Nov 4, 2012: Rain, Wind Return This Week

Forecast Highlights:

Colder temperatures will continue to affect the area over the next few days with highs in the 40s to low 50s and lows in the 20s to mid 30s, which will be an issue for areas without power and heating still struggling to recover from the devastating impact of hurricane Sandy. The dry conditions won’t last for long, however, as a nor’easter affects the region on Wednesday into Thursday with additional rain, wind, and even snow for interior areas, with additional wind and coastal flooding for the coast. Click below to read the full post.


Tonight – Tuesday: Cold Continues

The biggest hazard in this time frame is the cold pattern in place through the end of the week, with cold temperatures an issue for areas without power and heating. Temperatures will gradually trend slightly colder going into Tuesday, with overnight lows in the mid 20s to low 30s away from NYC and the immediate coast, which will have lows in the mid to upper 30s. Lows may be a bit warmer for tonight, although the coldest temperatures are expected for Monday night with lows in the low to mid 20s inland. High temperatures will generally be in the mid 40s to low 50s, slightly cooler on Tuesday.

Wednesday – Thursday: Nor’easter Brings Rain, Snow, Wind

The scenario map posted below is preliminary; it is subject to some changes. Main areas of uncertainty include the border of the mix and rain zones, especially in Pennsylvania, and central New England which could be shifted a bit south. There will be snow south of the pink zone, but is expected to be brief before changing to rain.

Barely a week after Hurricane Sandy, yet another strong storm is on track to affect the region with rain, wind, coastal flooding, and even snow for interior areas. A low pressure will develop near the southeastern US coast, intensifying as it moves northeast along the coast, tracking towards just east of North Carolina and towards Cape Cod. This will be a moderate intensity low pressure, with a minimum pressure near or a bit lower than 980mb expected. While fortunately, this isn’t nearly as strong as Sandy was, it will result in additional issues for coastal areas still struggling to recover from Sandy.

Rain is expected to develop around Wednesday afternoon as the nor’easter approaches from the south. The heaviest rain is expected towards the evening and early overnight hours as the low pressure reaches its peak intensity. The rain will gradually weaken later in the overnight hours and into Thursday, especially in the immediate NYC area and northern NJ where a dry slot is possible following the heaviest rain, with at least 1 to 2 inches expected in Long Island and southern CT, with lighter totals from NYC and further west. Some snow is expected at the start of the storm in the northwestern areas in Sussex and Orange counties, especially in the high elevations with minor accumulations possible, although there is no high pressure to keep the cold air in place, as warm 850mb temperatures surge north changing most of the region except for the higher elevations to rain.

The biggest issue with this nor’easter, however, will be the wind, as well as coastal flooding. A low level jet of 60-70 knots at 925mb is expected, with wind gusts likely getting as high as 50 to 60 mph for many coastal areas, with isolated gusts near or above 60 mph possible. Wind gusts will be weaker further west, likely up to 40 to 50 mph in the immediate NYC area. Unlike Sandy, the winds will fortunately not come straight from the SE into the coast, but rather from the NE to the north, which will result in less coastal flooding in the immediate NYC area and southern Long Island compared to Sandy. Coastal flooding, although not nearly as bad as it was with Sandy, will still be an issue in this case, in parts of the NYC area but especially in the New Jersey coast, as many coastal areas have already been damaged by Sandy and are more vulnerable to coastal flooding than they typically would be.

While this nor’easter won’t be nearly as bad as Sandy, it will only add even more problems for the coastal areas struggling to recover from Sandy, where additional strong winds and coastal flooding is expected. Coastal areas in the region, especially in New Jersey, should closely monitor this storm. Stay tuned for more information over the next few days.

Beyond the Nor’easter: The Long Range Pattern Outlook #3 will be posted late tonight, covering the outlook for the medium range as well as thoughts going into the rest of November.

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