Jan 28, 2012: Cold Returns Beyond This Week?

Today brought mild temperatures across the area with partly cloudy skies, with highs reaching the mid to upper 40s across the area. Although these temperatures are still nearly 8-10 degrees warmer than average, they have noticeably cooled down from yesterday’s warmth; during January 27 of last year, the area was cleaning up after the third major blizzard of the winter, while this year’s January 27 brought temperatures as high as 60 degrees in parts of the area, melting most of the leftovers from the only snowstorm the area has seen so far during meteorological winter.

Temperatures are slightly cooling down through Monday, with isolated snow showers tomorrow night and possibly on Monday night, although warmth will return again by the middle of the week with temperatures once again surging into the mid 50s across most of the area on Wednesday. This will likely be the peak of the warmth, however, as the pattern begins to transition towards one that is slightly more favorable for cold and snow afterwards, starting with the February 2-3 time frame.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

With another weak low pressure moving towards the Northeast, temperatures will cool down although remain several degrees warmer than average, peaking in the lower to mid 40s inland and in the mid 40s across the rest of the area. Cloud cover will increase towards the evening hours as the low pressure moves closer; although most of the snow showers are expected to focus over Pennsylvania, isolated snow showers are possible in parts of the area.

Monday – Thursday: Warmer Temperatures Return

The coldest temperatures are expected on Monday, with partly sunny skies and high temperatures reaching in the mid to upper 30s inland and the upper 30s to lower 40s across the rest of the area. Although these are the coldest high temperatures of this 2-week time frame, they are still slightly warmer than average. A warmer air mass will return again for Tuesday with partly cloudy skies and highs reaching the upper 40s to lower 50s across the area. The warmest day will be on Wednesday, with mostly cloudy skies and highs reaching the mid 50s across most of the area, possibly passing 55 degrees in parts of the immediate NYC area in the warmer case scenario. Scattered showers are expected for the late afternoon through the evening and parts of the overnight hours, although no significant rain amounts are expected. Thursday will be slightly cooler with temperatures returning back into the mid to upper 40s.

Friday – Beyond: Colder, Increasing Snow Potentials

Uncertainty increases for this time frame, although the potential is there for a storm to affect the region, including the area, around Friday and/or Saturday. Should the storm affect the area, its impacts are still uncertain, although most of today’s models have been showing a scenario closer to snow than a warm rainstorm for the area, with the latest 0z GFS run showing a moderate snowstorm for the area. The set up is still not very favorable, although there is a larger western ridge as a result of the rising PNA, allowing for colder temperatures for the East and a storm potential. Snow is possible in this time frame for the area, but until a better consensus emerges on this time frame, which may not be until Tuesday/Wednesday, this storm does not appear to be very likely to produce a moderate snowstorm across the area, and is more likely at this time to either bring some snow to rain or nothing, although the potential is there for something more than the typical rain/light snow and needs to be watched.

Beyond this time frame, the models continue to have large differences between each run, with the latest models backing away from the cold/snow signal for February 4-7 and pushing it back to the long range. Although no complete pattern flip is expected, minor changes in the pattern may bring the potential for at least one snowstorm for the area between February 4 and 15. Stay tuned for more information on the longer range as details become clearer.

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