After a brief bout with winter weather and rain, we are about to see the return of a few snow flurries and snow showers both today (Wednesday) and again on Friday. The best chance of seeing any light snow showers will be along the west-facing mountains. Temperatures look to stay cold as well, at least for now.
The jet stream, a river of air way up in the sky that guides storm systems, remains very active this week. Today, we will see the lingering effects of Tuesday's weather maker. Some of you had snow, and most of you at least had a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain Tuesday. The individual storm on the surface is leaving us today; however, it's the jet stream that still has some business to take care of today.
The dip in the jet stream will linger behind today, across the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. When the jet stream dips, the air ahead of the dip will usually lift, creating clouds and moisture. So with the lagging dip to our west, it looks like any clearing Wednesday will be very slow if at all. With the main system from yesterday gone, moisture will be limited. Still, a decent coverage of rain showers and snow showers are likely today until the dip passes us later Wednesday evening and Wednesday night.
As of this writing, I wouldn't expect much in the way of accumulating snows Wednesday. The farther west, the better the chances for another coating. The rest of us will see a rain shower or a few flurries today. Temperatures will stay in the 30s all day, and depending on your exact location, the moisture will either fall as rain or snow. Usually, 37 degrees and above gives you rain, while it can snow at or below 37. Now, that's if the air in the cloud is below freezing! Overall, the trend will be from rain showers to snow showers later today.
We will catch a break from any winter weather action on Thursday. A small area of high pressure and dry weather will move in from the west, clearing us out and giving us from sunshine. Temperatures will hover around 40 or so. That's still not too warm, but the added sun may make it feel a bit warmer. Lows will stay chilly in the 20s area-wide.
I'm watching another system for Friday, though this one looks to be coming from the north again - not the south. Crossing the Great Lakes, cold, Polar air will move in on very gusty winds, clouds and snow showers and perhaps a heavier but brief snow squall Friday afternoon. Temperatures will turn colder with many daytime readings falling out of the 30s. Wind chills will be in the teens and even close to the single digits as gusts approach 40 mph!
Since Friday's system will not have any Gulf of Mexico connection, the moisture is limited at best. Still, the mountains may pick up light accumulations of around a half inch on average. For everyone else, don't be surprised to see a quick snow squall of wind and cold that may quickly coat the ground - but only for a few minutes before departing.
As we progress into the weekend, it's looking warmer. High pressure will again set up over the south Saturday. The dry weather will allow for a sunny Saturday as the colder air retreats back to the north. The clockwise rotation of wind around the high will usher in even warmer temperatures for Sunday. Highs by the end of the weekend may indeed reach well into the 50s!
But before the weekend, we still have just a little winter left to deal with this week. Enjoy!