Public Analysis: Beautiful and Warm Easter Weekend, More Variations Next Week

Good afternoon and Happy Friday!

The end of the work week will come to a very nice close today as high pressure dropping down from Canada is now in control of our weather for at least the next two days. With mostly sunny skies. low humidity, and light winds, this afternoon has been rather pleasant with highs reaching into the upper 50’s and low 60’s across the entire region as of 2pm. Even though it feels much cooler than the previous 80 degree days we’ve had earlier this week, these temperatures are still 5-10 degrees above normal for this time of year.

Some mid-high level clouds were noted on the latest visible satellite imagery this afternoon, streaming from the northwest, to southeast. This is mainly due to the cooler mid-level air from Canada interacting with the ever-so-slightly warmer air in the lower levels of the atmosphere that is situated over northeast Pennsylvania and portions of New Jersey. As the afternoon continues on, these clouds should begin to diminish and mostly sunny skies should continue until sunset across the area. There is a chance that some localized cloud cover may become established later today as a sea breeze begins to set up over coastal sections of New Jersey and Long Island. This may also in turn work to cool temperatures a little, possibly working them back into the mid 50’s.

With the aforementioned high pressure directly overhead this evening, winds will be calm, humidity will be low, and the skies should be relatively cloud-free. This will set the stage for what is known as radiational cooling to take place. Due to the absence of clouds to block outgoing heat from the Sun, any heat absorbed by the surface will easily be able to radiate back into the upper atmosphere and space. This will allow temperatures this evening to drop quite a bit this evening. The immediate New York metro area should be able to hold onto lows around the mid to upper 40’s this evening, but inland locations may see lows drop down into the low 40’s to even mid-upper 30’s in far northern NJ and portions of Upstate New York.

Latest visible satellite imagery, regional radar composite, and surface temperatures this afternoon showing a relatively cool, but pleasant end to the work week (Courtesy of GREarth)

Latest visible satellite imagery, regional radar composite, and surface temperatures this afternoon showing a relatively cool, but pleasant end to the work week (Courtesy of GREarth)

Saturday and Easter Sunday 

As we move into the morning on Saturday, the area of high pressure currently situated over our area will begin to feel the effects of an incoming area of low pressure and will begin to slowly move off the Mid-Atlantic coast. As this high moves off the coast, winds will begin to change from light and variable to light southwesterly/southerly winds during the early afternoon hours. These southerly winds will introduce more moisture into the lower levels of the atmosphere that will likely be accompanied by some cloudier weather tomorrow afternoon, especially as a mid-level warm front begins to push through the area.

As this warm front moves through during the late afternoon, there is a very slight chance at some showers across the area, but at this time any widespread activity centred over this NYC metro area seems unlikely. Regardless of clouds, the deep southerly flow will allow for temperatures to reach into the low to middle 60’s across the entire area, except for south-facing shorelines, which may experience more marine influence which would work to keep temperatures in the 50’s tomorrow.  Any areas of showers that may be moving through the area should be gone by tomorrow evening as the best forcing associated with the warm front lifts to the north and east.

Again, the best chance for any rain of substance should be limited to central and northern sections or New York state as well as a more isolated chance of showers over Pennsylvania. Deeper southerly flow tomorrow night should keep temperatures relatively mild, with lows staying in the 50’s for the entire region as the high pressure system continues to pump more warm air into the mid levels of the atmosphere, which should help insulate our temperatures.

Sunday should be a much more “pleasant” day, as broken clouds in the morning hours give way to mostly sunny skies by early afternoon. With full sunshine, southerly winds, and warm low-mid levels of the atmosphere all present on Sunday, Easter is shaping up to be another much-above normal day with regards to high temperatures. As we progress throughout the afternoon, temperatures should easily climb into the upper 70’s across the entire area, with areas of low to mid 80’s possible over sections of southeast PA, NJ, southern NY, and Connecticut. Once again, these southerly winds may introduce a sea breeze feature for south-facing shores, so high may be limited to the 70’s for those locations. Regardless, temperatures should be anywhere from 20-32 degrees above normal during the day Sunday, so it will actually feel more like Summer than Spring! 

The very warm temperatures and light winds may make for some very unfavorable conditions for those who suffer from allergies, so make sure to take your necessary precautions in order to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

This afternoons 3km NAM showing temperatures in the upper 70's to mid 80's across the entire area for Easter Sunday

This afternoons 3km NAM showing temperatures in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s across the entire area for Easter Sunday

A cold front associated with an area of low pressure centered over southern portions of Canada and far northern New England will begin to work its way through the area late Sunday evening, bringing another chance of some isolated or scattered showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms could still contain heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the north and west, but today’s model guidance has been suggesting this activity should be centered away from our region and will likely wait until after dark to pass through the NYC metro area-if at all.

Monday and Beyond

As we head back into the work week, Monday should be rather calm and dry behind the cold front, with winds out of the northwest from Canada. As we get later into the Spring, these cold fronts begin to lose their potential to really drag in colder air masses from Canada, and it looks like this will be the case with this next front as temperatures should be able to rise into the upper 60’s to low 70’s on Monday across the entire area, which should once again be above normal for this time of year.

On Tuesday, some cooler air may sink down from Canada ahead of a system passing through the Great Lakes, and this should be the beginning of a more unsettled period of weather for our area again as more storm systems should begin to take shape out over the Central US later in the week. This upcoming pattern may be quite similar to the pattern we saw during late March  and earlier this month with backdoor cold fronts as well as numerous chances for precipitation.  Temperatures will once again be highly dependant on how these frontal systems shape up, so make sure to check back next week for further updates on this potentially more active period!

12z GFS model showing a potentially stormier pattern setting up for later in the week next week (image credit Tomer Burg)

12z GFS model showing a potentially stormier pattern setting up for later in the week next week (Image credit Tomer Burg)

With the Holiday Weekend just around the corner and the threat for some showers and thunderstorms on Easter, make sure to check back for further updates!

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Have a weekend!

Steve Copertino