Transient warmup expected this weekend

After a frontal passage which brought the return of arctic air earlier this week, temperatures plummeted and winds picked up fairly dramatically leading to unpleasant conditions with much below normal temperatures. Highs in the 20’s and 30’s have been common for the past few days, with wind chill values below that and the air feeling more like it typically would in mid January as opposed to mid March. The warmup which we experienced this past weekend has become a distant memory of sorts.

This weekend, luckily, will feature another warmup however brief it may be. Temperatures on Friday will rebound underneath increasing temperatures aloft and plenty of sun. And while a potential winter storm looms early next week, the moderation will continue into Saturday as high temperatures will move into the 50’s. The changing sun angle will make it feel refreshingly warm — but the warmup will be short lived.

NAM model showing highs in the 50's on Saturday just behind a cold front. Notice the winds picking up out of the west, ushering in a colder airmass for late this weekend.

NAM model showing highs in the 50’s on Saturday just behind a cold front. Notice the winds picking up out of the west, ushering in a colder airmass for late this weekend.

With the warmup on Friday and Saturday will come a frontal passage, which may seem harmless as only a few passing showers are expected. The front, despite passing without any dramatic flare, will work to set up the potential winter storm for early next week. The boundary will shift through our area in response to a lobe of the Polar Vortex rotating over Southeast Canada. And as it does so, cold air will return to the Northeast US. The vortex to our north will elongate over Southeast Canada by Sunday.

The second half of the weekend is likely to be characterized by colder air (highs in the 30’s to lower 40’s on Sunday) and a changing wind direction. All eyes, by Sunday, will be turned to a potential “finale” storm of this remarkable winter, which may impact our area on Monday — or pass harmlessly to our south. More details on the potential winter storm are forthcoming this morning.

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