Raleigh Weather Discussion
The next couple of days look to be warmer with highs near 60 before we see the next storm system bring a chance of rain on Thursday evening/night and into Friday morning. The models have come into a bit better agreement on the timing of this storm and it appears there will be some steady moderate rain Thursday night. The rain should be gone by later Friday morning and the weekend looks dry and seasonable with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.
Another storm system moves towards the area by Monday and Tuesday with another good round of rain. The models have also come into a bit better agreement with this system, with Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning looking to be the wettest time. Temperatures will be rather mild with 50s and 60s likely Monday and Tuesday.
Cooler air moves in behind this system for the middle of next week with highs back to near normal. I am watching to see if the models are going to form a storm system along the Gulf Coast or southeast coast around Valentine’s Day. The ECMWF has this, but the only snow is for the mountains. The GFS keeps any storm development well offshore.
National Extended Weather Discussion
Essentially we are seeing a battle between the models as to how the middle to latter part of February is going to look. The GFS and GFS Ensemble continues to be cold. Make no mistake the Ensemble guidance looks cold and stormy by Valentine’s Day and beyond with a strong –EPO ridge and blocking in the polar regions.
However, the ECMWF and GGEM Ensemble guidance wants to center the cold in the Rockies/Plains with a general ridge over the eastern US and it keeps this general idea through the forecast period perhaps breaking it down late in the period. The ECMWF weeklies are also similar to this idea while the CFS weeklies are closer to the GFS ideas.
Part of the difference could be in how the models are forecasting the current MJO pulse to progress. The MJO wave is currently solidly in phase 1 and progressing. However, the GFS Ensemble forecast is for this wave to weaken and stall in phases 1,2. Phase 2 in February favors a ridge on the west coast and trough in the Lakes/East. However, the ECMWF favors the pulse to progress into phases 3 and 4 and then weaken. Consequently those are warmer phases for the eastern US with a ridge present. So perhaps this is the reason for the difference, perhaps not.
With the ECMWF/GGEM Ensemble both showing the cold in the Rockies/Plains as opposed to the East, and the fact that this winter that has been much more likely then in the east, for now I favor that scenario.However, if the Euro/GGEM ENS guidance trends colder today that will be a sign the GFS is on the right idea.