An area of low pressure in the lower Mississippi Valley has developed apart from the Jet Stream and will meander over the south for a day or so before migrating north. This type of weather feature is difficult to evaluate with respect to movement as it doesn’t have the usual steering currents to move it along. Think of a leaf floating in a stream, often times the leaf flows along in the stream with relative ease, but if it drifts to the side of the main stream, it often will spin or eddy by itself for a while before moving on. This is what has happened to the area of low pressure high in the sky (upper levels of the atmosphere), and our usual forecasting tools get challenged.
The low is in just the right spot to tap into the warmer evaporated moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and it will move along the Appalachians. A weak wave of energy is orbiting around the parent low mentioned above and should provide the Commonwealth with some rain today and tonight. The rain may be heavy at times. So, keep the umbrella handy today and don’t put it away any time soon.
To complicate the forecast a little bit more, there is a weak flow of air from the northeast and east that is cooler and is sitting over the region. This pocket of cool air is wedged up against the mountains and is helping to squeeze out some rain as the warmer air moves in from the south.
Not much sunshine is expected this week and the rain, although not expecting much in the way of gully washers, may in pockets, be heavy at times. Minor flooding is possible in the locations that are unfortunate enough to get that type of shower.
As the week moves along the low will progress north to the Ohio River Valley and eventually toward New England. As this happens there is an area of low pressure at the surface that is currently developing off the coast of the Carolinas. This low will move up the coast by the weekend and provide us with some pockets of heavy rain. This is expected to stay east of our region, but we may see the chance for some rounds of flooding rains over the Piedmont this weekend. Jury is still out on this one, but I am watching it closely.
The low I was just writing about is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center and has a low, but not zero chance, of developing into a tropical cyclone. Even if it doesn’t, there will be a good deal of rain to monitor along the coastal plain of Virginia that may arrive in our eastern counties by the weekend or early next week.
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