Mar 27, 2011: Two Storms, A Lot Of Confusion

As a very cold air mass for this time of the year continues to sit over the Northeast, suppressing a snowstorm well south of NYC and even south of Philadelphia, bringing a widespread light accumulating snowfall to Virginia, today brought mainly sunny skies to the area once again with warmer temperatures than yesterday, peaking in the lower to mid 40s across the area. These temperatures are the warmest that parts of the area has seen since last Tuesday, but they are still at least 5-10 degrees below the average highs for this time of the year.*

The cold air mass will gradually weaken tomorrow and on Tuesday, bringing warmer temperatures, however there are two storm potentials next week, one on Wednesday night and another one for Friday night into Saturday. The models are somewhat similar for Wednesday’s storm, with snow possible once again for parts of the area especially north and west of NYC, but by the late week, there is much higher uncertainty as the potential for a significant storm exists but with each model showing a completely different scenario.

Tonight and tomorrow’s Outlook:

As clear skies continue tonight, very cold temperatures are expected across the area. Temperatures are expected to drop steadily, reaching the lower to mid 10s inland and in the upper 10s to mid 20s across the rest of the area, with the warmest temperatures in NYC. Low temperatures may even reach the upper 10s as far as the immediate north/west suburbs of NYC.

Tomorrow will bring sunny skies once again with chilly temperatures, peaking in the upper 30s to lower 40s inland and in the lower 40s for the rest of the area, with a few mid 40s in the immediate NYC area. A breezy NW wind is expected, which may gust between 20-30 mph especially near the coast.

Tuesday – Thursday: Warmer Tuesday, Snow Again Wednesday Night?

Tuesday will continue with the warmer temperatures, with mostly sunny skies expected to continue. High temperatures are expected to reach the mid 40s for the interior parts of the area, and may even reach the 50 degree mark in parts of the immediate NYC area. Despite this being the warmest temperature in NYC in a week, since last Tuesday, it’s still below the average high temperature for this time of the year.

Wednesday will bring milder temperatures than today once again, also expected to reach the mid to upper 40s in the immediate NYC area, however increasing clouds are expected ahead of the next storm. A high pressure to the north of the storm will block it from tracking too far north, but the storm will not be forced as far south as today’s storm, and it may affect the area with precipitation. Most of it will fall during Wednesday night, and the models are showing 850 mb temperatures below freezing. While surface temperatures are an issue on some models, and some models don’t even show any precipitation for the area, there is the potential for snow to fall once again across parts of the area, especially north and west of NYC. It is possible that it rains, or that no precipitation falls at all, but should it snow, accumulations, if any, would stay on the light side. Stay tuned for more information on this storm and how it may affect the area.

Late Week Into Weekend: More Significant Storm?

The latest models are showing an unusually large split for the longer range, with some not showing a significant storm, others such as the UKMET showing a very intense storm tracking well west of the area, and others such as the 18z GFS showing a significant snowstorm for the area, even showing at least 6 inches of snow for NYC, if not even more. While the 18z GFS will most likely not verify, there is the potential for a significant storm to affect the region. At this time, should we see a significant storm, rain would be favored over snow for the coastal areas including NYC with the better potential for a significant snowstorm well inland if the storm takes a track at least just east of NYC or west from there, but if the storm ends up taking a path east enough of the area to bring cold temperatures into the area but west enough to bring precipitation into the area, the result may be snow for parts of the area.

At this time, with each model showing a different scenario, it is difficult to tell exactly what this storm might do and whether it will bring snow, rain or both to NYC, and the exact timing is also uncertain, but there is the potential for a significant storm to affect the area between Friday and Sunday, and while rain is favored over snow at this time for NYC, snow cannot be ruled out. Stay tuned for more information on this storm and how it may affect the area.

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