Feb 3, 2013: More Light Snow This Week

Forecast Highlights:

A minor snow event affected the region last night and today, although snow ended up even more isolated than originally expected with an inverted trough failing to set up over the area with heavier snow as some models indicated; totals ended up generally between 0.5 and 1.5 inch. There’s still no big snowstorm in the foreseeable range, although additional minor snow events are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a temporary warm up in the pattern by the late week into early next week.


Tonight – Thursday: Cold, Light Snow Continue

With a low pressure currently developing offshore expected to rapidly intensify into a strong storm over southeastern Canada, a trough will remain settled over the region throughout the majority of the week, with a continued cold and progressive flow as several shortwaves quickly race east through the region, resulting in additional light snow events.

Partly cloudy skies are expected on Monday with highs in the upper 20s to low 30s, close to 10 degrees colder than average, and a breezy NW wind at 15-20 mph. The next shortwave will move through the region overnight, with scattered snow showers expected, focusing especially south of the area, where a narrow swath of snow totals near or over 1 inch is expected. The NYC area will be closer to the northern edge of precipitation from this event; light snow showers are expected with any accumulations generally near or less than 1/2 inch, although the axis of relatively higher snow totals, as in near to over 1 inch, could still shift a bit closer to the area. Cold overnight lows are expected, in the mid to upper 10s inland and the upper 10s to mid 20s for the rest of the area.

Drier conditions will briefly return for Tuesday with partly to mostly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s across most of the area. Another light snow event will affect the area overnight, possibly into early Wednesday, with snow totals again generally below an inch for most locations that are affected by this. The focus of this light snow event will be somewhat north of Monday night’s, closer to or a bit north of NYC, but this will not make significant differences regarding snow accumulations, if any. Temperatures will slightly warm up on Thursday as the arctic air mass begins to slowly retreat back north.

Friday – Next Week: Warmer, Rain Returns

The next system to affect the area will be on Friday, although there are still some model differences regarding the handling of this event; while most models keep this as a weak low pressure north of the area, today’s ECM runs, especially the 0z run last night, showed a significant storm affecting the region with mostly rain for the area and a significant snowstorm inland. While the ECM is typically considered a more reliable model, its medium range outlooks have not always been correct; just a few days before the January 25 light snow event, the ECM showed a significant coastal low with 10+ inches of snow, which was far from the actual result. In this case, the solution shown on the ECM is a current outlier as it significantly differs from the rest of the models, also considering the 12z run, while still much stronger than the other models, was less amplified and southeast of the 0z run. At this time, I am siding towards a weaker scenario than the ECM, with another weak low pressure producing widespread light snow/rain with light accumulations possible, while the focus of the snow is likely to end up north of NYC. More information will be posted over the next few days should there be any changes with this forecast.

Following the Friday system, weak ridging will rebuild over the East as a trough digs into the western US and the trough over the region this weak lifts back north into Canada. At this time, this does not appear to be a significant warm up compared to others of the same type in early and late January, although temperatures are still expected to end up warmer than average next weekend, rising back into the 40s for highs. Another storm is likely to affect the region early next week; there is still uncertainty regarding the track and intensity of the low pressure, although the overall pattern favors a warmer event, with the storm likely to produce rain given the lack of any cold in place ahead of the storm. More information on the longer range pattern will be posted with the next pattern outlook later this week; while it appears the coldest temperatures of the winter may have taken place in late January, winter in terms of cold and some snow is not over yet.

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