Coastal storm departs, cold air persists

The storm system which brought significant winter weather to the Gulf Coast and Southeast States over the past two days still found a way to scrape our area with light snow from Tuesday Night into Wednesday, with most areas east of the city receiving 1-3″ of fresh powdery snow. Those in Southeast New Jersey, especially Cape May county, will argue that the storm more than “scraped” us — there were multiple reports of over 6″ of snow. But the impacts were especially relegated to the coast this time, as the system headed seaward and banding associated with it battled with dry air farther inland.

Throughout the remainder of today, clearing skies will take over the area’s weather from west to east (with Eastern LI hanging on to some clouds for the longest). Cold air will funnel back in behind the storm system, with blustery west winds becoming noticeable by afternoon. Tonight’s Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx will feature temperatures in the upper 20’s to teens, with blustery conditions. Bundle up for the game if you’re headed out!

Visible satellite imagery from the morning of Wednesday Jan 29 2014, showing the coastal system departing the area.

Visible satellite imagery from the morning of Wednesday Jan 29 2014, showing the coastal system departing the area.

Changing pattern will bring storm chances through next week:  As we mentioned in a long range discussion post several days ago, the pattern across the entire Continental United States is set to undergo another major change by the final week of January. Forecast models are beginning to pick up on the potential, and although it remains in the extended range for now, there are already several systems which raise eyebrows as potential impact events in our area.

Cold air will stick around through this weekend when a system will track just north of the area on Super Bowl Sunday (possibly providing some showers, but little wintry weather impacts). Temperatures will respond by briefly warming into the 40’s, but quickly dropping behind it. Things will get interesting thereafter, as Pacific energy drops into the Western United States. With plenty of cold air located just to our north, the disturbances over the Southwestern US that eject into the Central and Eastern United States could eventually become widespread precipitation producing systems — with coastal storm development possible if all is timed correctly.

GFS model forecast for early next week, showing a strong disturbance in Southwest US ejecting northeast towards the Central and Eastern US.

GFS model forecast for early next week, showing a strong disturbance in Southwest US ejecting northeast towards the Central and Eastern US.

But forecast models at this range are still up in arms regarding the threats. The agreement on the disturbances existing is fairly impressive — both the GFS and ECMWF ensembles have been consistent in the storms development from the Central to Eastern US during the early to middle part of next week. But exactly how the airmass to our north interacts with the storm will determine the eventual outcome of the system. A weaker or less confluent pattern to our north, and the storm could bring warm air with it on its approach. But a more confluent, colder pattern to our north could mean the storm will be forced over the Mid-Atlantic states and then off the coast — with significant wintry weather impacts in our area. We’re monitoring it carefully, so for the next few days just hang tight and stay warm!

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