Mar 28, 2012: Warm Start To Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

– Breezy on Thursday, chilly Friday
– Rain returns early on Saturday
– Brief warm up early next week, 70+ degrees
– Colder again later next week


Today’s Observations:
Wednesday, March 28

As a low pressure tracked to the north of the area today, temperatures stayed chilly in the first half of the day ahead of a line of showers and thunderstorms around 12-2 PM, which produced locally heavy thunderstorms for parts of the area amounting to less than 1/4 inch, although a strong thunderstorm did affect southwestern CT, where small hail was observed. Another round of isolated thunderstorms affected parts of the area, especially near NYC, Long Island and southern CT this evening.

Temperatures today stayed chilly in the eastern half of the area, but western areas quickly warmed up as expected late this afternoon, with highs reaching the mid 60s to lower 70s north and west of NYC, mid to upper 60s in NYC, and the mid 50s to lower 60s across most of Long Island and southern CT with the exception of the eastern areas which stayed in the low 50s.

The temperature outlook over the next week will continue to alternate between warm and cool temperatures; after a return to chilly temperatures late this week, a storm on Saturday morning with light rain will keep high temperatures in the 40s and 50s across the area. This storm will be followed by a short warm up early next week, with temperatures potentially passing 70 degrees again on Monday, followed by another cold front on Tuesday and a return to colder temperatures.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

With the low pressure moving out of the region, breezy conditions will develop for tomorrow with NW winds gusting up to 30-40 mph. Partly cloudy skies are expected with high temperatures reaching the mid to upper 50s across the area, possibly a bit colder towards the NW parts of the area.

Friday – Saturday: Chilly, Some Rain

Mostly sunny skies are expected for Friday with light winds and highs reaching the lower to mid 50s across the area for highs. The next low pressure will approach on Friday night, especially after 10 PM-12 AM; some models showed snow for the area today, with the NAM runs showing heavy snow north of NYC and the SREF also showing some snow. The NAM has a history this winter of showing solutions that are too far south with too much precipitation falling in the cold sector, and this bias is likely repeating itself again in this case, as the rest of the models are either further north or warmer. For now, I am siding with the slightly further north scenarios, with occasional light rain from Friday night through about 12 PM on Saturday, with any snowstorm potential limited to interior New England. High temperatures are still slightly uncertain depending on the exact intensity and timing of the rain, but it appears at this time that high temperatures will likely reach at least the upper 40s to lower 50s across the area, possibly ending up a bit warmer should the drier scenario verify. More information on this storm will be posted with Thursday’s update.

Sunday – Next Week: Warmer, Then Colder Again

As the storm exits the region, southwest winds are likely to develop on Sunday with partly sunny skies and highs reaching the upper 50s to lower 60s across the area. Uncertainty returns for Monday, when some models show a widespread warm air mass covering the region, while other models show a back door cold front dropping through and preventing the warmth from fully reaching the area. The model guidance has failed to settle on a single solution, although given typical spring trends, I am siding with a scenario where the back door cold fronts affects the area on Monday and Monday night, which would likely bring temperatures into the 70s for at least the western parts of the area while the north/eastern parts of the area end up slightly cooler. The influence from the potential back door cold front is still uncertain, and should the front fail to reach the area, which is a possibility, temperatures could easily surge to near 80 degrees in northern NJ, although at this time I am favoring the cooler outcome. It is just as possible, if not more likely that the back door cold front may have more influence than currently modeled, and may almost, if not completely scale back the warmth, keeping temperatures on Monday and Tuesday stuck in the 60s.

The next cold front is likely to approach on Tuesday, when additional showers are possible with thunderstorms possible again for parts of the region, although this storm does not appear to be a significant rain maker. Behind this low pressure, colder temperatures are once again expected to return, and while the specific details are uncertain due to the time range, temperatures are likely to return into the 50s for the second half of next week. Stay tuned for more information on next week’s outlook.

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