The Weekend Ahead

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After two beautiful fall like days featuring highs mainly in the low to mid 70s as well as low dew points allowing for a comfortable feel, our humidity increases today as well as our chances for rain this weekend. You knew it wasn't going to last long with how this spring's been going! High pressure moves in from the north Sunday into early next week resulting in seasonably mild temperatures with more clouds than sun on Monday. An increasingly warmer pattern develops mid to late week with intermittent rain chances. Overall most of next week looks dry.

A weak area of high pressure sitting off the North Carolina/Virginia coast today will bring south to southwesterly flow across the region allowing for warm, humid air to expand northward.Temperatures will be at their warmest and stickiest today and Saturday to finish off the work week. This same area of high pressure will linger off the Mid-Atlantic coast Saturday, continuing the deep, moisture rich southerly flow setting the stage for showers and thunderstorms. You can't get shower's or thunderstorms without some kind of atmospheric forcing, or in simple terms, we need air to rise. To what extent the air rises will determine if we need to worry about rain. With no significant atmospheric disturbances nearby, we do not have to worry about widespread rain today. A brief pop-up shower may occur in the afternoon because of the heat and humidity, but most areas stay dry. With warm, humid air in place Saturday as a cold front (our atmospheric forcing in this case) approaches from the north and west, showers and thunderstorms will be likely in our region late Saturday afternoon into Saturday night. The overall set-up is missing some key elements needed for widespread severe weather. While there may be some spotty strong storms, the main threat will be flooding with slow moving storms over repeated areas. The BEST CHANCE of rain will be after 2pm Saturday, and especially Saturday night into early Sunday as the front stalls over the area. Saturday will NOT BE A WASHOUT, go about your daily activities accordingly. While there may be a brief pop-up shower/thunderstorm in the day, remember that the most likely chance for widespread persistent rain comes later Saturday evening into the overnight hours. Some locations could receive 1-3+ inches of rain in localized cases where storms train over the same areas. 
Perhaps the more difficult question will be how Sunday plays out. Will our cold front stall and continue to bring clouds, heavy rain and strong winds all day Sunday or will the front continue to march southeast allowing for some partial clearing Sunday afternoon? Either way Sunday morning looks to be cloudy with some lingering showers/drizzle. The question mark can be placed on Sunday afternoon. The progression of this front and our weather for Sunday afternoon will be determined by the exact positioning and strength of the high pressure system sitting over southern Ontario, Canada becomes. Based on current trends, I feel as if Sunday afternoon should see some partial clearing and improving conditions. We will have a better idea later today into Saturday as information becomes available. 
Heading into next week temperatures start off on the cooler side and become warmer mid-late week. Little chances for rain with a mostly dry week in store! 
Alex Bronsky
Meteorology Intern