Mid-Atlantic snowstorm departs, temperatures moderate

Could this finally be the end? For the second storm in a row, dry air won out over much of Northern NJ, New York City and Southern New England causing any significant snowfall to be relegated to the Mid Atlantic states. A low pressure system developing off the coast from the Tennessee Valley brought bands of heavy snow as far north as Southern and Central NJ. 7-10″ of snow fell from Washington DC through parts of suburban Maryland into Southern NJ. and as the low pressure system exits off the coast on Monday, forecast models show very little threat for winter precipitation in the near future for the first time in months.

Despite the lack of winter storm threats, which appears to finally be coming to fruition after several straight weeks of snow potential in a row, the pattern is likely to remain cold with only brief spurts of warmth through the end of the month. The consistently elongating and morphing lobe of the Polar Vortex will remain in Eastern Canada, owing to a persistently anomalous Pacific pattern. But over time, models agree that the cold will become less starling and the chances for snow will decrease. For the first time, it looks like the proverbial light at the end of this year’s endless tunnel of winter is in clear view.

Regional radar imagery from 9:00am Monday March 17, 2014 showing snow moving southeast of NYC and out to sea. Image courtesy weather tap.

Regional radar imagery from 9:00am Monday March 17, 2014 showing snow moving southeast of NYC and out to sea. Image courtesy weather tap.

This week, still, will feature temperatures that are colder than normal to start (Monday and Tuesday) and a cold front at the tail end. Dry, arctic air which kept snow to the south of NYC on Monday will remain firmly entrenched in the region through at least Tuesday with low dew points. High temperatures will reach the 30s and 40s but at least initially, and especially on Monday, the air will continue to feel raw and chilly. Overnights will remain very chilly as well.

Early signs indicate that Thursday could be the winner of the week. After some showers on Wednesday, mid and low level temperatures are forecast to increase right ahead of a cold frontal boundary.  The combination of that warming air and plenty of sunshine by Thursday afternoon could bring temperatures well into the 50s throughout the area. But we will have to wait another day or so before we can confidently say how long the “comfortable” temperatures will last.

Clouds likely to ruin chance at once in a lifetime view: Last week we discussed at length how a small asteroid would pass in front of a bright star in our night sky, Regulus. The 2:07am event will only last several seconds and is an astronomical occurrence that most will never witness in their lifetimes. For us, the chance to view it may slip through our fingers. New York City is within an incredibly small area that will be able to view the brief star eclipse. But all forecast models agree that clouds will be widespread throughout the area late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, making the viewing of the event impossible. Stay tuned for updates on the cloud forecast!