April 25, 2012

Warm-Up for the South

While chilly weather will hang in the Northeast this week, a warming trend is in store for the South.

A dip in the jet stream that started the week over the Eastern states will retreat northward as the week progresses. The jet stream is a belt of strong winds located high in the atmosphere that tends to guide weather systems along.

The dip or trough was directing cool air from the Great Lakes into the South. The jet will pivot northeastward, allowing building warmth from the western United States to build over the southern Plains and then into the Southeast.

A daily upward trend in temperature is in store for many areas from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Atlantic Seaboard through the balance of the week with a daily dose of sunshine.

In Atlanta, for example, highs will trend upward from the 60s this afternoon to the 70s Wednesday and into the 80s Thursday and Friday. Temperatures could flirt with the 90-degree mark in many areas of the South by Friday.

The jet stream will cause a marked temperature contrast from north to south over the Plains and Northeast as the week progresses.

This boundary is likely to become strewn with either rounds of rain (snow in the far north) and thunderstorms.

However, it appears that most of this moisture will slice from Missouri to Tennessee and North Carolina, grazing the southern Appalachians. South of this zone, much of and perhaps all of the week will be free of rain.

It may not be until the weekend until enough moisture is around for spotty showers and thunderstorms.

While eastern areas have received needed rain recently, more rain is needed to alleviate the drought conditions and the risk of wildfires.

Since humidity levels will remain rather low for much of the week and sunshine is very strong in late April, a lot of the moisture that fell will be rapidly pulled out of the ground over the next few days.

Please be careful with outdoor power equipment and open flames. Continue to use water sparingly.

By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist - Accuweather.com
Apr 24, 2012; 2:00 PM ET

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