Dec 26, 2011: Above Average Temperatures Continue

With a weak low pressure moving away from the region, today brought partly sunny skies across the area, with high temperatures reaching the mid 40s inland and the mid to upper 40s across the rest of the area. Exactly one year ago, the NYC area observed one of its strongest blizzards, with high winds, 20+ inches of snow in parts of the area, and blizzard conditions for several consecutive hours. This year, however, not only has the area not seen any significant snowfall during meteorological winter, excluding October, but the majority of the area has not seen any snow at all since late October. In fact, if New York City does not observe snow through 12/31, which is likely, this would end up as only the third year in the 140+ years of recorded history that Central Park has not seen any snow in December. The two other years this has happened, 1877 and 2006, ended up with well below average snowfall for the entire winter.

Temperatures will stay above average through Wednesday, with temperatures peaking tomorrow evening in the mid 40s inland and the lower to mid 50s across the rest of the area at the same time that heavy rain and thunderstorms move through the area, along with strong wind gusts up to 40-50 mph possible in parts of the area. Although the rain will mostly end by 12 AM Tuesday night, windy conditions will continue through Wednesday, gusting up to 40 mph at times, followed by colder temperatures for Wednesday night into Thursday. As with the other cold spells this winter, however, this will also be transient, and will quickly be replaced by above average temperatures in time for New Year’s Eve along with scattered showers.

Tomorrow’s Outlook: Rain, Thunderstorms, Wind

As a low pressure approaches from the southwest, cloud cover will increase, with cloudy skies expected by the afternoon along with temperatures peaking in the mid 40s inland and the upper 40s to lower 50s across the area. Temperatures are then expected to slightly drop by the late afternoon as showers start to fall across the area after 3-5 PM.

The low pressure has trended west of yesterday’s forecast, and is now likely to track through central Pennsylvania into eastern New York, and is also weaker than previously expected, although the only noticeable change coming out of this trend is slightly weaker winds. Temperatures will remain steady in the western parts of the area in the mid 40s, while rising in the immediate NYC area by 10 PM into the upper 40s to lower 50s and Long Island/S CT into the lower to mid 50s. A line of heavy rain and thunderstorms will move through the area around the evening hours, especially between 7-10 PM west of NYC and 8-11 PM east of NYC. Strong wind gusts are possible in the central and eastern parts of the area, with gusts generally reaching the 30-40 mph range with some areas seeing gusts between 40-50 mph, especially in Long Island. The storm will then quickly move out of the area, with the rain ending west of NYC by 10 PM to 12 AM and east of NYC between 11 PM and 1 AM, although gusty winds will continue through the morning hours, gusting up to 30-40 mph.

Wednesday – Sunday: Cold Start, Warmer Ending

With a colder air mass moving into the region, temperatures on Wednesday will be steady in the upper 30s inland and the lower to possibly mid 40s across the rest of the area. Gusty winds will continue throughout the day as well, with gusts up to 40 mph, possibly slightly higher in Long Island. As a high pressure moves into the region, skies will clear with diminishing winds as temperatures steadily drop into the mid 10s inland and the upper 10s to mid 20s across the rest of the area with warmer temperatures in NYC. Mostly sunny skies are expected for Thursday with high temperatures in the mid to upper 30s across most of the area.

The cold temperatures will be short lasting once again as a weak low pressure will move towards the Great Lakes region, pushing out the cold air mass in place. As a result, warmer temperatures will return for Friday, peaking in the lower to mid 40s inland and the mid 40s across the rest of the area. Scattered precipitation is possible on Friday, and although the precipitation could fall as snow showers in the interior parts of the area, temperatures will likely be too warm to support snow in the rest of the area. Scattered showers will continue through Friday night and Saturday morning, potentially mixing with snow showers in the north/western parts of the area, with temperatures again peaking in the lower to mid 40s across most of the area on Saturday. Partly cloudy skies are likely for New Year’s Eve with temperatures potentially near the mid 30s, with partly to mostly cloudy skies lasting through Sunday along with temperatures reaching the mid 40s across most of the area.

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