Mar 30, 2013: Winter Approaching Its End

Forecast Highlights:

After a prolonged period of colder than average temperatures with winter-like conditions continuing beyond the official end of winter, the cold pattern is approaching its end. Temperatures have warmed up well into the 50s today with similar temperatures for Sunday and Monday, but the sustained warmth is not here to stay yet with a final period of cold temperatures next week.




Saturday, March 30 Observations:

Observations for today, as well as the March 21-29 period, will be added tonight.

Tonight – Monday: Mild Temperatures Continue

As the trough in place over the last week continues to exit the region, a weak low pressure will move through the area on Sunday night, producing widespread although relatively short lasting rain across the region. Increasing clouds are expected on Sunday morning and afternoon, with occasional periods of rain on Sunday mainly between 4 PM and 11 PM, focusing especially during the late afternoon and evening hours. At least 1/4 inch of rain is generally expected. Due to the cloud cover and rain, temperatures will be colder, peaking in the low to mid 50s, later dropping into the 40s by the evening.

A cold front will move through on Monday afternoon, but the passage is expected to be delayed enough to allow for temperatures to warm into the mid to upper 50s inland and the upper 50s to low 60s for the rest of the area, approaching 65 degrees near and south of NYC. Temperatures are expected to peak early in the afternoon, with increased clouds for the rest of the day and isolated showers as temperatures steadily drop into the 40s by the late afternoon and evening hours.

Next Week: One Last Round Of Cold

The weather pattern will pull its own April fools joke next week as the warmth on April 1st will not be here to stay – by the overnight hours, a strong trough will develop over the eastern half of the US, resulting in another round of colder than average temperatures for another few days. Mostly sunny skies are expected for Tuesday with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s inland and the low to mid 40s for the rest of the area. Mostly sunny skies are expected to continue through Wednesday and Thursday with highs expected to slowly warm up, reaching the mid to upper 40s for most on Wednesday and the upper 40s to low 50s on Thursday.

After nearly a month of consistently colder than average temperatures, a pattern change is expected to unfold late next week, bringing ridging to the central US for the first time since early March, mostly breaking the cold pattern. The focus of the ridging is expected to end up towards the central US, however, which will keep the region near the edge of the warmer temperatures. While temperatures as a whole will be noticeably warmer than they were so far this month, the warmest temperatures will remain west of the region, with these warmth surges likely to be more short lasting in the region. Especially with continued blocking over Greenland, it is a valid possibility that the latest models are overestimating the amount of warmth reaching the Northeast US, with occasional troughs or back door cold fronts keeping temperatures closer to average with occasional brief warmth surges.

Widespread highs in the low to mid 50s are expected for Friday with a storm likely to approach the region. There is uncertainty on how far north the storm ends up, although at this time it is likely to remain south of the area. A trough is expected to briefly move in behind this storm with highs on Saturday slightly cooler, likely in the low 50s range, but with ridging potentially building in towards April 9-12. As this is still over a week away there is uncertainty towards this time frame, and as is typical with spring warm spells the core of the warmth may still focus west of the region with some models overestimating the warmth, although this time frame is the next potential for temperatures over 60 degrees. Stay tuned for more information in the longer range.

March 2013 Note: Today was the warmest day of the month for most of the area, with Central Park peaking at 59 degrees, 1 degree short of 60 degrees. With this observations, this is the first March since 2001 to fail to reach 60 degrees. More complete statistics on this March will be posted on April 1st after final monthly data is available.

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