WEATHERAmerica Summary, Saturday, March 23, 2024

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Larry Cosgrove

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Mar 23, 2024, 7:24:38 PMMar 23
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Overview

The national weather pattern is highly predictable in terms of precipitation and temperature. But timing of features is still an issue, which can be a problem since a major holiday weekend is ahead, and the Great American Solar Eclipse (with a comet viewing attached, no less....) viewing could be affected.

Trends are simple: storms in the northern Pacific Basin are forced east/southeast into the lower 48 states, before recurving into the St; Lawrence Valley and interior Northeast. A case n point is the broad disturbance covering the western third of North America, which will reach the Great Plains and then the Mississippi Valley over the following 72 hours. I believe that the numerical models are once again under-performing with severe weather potential with this new system, which will be marked by impressive surface air mass convergence and a tendency for an energy/dynamics focus in Texas and the Deep South. If the 500MB cold pool does close off, a strong MCS or MCV could impact the area around the Interstate 10 and 20 corridors in early week. The Sunday concentration will be from KS, OK, and TX.

While temperatures in the new month will likely be cooled by precipitation and cloud cover, I do not expect the rather cold display in southern Canada and the north central states to reoccur. It will be cold enough for a hard hit from wet snow from the Dakotas into Minnesota (mostly above the Twin Cities) and interior Ontario through the next 48 states, but this set-up favors more and more inclusion of mP air from the Pacific Ocean.

Both the upcoming holiday weekend and the "GASE" may be vulnerable to cloudiness and rain/thunder along the path of totality. It is too early to say with certainty if viewing will be blocked out by the aforementioned storms and frontal structures. There are three different outcomes seen by the ensemble packages for April 8. Climatology and the GEFS panels are supportive of a Mexico/Texas/Oklahoma display. Further north and east may be problematic, but I emphasize that forecasts can and will change as we inch closer to the event date.

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BOTTOM LINE

There will be much talk about severe weather across the south central states into the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys over the next two weeks.

Temperatures in the cool and mild spectrum are probable in much of the lower 48 states. But bitter cold and intense heat should be largely missing through April.

Outlines for viewing the major solar eclipse on April 8 favor Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma points. But it is too early to present a definitive viewing forecast.
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