Mar 30, 2012: Chilly Pattern Continues Next Week

Forecast Highlights:


– Rain, Thunder tonight, a little snow possible inland
– Chilly temperatures stick around through next week
– After tonight, no decent rain event in sight again


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12:15 AM Storm Updates: The thunderstorm near Bergen County, NJ is slightly weakening, although it is still capable of producing heavy rain and thunder. Meanwhile, another strong thunderstorm is forming near southern Morris county, and will affect Hudson county and Manhattan within the next 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

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Mostly sunny skies were observed across the area today as a high pressure briefly moved through, with highs reaching the mid to upper 50s from NYC and north/west and the lower to mid 50s in Long Island and southern CT. Clouds have increased towards the afternoon and evening, however, as a weak low pressure is approaching the region from the west. The latest radar, posted to the left, shows a line of showers and locally heavy thunderstorms affecting northern NJ and SE NY, spreading east towards Long Island and southern CT. This storm will continue to affect the area through the morning hours, with even some snow in the interior parts of the area.

Behind this storm, the chilly pattern is expected to continue with no big rain event in sight. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 50s and the low 60s through most of next week, with some showers possible in the middle of the week, but the current pattern does not appear to break through the 7-10 day range.

Tonight – Tomorrow: Rain, Some Snow Inland


The storm moving through the area tonight was modeled yesterday and earlier today to bring accumulating snow in southern CT and SE NY; in the 5-Day Forecast, I put a risk of snow mixing with the rain in southern CT, but with little to no accumulations. There is not much precipitation in the cold sector of the storm, and the source of cold air is also relatively weak for a snow event in late March. With the latest observations, the storm may end up slightly drier than some models are showing, with less snow over the region.

Periods of light to moderate rain will continue through at least 7-9 AM on Saturday, with some wet snow possibly mixing in interior Connecticut and parts of Orange County, NY, but with no accumulations expected in the area. Overall, at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch of rain is expected to fall tonight, which is somewhat beneficial as it may be enough to prevent this month from ending up as the driest March on record, but it still does not eliminate concerns about a dry pattern lasting through the spring. Mainly cloudy skies and areas of drizzle are expected to last afterwards with skies possibly clearing a little towards the late afternoon and evening hours; high temperatures will end up below average, reaching the lower to mid 40s in southern CT and Long Island and the mid to upper 40s from NYC and further north/west.

Sunday – Next Week: Still Chilly, Little Rain


Temperatures will slightly warm up on Sunday as a SW wind briefly returns, with highs reaching the upper 40s to mid 50s in Long Island/southern CT and the mid to upper 50s for most of northern NJ, SE NY, and NYC. During the day on Sunday, a strong warm surge will affect the central US, with 90 degrees possibly spreading as far north as South Dakota; the warm spell was originally expected to reach the area, but instead will fail to do so as a low pressure dropping out of Canada will bring a cold front through on Sunday night, keeping the chilly air mass in place over the region. Some showers are expected on Sunday night with up to 1/4 inch for most places. Mostly sunny skies are expected to return on Monday with highs in the mid to upper 50s for most of the area.

By Tuesday, the models differences increase regarding the handling of the set up; the NAM/DGEX show rain on Wednesday followed by a little cold and a much warmer air mass next weekend, the GFS completely suppresses the storm and drops more cold air into the region through next weekend, the CMC has some rain on Wednesday with chilly temperatures afterwards, and the ECM has rain on Tuesday night. At this time, I am expecting some rain to fall around Wednesday, but any rain again appears to be light with generally up to 1/4 inch possible. Temperatures may warm up into the lower to mid 60s on Tuesday and/or Wednesday near NYC, but will otherwise remain in the 50s, with temperatures returning back into the mid 50s range across parts of the area by the end of next week with dry conditions returning. The outlook for next weekend and beyond is still uncertain, although the longer range models are showing the potential for a warm up towards the end of next weekend into early next week. Stay tuned for more information on the longer range.

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