The big news story for this week is the next system strong trough poised to dive through the eastern CONUS this weekend potentially spawning winter weather for areas south of where we would expect it at this time of year. This is true but over-hyped and caution should be used when forecasting this weekend’s forecast.
First, for ENC there will be no wintry weather at any location. No snow. No Freezing rain. No sleet. Areas along the Appalachians have the potential for snow but there only.
For Friday, upper-level troughing continues over the eastern CONUS from the front that passed through the area last night. A short-wave impulse will pass through the base of the trough on Friday with a surface low developing off the ENC coast. This will increase the chance for rain close to the coast with some isolated chances of rain further inland.
The surface low will slowly move northeastward away from the region during the day and through Friday evening.
A strong upper low will dive southeastward on Saturday bringing with it a lot of energy which will result in rapid deepening of a developing surface low off the ENC coast.
The 18Z GFS is by far the most aggressive with the precipitation forecast which is counting on a surface low track closer to the coast and much stronger than other models. This situation puts ENC right in the deformation zone Saturday evening. The deformation zone appearing over ENC is common with winter storms which creates and narrow track of high snowfall amounts. In this case, the temperatures will be too warm for snow but we will see the same intensity only as rain. Forecast rainfall total estimates are in the range of 0.25″-0.75″ with the potential for greater amounts in some areas.
The other threat that will accompany this storm is high winds. As the low depends offshore, winds will pick up over the east starting Saturday afternoon and persisting into the day on Sunday.
Winds along the coast will be much stronger due to less friction from land while speeds inland decrease rapidly inland though could still see sustained winds over 10mph as fall inland as Wilson. Wind gusts during this time will also be high as forecast soundings show a well-mixed boundary up to 900mb.
Winds will begin to die down as the surface low pulls away from the region.
Cold temperatures get quickly injected into the region Sunday with highs dropping into the low 60s on Sunday and mid 50s for Monday. Lows on Monday morning will drop into the mid-to-upper 30s across the area. Temperatures begin to recover by mid week with highs reaching the 70s.