Feb 18, 2012: Mild Week Coming Up

Forecast Highlights:

– Chilly weekend, snow stays south tomorrow
– Warmth returns, 50+ degrees by middle of next week
– Second half of week to become mainly cloudy, rainy


After a partly sunny start to the day, cloud cover increased with cloudy skies by the afternoon hours. Light rain associated with a weak low pressure moved through the area over the last few hours, with the cloud cover expected to clear tonight into tomorrow. This light rain event, as explained in more detail in the next section, is the main reason why tomorrow’s storm will stay south of the area, bringing some snow to Virginia while the area sees partly sunny skies with highs in the 40s. Temperatures will stay chilly through Monday before warming up by the middle of next week again, with widespread 50s likely especially on Wednesday, along with the next chance of rain.

Tomorrow’s Outlook: No Storm For Most Of Region

Tomorrow’s Mid Atlantic storm was difficult to forecast from the medium range; the models did not handle the northern stream and the southern US shortwave well, resulting in a variety of different solutions ranging from a strong storm on the GFS with a heavy snowstorm for the area, to the suppressed CMC which at one point did not bring precipitation north of North Carolina. The pattern, however, is still progressive, which supported evidence that the strong storm on the GFS was an outlier solution and that a suppressed storm was more likely. The models seemingly settled on a close to final solution yesterday which would bring moderate snow to Virginia and light snow to Washington DC, although a last minute trend is unfolding as the low pressure near Louisiana is developing differently than modeled earlier today. The latest models show a double low pressure in the northern Gulf of Mexico instead of a consolidated, slightly stronger low pressure near western Louisiana, as a second low pressure also developed near an area of stronger convection in western Florida which is supported by the latest observations. As a result, it is becoming apparent that at this rate, the northern forecasts for the storm may fail, with very little precipitation in Washington DC, if any even falls there, and less snow than expected in Virginia.

For the NYC area, with the storm staying to the south, mostly to partly sunny skies are expected tomorrow, with temperatures in the lower to mid 40s across the area. A light north wind is expected.

Next Week Overview: Warmer, Becoming Cloudy/Rainy

Monday will be a chilly day again, with high temperatures expected to peak in the lower to mid 40s along with mostly sunny skies. Tuesday will be slightly warmer with a little more cloud cover as the cold air mass retreats, with temperatures warming up, reaching the mid to upper 40s inland (NW NJ and interior SE NY) and the upper 40s to lower 50s across the rest of the area. While these temperatures are still warmer than average, the temperature departures are not as high as they were earlier in the season when average temperatures were lower than they are now.

Between Tuesday night and Friday, several weak storms will move through the region, bringing occasional periods of light rain to the region while making for a more complicated forecast. The first wave of rain will move through around Tuesday night into Wednesday, with scattered showers likely at this time. Wednesday is currently likely to be the warmest day as long as there is little rain during the day along with breaks in the cloud cover, with temperatures likely to reach the upper 40s to lower 50s, even getting close to 55 degrees near NYC. This assumes that partly to mostly cloudy skies will take place; should cloudy skies and/or more showers than expected take place, high temperatures will be lower. Most of the models are showing another storm potential around Thursday, and while the development of this storm is still uncertain, ranging from a moderate rain storm on the GFS to almost nothing on the ECMWF model, at least some rain is likely to fall, with moderate rain amounts a possibility. Temperatures are likely to end up near the upper 40s, although should the wetter scenario verify, temperatures will be slightly cooler than currently expected. Some models attempt to pop up another storm after Thursday, although at this time, indications are that should another storm develop, it would likely do so around Friday and/or parts of Saturday, with a drier second half of the weekend possible, or an entirely dry weekend should the second storm fail to develop. Stay tuned for more information on the outlook for late next week.

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