Feb 23, 2011: Stormy Week Ahead

After a very cold morning across the area, with temperatures unexpectedly dropping well below the expected temperatures inland, even reaching the negative single digits in parts of Sussex and Orange counties, temperatures quickly warmed into the upper 30s to mid 40s across the area, melting the snowfall from Monday’s storm.

A stormy week is coming up ahead with three storm threats, the first one being a storm on Friday expected to bring 1 to 2 inches of rain to the area. The end of the weekend into Monday, however, could be even more active, with a quick change in the set up going from potential snow on Sunday morning to potential thunderstorms on Monday.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

Tomorrow will bring increasing clouds to the area ahead of the next storm with the potential for a few showers in the late afternoon. High temperatures will be warmer than today, peaking in the lower 40s for most of the area with lower to mid 40s in the immediate NYC area. A south wind is expected.

Thursday Night – Friday Night: Heavy Rain, Wind, Flooding Expected

Through yesterday, there was a lot of uncertainty with the track that the storm would take, ranging from the GFS with a track just off the coast, bringing a snowstorm to the interior parts of the area, to the ECMWF/UKMET with the storm tracking through Ohio and the western Northeast. I considered the GFS as an outlier, and for my update yesterday I sided with a track not too far east of the one in the graphic to the left.

Today’s models came to a better agreement, showing the storm well west of the area, resulting in the first major rainstorm since early December affecting the area on Friday, brining heavy rain, flooding and winds, with a major snowstorm for the central and northern Northeast.

Thursday Night: The storm will start to affect the area tomorrow evening, starting out with rain for most of the area and temperatures steady in the lower to mid 30s. With temperatures cold enough, the storm may start out with sleet or freezing rain in the northwestern parts of the area, however any frozen precipitation should be brief and will change over to rain as temperatures begin to rise by the morning hours. Light rain is expected early on, with moderate to heavy rain developing by 2 AM. Overall rain totals during the overnight hours are expected to be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.

Friday: The heaviest rain from this storm will fall on Friday in the late morning. During this time, a widespread heavy rain is expected to cover the entire area, with increasing winds, especially for the eastern parts of the area. The heavy rain should end by the early afternoon, with more occasional showers, however as the warm front moves through most of the area, temperatures surge into the lower to mid 50s in the immediate NYC area and upper 40s in Long Island/southern Connecticut. There is some uncertainty on whether the warm front also moves through the western parts of the area, putting a range for the high temperatures from the lower 40s to the lower 50s. During this time, breezy conditions are expected for the immediate NYC area with windy conditions for Long Island, between 20 and 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph possible.

During the evening hours, as the cold front comes through, there may be some more light rain, and while unlikely at this time, a few thunderstorms cannot be ruled out for the central and eastern parts of the area. Behind the cold front, breezy conditions will develop for the entire area, with gusts up to 35 mph possible.

By the time that the storm ends, at least 1 to 2 inches of rain are expected across the area, which may result in flooding, especially in places that have a deep snow pack. I issued a Rain Warning for the entire area for this storm, and may also issue a Wind Alert tomorrow. Stay tuned for more information on this storm.


Saturday – Monday: From One Extreme To Another

On Saturday, mostly sunny skies and drier conditions are expected, with high temperatures cooling down into the mid 30s to lower 40s across the area. On Saturday night, there is uncertainty with a potential light precipitation event, as some models show this as a moderate event while other models fail to produce anything more than scattered rain/snow showers. If this event does take place, it would likely start out as light snow for the interior parts of the area with a light mix further south, changing to rain by Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for more information on this potential light event.

Between Sunday and Monday, however, the overall set up will go from one extreme to another. A potentially intense storm is expected to develop in the central US and move towards the Great Lakes by Monday, which will push out the cold air mass and replace it with a much warmer air mass. While there is uncertainty with the smaller details which can be expected this far out, there is the potential for heavy rain from this storm, windy conditions, and depending on the exact set up, even thunderstorms may be possible out of this storm. Stay tuned for more information on this storm and how it may affect the area.

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