly cloudy skies. But, the longer range guidance is coming into general agreement for a cold rain on Monday with temperatures holding in the 40s and southerly winds.
However, the guidance also is now showing some consistency regarding the potential for our first real winter weather event for Tuesday.
Don't want to beat the drum too hard just yet, but both the GFS and the Euro are currently advertising the potential for accumulating snows for Tuesday. Far too early to specify how much and, keep in mind that this solution may flip again considering how far that is into the forecast cycle.
Notice the 7 day QPF map which suggests the potential for more than ½” of precipitation which will be confined to the Mon-Tue time frame. Most of that will likely be the cold rain expected on Monday, so it remains to be seen just how much wintry weather we will eventually get out of that system, but the potential is certainly there.
After that, much of the rest of that next week looks to be cold as well with temperatures remaining well below normal.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.