Mar 19, 2012: 80 Degrees Possible On Thursday

Forecast Highlights:

– Unusual warmth continues this week, each day above 70 degrees
– Highs may reach lower 80s on Thursday and/or Friday near NYC
– More typical spring-like weather returns next weekend, week


In the image below, the numbers are the observed high temperatures from the NWS data. The temperature outlines were estimated based on the observed temperatures.

Record highs on Monday, March 19, 2012:

LaGuardia Airport
72 degrees (tied record: 72 degrees – 2010)
Bridgeport, CT
68 degrees (previous record: 67 degrees – 2010)
Newark, NJ
77 degrees (previous record: 73 degrees – 2010)


Today continued the unseasonably warm conditions as a part of the record breaking warm pattern the entire eastern half of the US is experiencing, with the warmest temperatures observed so far today. Although for yesterday’s forecast, I went warmer than most of the model guidance by showing 75+ degrees for parts of northern NJ, temperatures still ended up warmer than expected, peaking in the upper 70s in NW NJ/SE NY, mid to upper 70s in the north/west suburbs of NYC, lower to mid 70s in NYC, and the mid to upper 60s across most of Long Island and southern CT with slightly cooler temperatures near the coast.

Today’s temperatures were once again record breaking in parts of the area, such as Newark with a record high of 77 degrees, which is 25 degrees warmer than the average high temperature. The warmest temperature observed in the area today was 79 degrees in Sussex, NJ and in Montgomery, NY. In addition to the unusual warmth, scattered strong thunderstorms in parts of the region added to the early summer-like conditions, with scattered strong storms developing in parts of NY, Vermont and NW NJ, producing locally heavy rain.

With the latest trends, tomorrow is expected to end up warmer than the original forecast again, with highs likely reaching the lower to mid 70s north and west of NYC. The warmth will intensify going into the late week, and although there is still uncertainty with the exact high temperature, both Thursday and Friday will bring highs well into the 70s, with either day possibly ending up above 80 degrees.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

The model guidance originally kept high temperatures in the 60s for tomorrow, although the latest models are coming in warmer, showing highs in the 70s. Considering the model performance so far during this warm spell to underestimate the warmth, along with much less influence from clouds and any back door cold front, I am going slightly warmer than the model guidance for Tuesday’s outlook.

Partly sunny skies are expected tomorrow, with areas of fog in the morning especially in the eastern half of the area. Along with SE winds, high temperatures will reach the lower to mid 70s across northern NJ and SE NY, getting near 75 degrees in parts of northern NJ but unlikely to exceed 75 degrees for most places; lower 70s in NYC, and lower to upper 60s in Long Island and southern CT, with the immediate coast mostly in the upper 50s to lower 60s. Temperatures in eastern and southern Long Island may end up slightly warmer than the graphic above shows.

Wednesday – Friday: Peak Of Warm Spell

Late Week Set Up: Over the last day, there have been noticeable changes with the cutoff low in the central US and the storm in Canada. The backdoor cold front in Canada reasonably trended weaker, as the GFS yesterday was most likely too strong in trying to create a colder pattern, but predicting cutoff lows is more difficult, and the latest trend is towards a slower movement of the warm air mass, meaning that the warm air mass will be slightly delayed. As a result, temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday have been adjusted a little lower as the warmest temperatures will end up over New England. There is still some slight uncertainty with the exact timing of the warm air mass, however, which will determine exactly how warm Thursday and Friday end up. Currently, the warmest air mass is modeled to move through overnight, which means that the warmest potential temperatures never reach the area, ending up in New England on Thursday and in the Mid Atlantic on Friday. A change of only a few hours, however, would make one of these two days warmer; Thursday should the warmth trend faster, and Friday should it trend slower. The part of the forecast with the highest confidence is that Thursday night will be mild, with lows failing to drop much below 60 degrees in NYC.

Forecast for NYC Area: As previously mentioned, the latest forecast has been adjusted to show colder temperatures for Wednesday, with highs reaching the lower to mid 70s north and west of NYC and the mid 60s to lower 70s across the rest of the area. For now, I sided with Thursday ending up slightly warmer than Friday; highs on Thursday are likely to reach the upper 70s to lower 80s across northern NJ and SE NY with mid to upper 70s in NYC and upper 60s to mid 70s across most of Long Island/southern CT. As previously mentioned, there is still some uncertainty for Thursday’s temperatures, as the warmest air mass is currently modeled to end up over central New England, where places such as Massachusetts may even pass 85 degrees. Should the warmth trend faster, parts of the area could get close to 85 degrees. Regardless of whether temperatures pass 80 degrees or not, Thursday easily looks to be yet another record breaking warm day across the region.

A weak back door cold front will approach on Friday, resulting in partly cloudy skies. With the slow trend, however, the warm air mass will still be in place, keeping temperatures warm once again. At this time, it appears that temperatures could peak in the mid to upper 70s across most of the area with lower to mid 70s in Long Island and southern CT due to a different wind direction, although the temperature forecast is still subject to change; if Thursday ends up warmer, Friday will likely be a bit cooler than expected, and in the warmer case scenario temperatures may get close to 80 degrees again. Stay tuned for more updates on the late week warmth.

Saturday – Next Week:

The cutoff low in the central US is expected to move towards the region, although the exact timing is still uncertain. For now, I am leaning with possible rain around Sunday and/or Monday, although if it does even rain, it doesn’t appear to be any heavy rainstorm at least at this time, and with the timing still subject to change, Saturday could perhaps bring some rain as well. Temperatures will finally become much more March-like, with highs returning again into the 50s and 60s, which is still a little warmer than average but nowhere as much as this week is. While cooler temperatures may be possible towards the second half of next week, it is not out of the question that one day may get close to 70 degrees.

2 thoughts on “Mar 19, 2012: 80 Degrees Possible On Thursday

  1. Anonymous Reply

    When will we see more significant rain event? or back to spring showers?

    • NYC Weather Reply

      While there is likely going to be a light-moderate rain event this weekend, it does not appear that any significant rain event is on the way for at least the next 10 days, if not beyond. The current pattern is much drier compared to the pattern through last fall, and through the medium range it does not appear to change to a wet one.

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