Clouds, rain preclude late week warmup

A relentless winter pattern will come to a brief respite during the latter half of the work week and into the weekend, news which many have longed to hear. However brief the warmup may be, it will come with impeccable timing as calendar spring officially begins on Thursday March 21st. Nevertheless, it will come with a price as the second half of Wednesday will feature thickening clouds and a high likelihood of showers and periods of steady rain. A weak low pressure system developing nearby will help provide sufficent lift for a period of steady rain, developing from southwest to northeast later on Wednesday afternoon.

With the passage of a weak front and the aforementioned low pressure system by Thursday morning, will come a modifying airmass and (finally) a lack of new cold or arctic air. High temperatures, as a result, will reach into the 50’s on Thursday and Friday. Mid level ridging developing overhead late Friday night into Saturday will help to raise mid level temperatures additionally, so high temperatures are expected to approach 60 degrees early Saturday afternoon.

Simulated radar imagery for mid-evening on Wednesday showing widespread rain in the area.

Simulated radar imagery for mid-evening on Wednesday showing widespread rain in the area.

The warmth will be short lived, however — so enjoy it while it lasts. The frontal boundary which passes later on Saturday will be the beginning of a new intrusion of arctic air. Medium range forecast models are in good agreement that northwesterly winds will begin again by Sunday and high temperatures will fall back well below normal by early next week. Multiple disturbances moving along in a progressive flow could provide chances for precipitation during the middle of next week with forecast models indicating the potential for a coastal storm (precipitation type still to be determined).

Rare astronomical event foiled by clouds: As we wrote late last week, a rare astronomical event is occurring tonight — and New York City is lucky enough to be in a small sliver of earth which can view it. An asteroid will pass directly in front of our view of Regulus, a bright star in our night sky. The transit, which occurs at 2:06am, will eclipse the star and make it appear to go “Dark” for 10-15 seconds. Maybe not the most exciting astronomical event, but so rare that scientists suggest the likelihood of anyone being able to view it during their lifetime is very low.

For us, it will be tale of “what might have been”, as the low pressure system we discussed earlier in our article will play spoiler. Thick clouds and rain are highly likely to block any potential viewing of the event. If you want to view the transit, you’ll have to travel on a northwest trajectory (if you go even 50 miles west, you won’t see it). You’ll have to try Utica or Kingston if you want to view it — and those are both at risk for clouds too.

Viewing area for the transit of Regulus. Expected to be blocked out by clouds tonight at 2:06am.