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Submitted by Tim Buckley on Tue, 11/13/2012 - 1:55pm.
I'm sure you'll be talking about the change in weather a lot in your small talk sessions over the next few days. "It was just in the 70's," your co-worker in the elevator will say. "Can you believe it keeps going back and forth like this," your barista at Starbucks will say. I am here to tell you that this is just the way of the world in the fall season; it always is and always will be.
What you're looking at, is the difference between the temperature today compared to yesterday. For example, at noon today the temp in Raleigh was 48 degrees. Yesterday, they were enjoying a balmy 74 degrees. Take 48-74 and you get -26; voila! As you might guess that's a huge temperature swing for us. It was more impressive in other parts of the country.
On Saturday I was in Lincoln, Nebraska taking in my Penn State Nittany Lions against the Cornhuskers. (Yes, we lost. Grr. But that's not the point.) The high temp that afternoon surged up to 78 degrees. The low temperature the next day was 21! That's a 57 degree high / low swing in about 24 hours. Simply put I don't know how you hearty Midwesterners do it.
Right now, it appears that we'll get a weak storm system to rotate through the area with a better than average chance for showers on Thursday. Friday will be a lull behind this system, and then over the weekend our rain chances will have to again ramp up with a system swinging through.
These storms one after another are definitely the sign of a larger trend in our current weather pattern. A large trough (dip in the jet stream) has been present over the eastern two-thirds of the US over the last month and looks to continue heading into Thanksgiving. This could mean a number of more troubling storms for folks that don't need it in the Northeast.
In fact, I'm already a little bit concerned that a few of our weather models (especially the ECMWF - European model) are hinting at a low-end Nor'easter close to the high travel days around Thanksgiving. It's nothing to freak out about now, but the trend is there and the way things are going I wouldn't bet against it.
So in the meantime, enjoy that small talk with your co-workers and get used to some clouds, cool air, and weak storm systems as we work our way through November and into Turkey Day.
PS: I want your feedback. If you have comments you can leave them here on this blog, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MeteorologistTimBuckley, or find me on Twitter @TimBuckleyWX.
By: Tim Buckley