Fall has arrived

If you’ve stepped outside yet today, you’ll notice one very obvious thing:  the warm and humid airmass that has lingered for nearly two weeks now over the area has finally moved out. In its place a cooler and drier airmass has quickly moved into the area behind a cold front that pushed through earlier this morning.  Also behind this front are some gusty winds out of the west that will hang around through the afternoon.  These gusts are associated with winds of nearly 40 knots at the 850 millibar level in the atmosphere.  So we can expect to see sustained winds of 20-25 mph later today along with gusts of up to 40 mph.  Fortunately, though, sunshine has also returned to the area.  After 10 days of recorded rainfall, this is certainly a welcome sight.  Even with the abundant sunshine today, don’t expect the temperatures to rise too much.  The strong westerly winds should keep the temperatures fairly steady throughout the day near 70.  Clear skies tonight will allow for a significant overnight cool down.  A low temperture in the mid-40s is likely, so make sure you have your jacket handy for your commute to work or class tomorrow morning.  It’s worth noting that the 552 thickness level will dive down to our region tonight (the critical threshold for snow discussions begin when the 540 thickness level arrives, which is not a long way from 552).

Expect more of the same for your Tuesday.  Plenty of sunshine, a high temperature in the mid- to upper-60s, and light winds shifting from the west to the north as the low pressure center continues to move northeast into Ontario and Quebec.  The GFS suggests that we may be looking at a synoptic pattern that resembles the Omega block in the coming days.  This meridional pattern resembles the Greek letter Omega and is characterized by a ridge over the Plains sandwiched in between two troughs, with one along each coast.  However, these patterns are usually quite persistent and the GFS does not echo this type of pattern beyond Thursday as the entire system tracks east.  Regardless, this ridge over the central U.S. should bring warmer temperatures to the Rockies tomorrow and then the Plains and Mississippi valley on Wednesday.  For us, this means that on Wednesday we should begin to see a rebound in daytime temperatures back into the mid-70s as we experience continued sunshine coupled with the advection of warmer air from the west into the region.

Check back on Wednesday for a look at the weather over the mid-south later in the week.

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