Winds are kicking up, thermometers are rising and that can only mean one thing: there’s a storm system a-brewin’. And this one is particularly potent, with heavy rain and strong storms possible Saturday.
Rain Chances Ramp Up Friday
That’s not to discount the chance for rain we have during the day today as this system draws closer, because we could see some downpours.
The first wave of the system will be approaching us early, and we’ll see rain chances increase during the day…and that’s in addition to gusty southwesterly breezes 15-20 MPH sustained (gusts could reach up to 30 MPH).
There’s a chance for some showers earlier in the day, but the main chance comes in during the afternoon hours lasting through the evening. Even with the rain and clouds, temperatures will be near 65° for an afternoon high.
Those southwesterly breezes, combined with clouds and showers will keep us on the warm side throughout the nighttime hours as well…lows only fall to about 60°.
Gusty Winds, Heavy Rain Likely Saturday, with Strong Storms Possible
The real show for us comes during the day on Saturday when the low pressure moves through the region and eventually drags a cold front through the region.
We’ll see a break in the steadier rain during the early morning hours as we await the cold front. Ahead of it, winds will be downright brutal out of the southwest: sustained winds of 20-25 MPH, with gusts close to 40 MPH…likely a few stronger than that, up to about 50 MPH.
Make sure any loose outdoor objects are tied down or brought inside. I don’t want to see trampolines in power lines or trash cans clear across the county.
We’ll see the worst of the wind ahead of and with a line of storms along the cold front. The models are being consistent in bringing the front in during the early afternoon hours (think 12-2pm), but the possibility is there that this may skew a little later, depending on the speed of the system.
After the front moves through, things quiet down considerably as winds slowly shift to the west and calm down overnight, ushering in cooler temps with a low around 40°.
We’ve talked about the potential for very gusty winds during the day tomorrow, with gusts approaching 40-50 MPH. But those won’t be our only impacts.
The southwesterly winds will be introducing quite a bit of moisture into our region and the cold front will easily tap into this, leading to heavy rainfall tomorrow. Ultimately, totals should end up between about 1-2 inches for the event, with locally higher amounts possible.
Because this rain will be falling in a spread-out enough timeframe, widespread river flooding isn’t expected. The bigger concern will be flash flooding, especially in those flood prone areas (#AvoidFairview). If you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around, don’t drown.
Strong Storm Chances
SPC has taken us from a Slight Risk (2/5) a few days ago, to a Marginal Risk (1/5) yesterday and that’s where we stay this morning, with the greatest threat farther to our south.
This is mainly because the wind fields are nothing short of extraordinary with this system for the month of January. Winds just a mile off the ground are in excess of 75 MPH!
This means the main threat is the potential of a few stronger “storms” (in “quotes” because we might not even see any lightning with them) being able to mix those winds down to the ground. We can never rule out an isolated spin-up tornado in these scenarios, but they aren’t likely. The saving grace here is a lack of fuel…and we can thank cloud-cover for that.
Bottom line: a few severe storms are possible along the line, with the potential for damaging straight-line winds and an isolated quick spin-up tornado. The best threat for significant severe weather will be across the deep south. We’ll keep an eye on things.
Into Next Week
The front will be behind us by Sunday, leading to a cooler day under partly cloudy skies. A high around 50° or so. Temperatures and rain chances slowly go up through the week. Mid 50s on Monday lead to low 60s by Tuesday as another rainmaker is poised to move through for the back half of next week.
That just about does it for me! Follow our live weather feed @wxornotbg for the latest updates on a soggy and stormy Saturday. Have a terrific Friday!