Soggy Friday Leads to a Record Cold Weekend

This week has been a fairly nondescript one weatherwise. After early week rainfall, we settled into a calmer pattern down the homestretch…but Mother Nature has other plans as we head into the weekend. That’s right, rain returning on a soggy Friday leads to a record cold weekend.

Low Pressure Leads to Rain

Showers have overspread the region this morning as a low pressure system and attendant frontal boundary are approaching from the west.

This morning's forecast surface chart. (WPC)
This morning’s forecast surface chart. (WPC)

Temperatures around 50-52° right now won’t move much through the day as the showers work through. Not only that, but winds will switch around to the northwest during the afternoon, sometimes gusting up to 20 MPH. Not a great outdoor day.

Bleak and dreary...basically the opposite of what May is supposed to be. (Pivotal Weather)
Bleak and dreary…basically the opposite of what May is supposed to be. (Pivotal Weather)

Believe it or not, though, this is not the main weather story during the next 72 hours. That comes after the rain. We’ve previously mentioned that the winds are going to shift around to the northwest in the afternoon, this coincides with the front moving through. Consequence #1 is that the rain will begin to taper off…consequence #2? Well…

Do not adjust your device. This map is the actual forecast. (Pivotal Weather)
Do not adjust your device. This map is the actual forecast. (Pivotal Weather)

We will be bringing in cold Canadian air along with a Canadian high pressure behind the rain today and that will cause temperatures overnight to plummet back into the lower 30s near freezing. Now, that is dependent on how fast the clouds get out of here. Either way, a Freeze Warning is in place for all of WABBLES for Friday night/Saturday morning.

The graphic from NWS Louisville.
The graphic from NWS Louisville.

And that graphic is not wrong, record low temperatures are a possibility. The record low for Saturday (and it would go down for Saturday because the low will be well after midnight) is 34° set back in 1960, that would be pretty well broken if we end up with that low of 32°.

Cold temperatures this late means likely impacts for agriculture and home gardening. The National Weather Service included this passage in their forecast discussion yesterday:

We spoke with the University of Kentucky agriculture/horticulture folks today. Most corn should make it through this freeze OK as long as the planting depth is greater than an inch. Soybeans are in greater danger and may have to be replanted in fields where the plants have already emerged. About three-fourths of the wheat crop has bearded and will be injured by cold of this magnitude. Apples and peaches were damaged by the mid-April freeze, and this new freeze won’t help things. Home gardeners will want to take protective measures.

National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Louisville.

Saturday: Sunny! …But Cool

Cool, Canadian high pressure will be in full control for the day on Saturday. That brings back the sunshine, but keeps cooler than normal temperatures around.

A question not often asked in May. (New Girl/Giphy)
A question not often asked in May. (New Girl/Giphy)

Thanks to the overnight record cold and light winds, we’ll likely see widespread frost on the ground. The sun should help with this, though. It will probably help us get to a high right around 60° or so. This should also be good enough to avoid the record low maximum temp of 54° also set on that chilly day 60 years ago.

Tomorrow's highs. (Pivotal Weather)
Tomorrow’s highs. (Pivotal Weather)

Another chilly night is in store for Saturday night, though not quite as cold as tonight will be. Winds switching to the south will allow lows to fall closer to about 38° or so for Saturday night, meaning we should avoid another potentially damaging frost.

Closer to Normal Sunday

Winds will switch southerly ahead of a small disturbance that may try to work through the region, spoiling our partly to mostly sunny skies.

Even so, the NAM isn't exactly bullish on our precip chances. (Pivotal Weather)
Even so, the NAM isn’t exactly bullish on our precip chances. (Pivotal Weather)

The likelihood is that the atmosphere will be a bit too dry to support any heavier showers during the afternoon hours on Sunday. The good news, though, is that outside of any showers, highs will get just a touch closer to normal, topping out near 65°.

You could do worse. (Giphy)
You could do worse. (Giphy)

Lows creep up ever so little, falling to about 45°, good for only about 5° below normal.

Next Week: Chilly Start Before Warming Trend

The good news is that some seasonable weather will be returning to WABBLES for the new week. The only thing, is we have to get through some lower 60s on Monday and Tuesday first…and even then, the warmer weather comes with rain chances. We’ll watch a system bring us the potential for scattered showers and storms for Wednesday and Thursday as highs climb back into the 70s…and even near 80°.

That just about does it for me! Follow our live weather feed @wxornotbg for the latest updates on tonight’s frost/freeze potential. Have a terrific Friday and stay safe!