Mar 8, 2012: Becoming Even Warmer Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

– Temps briefly cool down through Saturday, winds calm down tonight
– Warmer temperatures return by Sunday/Monday, rain overnight
– 70+ degrees possible, if not likely later on next week


As a cold front approached the region with partly cloudy skies and a strong SW wind, gusting up to 30-40 mph across the area, peaking near 43 mph in Newark, temperatures were unusually warm for this time of the year, surging into the lower 70s for most of northern NJ, SE NY and NYC. The exceptions were in Long Island, southern CT, and coastal parts of NYC, where temperatures stayed in the upper 50s to mid 60s, although parts of the immediate coast of Long Island only reached the mid 50s.

The latest radar shows that the cold front is approaching, with the line of locally heavy showers expected to move through the area after 12-2 AM, ending the warmth and the winds. Temperatures will slightly cool down for Friday and Saturday, but another warm air mass will quickly move in starting on Sunday, lasting through next week and possibly beyond. Although the exact temperatures are still uncertain, the potential is there for parts of the area to reach and/or pass 70 degrees once again on at least one day, if not more.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

With the cold front moving through tonight, partly sunny skies are expected for tomorrow with light NW winds. High temperatures will be noticeably colder than those of today, reaching the mid to upper 40s inland and the upper 40s to lower 50s across the rest of the area. Partly cloudy skies are expected overnight with lows dropping into the mid 20s to lower 30s across most of the area, although with the trough moving through, an area of snow showers is expected to develop in New York State and move southeast, possibly ending up over Connecticut overnight. As a result, I included a slight risk of rain/snow showers in the 5-Day Forecast for southern Connecticut.

Saturday – Next Week: Much Warmer, April/May-Like Pattern

Saturday will be the last chilly day for a while, with mainly sunny skies and highs reaching the mid to upper 40s across the rest of the area. By Sunday, yet another ridge will develop over the region, with mostly sunny skies expected again with highs reaching the upper 50s to lower 60s in northern NJ, SE NY and NYC, ending up slightly colder in Long Island and southern CT.

The model guidance once again is struggling with handling the cutoff low but is starting to get a better handle compared to yesterday, as the cutoff low is no longer modeled to split in half and arrive in two parts, arriving instead only as one consolidated part around Monday night. Partly cloudy skies are expected for Monday with highs reaching the lower to mid 60s across most of the area, again slightly colder closer to the coast, although temperatures may reach the upper 60s near NYC should there be more sunshine than currently expected. Scattered showers are expected overnight and possibly into parts of Tuesday, with highs on Tuesday reaching the upper 50s to lower 60s closer to the coast and the mid to upper 60s across the rest of the area; with the storm ending by Tuesday morning with less cloud cover by the afternoon, lower 70s are possible again near NYC in the warmer case scenario.

Drier conditions are expected to last from Tuesday night through Thursday or Thursday night, when the next cold front will arrive. The main question at this time is what happens to the cutoff low once it exits the region, as the CMC delays it until Wednesday, an outlier solution at this time, the GFS and DGEX keep it moving through Canada while significantly warming up most of the region, and the ECMWF suppresses the cutoff once it gets to Maine, bringing a cold front through the area and keeping temperatures stuck in the 50s for the NYC area instead of the 70s that the GFS/DGEX show. Considering typical trends during the spring, I am leaning towards an overall set up closer to that of the ECM than the GFS but not as cold, supporting the cold front moving near or possibly south of the area on Wednesday, with highs reaching the mid to upper 50s in the eastern half of the area and the lower to mid 60s in the second half of the area, possibly above 65 degrees in the warmer case scenario, although depending on the location of the cutoff low, Wednesday’s forecast is still subject to some changes.

Warmer temperatures are likely to return on Thursday, and at this time I am thinking that the warm front should move through the area again, although in the colder case scenario, and less likely at this time, which the ECM supports, the warm front would fail to move through the area. Should the warm front move through as currently expected, highs are currently likely to easily surge above 70 degrees in the area away from the coast, but this is still subject to change, and should the ECM have the correct idea, temperatures would once again remain relatively chilly on Thursday, although even highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s would still be noticeably warmer than average.

Friday and beyond: Looking briefly beyond Thursday, the cold front is expected to move through with some rain, followed by colder temperatures for Friday. During Friday, another strong surge of warmth is likely to build into the central US, although by that point the trough over the region will be the main question, as depending on what it does afterwards, temperatures may either stay relatively chilly through next week, or the warm surge may reach the area with temperatures again passing 70 degrees. Stay tuned for more information on next week’s warmth and the longer range.

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