Dec 23, 2011: Rain Returns Tuesday Night

After a fast moving wave of low pressure brought moderate rain to the area last night, with the southern parts of the area exceeding 1 inch in some places, today brought mostly cloudy skies and dry conditions, with high temperatures reaching the mid to upper 40s inland and the upper 40s to lower 50s across the rest of the area. With a trough moving into the region, tomorrow will bring cold temperatures into the area again, although temperatures will warm up again for Christmas with mostly cloudy skies. The models changed their solutions for Sunday night, so while a coastal storm will not develop near the Mid Atlantic coast as some runs yesterday suggested, the storm potential has now been moved to Tuesday night into Wednesday, with widespread rain expected once again.

Weekend Outlook:

Mostly sunny skies are expected across the area on Saturday with colder temperatures. The intensity of the cold air mass has been slightly underestimated by the models, and as a result, colder temperatures are expected for tomorrow than first thought, with highs reaching the lower to mid 30s inland and the mid to upper 30s across the rest of the area. Tomorrow night will bring colder temperatures, dropping into the upper 10s to lower 20s inland, lower to upper 20s across the rest of the area and upper 20s to lower 30s in NYC.

Partly sunny skies are expected for Christmas as a weak disturbance approaches the region, with more clouds developing by the evening hours. High temperatures will be in the lower to mid 40s across the area. Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s to mid 30s across most of the area overnight with mostly cloudy skies as the disturbance to the north of the area brings widespread snow showers into the Northeast. Although a few isolated rain or snow showers cannot be ruled out across the area, only isolated precipitation at most is expected in the NYC area, if any precipitation does fall.

Monday – Wednesday: Warmer, More Rain

Mostly sunny skies will return for Monday with slightly cooler temperatures expected. By Tuesday, however, a storm is now expected to approach the area. Some models yesterday showed an unlikely scenario of a coastal low developing close to the coast as a shortwave near Texas phased with the northern stream. The models late last night backed away from this scenario, however, with the shortwave sticking around in Texas through Monday before phasing with the northern stream on Tuesday. With the set up still unfavorable for any snowstorm in the area, this scenario will likely result in a storm tracking to the west of the area on Tuesday night, with moderate rain expected to fall on Tuesday night before likely clearing the area by Wednesday morning. There is some uncertainty on the exact track of the storm, and for now, I am expecting the track to end up near or slightly to the west of the model guidance, bringing another possible scenario where temperatures rise into the evening into the upper 40s or potentially the lower 50s in the warmer case scenario in parts of the area before dropping later on in the overnight hours. Wednesday will then bring drier conditions with high temperatures dropping back into the upper 30s to mid 40s across the area. Stay tuned for more information on the outlook for the middle of next week.

Late Next Week – Next Weekend:

Colder temperatures are likely to last through Thursday with mostly sunny skies, although another potential storm will approach the region on Friday, bringing warmer temperatures with more cloud cover likely. The outlook for next weekend is more uncertain as the models are having issues handling the set up in the US starting from Thursday, although the latest models agree on the potential for some unsettled weather in parts of the weekend into early next week. Stay tuned for more information on the longer range.

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