We've had two weekends in a row of some of the most spectacular weather Georgia could ever hope to enjoy in the month of May. Sunshine, low humidity, and below normal temperatures can be attributed to a pattern that has brought several cold fronts down from the north, at a time of year when it's tough to get a cold front this far south. This Sunday was particularly nice, as temperatures barely climbed into the mid-70s after a morning low of 55º.
One thing has been missing this month, and that's rain. They've been soaked in a large part of the U.S. from the Plains to the mid-Atlantic coast, with any fronts or storm systems losing their moisture supply as they've moved into the Deep South. As a result we officially received only .01" of rain on one day (May 3) and we're now actually almost 2 inches below average for the year, with the possibility of drought now rearing its head as we get set to enter the hot months.
Luckily, this week may bring a change. The forecast models are calling for a more active southern branch of the jet stream at the same time the northern branch makes a bit of a retreat. That opens the door for moisture return across the southern states, while also adding up to warmer weather for many in the north and east U.S. (it snowed in Cleveland this morning, on May 15th!!).
By Tuesday, we could see a few pop-up showers return to the area, but our better chances for rain will come over the 4-5 days to follow. This type of pattern makes it extremely difficult to forecast the timing of each wave that triggers showers and storms, so our forecasts early in the week will basically put a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the forecast every day from Wednesday through next weekend, though it's not likely to rain every single day, and some days will have higher coverage than others. The amounts could add up over time, and there may be a severe storm threat on a couple of occasions. The good news there is that our tornado season is essentially over, making that particular hazard unlikely, but it's not too late in the spring to get some damaging windstorms and large hail, especially if an MCS develops and comes this way.
So there's a decent chance we'll get a little help for our lawns and gardens as we go through the week, but the tradeoff is that we'll have more humidity and a return to warmer weather without the nice, cool air masses we've been able to enjoy recently. In fact, it may be October before we get another day like this, so I hope you were able to take advantage of what may be our most pleasant Sunday in some time!
Kurt Schmitz, Senior Meteorologist