Stuck in the rinse cycle

Sep. 30, 2016: The weather has gloomy for a couple days this week, and now we get one more of those days for October 1st (with effects possibly lingering into October 2nd). Why? We have a pesky area of low pressure to thank.

The low waltzed into the region on Wednesday, bringing us brisk, windy, and drizzly weather. The low then got stuck over Ohio, and now is wobbling backward toward the Stateline, providing drizzly weather for Friday and Saturday, with a few showers mixed in for good measure.

cut off low

How did it get stuck? We call this weather pattern a “cut-off low”, because the low got “cut off” from the main flow across the U.S. Without the jet stream pushing this low along, it simply spins its gears until the jet stream is able to sweep it up again.

As a result, we get stuck with a consistently cloudy, soggy, and cool weather pattern (as long as we are under the low). Elsewhere, the weather stays nice.

WREX2 (2)

 

Interesting fact that was observed this week, and at times pops up with these cut-off patterns: we had rain and clouds coming in from the east to northeast. We usually don’t see our rain come in from that direction! This is due to the air flow around an area of low pressure. It’s always flowing in a counterclockwise direction. Normally weather systems flow from west to east around us, but if we get something like this where the low is able to move “backward” and to the west, we get showers flowing in from an unusual direction.

The low gets slowly kicked out on Sunday, allowing drier and warmer weather to spill in for next week.

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 30, 2016

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