Unsettled and Cool This Week, Repeat Next Week?

After experiencing upper 90s to low 100s last Friday and Saturday we turned right around to several days in the low to middle 60s with scattered showers, persistent miss, and overcast skies. This is not typical for September but over the last few years we have had many periods of highly unusual weather. As expressed several times over the last few weeks the tropics can really create a headache for forecasting weather and it has certainly done that. Tropical Storm Lee that came into Louisiana and a deep trough coming in from Canada helped set the stage for unsettled weather but what made this even more prolific is Hurricane Katia helped block the eastward progression of both. So what happened is you are left with a tropical remnant low and a trough no where to go. Hence you are left with this type of weather across the Ohio Valley for several days.

Significant Flooding in Pennsylvania; Courtesy of KIMATV.com

One factor to take to heart is that the remnants of Lee were able to push enough east to spare the Ohio Valley of catastrophic rainfall. Many areas from Maryland and Virginia up to New York and southern New England have experienced well over a foot of rain. Add to the heavy soaking rains form a strong cold front the week before Irene and then add Irene’s rainfall on top of that it has simply been disastrous for the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. On the positive side for our region, cool and gentle rains have helped green things up after a stretch of significantly dry weather in many locales since early July. Right here in my own backyard in Dayton, a rainfall record of 2.27″ fell on Sunday morning with another 1.50″ falling on Saturday evening. Add to the light showers and steady rain over the last couple of days Dayton sits at over 4″ and many other areas in southeast Indiana and southern Ohio have exceeded two inches.

This stagnant pattern will last through the weekend with scattered showers and thunderstorms but this pattern will begin to push east late in the weekend and open the door for a few dry days early next week. Temperatures will rebound from the cool but comfortable 60s back into the upper 70s and low 80s under sunshine. The problem with forecasting comes back in all its glory starting the middle to latter half of next week. Could the Ohio Valley go right back into a stagnant pattern with a trough hanging back west, a tropical remnant low over the Appalachian Mountains and another storm hovering off the Atlantic East Coast? That answer could end up being “Yes”.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Looking ahead to this time next week a strong, polar trough is poised to dive down from Canada while what is now strong Tropical Storm Nate could be pushing across the southern Gulf Coast states and into the Tennessee Valley. At the same time what is feeble looking Tropical Storm Maria over the central Atlantic is expected to continue its trek eastward and be hanging off the southeastern coast at the same time. While not exact, this is the exact same set up that occurred with the trough, Lee, and Katia this week. A lot of uncertainty currently exists with this scenario but the potential is there.

For the sake of the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England let’s hope this does not occur because record and catastrophic flooding is occurring in many areas and these places desperately need some drying period to try to gain a handle on the nightmare that is occurring. The problem is patterns love to repeat themselves until a significant change in the pattern develops. What could lead to that change is behind next week’s impressive looking trough.

Potential Frost Late Next Week with Mid 30s in Areas; Courtesy of pro.accuweather.com

Some of the loyal readers on here might be able to recall that I thought frost would be possible in rural and sheltered areas for September and that possibility is certainly on the table. The long range GFS has hinted at some upper 30s across parts of the region for the end of next week so as that draws near updates will be made. If you have agricultural interests keep an eye on forecasts in the coming week. While a killing frost or freeze is not anticipated at this time things can change and with the growing season not yet finished it would be a hard blow if certain plants or crops would be lost due to an early hard frost.

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By Weather Specialist Josh Ketchen

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