Feb 20, 2013: Rain, Some Snow For Weekend

Forecast Highlights:

Cold and windy conditions returned into the region today behind the cold front that moved through the area yesterday, producing moderate rain, with similar conditions expected to continue into tonight and tomorrow. Temperatures will warm up ahead of the next storm on Saturday, expected to be a moderate rain producer for most of the area and a potential snowstorm inland, followed by another storm towards the middle of next week.




Tonight – Friday: Slightly Warming Up

Today’s cold and windy conditions are expected to continue into tonight and Thursday, with widespread lows in the 10s tonight along with wind chills in the single digits for Thursday morning. Highs are expected to peak in the upper 20s to low 30s inland and low to mid 30s for the rest of the area with a NW wind of 15-25 mph, gusting up to 30-40 mph. Temperatures on Friday are expected to warm up into the upper 30s to low 40s with increasing cloud cover as the next storm approaches.

Friday Night – Sunday: Rain, Snow Expected

A major winter storm currently developing over the central US will track towards the Great Lakes on Friday and Saturday, weakening as light precipitation spreads into the area. A coastal low pressure is then expected to develop, however, affecting the region on Saturday into Saturday night with widespread rain in the area and a snowstorm in New England.

There remains some uncertainty regarding the exact development of the low pressure, with scenarios ranging from a relatively minor event to a major New England snowstorm and a heavy rain/snow event for the area, although today’s model guidance has generally focused on the latter scenario, with most models generally in agreement. The storm is still about 3 days away from starting, however, and despite the current model agreement, additional changes are still possible with the models. A moderate rain and some snow event is still likely for the area, however, with a snowstorm likely towards interior New England. Currently, the model guidance generally shows a stronger storm quickly developing, resulting in significant rain/snow totals across the region; a weaker storm that takes longer to develop, however, would result in warmer temperatures and less rain and snow as a whole across the region.

Along with the development uncertainty, however, there’s also the question of precipitation types; this issue comes up in the forecast for most of the region as the weakening primary low in the Great Lakes initially brings in a warmer air mass, and as a result, the coastal low in its development stage during Saturday will initially fail to produce much snow anywhere in the region. Temperatures are then expected to cool down overnight with rain changing to wet snow as the coastal low intensifies, especially in interior New England, but the question remains how far south the mixing extends, which also depends on the track and intensity of the coastal low pressure. Currently, most of the models show the area with rain, except for Connecticut away from the coast and interior SE NY which start out with rain and then change over to snow with light-moderate accumulations, but this can still change slightly colder or warmer over the next 1-2 days.

The latest expectation is for increasing clouds on Friday into Friday night, with light precipitation spreading in overnight into Saturday morning; this is mostly expected to be light snow north and west of NYC, with minor accumulations possible inland, and light rain, possibly mixing with snow, for NYC and Long Island. As temperatures warm into the mid to upper 30s inland and upper 30s to low 40s for the rest of the area, precipitation aside from interior SE NY and southern CT is expected to change over to occasional light rain, with snow continuing further inland. As the low pressure intensifies and approaches the area, rain is likely starting late on Saturday afternoon through the mid overnight hours; temperatures are expected to hold steady in the low to mid 30s inland and mid to upper 30s for the rest of the area overnight, supporting rain for most of the area, while interior SE NY and southern CT away from the coast start out with rain and later on change over to snow. Snow accumulations, if any, are uncertain at this time, although the potential is there for light, possibly moderate accumulations for the northernmost parts of the area. Stay tuned for more information on the forecast as details become clearer.

Longer Range: Another Storm, Then Colder

Drier conditions are expected to return for Sunday and Monday with less cloud cover, although the next storm is expected to approach on Tuesday and Wednesday; at this time, this storm is also expected to produce rain across the area, although some changes are still possible with the specifics of this storm considering it’s still almost a week away. Uncertainty increases afterwards, although a stronger trough with more sustained cold temperatures is likely towards the beginning of March.

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