Even though this past week was climatologically the coldest week of the year, the Mid-South has been in "outperform" mode. Through January 15, the average high temp has been just under 43 degrees, which is 7 degrees below normal. The average low of 27.2 is nearly 5.5 degrees below normal.
|Temperature so far this month (blue bars) have generally been well below normal (brown bands). We'll have more blue bars in the red area (above normal) by this time next week!|
|Output from the "new" GFS model (see below) for Saturday night as a weak cold front moves through. The closest precip looks to stay along and north of the Ohio River as dry air won't support rain this far south.|
The tide appears to turn as we head into the end of next week as cooler air seeps in behind Tuesday's front with a general downward trend in temperatures. In addition, a "southern stream" weather system, which rides the subtropical jet stream positioned in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will throw abundant cloud cover over the area late next week. Being a week out, precipitation forecasts could change significantly, but for now most of the precip looks to stay just to our south. However, with colder air back in place, we'll have to monitor this system closely for the potential of a wintry mix. Too soon to make any calls on that though!
Side note - for weather geeksFor you weather weenies out there, we have referenced and posted graphics on this blog in the past few months from a "parallel" or "upgraded" GFS computer model that was being tested alongside the operational GFS. The GFS is the American workhorse model - with global output and long-range capabilities. As of Wednesday morning, January 14, that "upgrade" became the "new" operational GFS. There are several improvements within the model, but perhaps the biggest is an increase in horizontal resolution by nearly four-fold in the ten day forecast and more than three-fold out to 16 days.
An increase in horizontal and vertical resolution was also accomplished on the ensemble modelling system that the GFS is a part of (the GEFS). This increase in resolution was enabled by a recent tripling in capacity of the supercomputers NOAA runs the models on, mostly funded by the Hurricane Sandy supplement that directed tens of millions of federal dollars into a lagging NWS computing infrastructure.
|NOAA supercomputers "Tide" and "Gyer" process NWS model data used globally for atmospheric prediction.|
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