April 8, 2012 Brief Update

Reminder: This blog is still on vacation. Occasional brief updates will be posted, and the next full update will be posted on Sunday, April 15.

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Forecast Overview: As a strong trough continues to move into the region, the longest lasting of the entire season despite it taking place in April, temperatures will remain near to below average through most of this upcoming week. A strong cutoff low moved into Maine earlier today, and is stalling in that region, trapping a chilly air mass over the region through at least Thursday. The trough is likely to exit with a returning warm air mass by next weekend and the following week, but it is too far out to tell exactly how warm it will be and how much rain will fall.

Monday – Thursday: Temperatures will remain mild tomorrow, with highs reaching the lower to mid 60s across the area, passing 65 degrees near the immediate NYC area, which is slightly warmer than average. Windy conditions are expected as well, with gusts up to 40-45 mph expected across the area, and the risk of fires developing is still present across the area, especially with the wind and the dry conditions recently observed; the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update as of Thursday placed almost all of southern New England, including Connecticut and Long Island, under moderate drought conditions.

A weak low pressure will develop offshore during the mid-late week period, with partly-mostly cloudy skies and a risk of isolated showers between Monday night and Thursday. Any shower, however, is expected to remain light, with no decent rain amounts expected. Temperatures will be below average in this time frame, reaching the lower to mid 50s inland and mid to upper 50s elsewhere on Tuesday and Thursday, with Wednesday likely the colder day, with highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s inland and lower to mid 50s across the rest of the area.

Longer Range: There is a strong signal on almost every model for a ridge to develop with a strong warm air mass spreading east. There is still uncertainty, however, regarding how far north the warmth extends, as models such as the GFS and CMC keep the area near the northern boundary of the warm air mass, bringing several waves of beneficial moderate-heavy rain through the region while keeping temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The ECM is currently the most bullish with the warmth, spreading it much further north. Given the trends under this new pattern, I am leaning towards the GFS/CMC with a weaker warm air mass further south, keeping temperatures in the area mostly in the mid-upper 60s with some days passing 70 degrees, along with a higher risk of widespread rain falling in the region, either near or north of the area. There is still uncertainty with this, however, and it is possible that a warmer scenario could verify, in which case temperatures would be much closer to 80 degrees with a lower widespread rain risk for the area. More information will be posted with additional brief updates this week.

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