Mar 20, 2014 Brief Update

[notice]Blog Update: The aforementioned computer issues may be fixed as soon as Friday, which would allow for regular daily updates and planned additions to the storm archives to resume beginning on Friday night. More information will be posted on the blog status as necessary.[/notice]

Forecast Overview:

Behind Wednesday’s system and wave of low pressure, which enhanced heavy rainfall over the area which significantly exceeded expectations, producing nearly an inch of rain in NE NJ and NYC, warmer temperatures returned today with partly sunny skies and highs in the low 50s inland and mid 50s elsewhere, which was warmer than modeled but not as warm as initially anticipated. A slight cool down is expected on Friday with more sunshine and highs in the upper 40s-low 50s, approaching the mid 50s again near NYC and NE NJ, followed by a weak low pressure to the north on Saturday with mostly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 50s to low 60s for most of the area.

A cooler air mass will begin to enter the region on Sunday with highs in the mid-upper 40s, followed by another step down on Monday with a return to well below average temperatures as highs peak in the low-mid 30s inland and mid-upper 30s elsewhere. Earlier NAM runs have displayed a light snow event in this time frame, although this is a typical long range NAM bias and is not supported by other models, and is being disregarded as an outlier scenario at this time. The next time frame to monitor is Tuesday night with a transient spike in ridging in the western US and a strong trough swinging through the region, aiding in a low pressure developing off the southeast US coast and rapidly deepening as it tracks northeast. Today’s model guidance is mainly split between a more western scenario supported by the ECM and CMC which would support a notable late March snowstorm, and the GFS which is mainly to the east. Regardless of the time of the year, with a favorable track close enough to the coast this would easily be capable of producing a snowstorm with an anomalously cold air mass in place; the smaller details such as the track and intensity which would influence how much snow falls in the region have yet to be determined, which is complicated by the presence of the key features in poorly sampled regions near the arctic regions and northeast Pacific. Recent trends and considering the continued progressive upper level flow would normally tend to give more credibility to a further east scenario, although this remains a low confidence call at this stage given the aforementioned lack of upper level data sampling, and additional changes are anticipated over the next few days. More information will be posted over the next few days regarding this potential.

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