Thursday, December 19 Forecast Discussion

High clouds have been arriving as we've worked through our Thursday, and these clouds will only thicken through the overnight. Dew points are already in the 50s, which is where our lows will be tonight, as warmer and more humid air continues to infiltrate the region thanks to strong southeast winds. Winds will pick up tomorrow and continue to pump in the warm and humid air, and also could touch off a few scattered showers through the day. Those showers will determine how warm some of us get, as a shower in the morning will limit warming while completely dry locations may be able to climb a few more degrees through the day, but we should all be able to make it to the 70s for highs for Friday.

We reach the mid and upper 70s for Saturday with a soupy air mass that will see our dew points climb into the 60s. Scattered showers will be possible again for us through the morning and afternoon hours, but it is the evening we are watching closely.

An interesting set up is taking shape for Saturday evening into early Sunday morning. An upper level low will be approaching the area from the west and will start to move to our north through the evening hours. This will provide plenty of lift for us as we work through the evening hours, and with the air mass in place, plenty of moisture and heat will be present for instability. A dry line, which is a front between more humid and less humid air, will move ahead of the cold front through the evening. This dry line is what will be the focus for thunderstorms through the evening. This will exit the area before sunrise with the front clearing around the noon hour and skies starting to clear slowly from there.

The main timing for any thunderstorm activity looks to be between 9pm Saturday and 3am Sunday. It appears these storms will be in the form of a squall line with damaging winds the main threat but tornadoes possible in bowing sections or breaks in the line. It is also possible that we could see a few supercells develop ahead of the main line, which would possess an increased tornado threat for us. We are watching this closely, and urge you to be weather aware Saturday night into Sunday morning. The Storm Prediction Center has already highlighted the risk for us on Saturday and will be watching for damaging winds and tornadoes.

Once the front clears, colder but seasonal air will return through Christmas Day with our next chance at rain on Thursday as a weak cold front arrives.

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