Friday, April 30, 2010

Precipitation Situation

Winds out of the southwest bring a speedy transition from the freezing temps from earlier this week. With high pressure dominating our short term we’ll see clear and calm, summer-like conditions through the better part of Saturday. Don’t be surprised to see the mercury rise into the 90s in some of the warmer sectors of our state! Even our nights, which have been unseasonably cool as of late see temps holding in the lower 60s through the weekend. A strong low pressure cold front from our southwest will creep slowly into the area late Saturday. Strong winds, heavy rain & thunderstorms will be associated with that weather system on tap this weekend. Flood warnings and tornado advisories will also be popping up across our nation’s Midwest as lots of energy will be available due to the steady warm, moist southwest flow from the Gulf. Expect 1.5 to 2 inches of rain to fall over our forecast area from 8 pm Saturday through Sunday night. In north central WV, the heaviest rainfall will not be observed until Sunday afternoon and evening. To our south & west, in KY, TN, MS, IN & LA new rainfall will become problematic. Those folks will see no less than 4.5 inches of fresh rain in their neighborhoods! Rain showers will linger through Monday with little chance of thunder for the beginning of our work week. Even so, we could still see an additional inch or more through Monday. Temperatures will begin to cool down and skies will gradually clear by Tuesday. Stay tuned for weather updates as this weekend’s weather unfolds!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thank The Morning Sun

After a chilly start to our Wednesday we can now expect lots of sunshine and dry conditions through the short term. Very few clouds will do little to insulate the lower levels of our atmosphere and with relatively calm conditions expected through the overnight we can expect temperatures to fall into the lower 30s once again. Expect patchy frost and another chilly morning on Thursday. Otherwise we’ve got lots of sunshine and much warmer temps in store for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Despite the fact that Gov. Manchin has lifted the fire ban, we should all exercise caution while burning through the rest of April. Low relative humidity and low dew points across the state equal moderate fire hazard. On the other hand, rain showers and potentially strong thunderstorms are expected to arrive from our southwest late Saturday. Heavy rain could be associated with that weather system. Will discuss Saturday/Sunday’s weather in more detail later. Although the heaviest rainfall will be realized to our southwest, we’ll need to keep an eye on the sky Saturday afternoon & evening so as to avoid a situation.

5 Day rainfall totals...Looks like the heaviest rain will fall to our SW. We could see a mere inch Saturday night with more Sunday & Monday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If You Want To Destroy My Sweater...Don't. I Might Wear it!

Rain showers will be ending today. But a cold front keeps things on the cool side until warmer air moves in on Thursday. The National Weather Service has issued freeze watches & frost advisories across much of our state for tonight until 9 AM Wednesday. Look for temps to stay in the upper 50s today & low 30s tonight. We’re looking at the definite possibility of a hard freeze in outlying areas and higher elevations overnight. High pressure will move into the area Wednesday. So look for the return of lots of sunshine and clear skies for the remainder of this week. Expect minimal cloud cover to keep temps in the low 30s Wednesday night as well. Warmer air arrives Thursday, so look for sunny skies and a high around 68 Thursday. Friday will be our best day this week. In addition to it being Friday (which is always nice), we’ll see sunny skies and temps touching the lower 80s! Soak it up, because we will likely see rain and a few thunderstorms return to the mountain state Saturday night and Sunday. More later!

Early Wednesday morning. The purple areas indicate low humidity which means fewer clouds to you and me

Also early Wednesday at 850 mb. Cool air keeps us honest.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Weak upper level low pressure system passed over north central West Virginia last night. However with very little moisture to work with, the system passed before it could produce any measurable rainfall. Sunny skies and warm temps take over today. A weak cold front will sweep through the area Thursday keeping nighttime temps in the mid 30s. However, high pressure and sunny skies will continue to dominate the short term. So conditions remain calm and dry with no significant weather to speak of until early Saturday morning. Daytime temps will reach the mid to upper 60s over the next several days. Even so, folks will want to finish any outdoor projects before sundown Friday as we have a wet weekend on tap. Low pressure from the west will bring lots of moisture and dense cloud cover by Saturday morning. Expect a few rain showers during the day and the slight chance of a thunderstorm Saturday evening. Rain showers and the odd thunderstorm will continue Sunday and Monday as well. High pressure will clear out any lingering moisture by Tuesday of next week.

My kind of outdoor project

Friday, April 16, 2010

Burn One Down

A respectable line of showers will move through the area this evening. Low pressure will move across the Great Lakes Friday night delivering the only rain we will see for the next few days. Wind speeds are already beginning to increase and gusts are reaching well above 20 mph as air pressure in the upper atmosphere tries to equalize. There’s a slight chance of severe thunderstorms and damaging winds as the front passes overnight. However, this system does not seem to have enough juice to add up to an impressive storm. All the same, watch for potentially damaging winds especially on ridge tops across the northern mountains. Dew points and relative humidity have already risen well into the 40s. This can aid in the prevention of wildfires across our state. However, with the windy conditions that threat still exists. Gov Manchin has issued a ban on all outdoor burning until further notice. The quarter to half inch of rain slated to arrive late Friday should provide some temporary relief.

Behind the front we can expect cooler air through the rest of the weekend and the first part of next week. Morgantown can expect a low in the mid 40s Friday night and lows in the upper 30s through the first part of next week. Although our skies will begin to clear by midday Saturday, daytime temps will struggle to reach the upper 50s until the middle of next week. Also, look for freezing temps in the higher elevations over the next few nights. Things will gradually warm up by Wednesday. So look for more sunshine and for temps to finally reach the 60s by the end of next week.

It appears as though much of the eastern U.S. is in for a dry April. The rain I mentioned earlier will be all the precipitation we’ll see for the next week or so. The air’s relative humidity will bottom out quickly behind the front arriving late Friday. So don’t expect to see the outdoor burning ban lifted anytime soon.

Impressive ash cloud from Iceland's volcano, Eyjafjallajokull which erupted Wednesday. The cloud which has disrupted 1,000s of flights worldwide is problematic because it could disrupt global weather, can cause respiratory problems and is unpredicatble.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Stargazer

West Virginia will keep a dry forecast through the overnight & weekend. It looks like for the next week or so we may only see a few measly drops of new rainfall. Across the state tonight, we’ll quickly return to a trend of tranquil weather likened to the latest weekly high pressure regime. Weak low pressure may bring patchy clouds and a brief rain shower Sunday night/Monday morning. Otherwise, things stay very dry next week until another wooly rain cloud threatens our weekend. Confidence in these for now, imaginary rain systems is very low. Will discuss rain potential later.

The temperature is a different tune entirely. To illustrate our temperatures over the weekend and through next week we should all get really drunk, spin around in a chair 10xs and toss our share of darts from across the room at a dartboard. Tonight we’ll see temps creep back to the low 30s. Higher elevations could see hard freeze below 30. A frost warning has been posted for much of the state. Saturday temps will struggle to reach the mid 60s. On Sunday many stations across the state will record a 30-40 degree range in temperatures from sunrise to sunset. We’ll again begin the day in the low 30s, but will easily reach the low 70s before dusk. Folks that care will need to keep an eye out for frost & take necessary preventative measures to protect vegetation already in bloom over the coming weeks.

Warm air returns to the mountain state by Sunday. The dark blue & purple represents cooler air, which as you can see will be pushed north allowing warmer tropical air in.

New moon occurs next Wednesday. The high pressure trend will keep our skies relatively clear. Less moonlight along with fewer clouds, a jacket and maybe a few of those beers and you could do some serious stargazing on a few nights next week…I’m just sayin.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Burnin' Down The House

We saw a few rain showers and the occasional lightning bolt Monday. Even though we started this week moist and rainy, things have dried out drastically. The air’s moisture content measured 16 % at last glance. As more dry weather and low relative humidity returns to the mountain state, breezy conditions literally fuel the fire. Things have also become downright uncomfortable for many of us who are reluctant to install/turn on air conditioning this early in the year.

West Virginia remains lodged between a broad high pressure area to our east and strong low pressure in the Midwest. So the warm and breezy trend will continue through Wednesday. Look for temps in the mid to upper 80s Wednesday, with wind gusting to around 20 mph as the high pressure continues to clash with the low moving eastward.

Nights will also remain clear with temps in the low 60s tonight and Wednesday night. Not until Thursday afternoon will a cold front bring some much needed rain showers/thunderstorms and more reasonable temps to our area. So we’ll start Thursday dry with increasing clouds as the day progresses. Rain showers and cooler temps (50s & 60s) will carry over to Friday morning.

Things will gradually rebound to make for a decent weekend of weather. However, we’ll see temps Friday night/Saturday morning just above freezing. Folks in higher elevations could wake up to frost on the ground early Saturday. High pressure will then build into the area providing sunny skies, a dry forecast and warmer temps for teh first part of next week.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don't Be That Guy

We showcased absolutely stellar weather the past several days. That trend continues through most of next week as well. Low relative humidities, sunny skies and temps way above average can be problematic for this time of year. The threat of fire should be seriously considered until more moisture moves in towards the end of next week. In the meantime, don’t be that guy/girl that starts a wild fire with a cigarette butt. If you’re in the woods, make sure your campfires are never left unattended. Also, try not to burn your neighbor’s house down with your trash fire.

Weak low pressure will move in from the west on Sunday. However, any moisture will for the most part be dissipated by the broad high pressure ridging that has dominated much of the eastern United States. We may simply see a few clouds roll through on Easter Sunday. Steady daytime temps in the upper 70s and low 80s will continue till Thursday of next week. The next real chance of rain will be Wednesday night/Thursday of next week. Still not too impressed with that system either. Confidence will increase with each day between now and then. So stay tuned. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see gorgeous weather for the foreseeable future.

Nights will also remain clear and pleasant with temps in the low 50s. In addition, over the next several days our full moon will continue to be trimmed down until new moon arrives on April, 14. With nights remaining steadily clearer, we may see near perfect conditions for stargazing. So have a great holiday, enjoy the weather, and remember; only YOU can prevent forest fires!