Issued: 7pm on Friday, December 8th 2023
Technical Forecast Discussion
Short-Term (Thursday PM 12/8/2023 through Sunday 12/10/2023):
Weak upper-level ridging has taken place ahead of a trough that will bring a low-pressure system to the region. This approaching trough is positively tilted and also closed off up into the 500 mb layer. The upper-level low is still somewhat out of phase with the lower levels, but it has already formed an occlusion and shows signs of weakening. It is expected that this system will have decayed completely as it will fill in and become more vertically stacked.
Athens is currently in the warm sector of this system as a warm front lifted through the region earlier today with the low-level jet, and it is noticeably warmer outside. Strong warm air advection and moisture advection are associated with this jet, and it has supplied plenty of moisture for rain and possible late-season thunderstorms through the weekend into next week that will be triggered by forcing from the cold front that is approaching. The chance of thunderstorms is due to the strong forcing and marginal instability in the region.
Behind the cold front, we expect temperatures to get back down to where they were last week in the lower 40s, with the overnight lows dropping down into the mid-to-lower 20s. With temperatures well below freezing, a changeover from rain to a wintry mix and eventually snow flurries is expected sometime between the afternoon to late afternoon hours on Sunday as the rain/snow line will be well to our east. Travel impacts are expected to be minimal at this time with little to no accumulation anticipated, perhaps a dusting at this moment. Snow showers look to continue well into the overnight hours as temperatures continue to fall.
Long-Term (Monday 12/11/2023 through Wednesday 12/13/2023):
Snow showers from the expected system are expected to continue well into the morning hours on Monday becoming lighter in intensity overnight. Still, little to no accumulation is expected, and snow showers are anticipated to stop around noon on Monday.
Monday PM into Tuesday, mostly zonal flow aloft is expected to dominate with shear aloft bringing strong NVA into the region, supporting a rather strong surface high to our south that will keep things much more calm and dry for a short period. This surface high looks like it will stick around through at least the end of the work week, which will be a nice change, especially to get outdoors and enjoy the nice weather during finals week to try and de-stress. Temperatures are looking to stick around the mid-to-high 40s, but the weather will still be nice overall.
Friday PM – Sunday AM: Increasing clouds with rain and chances for thunderstorms.
Sunday PM – Monday AM: Changeover from rain to wintry mix Sunday PM, then snow showers/flurries. No significant impacts expected at this time.
Monday PM – Wednesday: High pressure takes over, clouds begin to clear, and dry weather expected :)!