May 22, 2012: Cloudy, Wet Pattern Continues

Forecast Highlights:

– Scattered showers/storms last through Friday
– Hot, humid conditions develop by weekend, next week
– Additional thunderstorms expected next week once again


Today’s Observations:

Following yesterday’s heavy showers, occasional showers fell throughout the day today, although no widespread washout was observed. Temperatures were slightly warmer than those of yesterday but still ended up cooler than average, reaching the mid 60s to lower 70s in Long Island/S CT and the lower to mid 70s from NY and further north/west. The majority of the rain over the last 2 days continued to focus over the immediate NYC area, with radar estimates showing 1-3 inches in most of the immediate NYC area, and less than 1/2 inch for most of Long Island and S CT.

Temperatures will remain in the 70s throughout the rest of the week with additional scattered shower and thunderstorm activity expected at times throughout the days. A ridge will build into the region by the weekend but with a back door cold front affecting the region as well, resulting in a combination of moderate heat with temperatures in the 80s, humid conditions, and potential thunderstorm activity for the late weekend into next week, keeping the mainly cloudy and wet pattern in place through next week once again.

Wednesday – Friday Outlook:

The next few days will continue with the mostly cloudy skies and scattered thunderstorms, although breaks in the cloud cover are expected to be slightly more frequent, especially on Wednesday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to reach the upper 60s to lower 70s further east and the mid to locally upper 70s from NYC and further north/west. Locally heavy showers are possible, with most of the models indicating that Wednesday has the best potential for heavy thunderstorms, especially north and west of NYC during the mid to late afternoon hours.

Weekend – Next Week: Warmer, Humid And Stormy

A large ridge developing in the central US will spread into the region on Saturday, with temperatures warming up into the lower to possibly mid 80s away from the coast. Saturday has a lower risk of rain; although a few isolated storms are possible late, the day will otherwise be partly cloudy. Model differences remain for Sunday into next week, as the GFS’ earlier runs as well as the latest DGEX continue to show no back door cold front resulting in a stretch of a few days of 90-95 degree temperatures, while the ECM and the latest GFS runs show more influence from the back door cold front. While the ECM may have overestimated the back door cold front to some extent, the cold front solution is more reasonable than the large heat wave given the pattern in place. The operational GFS also received an upgrade today, and this upcoming active time period will test how well it performs.

With the back door cold front near the region, temperatures in the upper 70s to mid 80s away from the coast are possible on Sunday and Monday, followed by another brief surge of heat possible sometime around Tuesday or a bit later; depending on the timing and intensity of this surge of warmth, temperatures may perhaps get to 90 degrees away from the coast. There is also a risk of thunderstorms depending on where the back door cold front sets up; this afternoon’s models are in agreement with showing the potential for thunderstorms, possibly strong/severe, on Sunday into Sunday night. For now, I placed a risk of scattered storms on Sunday, although some changes are still possible with the forecast due to uncertainty and the lack of agreement on a single solution for this time period. Stay tuned for more updates on the Memorial Day Weekend outlook.

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