Saturday Weather Blog

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

We appear to be entering a more tranquil pattern that is going to last for awhile. This morning's first few visible satellite shots are revealing a mostly cloudy sky over much of our area. It does remain mostly sunny in the far northwest fringe of the area, namely Early, Dougherty, and Calhoun counties -- including the Albany metropolitan area. We've been carefully monitoring a few areas of rain in the Gulf of Mexico. The heaviest is in the East-Central and Southeast Gulf, to the west and south of Tampa, but there are pockets of lighter rain in the Northeast Gulf. These showers are going to have a tough time making it north of about Cedar Key judging by the latest radar loop. In fact, it appears the lion's share of it will stay along and south of where I-75 and the Florida Turnpike split off. This scenario is also forecast by our local WRF models and the experimental RUC (which now incorporates 3D radar reflectivity into its assimilation system). We are just forecasting a 20% chance of showers in the far Southeast Big Bend and lower Suwannee Valley, just in case a straggler makes it that far north through early afternoon. Highs should be fairly close to late March averages (i.e. mid 70s).

A cold front in the Tennessee Valley today is expected to move through overnight. Initially, the cool air will be shallow, so the strong March sunshine is expected to mix it out on Sunday. There will be a moderate breeze as high temperatures reach the middle 70s one more time. Easter Sunrise is at 7:37 AM, and we expect temperatures to be in the upper 40s at that time, so a jacket will be needed on your way out to services.

Cold air advection is expected to continue Sunday night and Monday on the heels of northerly winds. By then, its effect on temperatures will become more noticeable. The mercury will dip into the lower 40s on Monday morning with a brisk wind and highs are probably not going to get out of the 60s Monday afternoon. The chilly surface high pressure is expected to move along the Gulf coast states Monday night and Tuesday morning. This will cause the winds to go calm or nearly calm and it is becoming more probable that a late season freeze and frost will occur. For some odd reason, only half of the ensemble members were available this morning, but the average of those was 29 degrees and the range is between 25 and 31 degrees. This is quite impressive for late March. The ECMWF also predicts the high to be favorably positioned for a freeze. For now, I am going with 32 degrees for Tuesday morning low, but if current trends continue, we will have to go even colder.

A moderating trend should take hold Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, but I have a feeling that outlying areas will at least see another frost Wednesday morning. Highs should be back to near average Wednesday afternoon.

The primary jet / main storm track has shifted much farther north, and is expected to stay there through the end of the upcoming week. The ensembles and global models are hinting at a front moving through late next weekend, but it doesn't look terribly significant. All in all, no major storms are expected for our area in the forseeable future.

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