Big Pattern Change Coming to North Georgia

It’s been a while since I updated over here, but it’s also been a while since the weather has done more than either rain or be sunny. We have several things to talk about so lets get started. 

 

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL MONDAY/TUESDAY

Posted below is the current day 3 outlook from the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma. As you can see, they have highlighted all of north GA with a 5% risk of severe weather, and the yellow 15% area composes the official SLIGHT risk area for Monday afternoon and into the overnight. 

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I would not be surprised to see this threat expanded with the new outlook tomorrow, as the models have ramped instability up Monday evening which would help any severe storms to our west maintain their severity. The tornado threat is very, very low with this system as upper level winds are not conductive, however damaging winds and hail will certainly possible. I am not currently anticipating any widespread severe (except over possibly NW GA) but a few strong/severe storms are certainly in the cards for Monday night. As we head into Tuesday the rain will likely continue, as it appears we will likely see two individual bands of storms/showers, though timing is not reliable at this juncture. Below is the precipitation forecast through the next 96 hours (4 days). As you can see, it paints a solid 1/2-1″ across the area with locally higher amounts possible. 

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Once the front moves through on Tuesday, temperatures will begin to fall back to near normal with highs Tuesday staying in the upper 50’s, before falling to the upper 40’s/low 50’s for Wednesday and beyond. Overnight lows will dip below freezing most every night so if you do have any plants blooming outside, cover them up or move them inside. 

 

SNOW?

I know what you are thinking: snow? 
I thought the same thing, and while I remain extremely skeptical, it is worth looking into. Basically we are getting into our second good blocking regime of late. We couldn’t get any in Dec/Jan when snow would have been a given, but now that it is warming up we get into a cold pattern. Go figure. 

At any rate, the models are showing the pattern progressing into a STRONG -NAO pattern (ala Jan 2011) by late week, with a possible PNA ridge showing up as well. This, coupled with the upcoming frontal boundary stalling over the gulf states, will lead to some very interesting weather predictions over the next several days. 

Below are the two main players in the game: the NE blocking vortex and a gulf low. This map is valid this upcoming Friday, which is when any wintry mischief would likely occur. 

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Where the NE vortex sets up will be the single, key component in what occurs in the SE next weekend. If it is able to set up farther south (as shown by the 12z Euro earlier), then a large portion of northern Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and all of Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and points north, will have a chance for accumulating snowfall to occur. There are still a myriad of other factors that could kill our chances, but at this range, it is best to look at the main players. There is impressive model consistency between the GFS/Euro/GGEM about the existence of a gulf low next weekend, but its track will mean everything, especially in a time of year when cold air is hard to come by. Ultimately we would want this system to come through overnight to minimize heating, but we are still several days away from knowing for certain. 

Behind this first system the GFS/GGEM/Euro are advertising another possible threat even headed into next week, but I am not even going to touch on that this evening. 

At any rate, you can see we are headed into a much colder, active pattern than we have seen the past two weeks, so dig the coats back out. I’ll update as necessary on both the severe potential and snow potential for next week. 

 

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