The coldest night (and day) of the year occurred on Wednesday, as low temperatures dipped into the teens and 20s overnight. Daytime highs struggled out of the mid to upper 30’s on Wednesday afternoon, more typical for low temperatures this time of year. The much below normal temperatures come as a result of an arctic airmass, which swung through the region over the past day or two and will continue to swing eastward by Thursday. New York City’s temperature fell below 30 F, the earliest date it has done so since November 10 2004.
The progressive nature of the mid and upper level patterns over the last few weeks means one thing — airmasses are not going to settle into the area. Not surprisingly, warming is expected by later this week — we could even reach into the 60’s this weekend.
Solar Storm: An X1 Class solar flare erupted on the earth facing side of the sun three days ago. Models showed direct earth impact on Nov 13, but there have been no indications of impacts yet today. It is likely that the storm has been delayed, as speed analysis indicated the models may have been a bit aggressive. Regardless, on impact, aurora is possible in the higher latitudes with some radio and cell data interruptions.
ISON Outburst: New data today indicates that Comet ISON is likely experiencing an outburst. Volatile output has doubled, and new imagery from amateur astronomers show a brightness increase and three tails — likely owing to increased solar wind. It remains to be seen if the outburst from ISON is an early peak and will be followed by a fizzle, or if the comet will continue to shine brightly past perihelion. Stay tuned for details over the next several days.