Warmup continues ahead of cold front

Temperatures in the 70’s, plenty of sun, and a light breeze were the main characteristics of the weather throughout much of the area on Saturday, during a day which likely will be remembered as one of the more pleasant in recent memory. Much of the same is expected on Sunday — in fact it will be a few degrees warmer — as high pressure moves east of the area and the airmass modifies further. Southerly winds will continue to pump in warmer air both aloft and at the surface, so much of the area away from the coast will warm up into the upper 70’s if not 80’s.

The only exception will come near the area coasts, where cool marine air will rear its ugly ahead once again. A slightly southeasterly component to the wind will introduce an influx of colder air off of the ocean waters, which remain in the 40’s. Forecast models with higher resolution are picking up on temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s along the south shore of Long Island and New Jersey coast. While this may be somewhat aggressive given the initial diurnal heating likely this morning, temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s should be more common near the coast with the possibility of low clouds rolling in off the water and blustery southeast winds.

HRRR model showing high temperatures in the 80's on Sunday, but temperatures only in the 40's and 50's near the shore.

HRRR model showing high temperatures in the 80’s on Sunday, but temperatures only in the 40’s and 50’s near the shore.

Travel a few miles inland, however, and Sunday will likely feel more like summer than anything. Temperatures may reach into the lower 80’s by Sunday afternoon with 850mb temperatures exceeding 10 C. The southerly winds, there, are not drawing in any marine air — and so the warmup can continue even during the afternoon. The trend will continue on Monday, and while clouds will start to roll in from decaying convective systems to our west, there will continue to be partly sunny conditions and warmth away from the coast both on Monday and Tuesday.

Following the next few days of warmth, a significant cold front approaches by late Tuesady into Wednesday to crash the party. A significant temperature gradient aloft and at the surface, owing to a strong mid and upper level system, will bring a period of heavy rain through the area late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Blustery northwest winds will usher out the warm airmass and bring in another airmass from a cold air source in Canada — with high temperatures dropping 20 to 30 degrees by Wednesday morning.

Lunar Eclipse Monday night may fight clouds

Weather permitting, a wonderful total lunar eclipse is on the way on April 14th — the first of two lunar eclipses which will be visible from North America this year. The eclipse will officially begin shortly after 12:30am on the night of April 14th (so the morning of April 15th) and will progress through the overnight hours. Totality (the moon will be fully eclipsed, and glowing red due to sunlight being bend around our atmosphere) will occur at 3:06am on the morning of April 15th.

NASA graphic showing where the eclipse will be visible on April 14-15.

NASA graphic showing where the eclipse will be visible on April 14-15.

But forecast models indicate a higher than normal likelihood of clouds. With the approaching cold front still off to our west, the main concern will be clouds moving eastward from decaying thunderstorm complexes over the Central United States. We’ll have to carefully monitor if there will be any breaks in the clouds, or chances to view the moon. The red full moon should be quite a sight.