Saturday, May 19, 2012

Forecast for Sunday, May 20, 2012

Deteriorating weather conditions are expected to begin on Sunday. A very unsettled week with several chances for showers and thunderstorms is anticipated. We could see some periods of heavy rain showers as well, continuing to put a dent in our rainfall deficit.

An area of low pressure, 120 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina continues to become better organized this afternoon. The system has developed some tropical/subtropical characteristics and will slowly be drifting around the Carolina coastline during the next 24 to 36 hours. It is possible that this system develops into a tropical depression or a subtropical/tropical storm within the next day or so.

Steering currents are weak and the system is in the beginning stages of possible cyclone development. A weak, developing system in the tropics combined with weak steering currents are throwing a curve ball at the computer guidance to digest. Therefore, the eventual track of this system is not etched in stone nor is the intensity forecast.

I suspect, based on the synoptic setup that this disturbance will drift around a bit to the west and south at times, before most likely getting shoved north or northeast ahead of an approaching trough. How close it approaches the Middle Atlantic, including our area, when it most likely does get shoved northward remains to be seen. With land interaction of some sort likely at some point to our south, the likelihood that this disturbance would have the chance to remain a tropical cyclone, should it develop into one, as it moves over our region or passes by our region is very low. Also, if it were to find itself in some open waters up our way, the ocean water temperatures are not ideal for any low pressure system to maintain tropical characteristics developed to our south, at least not yet. But I have learned in this business before to never say something can never happen and therefore we need to keep a close eye on it just in case it beats the odds.
Putting the tropical classification to the side, it will add to the moisture expected to funnel up from the south as a cold front slowly pushes through our region this week. This means an extended period of numerous showers and thunderstorms can be expected.  The system may create a stiff breeze early in the week and further increase dangerous rip currents and surf action. Further adding to the troubles of determining what exactly happens tropics wise early in the week…is that we could not be dealing with just this one low, but multiple low pressure areas forming around the Carolinas and moving by or over the region. With a moist flow, it should be a mostly cloudy to cloudy three or four days beginning Monday…with perhaps an area of high pressure taking over for the Memorial Day weekend. Some signs are that next weekend could dry out nicely and that the eventual placement of the incoming high pressure area could pump in very warm, if not hot temperatures.