As of this writing, the cold front has just barely made it through our entire viewing area. What is going to complicate the forecast this weekend is the exact track of weak impulses in the middle and upper atmosphere and their potential impact on us. One such disturbance moved through the Southeastern Big Bend, Suwannee River Valley and South-Central Georgia early this morning. In its wake, there should be a small break in the rain over the eastern viewing area late this morning. Water vapor satellite imagery is depicting another mid-level disturbance over the Central Gulf of Mexico. It may scrape the southeastern Florida Big Bend, so there is another chance of showers there late this afternoon. However, the best chance of rain with this feature will probably happen over Central Florida. A larger and well-defined upper air trough is showing up over the U.S. High Plains. Its axis will pass our area Sunday afternoon. Once that happens, we'll see a more pronounced clearing trend that will continue into early this upcoming week.
The airmass will get progressively cooler as upper trough bypasses us and it will certainly be more noticeable on Monday. As high pressure gets close to us Tuesday morning, the winds should become nearly calm permitting temperatures to plummet below freezing for a few hours. A light or moderate freeze is anticipated at this time. High pressure should be able to hang on through Tuesday, but then slowly lose its grip by midweek.
The operational and global ensemble longer range models are in very good agreement in forecasting a low pressure system to develop in the western Gulf of Mexico either late Wednesday or early Thursday. Its at about this time when the warm front attached to this low will start advancing toward the area. This sort of a pattern can be a wet one for us, so rain chances will be on the increase starting Wednesday, but it becomes more likely Wednesday night and Thursday as the actual low center approaches us from the Gulf of Mexico. The jury is still out as to whether we will see severe weather, but the operational models and the global ensemble mean is shifting the track of the low westward. If the low goes to our west as present trends suggest, we will end up in the so-called "warm sector", which would increase the probability of severe thunderstorms. More on this as we get closer to the event.
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