NYC Forecast: Moderating, big arctic surge looms

It was quite a cold start throughout the area this morning, likely made to feel more alarming due to the warmer weather which we experienced over this past weekend. But the progressive weather pattern which has become dominant throughout much of the United States over the past month continues to dominate, and colder air poured into the area on Monday and Tuesday. Today will be another cold one, with highs only in the 40’s to maybe near 50 in the warm spots. It will feel a hair warmer thanks to the lack of blustery winds, which took real-feel temperatures for a tumble on Tuesday afternoon.

Moderating temperatures are expected to continue on both Thursday and Friday, as highs will warm into the 50’s. The progressive nature of the pattern, despite continuing, seems to be becoming a bit more anomalous with time. And after the 60’s to near 70 this past weekend, an arctic plunge is forecast for the weekend ahead of us. Behind a cold front (which will move into the area on Saturday), the coldest air of the season thus far is forecast to move into the Northeast US. 850mb temperatures, for comparison, are near -3 degrees C today. By Sunday, forecast models show 850mb temperatures of -16 C or colder.

Surface temperature anomaly forecast for Sunday on the European model, showing well below normal temperatures.

Surface temperature anomaly forecast for Sunday on the European model, showing well below normal temperatures.

ISON brightens, nearing final countdown

Comet ISON brightened once again over the past 24-48 hours, now being observed at magnitude 3.5 by a few amateur astronomers. But the brighteness and outburst may or may not be attributed to fragmentation, according to some reputable sources. The debate stems from the comets “coma wings” which are visible on high resolution imagery. The features could simply be jets emitted from the nucleus, or they could be signs of immediate fragmentation, or fragmentation that has already occurred. Comet ISON will reach perihelion on November 28th, 2013, and depending on its survival and structure after its trip near the sun, may put on quite a show for us on earth. Stay tuned for further details as we approach the perihelion date.

Collection of images showing Comet ISON's "wings". Image courtesy Ignacio Ferrin.

Collection of images showing Comet ISON’s “wings”. Image courtesy Ignacio Ferrin.

News and Notes

Our winter forecast will be released tomorrow, Thursday November 21st. We will post the entire outlook to all members — registered, clients or public — during the morning hours. The Minotaur Rocket launched last night from Wallops Island, VA and was seen throughout the area. Several users sent in beautiful pictures of the launch, which featured two stages. Finally, our Long Range Discussion has been updated for the first time this autumn/winter season and is available to all members.