Unsettled, but dodging showers into the weekend

GFS Model showing the upper level low meandering over the Northeast US on Friday February 28th. The above image shows heights, winds, vorticity and temperature at 500mb.

GFS Model showing the upper level low meandering over the Northeast US on Friday February 28th. The above image shows heights, winds, vorticity and temperature at 500mb.

An unsettled pattern, owing to the presence of a persistent upper level trough over the Northeast, will continue through the end of the week. Steady and heavy rain won’t be a threat, but the potential for isolated showers and clouds will remain in the forecast through the first half of the weekend. The upper level trough is in no rush to leave, as it meanders over the Northeast United States. Small disturbances (shortwaves) will rotate around it, kicking off clouds and isolated showers at times on both Friday and Saturday. Some more sun should find its way through the clouds each day, but temperatures will cool off over time as well..with high temperatures falling into the upper 30’s low 40’s by later this weekend. Low temperatures on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights should be fairly uniform, in the upper 20’s inland to the low to mid 30’s near the coast and in the city. No periods of steady or heavy rain are expected, though, so overall it should average out to be a fair end of the week and weekend. The official forecast is below…

Friday: Mostly cloudy, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 40’s near the coast, and colder inland (upper 30’s to low 40’s). Northwest winds around 10 miles per hour.

Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with low temperatures in the upper 20’s to lower 40’s, warmer near the coast and in the city. Northwest winds around 10 miles per hour.

Saturday: Partly cloudy, with a slight chance of showers in the afternoon. High temperatures in the middle 40’s. Northwest winds around 10 miles per hour.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for more up to the minute details on the forecast!

Meteorological Spring Approaches, But Spring Weather Does Not

As many of you know, Meteorological Spring begins on March 1, which is this Friday. However, in both the short term and long term, the weather will not be cooperating. After this current storm system that has given us our clouds and rain over the past few days moves away, colder weather will be ushered in for Friday and beyond. Temperatures will generally represent average highs and lows for early February, rather than early March.

The 18z GFS ensemble mean, valid for the afternoon of March 3rd, shows a very strong negative NAO block, which favors the development of a strong storm system.

The 18z GFS ensemble mean, valid for the afternoon of March 3rd, shows a very strong negative NAO block, which favors the development of a strong storm system.

What’s responsible for this? For the first time this winter, we are going to see sustained NAO blocking. The 18z GFS ensemble mean forecast for 96 hours out, which is valid for the afternoon of March 3, shows a huge closed off positive anomaly of geopotential heights south of Greenland. This is classified as a strong negative NAO event, and these events often lead to very strong storm systems affecting our area, such as Hurricane Sandy. These negative NAO blocks help to force a trough on the east coast, providing sustained, cold air, along with storm systems that can slow down, strengthen, and take tracks just off of our coastline.

So, do we have any storm systems to look out for? Initially, some models were indicating a threat for the March 3 time period, but the problem for that time period is that the trough axis is too far east and too positively tilted. There was a positive PNA ridge on the west coast, but a disturbance moves onto the west coast, which flattens that ridge, represented by that little blue area in Washington State. It also pushes the flattened ridge eastward, pushing our trough eastward. The NAO block will prevent the trough from scooting out to sea, but it cannot keep the trough axis far enough west for a storm system to bring us precipitation. Additionally, and arguably the bigger problem is the upper level low pressure system that is elongated to the southeast of our NAO block. That keeps the flow out in the Atlantic pretty flat, preventing any storm from being able to turn up the coast. Thus, this time period is not favorable for a storm.

However, will this change? Potentially. When?

Read more

Forecast: Unsettled weather approaching by midweek

Above, the NAM model showing mixed precipitation affecting the area Wednesday morning. Mainly rain is expected near the coast, with a period of snow or sleet possible in the interior suburbs.

Above, the NAM model showing mixed precipitation affecting the area Wednesday morning. Mainly rain is expected near the coast, with a period of snow or sleet possible in the interior suburbs.

Pleasant weather has not come easy lately, thanks to a very active weather pattern which has settled into the area this month. Much of the same will be true this week, with Monday and Tuesday averaging out to be “pleasant”, but the forecast taking a downward turn by Tuesday evening into Wednesday. A storm system approaching from the Central United States will drive precipitation from the Mid Atlantic states into the Northeast US, bringing a moderate rainfall event to much of the coast as well as the potential for some wintry precipitation across the interior.

Forecast models are continuing to struggle with handling the cold air in place as the storm approaches — so the forecast remains uncertain across the interior, where a colder outcome could mean a prolonged period of snow, sleet or freezing rain. In the city and near the coast, any frozen precipitation should quickly flip to rain. Temperatures will warm up even behind the precipitation on Wednesday, as the cold front drifts just to our west. Highs could approach the middle to upper 50’s across Central NJ Wednesday afternoon before dropping rapidly behind the front.

Colder air is expected to filter back into the area by the end of the week, with a large upper level trough keeping colder air around through the weekend and possibly lingering thereafter. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for up to the minute updates on the area’s weather!

Weekend Forecast: Cold and wet start, decent finish

RGEM model forecasting a period of steady rain throughout the area on Saturday, despite a coastal storm offshore to our south and east. The rain could continue on and off through Saturday Night.

RGEM model forecasting a period of steady rain throughout the area on Saturday, despite a coastal storm offshore to our south and east. The rain could continue on and off through Saturday Night.

A relatively calm and pleasant (albeit cool) end to the work week will take an ugly turn as we approach the first half of the weekend, owing to a developing storm system which will track to the south and east of the area this weekend. The airmass in place is warmer than average for one surrounding a winter storm this time of year, and we’re expecting minimal winter impacts from the system. All in all, precipitation totals as a whole will end up being a nuisance with forecasting models backing off on the potential for heavy precipitation as we approach the event. Still, periods of light snow/sleet will quickly transition to periods of cold rain/showers through Saturday throughout the area. The potential exists for some freezing rain and sleet inland over Northwest NJ, Southeast NY and Connecticut, but we aren’t expecting accumulations or significant travel difficulties. The precipitation could linger through Saturday Night, but clearing is expected by Sunday. Northwest winds will return and cooler air will stay in place, with the sun returning and resulting in a decent day to close out the weekend with temperatures in the upper 30’s to low 40’s.

Through Tonight (Friday Night): Cloudy, with developing areas of light precipitation. Brief periods of sleet/freezing rain inland, transitioning to light rain everywhere. Low temperatures in the middle 30’s. Southeast winds near 10 miles per hour, so it will still feel plenty cold and raw despite the liquid precipitation. Bundle up and bring a hoodie or umbrella!

Saturday: Raw, cold, and wet start to the day with overcast skies and scattered showers. Temperatures climbing to near 40 degrees, and periods of more steady rain possible in the late morning. East winds around 10 to 15 miles per hour. Bring a rain coat and an umbrella, especially over eastern locations like the NJ Shore and Long Island.

Saturday Night: A continuing chance of showers throughout the area, with low temperatures falling into the mid 30’s. Raw, cool, and wet conditions continuing. If you’re headed out, definitely bring a rain coat, hoodie, and/or umbrella. It won’t be a pleasant night.

Sunday: Clearing, slowly and finally, with the sun making an appearance by afternoon. High temperatures reaching in the upper 30’s to near 40. Northwest winds keeping things breezy and cool, around 10 miles per hour.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for up to the minute updates on the area’s weather!