Super Sunday warmup will be short lived

Given the nature and degree of the cold snaps so far this winter season, it seems like every warm up deserves a lot of attention. There have only been a few this year (most notably one in December and one in mid January) — and another is on the way this weekend. Conveniently timed during the Super Bowl festivities in New York City, a low pressure system will ride to the north of our area on Sunday providing a warm southerly fetch out ahead of it. The bulk of precipitation associated with the storm looks likely to stay north of our area as well, with just a few showers possible on Sunday.  There is also some potential for a period of steady rain early Sunday morning across Southern New Jersey.

Sunday will feature some of the warmest weather in weeks as high temperatures will rise through the 40’s and approach 50 during the day. A cold front will move towards the area Sunday Night — during the Super Bowl — and the wind shift will mark a change (or return) to a colder and more wintry airmass. Northwest winds will usher in much cooler air aloft and at the surface by Sunday Night, with the front moving just east of the area. But the story doesn’t end there. A developing disturbance over the Southern US will shift northeastward along this frontal boundary, potentially resulting in a winter weather event on Monday.

NAM model forecasting high temperatures well into the 40's on Sunday afternoon.

NAM model forecasting high temperatures well into the 40’s on Sunday afternoon.

Forecast models have been wildly inconsistent with their handling of the eventual development of a low pressure system along a frontal zone, which will stretch from the Mid Atlantic states to the New Jersey coast late Sunday into Monday. Most operational guidance as of Friday was far to the south, with the low pressure sliding harmlessly seaward. But in the last 24 hours or so, most models have suddenly trended northward — bringing notable precipitation to the area in the form of snow. New data from the ECMWF, Canadian and SREF models indicate the potential for upwards of 0.25″ liquid precipitation in the NYC Area on Monday, with more south and less north.

Confidence, however, remains extremely low. It appears at least likely that some snow will fall during the day on Monday, and this is especially true across Southern and Central New Jersey. Beginning early Monday morning, snow is expected to overspread the area from Southwest to Northeast and persist through the day before tapering off in the early evening hours. It is the northern extent, and intensity of the bands of heavier snow, which creates a very uncertain forecast at this time.

CMC (Canadian) model forecasting snow throughout the area on Monday, with the heaviest snow south of NYC.

CMC (Canadian) model forecasting snow throughout the area on Monday, with the heaviest snow south of NYC.

Currently, our confidence is highest in the potential for 2-4″ of snow on Monday from New York City southward, including much of Northeast New Jersey, Central and Southern New Jersey. Areas north of New York City are currently less likely to receive these snowfall totals. But forecast models are still in disagreement on where the northern-side cutoff of steady precipitation will be positioned. As you can imagine, this creates a lot of problems for forecasters — and so we will be spending the next several hours gathering, analyzing and interpreting new model data.

Stay tuned throughout the day today for further updates including a snowfall total forecast map this evening. At this time, highest confidence in impactful snow on Monday is from New York City southward including Trenton, Philadelphia and much of Central and Southern New Jersey.