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Enjoy today! (with graphics this time!)

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Today will be another good one to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures! Winds will be light, as well, so it will be a very nice day. Clouds begin to increase tonight as our next big storm system gets poised to blast through here Saturday afternoon, bringing a dramatic change to the forecast. You’ll notice that I have highs in the lower 60s for Saturday. After that front moves through here during the afternoon, you’ll notice a big temperature drop the minute it has passed. Winds that will be quite gusty from the south the first part of the day will turn northerly the second half of the day. This will bring a big drop in temperatures and by Sunday morning we should be near freezing. We’ll be lucky to make it more than 5 or so degrees above that during the whole day Sunday. Then, Sunday night will bring the coldest night of the season, as some folks may drop as low as 18 or 19 degrees.

As for severe weather, it still looks like the chances are low. This is a powerful system and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see a severe storm or two across the state, but widespread severe weather looks very unlikely. If instability could have gotten higher we would be in trouble. Instability is basically based on the rate at which temperature decreases with height. The faster it gets colder above us, the faster our warm air down here will rise up, creating powerful thunderstorms. That’s a basic rundown of what instability is. Tomorrow, that instability looks weak.

Thanksgiving week looks alright for now, though it will be chilly.  It looks like any front that comes through will be dry, so I’ve taken out any mention of precip. I don’t even think we’ll have enough moisture for a snow flurry now. I know, I’m just as disappointed as you are. But, we’re still nearly a week away from Turkey Day and things could change. Remember, I said earlier that the models had an area of heavy rainfall along the coast that would rob us of moisture? Well, that showed back up again this morning but farther down into the Gulf. In fact, a low pressure area now shows up and, frankly, looks more like a tropical storm hitting either Tampa or the Destin area Saturday after Thanksgiving! I’m sure this will change, but it’s definitely something that caught my eye this morning.

Finally, I noticed an uptick in tornado activity with recent weather records for this time of November. At the beginning of the month I saw several snow records, but now I’m back to seeing tornado records. By the end of next week I noticed that each day’s records swings heavily back to snow records. We’re very fortunate that this front coming in tomorrow isn’t a  big severe weather maker. Earlier this week it looked like we were in big trouble. Thankfully, that has changed for the better. The last two days have been big anniversary days for a horrific tornado outbreak that hit the eastern US in 1989, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, and just before the holidays. We don’t want to see that again. Incidentally, that was a very strong cold front. Record lows, for example, were set across Arkansas just two days after the front passed. Before the front came through they had highs in the 60s-70s but two days later they had morning lows in the single digits! That’s a big shock!

You all have a great weekend! I’ll have updates all weekend on my meteorologistmark.com blog concerning the Thanksgiving forecast.

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