Don't know about you, but that earthquake around 2:30 this morning woke me up. Fortunately, that does not have anything to do with the weather although the strength of the winds today will make a few things rock and roll again. Look for those southerly winds to be on the order of 20-30 mph by this afternoon with occasional higher gusts. That also means any fires could quickly get out of hand so there will be an enhanced fire danger again today.
Some early morning cloud cover has moved into the more eastern counties, but that should be clearing out leaving us with mostly sunny skies and just a few high clouds for this afternoon. But, not for long as the stratus should be coming back at us by early Sunday morning and mostly cloudy skies will be the rule for the rest of the day Sunday. Gusty southerly winds will continue to moderate temperatures with daytime highs well into the 60s today, only dropping into the 50s tonight, and near 70 on Sunday.
Cloudy skies and even milder conditions will prevail for Monday and Tuesday before another cold front arrives Tuesday night. The strong southerly winds ahead of the cold front will also bring ample moisture over the state resulting in widespread showers and storms and what looks to be our best bet at putting a serious dent in the on-going drought in quite some time. Notice the QPF(Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) map on the right which is valid through Wednesday. If this verifies, and that is always a big if, our state in in for a good soaking with an inch or more of rain just about everywhere and some locations could pick up 3 inches or more. Hopefully, we do not go from drought to flood.
There is a 20-30% chance of showers and possibly some thunder by Sunday afternoon and evening with showers and storms likely for Monday, Monday night, and Tuesday before ending by late Tuesday night after the front moves through. Due to the widespread cloud cover, there is some question regarding how much instability can develop but the impressive dynamics due to the very strong wind fields at the surface and aloft will still produce some pretty good storms. Some may become severe with winds and hail the primary threats the way things stand right now.
Clearing skies and cooler conditions will follow for a few days before the winds return to a southerly direction and we begin to moderate in time for the coming weekend.
Bottom line is that the next few days will be very active regarding our rain/storm chances, so stay tuned and check back for updates.