May 15, 2012: Seasonable Temperatures Continue

Forecast Highlights:

– Warm on Wednesday; highs may approach 85 degrees
– Scattered strong storms possible north of NYC
– Mostly sunny skies, highs in 70s to last through weekend
– Scattered showers/storms return next week


Today’s Observations:

After heavy rain affected Pennsylvania yesterday, the axis of rain moved east through the NYC area during the first half of the day. The rain moved through faster than expected, however, ending by 2-5 PM for most places. Rain totals generally ended up near 1/2 inch, locally higher in some spots, such as near Bridgeport, CT. There was little variation in temperatures throughout the day, with highs peaking in the mid to upper 60s for most of the area, getting near 70 degrees towards central NJ, where some sunshine was observed in the afternoon.

Tonight’s Outlook / Forecast Overview

(Updated as of 10:50 PM)
Looking at the latest regional radar, this morning’s heavy rain has moved to the northeast and is currently in eastern Massachusetts. Cloud cover has partially cleared in some areas to the west/SW of the city, and isolated heavy thunderstorms are slowly spreading east in the western parts of the area. These scattered storms will continue to affect parts of the area, especially near NYC and further west/SW, through parts of the overnight hours, containing locally heavy rain. An area of heavy storms is currently located near Morris County, and will slowly drift east to cover most of NE NJ and NYC over the next 2 hours.

Partly sunny skies are expected to return for tomorrow with highs in the low 80s and the potential for scattered strong thunderstorms late in the afternoon north of NYC. A high pressure will then move into the region, keeping mostly sunny skies and highs in the 70s in place until early next week, when clouds and some rain will return.

Tomorrow’s Outlook:

After the possible isolated storm activity tonight, cloud cover is expected to clear late in the morning for most of the area except for coastal areas, where low clouds should persist. Except for the coast, partly to mostly cloudy skies will continue through the afternoon with a SW wind and temperatures warming up into the upper 70s to lower 80s. Depending on the amount of cloud cover, temperatures in NE NJ may get near 85 degrees. Long Island and southern Connecticut are expected to reach the lower to mid 70s, with upper 70s further west, closer to NYC, and in the upper 60s near the immediate coast.

As a cold front approaches from the west, some instability is expected across the region, with a squall line producing strong to severe thunderstorms developing further north towards New York state during the afternoon hours. Most of tomorrow’s storms will stay to the north of the area, although it is not out of the question that a few storms may affect the northern parts of the area during the late afternoon hours. Any storm that does so will be capable of producing locally heavy rain and strong wind gusts.

Thursday – Weekend: Mostly/Partly Sunny, Mild

As the cold front moves through the area, a cooler air mass will move into the region, although the cold front will fail to bring any significant cool down, with temperatures staying close to average. With a high pressure moving into the region, mostly sunny skies are expected from Thursday through Saturday with temperatures reaching the lower to mid 70s across most of the area. An eastern flow is expected to set up, and although a high pressure overhead will likely prevent a cloudy weekend, it is possible that there could be more cloud cover than currently expected, especially further east.

By Sunday, a relatively strong low pressure will pull a warm air mass into the Midwest and Great Lakes region, while a weak cutoff low gets stuck south of the high pressure over the region. As a result, fair weather is expected to continue through Sunday and perhaps Monday as well, with highs still likely reaching the lower to mid 70s, although the significant warmth with highs in the 80s will stay well to the north, over the northern parts of New England.

Early-Mid Next Week: With the high pressure moving out, the cutoff to the south is expected to drift into the region, resulting in widespread showers returning for early-mid next week, although no widespread washout is expected at this time. Beyond early next week, uncertainty increases with the specific scenario, although temperatures are likely to stay generally in the 70s.

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