Mostly dry weather again today, but clouds will be slowly building over the state. These clouds are coming up from the south and west as our next weather system is working in. Rains develop late this afternoon and evening, through the overnight and continue through midday tomorrow. Rain totals will be .25” to .75” with a few localized areas toward 1 inch. This will yield coverage at 90% of the state. This will be a good, soaking rain. The map shows a snapshot of the rain set up tonight at midnight.
Dry weather pushes back in tomorrow afternoon. This dry push holds through tomorrow night, Saturday and at least through the first half of Sunday. However, this will not be a “clean” dry surge. In fact, there may be a large batch of clouds in over the state, and those clouds may trigger some hit and miss spots and sprinkles, although it’s not a big enough threat for us to get too worked up over.
From Sunday night into Monday we are watching as another system tries to build in from southwest to northeast. However, the latest model runs on this system have it farther to the east, and it may be able to miss a large part of the state. We will see clouds hold over the state Sunday night through Tuesday, even if the system largely misses. Also, we are not going to totally give up on the system just yet…as we don’t make major forecast changes on just one model run. However, if we see s confirming run or two, that will back a drier start to next week, with only a few spits and sprinkles in the area.
Colder air comes in behind the system (again, even if the main precipitation bands miss us), which will take temps back closer to normal for the second half of next week. However, we do not see a major cold push yet, and we do it with mostly dry air in play, and even some sunshine. Another potentially strong system sweeps by more to the south and east late next week, but will have the effect of drawing cooler air down in again. So, while our precipitation pattern is leaning toward a bit less active and damp solution, the effect of cooling will be seen as we move toward the end of the month. That will be key, as we continue to see another strong front early in the extended forecast window, moving across the country with cold air already in place ahead of it. That would suggest a potential for some snow right at the turn of the month or into very early February.
The rest of the extended pattern is up in the air. One set of models suggests a cold, snowy start to February and a pattern that would be very active with snow through the first half of the month. Another model suggests a large upper level ridge in over the western US, which would promote a move toward above normal temps in the east again after the 5th-6th of February. AT this point, we will leave our February thoughts alone, leaning toward a colder solution. But…there is plenty that can happen between now and then.