Next few days are relatively straight forward, but the unsettled pattern that will be developing next week is far from it. Confidence is high that there will be a wet, potentially stormy period by the middle of next week; but the confidence is very low regarding the specific timing/intensity/location of the main storm system that will be responsible for the unsettled weather. Problem is that the developing system is currently in the vicinity of the Aleutians in the Pacific and until it makes landfall in the Pacific NW and we have better sampling, then there will continue to be a wide range of possible outcomes as the models flip from one solution to the next.
In the short term, the cooler, drier air brought in by the brisk NE winds today will result in a clear, cold night tonight. A light freeze or a frost is a good bet for most locations along with clear skies and light winds expected by early Friday morning. Mostly sunny skies and light E to SE winds during the day Friday should get afternoon temperatures back up to near 60 which is still well below normal. That will set the stage for what should be some very pleasant weather for the Friday night football games.
For Saturday, a fast moving system aloft will be moving over the state bringing clouds and chances of rain/showers during the day. Right now, it appears the more likely locations to receive rainfall would be along and south of I-40 but there will be at least a slight chance elsewhere as well. Another weak wind shift will also arrive during the day shifting our winds from the S or SW to northerly by late in the day. Temperatures will be milder as the clouds and southerly winds should keep us in the 40s to start the day and despite the clouds a SW wind into the early afternoon should get daytime highs well into the 60s.
Clearing skies by Sunday morning will result in another chilly start with morning lows near 40 but the sunshine and a return to a light E/SE wind by late in the day should get the afternoon temperatures well into the 60s.
Monday is when things start getting interesting as there could be a few showers/storms late in the day along with gusty southerly winds and highs in the 70s. Tue-Thu is where the major uncertainty lies with one set of solutions even calling into question the precipitation type. Not going to go there just yet but that just illustrates the difficulty this next system is posing from a forecast perspective. For now, am siding with the slower solution offered by the ECMWF which will have a frontal boundary bouncing around the area through the middle of the week producing widespread showers/storms before finally exiting to the east late on Halloween. Notice the 7 day QPF map on the right which certainly suggests the potential for some soaking rains over that time frame.
As more data comes in over the next few days and the system gets into our observational network with better data sampling, these uncertainties should be ironed out. In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.