ENC Weather Blog: Out of the Frigidaire! - WNCN: News, Weather

ENC Weather Blog: Out of the Frigidaire!

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The "polar vortex" or better yet "Arctic hurricane" is finally lifting out and we will be able to get back to some sense of normalcy with the weather in Eastern North Carolina. For your information, the way "polar vortex" was thrown around this past week was another media obsession when they find a new scientific word and overplay it, the same way "derecho" was thrown around two summers ago. The polar vortex is a persistent feature over the poles and isn't something that can hurt you directly; the cold air associated with it can kill, but this was something that occurs well up into the atmosphere. The cold air in the upper atmosphere is transferred to the surface by the winds mixing them down. From time to time in winter, pieces of the vortex can break off and move southward. It brings bitterly cold air with it, but this is not the first time this has happened and won't be the last.

Now into the forecast:

TODAY: Sunny skies and a light and variable wind this afternoon is allowing for temperatures to working into the upper 30s and lower 40s this afternoon; the winds will switch to the SW at 850mb into the evening hours. This will help to establish the warming trend into the next few days. Still cold tonight as we take another trip into the freezer. Temperatures should bottom out into the mid-upper 20s inland; lower 30s near the coast.

THURSDAY: We'll start the day with sunshine as we climb quickly out of the freezer and into the upper 40s and lower 50s. Clouds will begin to increase by the afternoon hours, mainly for our SW zones. Overnight temperatures will bottom out early and rise slightly into Friday as the warm SW flow continue to pump in moisture.

FRIDAY: Our friend, the wedge makes a comeback into the forecast, likely giving a wide temperature spread across the region. This occurs with you have a low pressure area to the west and an exiting area of high pressure; the air dams up along the Appalachians, though a coastal front tries to erode the cold air inland with warm, moist air coming off the Atlantic Ocean.
North/West of where the coastal trough makes it, we'll make the mention for a few showers and cooler temperatures (likely upper 40s and lower 50s) South/East of the boundary, we could see a little clearing trend, but temperatures should soar at the least into the 60s.

WEEKEND SYSTEM: The northern and southern branches of the jet stream will phase up and bring, for one, warmer temperatures by Friday, but also a soaking rain with the potential for some storms as well. The frontal boundary should approach the region by Saturday evening, though scattered showers will be possible through the day. Highs will make a run towards the upper 60s and lower 70s. With high shear in place and the potential instability to also be in place, we could see a few strong storms along this line pushing through. Details are still a little iffy now, but it's something to watch. It lifts out early Sunday with temperatures holding steady in the lower 50s.

NEXT WEEK: We should be sunny by Monday of next week as the low lifts out. Temperatures make a rebound in the middle 50s. We'll be watching how our next system evolves as well. The European model depicts the southern and north branches phasing up again to bring us another dousing of rain, though the GFS continue to be dry. Thoughts are that the European likes to lag behind pieces of energy in the Desert Southwest before ejecting them; we'll have to see how it plays out.

In the meantime, enjoy "The Great Thaw of 2014"!
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