... Clouds and precip will scatter this morning as mostly sunny skies prevails by this afternoon as a cold front slips south and east of the region. Cold and dry high pressure will move east across the Mid- Atlantic through Saturday bringing much below normal temperatures. Temperatures rebound to above average next week with dry weather persisting into mid week.
NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... As of 320 am EST: The leading edge of a cold front is roughly bisecting the forecast area early this morning, with low clouds having lifted in most areas west of the boundary. One last band of mainly -RA is currently draped across the far southern zones. This will move steadily southeast through daybreak. Mid-level overcast will otherwise linger until the axis of the upper jet begins to shift east of the CWA after sunrise. This combined with increasing downslope flow will yield increasingly sunny conditions throughout the morning. Winds will otherwise become gusty out of the NW, with the gradient and H8 winds expected to peak by late morning. While surface winds will be noticeably gusty across the mountains, particularly in the downslope zone along and near the Blue Ridge, any gusts meeting Advisory criteria are expected to be confined to the higher peaks and ridge tops, and no headlines are anticipated at this time. The NW flow/cold advection regime will yield max temps 10-15 degrees below climo across the mountains, and only around 5 degrees below outside the mountains due to offsetting downslope warming. Winds are expected to settle down eventually tonight, with good radiational cooling conditions expected to result in min temps about 10 degrees below normal.
SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... As of 200 AM EST Thursday: The CFWA will be squarely in a post-frontal regime on Saturday as a stout Canadian high sets up shop over the Mid-Atlantic region and mid- to upper-level northwesterly winds filter in CAA over the region. Mostly sunny skies will be in store Saturday, but the Canadian high will have plentiful cold air to work with as high temperatures are expected to run around 10 degrees below normal. Alluded surface high will gradually shift offshore Saturday night into Sunday as the axis of a shortwave upper ridge quickly slips overhead the area. This will allow for a deep layer southerly component to develop and thus, help to modify the airmass for Sunday. A few ripples of DPVA and weak inverted trough to the east could provide enough juice for some precip to develop, but model guidance keeps this activity along the Coastal Plains of the Carolinas as of now and confidence is not high enough for a mentionable PoP at this time. A more pronounced shortwave trough will dig over the region late Sunday through Sunday night with a weak cold front moving in from the northwest. Due to this boundary being moisture-starved and the better dynamics residing to the north, expect a mostly dry fropa with only a wind shift being the main weather headline as a surface high builds in behind the front by daybreak Monday. The temperature trend will be on the uphill swing by Sunday as values will be near-normal for both highs and lows.
LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... As of 300 AM EST Thursday: Shortwave trough axis should exit offshore by the very beginning portion of the forecast period as upper ridging follows quickly. Surface high will ride underneath the ridge and will allow for an extended period of dry weather. High pressure will remain in control through at least Tuesday, which will be the longest dry period since January 13-16 and this could be slightly longer before changes begin to take place by the middle part of next week. Elevated heights and a deep layer southerly component will keep the airmass warm, with temperatures expected to be 5-10+ degrees above normal under dry conditions through Tuesday.
Model guidance begin to diverge with the next frontal system as high pressure slides offshore and moisture gradually transports into the region in response. A positively-tilted upper trough will swing into the western CONUS before an upper low cuts off from the initial trough. The upper trough is projected to phase with the northern stream jet per GFS/ECMWF and eventually lift into the Northeast by Wednesday. This will allow for a weak frontal boundary to encroach the region Wednesday into early Thursday, but the better upper forcing will reside north of the area and model guidance handle this feature differently. The GFS shows a full fropa by Wednesday night, but the parent low will continue to push further north and east and the trailing front will lose its oomph as it reaches the CFWA and not much will happen during the middle part of the week. However, the ECMWF doesn't have the front making it to the CFWA as the pattern is much more progressive and has the cutoff low over the heart of the country by Thursday morning. In this case, the ECMWF has the frontal system pushing into the area by Thursday evening as the stacked low swoops into the Upper Great Lakes region. The GFS is slower with this feature and slightly further south. The frontal system doesn't impact the CFWA until Friday morning, according to the GFS. The Canadian model is somewhere in between the GFS and ECMWF, but slightly favors the ECMWF in this latest update. As of now, thicknesses will be way too warm during the period to worry about any other p-type besides rain, unless you live above 5000' in the NC mountains, of course. Expect above normal temperatures for much of the extended forecast period.