Light snow today, near zero temperatures Thursday

For the winter lovers out there, the only thing currently missing on the checklist is a solid snow pack. Light snow will fall during the remainder of the morning and afternoon on Tuesday, bringing light accumulations to the majority of the area. As a clipper system shifts eastward, the snow will eventually wrap up from west to east Tuesday afternoon and evening — but not before snow squalls move through the area as well. This will leave a bittery cold and somewhat snowy scene throughout the area. Temperatures Tuesday evening will fall into the teens — and highs on Tuesday afternoon will only be in the lower 20’s.

While accumulations are expected to be light, roads may still become slick and slippery. The snow will accumulate fairly easily. We anticipate some travel delays due to this, so leave some extra time if you’re going to be commuting this morning or even this afternoon and evening. The main story, after the snow wraps up, will become the bitter cold which will surge into the area during the middle part of this week.

Anomalously low mid and upper level heights will surge southward from Canada into parts of the Northeast United States and New England during the middle part of this week. Accompanying these lower heights will be extremely cold mid and low level temperatures. 850mb temperatures, for example, will fall below -25 C from Philadelphia northward, with values as low as -35 F in New England. This is quite uncommon for this part of the country — yes, even during this time of the year.

NAM model showing low temperatures near zero in many areas on Thursday morning.

NAM model showing low temperatures near zero in many areas on Thursday morning.

Surface temperatures, as a result, will be extremely cold. The climax of the cold looks to come on Thursday morning, in the wee hours of the morning in fact, when radiational cooling from Wednesday night and mid level temperatures below – 25 C can take their full effect. Lows will fall into the single digits to near zero in many locations, with widespread below zero readings possible in the interior of New Jersey, Southeast New York and New England.

Wind chill values will fall even lower, likely bottoming out below – 10 F in many areas and possibly lower than -15 F in areas across the interior. These values will be alarmingly low in New England, where wind chill values could fall as low as 30 degrees below zero. This type of cold, while short lived, will certainly be memorable. Low temperature records will be hard to beat especially in the NYC Area where they range from 0 to 5 degrees for Thursday.