Rainy, unsettled weekend expected

Although the pattern we have settled into may not necessarily be a “cold” one, it certainly is active. And after a Nor’Easter not much more than a week ago, we’ll deal with another low pressure system this weekend after making our way through a few weaker ones over the past 7 days as well. The low pressure system over the next few days will feature warmer air, southeasterly winds with marine influence, and plenty of rain — all of which will come on Friday and Saturday, much to the despair of those who were ready to head out on the town at the end of this work week. Not that some rain should stop you, really.

Initially, warmer air and partly cloudy skies will rule the day on Thursday. That general theme may even remain in control on Friday morning. But during the mid morning hours, winds will flip to southeasterly drawing in more moist ocean air. Low clouds will increase, winds will become a bit more blustery, and drizzle will work its way into the area. This damp, drizzly and showery weather will continue on and off during the day on Friday. Temperatures, meanwhile, will rise into the upper 40’s throughout the area. Steadier precipitation will likely begin to approach the area later in the afternoon on Friday.

The culprit? A mid level disturbance and a developing low pressure system over the Mid-Atlantic states. Increased forcing for steady precipitation will shift through the area from later Friday afternoon and evening into the morning hours on Saturday. Steady rain is expected during that time, with rising temperatures and south/southeasterly winds. After that initial front and disturbance passes on Saturday morning, our area will actually be warm sectored for a period of time. What does this mean, exactly? Well, without getting too detailed it means that the initial disturbance and warm front will have passed our area to the northeast, with the cold front still back to our west or southwest. This is known as a “warm sector” with southerly winds and warmer temperatures.


NAM model showing our area in the warm sector on Saturday afternoon.

NAM model showing our area in the warm sector on Saturday afternoon.

Highs on Saturday may actually reach into the 60’s in parts of New Jersey. Forecast models show clouds lifting for a period of time as a pocket of mid level dry air moves overhead within the warm sector. But it will be short lived, no doubt. Support for precipitation returns by Saturday afternoon — and showers, some heavy, will stream back into the area from southwest to northeast. A cold front will eventually approach the area by Saturday Night.

If you want to talk about a “winner” of the weekend, you’ll have to look at Sunday. With a cold front passing through the area on Saturday Night into Sunday morning, temperatures will fall both in the mid levels at the surface. So high temperatures on Sunday afternoon may only approach the lower 40’s. Northerly winds will be blustery for most of the day. Still, no steady or heavy precipitation is expected during the day — in fact, it will be quite sunny — so Sunday certainly looks like the best of the bunch.

After this disturbance passes to our east, forecast models are beginning to key in on further disturbances over the Plains and Mississippi Valleys which may shift toward the East Coast. There is a chance that these disturbances could interact or phase offshore, forcing the development of a coastal storm. At this time, though, that seems like an unlikely occurrence. We’ll keep our eyes peeled.