... An approaching cold front will bring a chance of showers to parts of the area this afternoon through tonight, perhaps with a few thunderstorms in western sections of the area. The front will exit the area Friday, resulting in dry and somewhat cooler conditions Saturday. Expect unseasonably warm weather to return Sunday, followed by periods of unsettled weather next week.
NEAR TERM /THROUGH TODAY/... As of 129 am EDT: Pre-frontal shower activity continues to make its way eastward across the forecast area, with a decrease in coverage over the lower Piedmont of SC/Lakelands offset by an increase in coverage over the srn half of the Charlotte metro area/nrn Upstate. Meanwhile, the band closer to the front has moved over northeast TN and was disintegrating. Precip probs will be adjusted a bit based on the radar trends. At this point, with how the precip is moving, it would appear that the precip will be clear of the eastern edge of the fcst area long before sunrise. The latest guidance agrees, so the low precip chances east of I-77 at the start of Friday will be removed. Anticipate mild mins with any mountain fropa occurring in the pre-dawn hours, and locations east of the mountains seeing fropa mainly this morning.
Otherwise, the front should move across the region early this morning, followed by strong drying occurring through the afternoon hours. The upper energy moves east on Friday as well, but a broad upper trough will persist over the eastern CONUS through the day. Above climo maxes will continue east of the mountains with westerly downsloping flow.
SHORT TERM /TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 100 PM Thursday: 500mb trough will lift out over the course of Saturday as CAA filters in behind the fropa from Friday. Temperatures will feel more fall-like Saturday morning as temperatures dip to near-normal values. Surface high will be in control for most of the day Saturday as the upper level flow flattens out. Heights will begin to rise during the day, but with the CAA still in place under a post-frontal regime, expect mostly sunny skies with high temperatures near-normal Saturday afternoon. An amplifying ridge over the MS Valley will active a warm front to the west Saturday night into Sunday. The frontal boundary will be on the warm side of the ridge as lee cyclogenesis gets going over the Rockies. Despite the surface high shifting offshore Saturday night into Sunday and producing a return flow, the main frontal zone and better dynamics will have surged into the OH Valley and remain north and west of the CFWA. Thus, keeping the CFWA dry through the short term. With a good radiational cooling environment expected Saturday night, temperatures will be similar to Friday night. Height rises and a warm southerly component will uptick temperatures 5 to 10 degrees above normal for highs on Sunday.
LONG TERM /SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 215 PM Thursday: Model discrepancy begins to take place by the start of the new work week, but are in agreement with a similar synoptic trend. The GFS sends a potent shortwave across the north- central CONUS Sunday night into Monday with a frontal system. However, the ECMWF digs the shortwave farther south and has it slamming right into the CFWA by Monday evening. In this case, the ECMWF would obviously produce a much more active weather pattern, with thunderstorm potential. Either way, some form of PoPs will be in the forecast to support the onset of precipitation associated with the frontal system. The GFS is much more progressive in pulling the shortwave eastward and dries the CFWA for much of Tuesday, while the ECMWF is slower to push the activity associated with the shortwave out of the area. Behind the shortwave, a break in the activity will be in store as a shortwave ridge builds in over the East Coast for the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe. PoPs will continue to be in store in spite of the ridge due to the timing differences.
After that, guidance continue to support the idea of a mid-latitude trough digging across the CONUS and knocking on our doorsteps by Thursday of next week and beyond with some potential of a cutoff low developing in the vicinity of the MS Valley and southeastern CONUS. If this scenario plays out as current guidance is displaying it, expect a strong cold front to pass through the region by day 7/8. A lot more questions than answers right now, but the pattern seems to become active next week. Temperatures will likely run above normal through much of the period until a true cold front pushes through the area, which is possible by the end of next week.