Dec 25, 2011 Afternoon Update

1:45 PM: Thunderstorms, Strong Winds For Tuesday Night

As my updates over the last two nights mentioned, an intensifying storm tracking over the area will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the area. With the latest models trending west and stronger, however, I am adjusting my forecast storm track from New Jersey to eastern Pennsylvania, possibly slightly further west. With this change, I introduced a risk of thunderstorms for the central and eastern parts of the area with the updated 5-Day Forecast, with temperatures rising overnight, peaking towards midnight in the mid to upper 40s inland, lower to mid 50s in the immediate NYC area and the mid 50s in Long Island/S CT.

Stronger wind gusts are a concern with this storm as well. A strong low level jet will move over the area on Tuesday night, which combined with the rain and thunderstorms will bring the potential for strong wind gusts. Exactly how strong the winds end up is still uncertain, but for now, the potential is there for 35-45 mph gusts in the immediate NYC area and 40-50 mph gusts in Long Island and southern CT, potentially exceeding 50 mph in parts of Long Island especially under any convection. For now, I issued a Wind Alert for the area, which could be upgraded to a High Wind Watch for parts of Long Island.

Tonight’s update will discuss the heavy rain, thunderstorm and wind potential in more detail for the area along with a scenario map showing my expectation for the storm, as well as cold temperatures expected for Wednesday night into Thursday.


Poll: What Was The Most Extreme Event Of 2011?

At the end of last year, I opened a poll for the most extreme event of 2010. The winning event was the December 26-27, 2010 blizzard with 20 votes. For this year, I opened a new poll, which can be found in the right side of the blog below the regional radar. More information on each event except for the cold/heat spells and the mid August rain event can be found in the Storm Summary page, with a brief highlight of each event below:

January 11-12 Blizzard: A strong coastal low brought moderate snow up to 10 inches west of NYC, with 15-30 inches across most of Long Island and southern Connecticut with blizzard conditions and thundersnow.

January 21-24 Cold: Very cold temperatures affected the area, with widespread sub-zero lows across the arae with single digit lows in NYC, as well as daytime highs below 20 degrees.

January 26-27 Blizzard: Another nor’easter affected the area, bringing very heavy snowfall rates focusing on NYC, southern CT and Long Island, with some places seeing near or over 4 inches per hour. Snow totals were between 10-20″ across the majority of the area.

February 1-2 Ice Storm: A large ice storm affected the area, with widespread freezing rain amounts near 1/2 inch across the area.

March 6-11 Flooding: Two separate storms affected the area, each bringing 2-4 or more inches north and west of NYC with lighter amounts further southeast resulting in widespread flooding, especially in northern NJ and SE NY.

July 21-24 Extreme Heat: A record breaking heat wave affected the area, with widespread heat indices near or above 110 degrees, with Newark observing a record high temperatures of 108 degrees.

July 29-Aug 1 Large Hail: Severe thunderstorms affected parts of the area, bringing an EF-1 tornado to Goshen, NY on 7/29, and large hail in parts of NYC on August 1.

Hurricane Irene: Record rain amounts affected the area with 6-11 inches, along with wind gusts between 40-60 mph resulting in power outages for days.

Oct 29-30 Snowstorm: A record early snowstorm affected the area, with record breaking October snowfall across almost the entire area. Central Park saw 2.9 inches, with amounts over a foot of snow in the interior parts of the area, near 19 inches in West Passaic county.

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