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10-Day Outlook: Approaching Normal?

Josh Larson @ 1:30 AM

Today's Weather:
Today will feature rather drab conditions, with weak easterly to northeasterly winds off the Atlantic allowing for considerable cloudiness throughout much of the day. There may be peeks of sun in some locations, but count on more clouds than sun. High temperatures will be similar to Wednesday's highs; expect a high near 50° in most locations. Remaining partly to mostly cloudy overnight tonight, with temperatures in the low to mid 30's in most locations.

10-Day Outlook:
Many of the atmospheric factors that brought March's below-normal temperatures so far are finally beginning to break down. Chief among them, the Arctic Oscillation, which in its "negative" phase helps supply cold, Canadian air to the Eastern US, is beginning to rebound and head towards neutral or even slightly "positive." Secondly, the trough that held tough over the Eastern US over the past week -- which has also helped supply colder than-average temperatures -- is breaking down. In its place, we will begin to see a "split flow" jet stream configuration develop over the next week. (See graphic.)

What will the result of this split-flow be? First of all, the coldest air over the next 10 days will by and large stay well to our north. Secondly, a rather energized and moist southern jet will allow for several chances for rain, as it taps moisture from the Gulf. However, with no strong ridge of high pressure over the area, don't expect temperatures to reach truly mild levels over the next week to ten days. In fact, though the average high/low during the period is 58/39, we'll stay slightly below-average during this time; I expect temperatures to average closer to 53/37 -- so not exactly mild, but not too far from normal.

Let's go day by day as I see it: after today's mostly cloudy skies and highs near 50, Friday will feature more sunshine, with highs creeping into the mid 50's during the afternoon hours, and lows in the low to mid 30's. Unfortunately, we look for an increase in clouds on Saturday as an area of low pressure skirts to our west and north. A slight chance exists for few widely scattered showers late in the day, with steadier rain probable during the overnight hours. Expect high temperatures near 50, with lows close to 40. Unfortunately, Sunday doesn't look like a particularly nice day either, with some showers probably lingering during the first half of the day. Highs Sunday will be in the low to mid 50's, with lows near 40.

Monday will probably feature morning clouds and a slight chance of morning showers, though sunshine should return for the afternoon hours, with very pleasant temperatures approaching 60°. Tuesday should feature a blend of clouds and sun, with highs in the mid 50's and overnight lows in the upper 30's. There are indications that an area of low pressure may develop to our south and bring rain to the area sometime during the Wednesday-Thursday period; I would call for a 60% chance of precipitation during this time. Wednesday and Thursday may feature slightly cooler temperatures, too, with highs expected to be in the low 50's, and lows in the mid to upper 30's. Friday and Saturday look to be dry, though, and most likely milder, with highs to near 60 and lows in the low to mid 40's.

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