Mar 16, 2012: Temperatures Slowly To Warm Up

Forecast Highlights:


– Mostly sunny weekend, highs climb into upper 50s-mid 60s away from coast
– Temperatures likely to reach mid 70s north/west of NYC next week
– Weak cold front late next week brings little rain and slightly cooler temps


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The stalled front today ended up extending further southwest than originally expected, which resulted in my forecast highs for today busting too much on the warm side; unlike the expectation of highs peaking in the upper 50s to mid 60s from NYC and further north/west, highs peaked in the mid to upper 50s inland (NW NJ, SE NY), upper 40s to lower 50s in the immediate NYC area, and in the mid to upper 40s in Long Island and southern CT. There has been some uncertainty with today’s temperature forecast, but the actual highs ended up following the coldest possible scenario for today.

The cooler temperatures due to the onshore flow will continue through tomorrow, although by Sunday the wind will become more from the south/SSW, resulting in temperatures gradually warming up. There is still some uncertainty regarding the full extent of the warmth, although it is likely that temperatures reach at least the mid 70s north/west of NYC towards the second half of next week, possibly closer to 80 degrees should the warmer case scenario verify.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:


Saturday will be slightly warmer than today, but will remain relatively chilly compared to the rest of the region, yet still warmer than average for this time of the year. Mostly cloudy skies are expected during the first half of the day with areas of fog, especially in the morning. For tomorrow’s forecast, I went slightly colder than the model consensus, expecting highs to reach the upper 50s to lower 60s in northern NJ/SE NY, possibly closer to 65 degrees in far western parts of the area, mid to upper 50s in the immediate NYC area, and the upper 40s to mid 50s across most of Long Island and southern CT.

Sunday – Next Week: Warming Up Slowly


The unusually large, strong and persistent ridge for this time of the year will continue to slowly expand eastward as a high pressure settles to the southeast of the area, resulting in a SSW/SW wind with temperatures slowly warming up through next week. There is still some uncertainty regarding another potential weak 500mb low which the CMC is currently the most bullish with, bringing scattered showers most of next week, and the latest 0z GFS run is not as bold with this feature, instead focusing on the warmth.  Should this feature end up on the stronger side, it will keep some clouds in place through next week with temperatures much slower to warm up, struggling to reach 70 degrees until Wednesday. For tonight’s forecast, I sided with a scenario that is a bit less bold with this feature, but the forecast is still subject to some changes.

Taking the above into consideration, a gradual warm up is still expected through Tuesday, with highs away from the coast reaching the upper 50s to mid 60s on Sunday, lower 60s to 70 degrees on Monday, and the mid 60s to lower 70s on Tuesday. Some more clouds and isolated showers could be possible on Monday, but no widespread precipitation is expected. Should the showers be slightly more widespread than currently expected, temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, especially on Monday, could be a couple of degrees colder than currently expected.

The peak of the warm period over the region is expected between Wednesday and Friday. Should the 500mb weak low fail to have any significant impact, temperatures would be able to warm up at least into the mid 70s north and west of NYC; although for now, I am keeping the forecast maximum in the mid 70s range, it is not out of the question that temperatures end up a little warmer. Coastal areas would still be colder due to the onshore flow, but would warm up as well compared to the early week temperatures. The uncertainty for the late week involves the 500mb low during the mid week; a stronger low than currently expected would likely keep highs in the lower to mid 70s at most. Stay tuned for more information on the warmth for next week.

Longer Range Update: A weak cold front is likely to move through either on Friday or during next weekend. Although the potential is there for a colder but not persistently cold pattern to temporarily show up later on in the long range, there is no strong cold air to follow immediately behind the cold front, and temperatures during the weekend are likely to drop into the 60s. Precipitation for next weekend, if any, is still uncertain, and depends on the timing and location of the approaching cutoff low, which the model guidance is having a lot of trouble handling with their latest runs. Stay tuned for more updates on next weekend and the longer range.

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