April 2, 2011: Rain Returns On Monday

Sunday Morning, 4/3/11: The 5-Day Forecast has been updated through Thursday.

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As a coastal storm that affected the region yesterday with rain and snow moved out, today brought mostly cloudy skies to the area along with breezy conditions. High temperatures peaked in the mid 50s inland and in the mid to upper 50s for the rest of the area including 60 degrees in Newark, making today the warmest day across the area in over 10 days, since winter made its last return on March 20.

Temperatures will continue to warm up, peaking again in the mid 50s to lower 60s across the area, though tomorrow night will bring cloudy skies again as the next storm approaches. While this storm will not bring any wintry precipitation to the area, thunderstorms are a possibility, especially on Monday night.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

Tomorrow morning is expected to bring less cloud cover to the area, starting out with mostly sunny skies, but cloud cover will increase by the evening as the next storm approaches from the north central US. High temperatures will be slightly warmer than today, peaking in the mid to upper 50s for most of the area with a few lower 60s in the immediate NYC area. A breezy WNW wind is expected once again, with gusts expected to reach the 20-30 mph range in parts of the area.

Sunday Night – Tuesday: Storm To Bring Warmth, Potentially T-Storms

A storm expected to produce a significant winter storm in the north central US will move eastwards, affecting the area from Sunday night through Tuesday morning. This storm will bring a variety of conditions to the Northeast, ranging from a snowstorm in the northern Northeast to severe thunderstorms and temperatures reaching the 80s in the southern parts of the region. The exact storm scenario is still slightly uncertain, with timing the main issue, though there is less uncertainty than there was over the last several days.

Sunday Night: As the storm moves east, it is expected to move into a cold air mass in place over the region. 850 mb temperatures will be marginal, and with 925 mb and surface temperatures too warm in the area, rain is expected to fall in the interior parts of the area such as Sussex and Orange counties. Further inland, however, towards the Catskills and the rest of the interior NE, temperatures will be cold enough for the storm to start out with a burst of snow. Rain will begin falling in the area after midnight, and may be moderate at times. Light rainfall amounts are expected for the main part, and the rain should begin to weaken by the morning hours.

Monday: The rain from the front end of the storm should continue through the early morning hours, though by 8-10 AM, the rain should mostly end, with a few showers possible afterwards. As the low pressure intensifies while moving through Michigan into Canada, its warm front will move through the area, with increasing temperatures throughout the day, peaking in the evening in the upper 50s to lower 60s inland and in the lower to mid 60s for the rest of the area with upper 60s in parts of the immediate NYC area. It is possible that in the warmer case scenario, Newark or even NYC could reach 70 degrees. Cloudy skies are expected in the morning with clearing to partly/mostly cloudy skies by the late afternoon.

Monday Night – Tuesday Morning: As the cold front starts to move through the region, the area will be in the warm sector of the storm, with temperatures remaining steady in the upper 50s to mid 60s across the area. The line of storms will move east overnight through Pennsylvania, but the timing is the question and will determine whether the area sees strong thunderstorms or just rain and rumbles of thunder.

At this time, the fastest models are the GFS and NAM, bringing the line of rain and storms into the area by 2-4 AM, with strong thunderstorms possible in that scenario. The ECMWF and UKMET models are slower, with the rain only reaching the area on the UKMET by at least 6-8 AM. The GFS and NAM may be a little too fast with their solutions, and at this time, I went with timing closer to the UKMET but a little faster, bringing the rain into the western parts of the area by at least 4-6 AM. Rain and thunderstorms are expected, with some storms potentially producing gusty winds, however an issue with this scenario would be the storms potentially drying out as they move towards the area.

In this scenario, the rain would continue through Tuesday morning, ending by at least noon with breezy conditions and clearing skies afterwards. The 12z ECMWF has a wave of low pressure forming along the cold front, intensifying and producing more precipitation through Wednesday, however at this time the ECMWF is the only model to show such a solution, and while a wave of low pressure may form along the cold front, I am not expecting it to become as significant as the ECMWF has it should there be one.

There continues to be some uncertainty with the exact timing of the storm. Stay tuned for more information on this storm over the next few days.

Longer Range: Warming Up

As the storm exits the region, a colder air mass will return into the area, with high temperatures on Wednesday peaking in the lower to mid 50s across most of the area. On Thursday, a weak storm is expected to pass to the north of the area, and while details are uncertain with the exact scenario, should the timing be supportive, Thursday may bring high temperatures in the 60s for parts of the area. Uncertainty increases in the longer range, however there is the potential for a storm to affect the area late next week or sometime next weekend. Stay tuned for more information on the longer range as details become clearer.

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