Cooler temperatures and a host of other interesting items are on the weather slate for the South this week. The kind of cool days we're forecasting might not be back until next October, so it would be well to take advantage of this little break before the summer heat starts to creep back in. After all, before the week is through April will have come to an end.
A quick look back at the past weekend: Saturday brought two rounds of storms to our area, the first one in the morning, after which we were able to clear out. The sunshine warmed us up fast and turned a stable atmosphere - brought about by the cooling rain - into a very unstable and volatile one. The result: more storms in the afternoon, some of which turned marginally severe. The winds were enough to knock down a few pine trees rooted in saturated soil, and the storms also produced a few reports of large hail. After 1.18" on Saturday my monthly rain total now sits at 6.70" (the airport "official" report had somewhat less on Saturday and is at 5.89" for April).
The storms on Saturday were fairly typical for April, since as we get later into April and on through May, the prime severe concern moves from tornadoes to more straight-line wind events.
For this week, we again have a fairly energetic storm system to deal with. This time, instead of the surface low rolling through the Midwest, it is forecast to travel along the Gulf coast. So instead of Georgia and Alabama getting into the warm sector where it's ripe for severe storms, we should be on the cool side of the system all the way. We'll get showers and maybe some thunder, but severe weather won't be an issue. Any rough stuff should be confined to northern Florida and possibly a small part of southern Georgia.
Tuesday evening: a cool, rainy look to the weather map (Source: NOAA)
The big issue with this system will be the timing, as in how slow will the surface low move across and head up the east coast? Current indications are the two days of rain will be Tuesday and Wednesday, with clearing taking place Thursday is it moves away.
All three of those days are shaping up to be unseasonably cool. The daily lows will be near normal, but daytime highs will be held down by clouds, rain, and an east or northerly wind. It's entirely possible that Columbus might wind up with one or two days that remain in the 60s all day long.
What follows the storm system should be worth waiting for. Once we clear out, dry air will take over Friday and through all of next weekend, putting highs in the 70s and lower 80s with low humidity and morning lows in the 50s. It should be a great way to usher in the month of May!