The cooler-than-average, wetter-than-average month of May will continue with yet another cool down and yet more rain chances just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the 60s both Wednesday and Thursday, with nighttime lows flirting with the 40s both Thursday and Friday mornings, as a progressive and unsettled weather pattern continues across the eastern U.S.
The next round of rain will arrive by Tuesday evening, with solid rain chances continuing into the day on Thursday, and yet another chance of rain for the weekend.
Here's the setup: An upper level trough will develop over the eastern U.S. as the week progresses. That will set the stage for a surface low pressure system, which could lead to some thunderstorms on Wednesday morning. The NWS says that "a few strong storms are possible." An attendant cold front will move through the region with that system. In the meantime, an upper level low pressure system will take its sweet time meandering across the eastern U.S., which will allow chances for rain showers to continue throughout the day on Thursday.
And while winds will shift to the south and cause temps to quickly warm on Friday, as Memorial Day weekend activities begin, that's going to usher in moist air for the next weather-maker, which will arrive by Sunday -- perhaps even late Saturday -- as a storm system approaches from the northwest.
Currently, the GFS forecast model is printing temperature highs of 65 on Thursday for the northern Cumberland Plateau, with a low of 52 on Thursday morning and a low of 51 on Friday morning. Temps will rebound quickly to near 80 for the weekend, but more rain will be approaching for both Sunday and Monday.
Rainfall totals should be relatively light, considering there's two systems in play. This morning's run of the GFS model showed a total of less than an inch of rain through Monday, while yesterday's midday run showed closer to 1.5 inches of rain. Still, cooler-than-average weather and an almost omnipresent chance of rain will be sufficient to dampen holiday plans for a lot of folks.
Further out: The progressive pattern will continue next week, and it looks like yet another storm system will keep rain chances going through the middle of the week as folks head back to work after the extended weekend. That will very likely lead to yet another cool down as May exits and June enters. Progressive means we don't stay warm, but it also means we don't stay cold, and temps will again rebound quickly. The GFS model has, for the last several days, consistently shown our first 90+ temps of the season arriving about 4-5 days into June. But that weather likely won't last long, because it appears the current pattern will continue as we enter June. If it does, we'll continue to see above-average rainfall and below-average temperatures overall.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is now forecasting below-normal temperatures for much of the middle part of the U.S. through the first half of June, and the latest long-range forecasts (issued Thursday) are eroding the above-average temperatures for the month of June as a whole, now keeping them confined to the coastal areas and the extreme southern U.S. Previously, the CPC was forecasting above-average temps for much of the continental U.S. in June. As I wrote last week, it's too soon to say we're going to see a repeat of 2008 (the summer that wasn't a summer) but I also wouldn't take the CPC's forecast of a hot summer to the bank just yet.
Eye to the Sky is a weather blog by Independent Herald editor Ben Garrett. Garrett is a weather enthusiast who has long blogged about interesting weather on his personal website. He is not a professional forecaster or a meteorologist and information on this blog should not be considered a substitute for forecasts, advisories or other products from the National Weather Service.