April 4, 2013: 60+ Degrees Return Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

Following the departure of a strong trough that has been in place for the last few days, temperatures warmed up across the region, reaching the 50s across most of the area today. While a significant warm pattern is not expected, the gradual warm up will continue with a more spring-like pattern across the region, with highs in the 50s and 60s through the weekend and most of next week until a storm affects the region by the end of next week.


Tonight – Saturday: Few Showers, Then Clearing Up

As the latest radar posted above shows, a coastal low pressure is currently affecting Virginia with rain and late season snow. The low pressure will remain generally weak as it quickly tracks northeast, staying mostly offshore but with scattered showers expected near and south/east of NYC between at least 5 AM and 12 PM, with the most rain over Long Island generally under 1/4 inch. Clearing skies are expected for the rest of the day with highs in the mid to upper 50s from NYC and further north/west, reaching 60 degrees for NYC and parts of NE NJ, with low to mid 50s in Long Island and southern CT.

A trough will quickly move through the region behind the coastal low, with another cold night expected as temperatures drop into the 20s outside of the immediate NYC area under mostly clear skies. The coldest temperatures are expected towards NW NJ and SE NY in the mid 20s, with New York City only dropping into the mid 30s. Mostly sunny skies are expected for Saturday with highs in the low to mid 50s from NYC and further north/west, and the upper 40s to low 50s in Long Island and southern CT.

Sunday – Next Week: Warmer, Stormier Pattern Develops

Throughout this weekend, an upper level block will push west through Greenland and northern Canada, continuing the blocking pattern that has been present since the beginning of March. Unlike the mid March blocking episode, however, this one will not feature widespread cold with a generally zonal flow expected across the US, which will prevent the displaced cold air from dumping into the region. Instead, a trough is expected to dive towards the west coast, which will translate to ridging further east. This will set up for an active pattern through most of next week as a widespread warm and moist air mass is expected across the eastern half of the US while a low pressure develops in the central US, producing a potentially major severe weather outbreak in that region and a snowstorm to the north during the early-mid week before gradually shifting into the region.

The main question at this time is how far north the warm air mass extends, which depends on the upper level flow in the northern US and southern Canada and where the frontal boundary sets up. Some models, such as the DGEX, are aggressive with keeping the frontal boundary well to the north with the entire region warming into the 70s and 80s, but this time of the year is known for back door cold fronts that tend to drop into the region, especially New England, which limit the northern extent and duration of the warmth. Most models show an upper level low near southeastern Canada, but vary between keeping the area within the sustained warmth region and dropping the frontal boundary south, which would result in initial warmth for the early week but cooling temperatures by the middle of the week.

The outlook for Sunday and Monday, possibly including Tuesday, is expected to be noticeably warmer, with widespread highs in the 60s especially away from coastal areas, along with partly cloudy skies and a risk of shower activity. At this time I am siding towards more back door cold front influence towards the middle of next week with cooler temperatures especially for eastern areas, increased clouds and a continued risk of shower activity, with temperatures potentially briefly warming up by the late week as the central US system moves into the region, likely producing rain. Stay tuned for more information on next week’s outlook.

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