The main issue today is the timing of a cold front on Friday and its impacts on temperature and precipitation and the enhanced fire danger between now and then. There are also some longer term issues that need to be resolved, but will get around to those a little later. The enhanced fire danger situation we have been dealing with for several days now has been mitigated somewhat by the higher humidity levels that even produced some dew early this morning.
Unfortunately, strong southerly winds of 20-30+ will still create problems for the rest of the day today. Those winds will continue at 10-20 through the overnight hours, but the good news is that the pressure gradient should relax somewhat for Wednesday as a weak wind shift line approaches from the west. The more western counties may even see a westerly wind during the afternoon, followed by lighter winds going into the day Thursday. In fact, the boundary should even result in a more E to NE wind for Thursday morning becoming SE by afternoon.
Despite this boundary, not much in the way of active weather is anticipated with only about a 20% chance of a late afternoon or overnight shower/storm. Thursday will see a little better chance at 30%, but Friday still looks to be our best bet. As Alan mentioned in his morning discussion, the approaching cool front has a huge bust potential regarding temperatures as timing will be everything. The morning model runs have slowed the front down somewhat, but it still appears that the boundary should be moving into the I-44 corridor around Noon on Friday and then on eastward for the afternoon hours. With that in mind, have maintained Alan's inverted temperature profile for Friday as the warmest part of the day should be first thing in the morning followed by falling temperatures during the afternoon.
This system also has the best rain potential we have had in quite some time. In fact, some of the guidance suggests as much as 1-2" of rain may fall by the time it all ends Friday night or early Saturday morning. Assuming the current timing does not change significantly, then Saturday should see clearing skies and cooler temperatures along with brisk northerly winds.
After that, the longer term issues mentioned above start to crop up again. As mentioned yesterday, the wind flow aloft is undergoing significant changes which will result in a more unsettled pattern going into next week. The longer range guidance often has trouble dealing with the timing, location, and intensity of individual features which can have a huge impact on our sensible weather. This leads to a low confidence forecast regarding the longer time ranges and about the best that can be said at this point is that we will have to keep at least a slight chance for rain for early next week along with the cooler temperatures. Depending on how systems amplify and lift out as they move through the mean trough that will dominate much of the lower 48, will have major implications regarding our temperature and precipitation anomalies going into next week.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.