Kirk Mellish's Weather Commentary 

Up and down before any steady cold

  • 7:23 pm Saturday, January 27th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

Long-term indicators still point to one or more brushes with winter precipitation or at the very least close calls before we get to sustained spring.

But temperatures look to feature come and go cold and warm before any lasting cold spell can take hold in the deep Southeast.

Analogs:

Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB for more on the February and March action to come.

Winter drought spreads

  • 9:24 am Thursday, January 25th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

77 million people in the lower 48 states are in a drought area or 35.4% of the population, the most dry area coverage since September 2013.

In Georgia over 4 million residents are under some kind of drought classification, with level 2 out of 5 severe drought in the Southwest part of the state.

Obviously impacts are less in the winter than during the growing season.

It has been drier than normal for the past 3-4 months:

Needed rainfall is in the 5 day outlook, heaviest in South Georgia:

Winter probably not over

  • 9:56 am Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

I mean winter weather, obviously calendar spring starts March 20th while meteorological spring starts March 1st. As I’ve been saying since January 18th there are early indicators pointing to a shift after we flip the calendar page.

The defining weather pattern of the first half of winter across the country is taking a hiatus, but many indicators used in long-range forecasting, not even counting models point to it making a come back in February and March.

Shorter term, the roller coaster on the thermometer is more of a kiddie ride, as seen in the ensemble (same model run multiple times) output from [More]

Past half way point to Spring

  • 10:28 am Friday, January 19th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

For those sick of winter, we are now PAST the half-way point of winter based on climatology (average temperatures):

No major cold snaps are expected the rest of this month, although there are signs we could well get more the mid to end of February with more big swings in March.

Temperature trends are key

  • 5:47 am Thursday, January 18th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

The strong southern sun allowed for a lot of melting yesterday and the strong winds and dry air helped sublimation and evaporation to dry things out, while areas in the shade left untreated remain icy.

So the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle is critical to safe driving.

SHORT-TERM FREEZE CYCLE TEMPERATURES:

MEDIUM-TERM TEMPERATURE TRENDS (above red and below blue):

ENSEMBLE POINT TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE:

“January Thaw” weather returns for a while with winter relaxing for 2-3 weeks.

Colder than normal spells expected to return again later in February with February and March expected to average near-normal a tad above-normal over the 60 day period but with more big swings. At [More]

Baby it’s cold outside, dangerous travel

  • 5:39 am Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

The snow was caused by an arctic front and the full force of the polar air mass can be felt today with strong gusty winds making the wind chill factor brutal and unhealthy.

The Wind Chill Factor will be in the single digits and teens all day long, and the temperature will not go above freezing until around Noon tomorrow.

Most areas have received a coating to one inch of snow, 2 inches in spots far south-side.

Roads will remain icy and treacherous as
temperatures remain below freezing all day. If you must drive,
use extreme caution. The cold wind chills may cause frostbite [More]

Wicked tricky Winter system

  • 4:26 pm Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

The arctic front will slam through here with any rain quickly changing over to snow showers this evening and overnight from NW to SE. It may linger into early tomorrow morning, especially South and East suburbs.

Some models have increased the projected available moisture a tad, others have held steady or reduced ever so slightly so its about a draw.

However, some models are showing the upper-level trough and the attendant vorticity being stronger with an intensifying jet stream. If so, there will be some surprises both on the high side of accumulation and low side as the conflicting dynamics of the [More]

Old Man Winter returns

  • 9:00 am Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

No snow STORM but still some white stuff with the arctic cold front that slams in from Northwest to Southeast across the region late afternoon and overnight.

Check back here and on radio and twitter for forecast changes and updates today and tonight and for our team traffic reports on roads tonight and tomorrow!

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN PURPLE:

Winter weather advisory starts NOON today Bartow and Pickens counties and starts 5pm elsewhere until 7am Wednesday.

— Amounts will vary greatly across the region because there’s no low pressure system to focus on, odds of little or nothing increase the farther [More]

Winter Weather Advisory

  • 5:13 pm Monday, January 15th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

As usual, when there is a threat of the white stuff in the deep South states it’s rarely strait forward and this is no exception. About the only thing models agree on is it will quickly turn “cold enough” to snow even if it starts as drizzle in some areas, the big question marks are about moisture extent and location as well as vertical motion (lift) in the atmosphere.

The Euro model had been one of the more moist, now it’s one of the driest. This kind of model flip flop so close to the ‘event’ is maddening.

This season with the [More]

Snow chance, but no snow storm

  • 7:04 am Monday, January 15th, 2018 by Kirk Mellish

Most interesting from a meteorological standpoint is that we have a CHANCE of snow, but NOT from a winter storm, there is no low pressure system. Instead it’s a very strong cold front that will work with upper level energy in the jet stream (cyclonic positive vorticity) to squeeze out what little moisture it can in a relatively dry air mass.

This is a very rare pattern for our region of the country (more common up North), and a very “sketchy” or iffy set-up for snow.

I suspect there will be a hole where nothing sticks or even falls, thanks to the [More]