Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Warming Trend Underway...

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

WAFB First Alert Quickcast:

- warming trend is underway, stays dry through Friday
- still watching for the potential for severe weather over the weekend

So this morning makes four morning freezes for the Capital City in just six days with this morning’s freeze lasting the longest (about 11 hours at Metro Airport) and being the coldest with a morning minimum of 27°. There will be no more of that for a while: in fact, some of the long-range guidance suggests that the Red Stick may not see another freeze before month’s end. 

Trivia fans: it has been a very chilly November thus far based on climate history. We looked back through November daily records since 1893 -- 122 Novembers -- and found that there have only been six prior Novembers with four or more freezes on or before November 19th. The last November with four or more freezes by the 19th was 1991, which also happens to tie 1951 with the most freezes (seven) by this date. And in terms of the average temperatures, November 2014 ranks among the ‘coldest’ Novembers on record (thru the 19th) with the ‘coldest’ November 1-19 period since 1997.

However, the winds have come around and are starting to bring mild Gulf air into the region. After that bone-chiller of a morning start, we’ve begun a steady warming trend that will continue through the weekend. Thursday morning will start in the upper 30°s to low 40°s for most WAFB neighborhoods with a Thursday afternoon high in the upper 60°s to near 70° under partly cloudy skies. We’ll stay partly cloudy for Friday with a high in the low 70°s for many, then warm into the low to mid 70°s by Saturday afternoon. Sunday could see some upper 70°s for daytime highs.

So the weather stays quiet through Friday as we watch the next upper-level trough swing towards us from the west and help energize a storm system into the weekend. The warm-and-moist Gulf air that takes us into the 70°s over the weekend will also fuel a potent low-pressure system that gets organized over the Southern Plains. 

Just how active the weather becomes across our viewing area from Saturday afternoon into the early hours of Sunday is still unclear but we suggest that you get prepared for some strong-to-severe storms. Regardless of the thunderstorm/tornado threat, this weekend’s system is shaping up to be a wet one, with early indications from the NWS Weather Prediction Center showing 1” to 3” or rain possible for the WAFB area.

Then once again, following the frontal weather over the weekend, temperatures drop back to below-normal next week, although we are currently keeping minimums above freezing through Thanksgiving.

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