WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Warmer Pattern Ahead?

Posted February 14, 2007

A few days ago, it appeared we might be dealing with some sleet and freezing rain last night, as some computer models pushed very cold air near the surface a little farther south at that time than reality turned out to be. Since then, additional model runs that incorporated more extensive measurement of the storm system that was approaching from the west indicated that we would stay just warm enough for all rain, with especially warm temperatures across southern and eastern parts of the area. This played out rather nicely yesterday, with the temperature range actually exceeding the initial estimates. During the afternoon, temperatures spanned from upper 30s in northwestern parts of our viewing area to mid 60s in the southeast.

For the next 5 or 6 days, our temperatures will take a couple of excursions well below normal, something we've seen a lot of since about the middle of January. Some of the large scale pattern indicators are giving hints, though, that our temperatures may become more variable and perhaps trend toward normal to above normal readings for a while beginning around the middle of next week. Of course, looking that far ahead is fraught with potential for error in the computer model forecasts, but some of the generalities often work out reasonably well, even if the details are more problematic.

To illustrate, I've included a model forecast of the surface and 500 millibar patterns for this Friday evening at 7 pm, followed by a similar pair of images for Saturday a week later and finally an outlook for temperature anomalies from the Climate Prediction Center. On Friday a cold airmass remains in place over the eastern U.S., as indicated by the broad trough over the central and eastern parts of the country at 500 millibars, and the continued northwest flow at the surface and aloft, with high pressure off to our south and west. More cold air is evident northwest of us, and after a brief warmup Saturday, we'll cool down again Sunday into Monday.

Contrast those two images with the next two, valid on Saturday morning Feb 24th. Here, the 500 millibar pattern features a fairly deep trough over the western U.S. and a broad ridge, usually indicative of somewhat above normal temperatures, across the east. At the surface, a large high pressure center is in place over the Atlantic to our east, with a low to the west and a southerly flow across the entire southeast in between those two systems.

The last image in the series is an outlook for temperature probabilities for the period 8-14 days from now. While this covers a lot of time and is a very generalized product, it does indicate a pretty strong likelihood of temperatures above normal for the eastern half or so of the country, and vice versa out west.

While the cold air is in place for the next several days, there are hints of a couple of passing upper level disturbances that could conceivably generate a flurry or sprinkle in spots, but for now significant precipitation appears unlikely. Later next week, it appears we'll just be too warm for anything frozen for a while.

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  • g88ky Feb 16, 2007

    YEAH royewhite!!!!!

    Why the _ell do we need to see frozen ice in the great lakes or where snow WOULD be IF it were to precipitate or any of that other irrelative BS that the human bobble head likes to share??

    Because Fishel needs to move back to PA!!!!!

    It's all irrelative because WINTER IS OVER DUDE!!!!!

  • Sidekick Feb 16, 2007

    Let's see.....Raleigh...or...Buffalo? Dang this winter weather here where we haven't had one day of power outages, multiple car crashes or even deaths.

  • g88ky Feb 15, 2007

    ahh yes, way off base, but thanks for playing!

    maybe it's got something to do with the negativity spewing from mr. Fishel's mouth every winter because HE doesn't get weather to his liking!
    Maybe HE should move back north.

    Wanna help him pack?
    ;c )

  • ajstarrrn Feb 15, 2007

    you respond to all of the weather blogs and stories and have never once had anything except negative comments to add. I wonder if you are just disappointed that we have very little snow and winter weather around here. There are plenty of other areas (like up north) where I'll bet you could find plenty of snow and you could criticize the weather team up there.

  • Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint Feb 15, 2007

    g88ky. Shut up and move back to the north.

  • g88ky Feb 15, 2007

    There is NO chance of snow any longer this year so accept it. Patterns change for usually a month at a time and after this warm pattern comes back next week it will be Spring before it could get cool again and by then the sun angle is too high in the sky and the ground temps are too warm for anything to fall that would matter.
    It's all AL Gore's fault!
    But wral will try their best to make something out of nothing I bet!

  • annetun Feb 15, 2007

    Here we are in yet another frustrating winter in Raleigh. For those of us snow lovers (and summer haters), it's depressing. If summer didn't go on for 8 months around here, maybe I'd like it too. Come on, weather guys, give us some WINTER!!!

  • johnnyreb27330 Feb 15, 2007

    All I can say is we aren't out of the storm yet. There is still a chance that we can get a bad storm. Let me remind everyone that we have had snow on into March, and we are only in the middle of February.

  • g88ky Feb 15, 2007

    Ah, thank you yet again for sharing the boring facts.
    Let's break it down, shall we:
    Greg Fishel will go into hiding by mid-week next week as Spring arrives and to stay! At least as far as any chance of snow happening, WINTER is O'Fishelly OVER!!!
    Tell him now so he has time to get his meds before next week!
    It's OVER, it's OVER, and over and over.
    Thank the heavens, we KNOW we couldn't handle another 1/2" blizzard in the triangle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sakeravihn Feb 14, 2007

    Looks like another winter without a good snow. I was watching all last week at all of the models hoping to get a big storm last night, but it never worked out. If the models are right and a "warm up" is on its way... could be a little to late in the year to get a good snow, although not unlikely.