Feb 21, 2012: Rain, Warmer Ending To Week

Forecast Highlights:

– Warmer temperatures return; 50-60 degrees Wed-Fri
– Mostly cloudy, occasional showers tonight through Friday
– Dry, chilly next weekend again
– Temperatures gradually warm up next week


After the southern Mid Atlantic snowstorm on Saturday, temperatures over the last two days have been chilly, although still warmer than average, peaking in the mid to upper 40s across the area today along with increasing cloud cover. The latest radar, posted to the left, shows scattered showers covering parts of the region; these showers are the start of a period of mainly cloudy skies, mild temperatures and occasional showers that will last through Friday night when a cold front moves through, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees over the next 3 days. Colder and dry conditions will return by the weekend, although a gradual warming trend is likely around the start of next week.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

Mostly cloudy skies are expected tomorrow across the area. An isolated shower may be possible, although the best risk of rain is during the overnight hours. Temperatures will be noticeably warmer along with a southwest wind, peaking in the mid 50s across most of the area and the upper 50s in parts of the immediate NYC area.

Thursday – Friday: Still Mild, Wet

Storm Set-Up: The models have been showing many different solutions for the Friday storm despite it only being 3 days away, and the models today have only increased their differences. The ECMWF is the most extreme solution as a result of full phasing between the northern and southern streams, supporting a strong storm with heavy rain, possibly over an inch, temperatures surging into the lower 60s, and very strong wind gusts for Saturday. Meanwhile, the GFS does not have any interaction between the southern shortwave and the northern stream, resulting in a relatively weak storm moving through the Northeast with little rain for the area and no strong wind gusts. The latest NAM and GFS runs, however, trended slightly more amplified, and although the UKMET backed down today from its earlier runs supporting the ECM, the ECM remains consistent with a strong storm scenario.

Forecast for area: The ECMWF right now appears to be too amplified given the progressive pattern which doesn’t favor full phasing and much more amplified solutions, although at the same time the GFS and NAM could be a bit too flat with the storm, as there is still some uncertainty with how far south the northern stream digs along with the timing of the southern shortwave. As a result, I am leaning towards a scenario where the cold front comes through on Friday night, with occasional light to moderate rain at times on Friday, mild temperatures, and gusts up to 30 mph, maybe 35-40 mph at most.

Temperatures on Thursday will be slightly cooler as the warmth is pushed south behind Wednesday night’s weak rain event, with highs reaching the lower to mid 50s north/west of NYC, and the mid to upper 50s for NYC and further south. Friday’s temperatures are a little uncertain due to some uncertainty with the timing and intensity of the storm, although there is enough confidence for temperatures to at least reach the mid to upper 50s, possibly the lower 60s near NYC in the warmer case scenario. Stay tuned for another update on this storm tomorrow.

Weekend And Beyond: Chilly, Dry

Colder temperatures will return behind the front for the weekend, with temperatures expected to peak in the mid to upper 40s on Saturday along with partly sunny skies and breezy winds. Sunday will be slightly cooler with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s, and Monday is expected to begin trending slightly warmer. The next low pressure will move towards the northern Northeast, bringing warmer temperatures for Monday night into Tuesday along with some rain, although no significant rain is expected, and cooler temperatures will return again by the middle of next week. The latest GFS runs have consistently attempted to show a snowstorm by the end of next week; the pattern, however, is still unfavorable, as I will discuss in my March outlook which will be posted on Friday, and either some rain or no storm is favored over a snow solution. Stay tuned for more information on the longer range.

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