The return of high latitude blocking (or above normal height anomalies over the higher latitudes from Greenland into Canada and the North Atlantic) has slowed the progress of spring, or at least the warmth which typically comes with it over much of the Northeast United States. While much of the Western, Southern and Central United States have already experienced widespread warmth with several days over 80 degrees, persistent troughiness and meandering upper level lows have meant cooler than normal temperatures and frequent cold fronts in the Northeast. A change is in order during this week, but will occur over the span of a few days as a warm front slowly pushes northward.
Initial conditions on Monday will be pleasant, but again dry and breezy. The National Weather Service warns of enhanced fire danger once again. The low humidity values and stiff breeze will allow for rapid spread of any fire after ignition. As recently as last week, Red Flag Warnings were issued throughout the area and several brush fires spread rapidly in parts of New Jersey. Other than the fire danger, Monday looks quite pleasant with high temperatures well into the 60’s and plenty of sun — with no chance of showers or thunderstorms during the afternoon as was the case this weekend.
The pattern begins to undergo a transition by Tuesday and Wednesday, as mid level ridging builds to our south and west and battles with the aforementioned troughiness to our north and northeast. Forecast models, as a result, are pinning a warm frontal passage from Wednesday Night through Thursday morning. An increase in clouds and a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm is possible. But the northward progression of the warm front will be essential to our forecast. Although highs are expected to reach into the 60’s on both Tuesday and Wednesday, mid level temperatures will rise dramatically on Thursday if the front does indeed push north of our area.
If and when this occurs (models are still up in the air as to how far north the front will push…huge implications on our forecast) high temperatures will respond. Forecast models which move the warm front northward show mid level temperatures exceeding 12-13 C by Thursday afternoon with high temperatures approaching 80 degrees away from the coast, but still reaching 70 near the shore. Should the warm front struggle to push northward and meander near our area (a possibility given the troughiness to the north), temperatures will certainly end up a bit cooler with some residual clouds and showers hanging around.
With a frontal system approaching our area by the middle to tail end of the upcoming weekend, unsettled weather looks likely to return to the forecast despite a continued warming trend. So we will be rooting hard for the warm front to push northward this week — ensuring us at least a few warm spring days on Thursday and Friday.