12/30/10: Chilly And Dry New Year’s Eve

The 5-Day Forecast was updated for the western and central parts of the area, with the forecast for Long Island/southern Connecticut to be updated late tomorrow morning. In addition, a long range update will be posted tomorrow in the “Long Range Forecasts” page about changes in the winter forecast.

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Today was a mostly sunny day across the area with high temperatures generally in the upper 30s to lower 40s, however this morning’s temperatures ended up busting too high as temperatures dropped to very cold lows inland, which the GFS and GGEM models hinted at last night but were too extreme with. These models had low temperatures in the single digits across the entire area and even below zero inland, and while it was not that cold, most locations in northwestern NJ and Orange County, NY saw lows in the mid to upper single digits, and Montgomery airport even reported a low of 3 degrees!

Temperatures will continue to slowly warm up over the next few days, peaking in the mid to potentially upper 40s on Saturday, but after a cold front brings some showers overnight, a cold and dry pattern will resume, with temperatures returning to slightly below average levels with no precipitation in sight until the second week of January.

Tomorrow’s Outlook and New Year’s Eve:

Tomorrow will be a partly sunny day across the area with a light SW wind expected. High temperatures will be in the lower to mid 40s across the area, with the warmest temperatures in the warmer spots in the immediate NYC area, such as Newark.

Unlike the last two years, when New Year’s Eve brought wintry precipitation to the area, this year dry conditions are expected with partly cloudy skies for the start of the new year, with low temperatures chilly but not as cold as the last few days, only in the mid to upper 20s inland and in the upper 20s to lower 30s for the rest of the area. A very light SW wind is expected.

Saturday – Sunday: Mild, Cold Front Brings Some Rain

On Saturday, as a storm currently developing in the Plains will be entering Canada from Minnesota, it will bring its cold front through the Ohio Valley. The cold front will be at its strongest tomorrow, when it will bring severe weather from Missouri into Louisiana and unseasonably warm temperatures into those regions, even peaking in the 60s as far north as Illinois, but it will weaken by the time that it reaches the area.

The NAM and GFS continue to show high temperatures only in the lower to mid 30s, and as a result I used the GGEM again when making the forecast for this time frame, with high temperatures in the lower to mid 40s across the area on Saturday with a few upper 40s possible in the immediate NYC area in the warmer case scenario. Temperatures will drop a little overnight but will remain generally steady, with occasional showers expected but with light rainfall amounts less than 1/4 inch. On Sunday, showers will end in the morning with high temperatures peaking in the lower to mid 40s across the area.

Monday And Beyond: Cold, Dry Pattern To Start January

Behind the cold front, a colder air mass will return into the area, and low temperatures on Sunday night will drop into the upper 10s to mid 20s across the area. The wave of low pressure mentioned last night is less evident on the models, now nothing more than a few rain/snow showers, and the latest expectation is for an isolated rain or snow shower early with otherwise clearing skies.

Monday will be a colder day for the area with 850 mb temperatures below -10c again, with high temperatures expected to be in the upper 20s to mid 30s across the area. As the cold air mass will slightly weaken afterwards, temperatures will also slightly warm up, staying in the lower to upper 30s across the area.

There is no sign of any storm affecting the area until at least January 8-9, when the models are starting to show the potential for a storm. There are significant differences with each model and how it handles this potential storm, with the ECMWF showing a suppressed snowstorm and the GGEM model showing a coastal snowstorm. There is still a lot of time left until then, and there will not be a better idea of the potential scenarios this storm might take until it enters at least the hour 180 range, but there is the potential for the storm in this time frame. Stay tuned for more information on this time frame over the next few days.

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