Wayward meteorology student on a journey back to the promise land. Aggie. Extreme Weather Junkie. Precipitation Snob. Catholic. Musician. Texan. Nerd.
By: 1900hurricane , 1:06 AM GMT on February 12, 2011
From now on, I will be trying to run a Texas weather blog between my schoolwork at Texas A&M University. Not only is it something that I have wanted to do for a while, but I think it will also help me with my forecasting classes, so why not? Anyway, after a very active two weeks of winter weather across the entire state, the next two weeks or so look to be complete polar opposite. Beginning now and continuing through the weekend, a well-deserved warm-up will commence. As opposed to the toughness that brought the wintry disturbances previously, stout 500 mb ridging will be dominating the state synoptically, which will allow storm systems to slide by to the north of the state for the upcoming week. The ridging, as forecasted by the 12Z ECMWF, can be seen in the graphic below:
This ridging will cause sinking air aloft and suppress cloud development, resulting in generally clear skies and allowing for optimal radiational heating. Even with the current modified arctic airmass in place, temperatures should warm up during the day very nicely with highs generally in the 60s across most of the state with even a few 70 degree highs are possible, effectively removing all existing snowcover across the state in a couple of days. However, this airmass still remains very dry, so the same clear skies that allowed ideal radiational heating during the day swill also result in optimal radiational cooling overnight, so the next few mornings could still be a bit on the cool side, with temps still dropping below freezing over the northern half of the state and below 40*F for most of the southern half. However, as the weekend closes and the new week begins, the greatly modified arctic airmass will give way to a return flow from the Gulf of Mexico. The return flow will cause a rise in dewpoints and cause an end to the ideal radiational cooling overnight. This return flow coupled with the continued 500 mb ridging will give rise to a period of above average temperatures, which is shown very well with the CPC temperature outlooks:
As mentioned above, the 500 mb ridging will also divert storm tracks north of the state, causing dry conditions for the foreseeable future, which can once again be illustrated by a CPC graphic:
By the end of next week, 70s will be a commonplace across the state, with even some 80s over the southern portions of the state.
Briefly looking into the extended range, the signs are out there for more of the same, with 500 mb riding slowly sliding east but still firmly in control of the state:
Based upon this, the next week could be a repeat of this upcoming one, with warm and dry conditions. However beyond that, change may be on the horizon. Near the end of it's forecast cycle for the past couple of runs, the GFS has shown some of the troughiness from the west beginning to move east once again. Keep in mind that this is two plus weeks out so there is still many things that can change, but with a forecast dominated by 500 mb riding and fair conditions, it may be something to keep an eye on down the road.
Like my previous blog, most of my updates will be posted as they come in the comments section, unless there were big changes in the forecast. In that case, I may update the existing blog or put a completely new one up. And as always, questions, comments and criticisms are welcome!
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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