Jan 4, 2012: Next Seven Days Mild, Dry

The peak of the strong cold air mass took place today, with very cold temperatures this morning, in the 10s across the entire area. Interior areas were not as cold as expected, with temperatures staying in the upper 0s to lower 10s, although with the wind, wind chills were much colder, generally near to below zero across parts of the area. Cold high temperatures were observed again today, reaching the mid 20s inland, mid to upper 20s in the immediate NYC area, and the upper 20s in Long Island and southern Connecticut. A shortwave moving through the region is currently bringing snow showers to parts of the Mid Atlantic, although any snow tonight will stay to the south of the area.

Although this cold spell was much stronger than the previous ones so far this winter, it is no exception to the pattern in place, and is currently moving out, with temperatures already returning into the upper 30s across most of the area tomorrow, warming back into the upper 40s by Friday and Saturday, nearly 10 degrees warmer than average. Dry conditions will last through the first half of next week with above average temperatures still in place, although the temporary break from the storms will end late next week with the next storm potential for the region.
Tomorrow’s Outlook:

With the cold air mass moving out, much warmer temperatures will begin to return into the region. Partly sunny skies are expected tomorrow with warmer high temperatures, reaching the upper 30s inland and the upper 30s to lower 40s across the rest of the area with west/WNW winds expected.
Friday – Wednesday: Dry, Warmer Than Average

With a low pressure moving through the northern parts of the Northeast, warmer temperatures are expected for Friday and Saturday, reaching the mid to upper 40s across the area on both days. Parts of the immediate NYC area may reach and/or slightly pass 50 degrees on either day. Partly sunny skies will continue for both days.
It originally appeared that there was a storm potential for Sunday, with the model guidance showing some sort of a storm affecting the region several days in a row. However, the storm unexpectedly disappeared from the model guidance last night, with no hint of a storm affecting the area other than the DGEX model. As a result, I removed the risk of rain in the forecast and went with partly cloudy skies for Sunday, although later forecasts could slightly increase cloud cover on Sunday. Temperatures will be colder, reaching the lower to mid 40s across the area for highs.
The general pattern will continue through Wednesday with temperatures still slightly warmer than average, reaching the lower to mid 40s for highs on Monday before warming back into the mid to upper 40s on Tuesday. Similar temperatures are expected on Wednesday with increasing cloud cover.
Late Week: Larger Storm Potential?

Considering that this is still a week away, there is uncertainty with the specific details of this time frame, although the model guidance for the last few days has been suggesting that a significant storm could be possible in this time frame. The overall set up is still unfavorable for snowstorms in the I-95 corridor, with no blocking yet and a generally progressive pattern, and the ECM and GFS models have been showing the potential for moderate to heavy rain along with briefly warmer temperatures in this time frame. Some snow is possible outside of the interior Northeast, although the best chance of snow is once again in the Northeast, and considering the pattern in place and the overall set up for this time frame, this storm is more likely to end up as rain than snow for the I-95 corridor. Regardless of what happens in this time frame, colder temperatures may return towards next weekend. Stay tuned for more information on this time frame.

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