ALERT For Anomalously Dry Conditions Continues Until Beneficial Rain Falls – Please DO NOT BURN
Overnight Into Thursday Morning
Partly to mostly cloudy ( mid-high clouds ). Winds SSE-SSW at 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, along mid elevation ridges and plateaus below 2700 feet. Winds SSW-SW at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, along mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temps varying from the 40s in cooler mountain valleys to the 50s to around 60 degrees on exposed middle to upper elevation mountain ridges & plateaus.
Partly to mostly cloudy. Windy & unseasonably warm. SSW winds 10-20 mph, with higher gusts. Temperatures varying from 60s in upper elevations to the 70s to low 80s ( warmest at lower elevations in the Russell Fork-Levisa Fork basins ).
Thursday Night Into Friday Morning
Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers with a chance for thunderstorms. SSW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts, below 2700 feet. Winds SW-WSW at 10-20 mph, with higher gusts, on mountain ridges above 2700 feet. Temperatures widespread in the 50s, varying from around 50 degrees at highest elevations to around 60 degrees warmest locales.
Scattered showers & thunderstorms. Cooler. SSW to WSW winds 5-15 mph, with higher gusts ( especially on mountain ridges ). Temperatures varying from low-mid 50s in upper elevations to the upper 50s to middle 60s.
Friday Night Into Saturday Morning
A chance for showers & thunderstorms during the evening, then mostly cloudy ( decreasing clouds in the AM ). Turning cooler. Wind shifting NW-NNE at 5-15 mph. Temperatures dropping into the middle 40s to middle-upper 50s ( coolest at the highest elevations ).
Weather Discussion ( April 17-21 )
Unseasonably warm and dry conditions continue across the mountain area, with huge day-to-night temp spreads being observed ( and felt ) in mountain valleys.
*An update to Daily MAX-MIN temperatures recorded at the official National Weather Service station in Clintwood:
Official NWS Temperatures – Clintwood
( April 16 ) Saturday AM 33 degrees
Saturday PM 75 degrees
( April 17 ) Sunday AM 33.9 degrees
Sunday PM 80 degrees
( April 18 ) Monday AM 36 degrees
Monday PM 84.5 degrees
( April 19 ) Tuesday AM 40.0 degrees
Tuesday PM 81 degrees
( April 20 ) Wednesday AM 44.0 degrees
Wednesday PM 84.5 degrees
Changes are finally beginning to show up with the first chances for needed rainfall developing by later today into Friday morning in advance of an approaching cold front.
Rainfall amounts remain questionable given a long period of pre-conditioning with subsidence ( sinking air ) over the region at both upper and locally at lower levels ( with down-sloping on easterly-southerly air flow trajectories ).
The NAM Model is most aggressive, with higher rainfall totals than both the GFS and European models between now and Saturday AM.
A zoomed in look at the high-resolution NAM shows that the model is trying to display a hit-miss pattern of downpours, with typically large variations in amounts over relatively short distances ( as is the nature of convection ). If convection does not develop locally then rainfall amounts are likely to be much lower in all places.
*There is still time to turn around an anomalously dry Spring. However, this is important, the next 6 weeks through May will be very important as trees-vegetation green & evapotranspiration increases input of moisture into the lower atmosphere.
After the landscape greens, if dryness continues, then input of moisture into the lower atmosphere will become reduced and a feedback for the continuation of dryness will be favored. Positive & negative feedbacks between surfaces of the Earth and overlying atmosphere become major players in weather experienced during the convective season, on scales ranging from the synoptic to the meso ( local ).
The main period for rainfall being approximately a 24-hour window of opportunity for possible beneficial amounts, from Thursday Evening through Friday Evening.
Following drying and another nice weekend, a more active pattern is looking possible next week with a strong baroclinic zone setting up from north to south across the eastern USA. Stay tuned as I will be updating this in coming days.