AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL 835 PM EST Thu Dec 22 2011 SHORT TERM (Friday through Saturday NIGHT)... There is likely to be a band of showers at the beginning of the period (Friday morning) that will slowly sink south across the area. This should be the remnants of the showers and thunderstorms that will be ongoing along and behind the surface cold front this afternoon and tonight. This front will slowly stall out and lose its character. The fast-moving shortwave trough associated with the frontal system today will be moving off to the northeast, with the overall upper level FLOW pattern rather unchanged (large RIDGE over the Caribbean, Bahamas and south Florida, and WSW flow aloft). Therefore, there should be very little upper level support to get the front much past our forecast area. As NVA sets in aloft and mid-upper level heights rise slightly into Saturday, the rain showers should gradually diminish. By Saturday we should have partly CLOUDY skies with a drier period, before the next shortwave ejects to the east. To sum it up, tomorrow should be relatively cloudy with some periodic light showers, followed by drying Friday Night and a dry and pleasant forecast for Saturday. With no major model differences of note, a broad consensus was used. No THUNDER was included in the sensible weather as model forecast instability is either non-existent or below 100 j/kg. .LONG TERM (Sunday through next Thursday)... The large scale longwave pattern commences rather amplified highlighted by ridging over WRN states...large positively tilted trough across much of rest of country with axis from Great Lakes SWWD into Old MEX with nearly CUTOFF low over SW most TX/Old Mex border, and a strong H5 ridge over S FL with an ANTICYCLONE centered over the Bahamas. Impulses assocd with low will lift and move rapidly into NRN stream trough across Great Lakes and combine with shortwave diving from Canada into East Coast to begin to deepen NE trough and suppress FL ridge SEWD. At surface, low over Nrn GA with warm front EWD into Atlc and trailing cold front across Wrn CWA. Local forecast area remains under an ACTIVE SWLY flow aloft, as well as a broad warm sector with SLY low level flow ahead of front with OVERRUNNING rain behind locally yielding a continuation of ample MOISTURE return and beneficial mainly STRATUS precip and embedded showers to begin the period. Also with DEW points into the mid 60s and a slow moving front, the strong possibly of FOG exists especially at night. With DEEPENING ERN trough, Front will finally move THRU in fits and starts during Sunday but will have no upper support and so no threat for strong to severe storms. However, forecast remains tricky as models continue to diverge on timing of impulses and how fast to bring front across so which model wins out will noticeably impact POPS/TEMPS. Beginning Monday, the GFS much more bullish on drying us. ECMWF much slower with frontal passage and keeping post frontal moisture around so overall confidence past Sunday remains not HIGH until I see better model agreement. Best forecast is that the TX upper cutoff low will continue to lift NEWD, fill and open into a wave with flow across SE region becoming more zonal. However, the above Canadian shortwave with phase with one moving across Gulf to further carve out a trough along the NE Coast especially if ECMWF verifies. Either way, in WAKE of front, brief drying commencing on Monday from NW-SE. However, yet another albeit weak shortwave tracks ewd across mainly FL zones and coastal waters on Tuesday and brings a small CHANCE of rain. Then, a large area of CP high PRESSURE builds SWD thru the Plains and into SE states promoting STABLE conditions, a drier airmass and cooler temperatures for remainder of period. Will go mid SCT pops SAT night thru Sun. low sct FL zones on Tues, otherwise WDLY sct or below rest of period. In warm sector...MIN temps remain around 5 to 10 degrees above CLIMO thru at least Sat night dropping to slightly above climo rest of period. MAX temps will hover around climo Sun-Tues than increase to up to 5 degrees above climo Wed and Thurs. AVG inland min/max temps around 40/63 degrees).