April 27, 2012: Freeze Expected Tonight

Forecast Highlights:

– Freeze, Near Record Lows Expected Tonight
– Below average temperatures last through early week
– Significant warm up possible later next week


Since the pattern changed in late March, cold air dropped into the region more frequently as blocking occasionally developed near Greenland, a factor which is needed for a cold pattern that has been missing basically the entire winter. The latest cold air mass dropping into the area is shaping up to have some of the biggest negative temperature departures of the season, as temperatures will drop into the 20s and 30s across the area tonight, resulting in a widespread freeze away from NYC, possibly even a hard freeze towards NW Sussex and Orange counties, and temperatures will even get close to the record lows, with Central Park’s record low near 34 degrees in 1934.

The chilly temperatures will last through at least Monday, with scattered showers possible on Saturday night, perhaps even mixing with light snow well to the west of NYC if precipitation makes it north into the area. As the pattern becomes more zonal, however, a warm air mass will return into the region, with rising temperatures towards the second half of next week along with scattered showers and possibly thunderstorms.

Saturday – Monday Outlook:

Increasing clouds are expected throughout the day tomorrow with temperatures still below average, reaching the mid to upper 50s inland and the upper 50s to lower 60s across the area. Scattered rain showers are possible overnight with lows dropping into the mid 30s inland and the upper 30s to lower 40s across the rest of the area. Sunday and Monday will both include mainly sunny skies despite some cloud cover on Sunday morning, with highs reaching the upper 50s to lower 60s across most of the area.

Tuesday – Late Next Week: Warmer, Some Rain

Mostly cloudy skies are expected on Thursday as an area of scattered showers moves through the region, bringing the potential for amounts locally up to or above 1/4 inch. This does not appear to be any significant rain event, and is unlikely to remove the drought, which in still holding in place; according to the latest US Drought Monitor update on Thursday, the area is still under a moderate drought, with a severe drought still barely holding on in parts of southern Connecticut. While the drought is not expected to get much worse through the medium range, significant improvements are also not very likely as long as the latest outlook of no significant rain events through the medium range holds in place.

By the second half of the week, temperatures will warm up as a warmer air mass moves in, with widespread 850mb temperatures above 10C making this the biggest surge of warmth since April 16, when the area reached the upper 80s for highs. In this case, however, there will be more cloud cover with a risk of scattered showers/storms, likely keeping temperatures on the cooler side, in the 70s to lower 80s, although a day or two of temperatures surging to near or above 85 degrees cannot be ruled out IF the warmer case scenario verifies. Some blocking is expected to develop near Greenland in this time frame, and while it will not have any significant impact on the region in this time of the year as it would’ve had in January or February for example, the possibility is there that the warmth ends up more suppressed than currently modeled, keeping temperatures mainly in the 70s. Stay tuned for more information on the late week warmth potential.

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