Mother Nature is a bit confused…

January 30th, 2012 at 7:22 am by under Weather

What month is it again?  Yeah, sure doesn’t feel like the end of January.  We are coming off what is supposed to be the coldest time of the year, and we have 50s in the forecast this week!  Unseasonably mild… with highs in the UPPER 50s, even.  This morning’s surface map shows high pressure shifting east of the area, and a warm front moving through:

This will set up breezy southwest winds this afternoon… and help to boost highs into the upper 40s.  The front has also brought a band of clouds to the area this morning, and this has helped temperatures rise a bit already.  If you’ve looked at Live Doppler 2X, you may have  noticed the snow showing up in the northern counties:

This is likely not making it to the ground… maybe a few flurries out of it, but mostly “virga“.  This is when snow (or rain) is falling aloft, but evaporating before it reaches the surface… because it moves into a layer of dry air.  You can see that dry layer on the Skew T below:

This is a vertical profile of the atmosphere; the bottom of the image is near the surface of the Earth, and as you go up on the picture, you get higher into the atmosphere.  This can be difficult to read, but I will describe what you are looking at:  The red line is the actual air temperature as you go up (the diagonal lines show where that temperature is… I’ve highlighted the 0° line).  To the right of the 0° line, it is warmer… to the left, it is colder.  SO, near the surface, when this sounding was taken… it was close to 0°, and as you gain elevation, it got colder.  Now what about that green line?  That is the dew point temperature.  The closer the red & green lines are, the more saturated the atmosphere is.  Here, they are quite far apart, showing us there is quite a dry layer in place.  Thus, the snow not making it to the ground!  I hope that makes some sense :)

The clouds should break as we get into the “warm sector” of the storm system this afternoon.  (That’s the spot south of the warm front and east of the cold front).  Tuesday looks dry, breezy and unseasonably mild with highs near 57-degrees!  The cold front moves in Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, bringing scattered RAIN showers to the area.  Then cooler air will move in Wednesday afternoon, but temps remain above normal even behind the front for Thursday and Friday.

There is a storm to keep an eye on that has the potential to bring wintry weather into the Miami Valley over Super Bowl weekend.  If you’re traveling to Indy, or even if you’ll just be out and about here in the Dayton area… you’ll want to keep tabs on what’s going to happen.  Right now, it looks like mixed precip or snow, but we’re still a long ways off.  Will keep you posted!

Jamie
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