Rain chances taper, but still looking for big weekend changes

October 3rd, 2012 at 8:47 am by under Weather

A slow-moving storm will move right over the region today, keeping us cloudy and a little misty–at least initially.  Rain chances remain low–maybe a 10-20% shot of an actual shower in the area:

Later this afternoon, the clouds should break up a bit as we warm into the upper 60s.  We should see more sunshine Thursday than we’ve seen all week, and it will also be the warmest day of the week!  A little breezy, as southwest winds increase ahead of a cold front… but we do reach the mid-upper 70s.  Enjoy that while it’s here… because colder air is not far off!  Check out what’s happening in Montana this morning:

Yes, that is SNOW!!  You can see the chilly air that is settling into the north central part of the US:

That colder air arrives here, behind a cold front, as we head into the upcoming weekend.  The front will arrive Friday, bringing scattered showers and perhaps a thunderstorm.  As I mentioned yesterday, this could impact high school football games Friday evening… and showers could even linger into Saturday morning.  It will definitely feel like Fall this weekend, with some chilly mornings and patchy frost  in the works!  The coldest mornings will be Sunday and Monday.

And while we are on the topic of colder air and snow (the latter of which is NOT in our forecast just yet)… yesterday, The Weather Channel announced that it will be naming winter storms this year.  So just like hurricanes, we could have Blizzard Brutus… Snowstorm Saturn… or Lake Effect Luna.  Yes, the names are a bit odd… you can see the full list here:  TWC WINTER STORM NAMES.  The goal in doing this is to make storms more identifiable.  So that you hear of one… know it’s coming/can follow it easily… and ultimately are more prepared and have fewer problems when it hits.  I get it–it makes sense, as we do it with hurricanes.  But I do see two problems:  one, the criteria used in naming the storm; it’s quite subjective.  With a tropical storm, there’s a definite threshold in terms of wind speed/pressure, but with these winter storms they’re using so many more variables–snowfall, ice, wind, temperature, population affected, even day of the week and time of day.  (You can read more about this here).  There are TONS of storms during a winter season–many more than when dealing with the tropics.  Questions remain–are they including Lake Effect events?  What if a named storm doesn’t pan out?  What if a little Clipper system ends up dumping on the region (as we’ve seen here before)?

The second issue is that they are not an all-governing body, like the National Weather Service.  So who’s to say how many meteorologists across the country will follow suit and use these names?  Nothing is mandating this… and in fact, there are several stations that have been naming winter storms within their own markets for years… will they use their own names, or adapt TWC list?  I can see the potential for a lot of NBC stations to go along with TWC, because we are affilliated… but that will be up to each individual staiton.  Will the other networks go along?

The National Weather Service has stated they do not, and will not, begin to name Winter storms.  Here is another well-written blog on the topic: NAMING WINTER STORMS–A GOOD IDEA OR GIMMICK?  Twitter and Facebook have been buzzing about all of this for the past 24-hours… search #RejectedTWCnames on Twitter for some weather entertainment… quite funny.

So we will have to see how things play out this year… if this is successful or not.  I would LOVE to know what YOU think about it.  Please comment below, or send me your thoughts on one of the social media platforms listed.  Thank you!!


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