12/29/10: Quiet Start To January

With partly sunny skies today, high temperatures were in the mid to upper 30s inland and in the upper 30s for the rest of the area, which was again slightly warmer than expected. Temperatures will continue to warm up over the next few days as the snow continues to melt, with the highest temperatures on Saturday in the mid 40s, however a chilly and dry pattern will set up again afterwards, with the only notable event during the first week of January being light rain/snow from a cold front on the 2nd.

Thursday – Saturday: Warming Up

Tomorrow will be another mild day for the area with mostly sunny skies expected. High temperatures will be in the mid to upper 30s inland and in the upper 30s for the rest of the area, with a few lower 40s possible in the immediate NYC area. A light west wind is expected.

Temperatures will continue to steadily warm up through Friday and Saturday as a much warmer air mass moves into the region. While the warmest air will stay to the west of the area, there will still be slightly warmer temperatures. The NAM and GFS model are most likely too cold in the area, apparently due to the snow cover that is in the region, showing high temperatures on Saturday only in the lower to mid 30s, however they also showed high temperatures in the lower to mid 30s for today when they were at least several degrees warmer.

As a result of the NAM/GFS cold bias, I am leaning towards the warmer GGEM model for the forecast temperatures, with upper 30s to lower 40s on Friday and lower to mid 40s across most of the area on Saturday. High temperatures on Saturday in the upper 40s may be possible in NYC in the warmer case scenario, however at this time I am keeping temperatures slightly lower. New Year’s Eve will be mostly clear and chilly but warmer than the previous nights, with low temperatures in the mid 20s to lower 30s across the area.

Sunday – Monday: Cold Front, Light Rain and Potential Light Snow

The storm in the Midwest that will bring a blizzard there for New Year’s Eve will bring a cold front through the Ohio Valley on Saturday, which will start to bring some light scattered showers to the area on Saturday night through Sunday. Temperatures on Saturday night will be steady in the mid 30s to lower 40s across the area, and depending on the timing of the cold front may drop by the late afternoon on Sunday.

On Sunday night, however, there is some uncertainty with a potential weak wave of low pressure that may develop along the cold front. The 12z GFS showed a wave of precipitation bringing light snow inland and light rain changing over to snow showers further east, with the 12z ECMWF also bringing light precipitation. While the GFS may have its progressive bias coming into play, this time frame will be kept an eye on for the potential of light rain/snow on Sunday night. If any precipitation does fall, however, it should be light, with light snow accumulations where snow does fall.

Afterwards, signs are that a chilly and dry pattern may develop again, with high temperatures returning into the upper 20s to mid 30s by Monday, slightly warming up by Tuesday. There does not appear to be a threat of any significant weather until at least January 7-10, when the models show the potential for a storm but with significant differences regarding the storm’s development, track and timing. Stay tuned for more information on this time frame.

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