As many of us look for outdoor activities during Memorial Day Weekend, the weather forecast becomes a bit more important. Fortunately, for the most part, this weekend looks great.
We do have to get through a chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon first, however. Similar to yesterday, there is still plenty of instability in the atmosphere, some moisture at the surface, but drying in the mid-levels of the atmosphere. There is also very little in the way of wind shear, which although can prevent storms from becoming too strong, it also makes them slow to move, and trains them over the same areas. Thus, the threat later this afternoon is for pulsing thunderstorms with the potential for flash flooding and small hail, but not much in the way of strong winds.
Most models target the NE NJ area, NYC, and SW CT, though other areas are at risk, too. Fortunately, not all of us will get these storms, but it might be a good idea to have umbrellas, just in-case. This afternoon should be a similar, but slightly lesser version of yesterday afternoon.
Moving forward to the rest of the weekend is when the weather looks great. The upper-level troughing will finally move out, and bring in ridging and a deep westerly flow. Deep westerly flow in the presence of a ridge is often some of our warmest setups, as winds flowing from an already warm source are able to downslope as they head towards our area, leading to further warming. Plus, westerly winds can somewhat mitigate sea-breezes.
Sunday should generally expect sunny conditions with highs around 80 or in the low 80s, with light westerly winds. There is the slight risk of an afternoon shower, but nothing like what we saw yesterday.
Memorial Day should have wall-to-wall sunshine with temperatures in the mid and perhaps even upper 80s in some locations, with westerly winds as well.
Tuesday has the potential to be the warmest of all three days, but there may be a backdoor front approaching. We will most likely remain on the warm side of the front, but an increase in clouds could keep things a tad cooler. Regardless, Tuesday could still hit 80 degrees, and if the clouds hold off, mid to upper 80s are possible once again. The chance of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm exists as the front approaches. This will cool things off a tad once we hit Wednesday.
Along the shore, there will be a bit of a sea breeze developing due to daytime heating, but the westerly winds will act to fight it off somewhat. Thus, temperatures may be a few degrees cooler at times, but generally it will not feel much cooler than inland areas.
EF3 Tornado Confirmed in Duanesburg, NY on Thursday: This town is located about 10 miles northwest of Albany, NY, and a damage survey taken by the National Weather Service indicated EF3 damage, as a house was nearly completely destroyed. More information from the survey can be found here.
In case you are wondering how rare of an event this is, we took a look at data from the National Climatic Data Center, and it showed that in the 20-year period from 1991-2010, there is an annual average of 0.2 EF3 – EF5 tornadoes in New York. This means that a tornado of this strength occurred about once every five years in that period. In other words, although Thursday’s event was certainly an anomalous weather event, and quite impressive to say the least, it has fit the bill of climatology in the past twenty five years.