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Another Round of Records May Fall, Any Chance of Warmer Weather Soon?

Good Afternoon! 

We hope everyone out there has been bundled-up over the past couple of days as we continue to endure a record-breaking temperatures across much of the Northeast. Today was a little warmer than yesterday, but warmer in this sense is still relative. Temperatures were stuck in the upper teens to middle twenties across the entire New York Metro area, with some middle to lower teens further north and west of the city. The same stout northwesterly flow in the mid levels of the atmosphere are still prevalent across the entire northern tier of the country, which continues to pump dry, Continental polar air into the country. Mainly dry conditions can be expected for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening hours before a weak shortwave trough begins to move into the Ohio Valley later tonight. This system looks to be too weak and too far west to really bring any precipitation into the region, but we should see an increase in mid to upper level clouds during the overnight hours. These clouds will work to dampen the maximum amount of radiational cooling we can achieve, but lows tonight will still be downright frigid once again. Middle to lower teens are expected tonight for the immediate NYC area, with single digits likely just to the north and west.

This afternoon high resolution visible satellite imagery, regional radar mosaic, and surface observations showing yet another bitterly cold day across the entire Northeast.

This afternoon high resolution visible satellite imagery, regional radar mosaic, and surface observations showing yet another bitterly cold day across the entire Northeast.

Light Snow Possibly Saturday

The weak shortwave trough that we mentioned earlier will continue to move east overnight and into the early morning hours on Saturday, likely bringing some very light snow to portions of the Mid Atlantic states. This system will be seriously moisture-starved, but any snow that falls will be high-ratio snow. This means that even if you see around .1″ of liquid, you could still manage to see about 1.5″ of fluffy snow. Scattered light snow should begin to overspread portions of eastern PA and NJ by the early morning hours tomorrow, with more concentrated bands possible over MD/DE. Light snow should then move over the rest of the area by the late morning and afternoon hours as a secondary low begins to develop just off of the Mid Atlantic coast. Once this secondary low begins to mature, snow should be ending over much of NJ and points west, with trace to maybe an inch of snow possible. Our secondary low should have more of an impact further east over portions of Long Islands and Connecticut where it should act to rejuvenate snow over those areas and possibly add a boost to the intensity. Slightly higher accumulations may be possible in these areas, with 2-4″ possible before the low quickly races off to the east and precip shuts down by 8-10pm. Note: Due to the extensive dry air ahead of this system, we could see prolonged periods of virga over the area leading to the possibility of little to no snow at all in some places. 

The rest of the night looks to be very cold, with scattered snow showers possible over much of the Northeast as another shot of Polar air moves into the region overnight. Lows will drop down into the middle to lower teens around the city, with single-digits likely to the north and west.

This afternoons RPM model showing a light area of snow overspreading the region on Saturday morning

This afternoons RPM model showing a light area of snow overspreading the region on Saturday morning

Sunday will compete to be the coldest day of the year on the last day of the year as Polar high pressure builds into the Northeast during the morning hours. Highs during the day will be bitterly cold, with readings likely in the middle teens to right around 20. Strong northwesterly flow should keep enough dry air in the column to keep any clouds at a minimum. Dry and cold weather can be expected to last into the evening hours, just in time for New Years Eve. This should be one of the colder New Years Eve’s in recent memory, with the potential for quite a few records to fall across the Northeast. NYC may come very close to breaking a record low minimum temperature of around 9F.  Readings across the entire area will be exceedingly cold, around the low teens to single digits area, with wind chills a good 5-10 degrees colder. We would seriously advise against being out for a prolonged period of time in this kind of cold, but if you are planning on it, make sure to wear multiple layers of clothing and cover up any exposed skin. Bare skin will be very susceptible to frost-bite during the evening hours!

National Weather Service forecasted lows on New Years Eve, with the circles representing possible records being tied or broken!

National Weather Service forecasted lows on New Years Eve, with the circles representing possible records being tied or broken!

New Years Day & Beyond! 

We look to start off 2018 with another frigid and potential record-breaking day as very strong northerly flow dumps the remaining Polar air right into the Northeast. Most locations near the City will likely not be able to reach the 20’s, with middle to upper teens likely as highs during the day. Locations even further to the north and west will also struggle to see highs come out of the single-digits, making Monday an excellent day to just stay inside and enjoy a nice warm beverage!

Will things improve and warm up later next week? The short answer is absolutely not. We could see temperatures briefly come back into the upper 20’s, but most of the Northeast may be stuck below-freezing for at least the next 10 days or so! To further complicate things, a coastal storm may past to the east of the region on Wednesday, which would bring down another extremely cold airmass from deep in Canada. At this time, this system appears to have a low chance of impacting the East, but we will be monitoring this system very closely since some of yesterdays guidance did show the potential for a rather high-impact storm if all the pieces come together at just the right time and place (thread the needle type of system)

This afternoons ECMWF model showing a reload of the cold weather with a shot of true Arctic air next week.

This afternoons ECMWF model showing a reload of the cold weather with a shot of true Arctic air next week.

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you in 2018!

Steve Copertino

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Cold air sticks around, light snow likely on Saturday

Bitter cold has settled into the Northeast states over the past several days, and is here to stay for the next 7 days at least. Arctic air will continue to funnel into the Northern 1/3 of the United States, thanks mostly to a large ridge in the Pacific Ocean and enhanced blocking in the high latitudes near the Arctic areas. This blocking (or these “blocking ridges”) in the higher latitudes act to disrupt arctic circulations from their typical state and, often times, send cold air southward into the USA. So here we are.

The flow of arctic air will continue through the weekend, and a weak disturbance will swing through the Northeast states during this time as well. Forecast models had jumped around quite a bit with the potential evolution of this event, including the almighty European model, which at one time persistently suggested the storm would be something of greater significance. It will be wrong – as the storm system will remain very progressive and swing through the Northeast states without much fanfare.

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Frigid Conditions Last Into the New Year, Watching This Weekend

Good evening! 

 

Today was a bitterly cold day across much of the Northeast as a high pressure system with Polar origins continues to march its way south and east and over the region. The extremely dry mid to upper levels of the atmosphere only allowed for a modest amount of mid to level clouds that raced from northwest to southeast during the mid to late afternoon hours. Temperatures this afternoon were able to recover a bit from the low 20’s and middle to upper teens that we saw this morning, but only just a bit as the mid level airmass associated with this Polar high pressure system remains a good 10-20 degrees below normal for late December. Readings from the area were mostly stuck in the lower to middle 20’s, with locations farther north and west staying way down in the middle to upper teens! Conditions this evening will continue to support a good amount of radiational cooling with very low dewpoints, clearing skies, and light winds over the entire Mid Atlantic and Northeast. This should allow for temperatures to drop into the single-digits tonight, with lows around 5-10 likely for the immediate NYC area, and -5-0 degrees possible further north and west. There is the potential for these low temperatures to break some records this evening across the area, with JFK airport coming in at around 12 for the record low on this date.

Northwest winds will begin to pick up tonight to the north and west, and this will cause windchills to drop into the -15F territory later in the evening, prompting a wind chill advisory for counties in southern New York and Connecticut. Travel outside may become hazardous for those not wearing the appropriate clothing, so please bundle up if you’re heading out this evening!

This evenings RTMA showing surface temperatures across the region in the teens and 20's across much of the Northeast this evening

This evenings RTMA showing surface temperatures across the region in the teens and 20’s across much of the Northeast this evening

Record Cold Possible Thursday and Friday 

Tomorrow morning will likely start off extremely cold and clear, with temperatures likely staying the in single-digits for the majority of the morning commute. Polar high pressure will continue to make its way east throughout the day tomorrow, with dry and clear conditions likely as dry air and subsidence continue to pump in behind a stout northwesterly flow. Despite being a rather sunny day, tomorrow will have the potential to be a record cold day across portions of the NYC metro area and Northeast. Highs tomorrow may struggle to make it out of the upper teens tomorrow afternoon across locations just outside of the city, with low 20’s likely in and around the city. Wind chills will also be bitterly cold, with readings likely coming in at or around zero through the afternoon. The hi-res NAM model appears to be the most aggressive at this time, with highs staying in the teens until you get into southern New Jersey and Maryland, which would shatter many records if its indeed correct. Regardless, expect frigid and dry conditions for the remainder of the day tomorrow with winds gradually dying down towards the evening. This will allow for another healthy round of radiational cooling tomorrow night and should bring lows very close to breaking record low temperatures across the area once again for the second night in a row. Expect lows to drop down into the single-digits near the city with lows below-zero possible farther north and west.

Much of the same is likely on Friday the northwesterly flow continues over the area with single-digit readings to start off the day. A shortwave trough will be dropping down from Canada during the morning hours on Friday, but with a progressive flow and no available moisture to work with, this system will likely only be able to produce some middle to upper level clouds during the afternoon hours. Temperatures will once again be close to breaking records, with highs only in the lower 20’s and teens across the metro area. Winds will be a little more tame during the course of the day, but expect wind chills to likely make conditions feel a good 5-10 degrees colder than they actually are. More dry and frigid conditions are expected on Friday evening, with lows likely staying in the lower teens and single digits across much of the area.

NWS forecasted highs for Thursday afternoon showing the potential for multiple records across the Northeast to fall tomorrow

NWS forecasted highs for Thursday afternoon showing the potential for multiple records across the Northeast to fall tomorrow

New Years Weekend 

Over the past week or so we have been watching a system that looked to have the potential to produce a appreciable amount of snow across the Northeast this weekend. This threat has certainly waned over the past few days as the models have simultaneously increased the amount of confluence over the Northeast, weakened the Pacific energy for this system, and flattened the SE ridge out ahead of this system. This has worked to ensure that a more flat scenario is likely, with any kind of surface cyclone development occurring well-offshore of the Mid-Atlantic coast. Right now there remains some disagreement as to whether or not the shortwave will have any potential moisture left with it during the day on Saturday when it moves through the Ohio Valley and Northeast. The European model has been hinting at this system maintaining just enough moisture this weekend to drop some very fluffy snow across the Mid Atlantic and Northeast, before moving quickly offshore. Other models are less enthusiastic about this scenario and keep Saturday dry and very cold, with highs in the teens and 20’s once again. While we have seen these smaller events trend back to a more impactful solution in the short-range over the past few weeks, we do have a severe lack of moisture to work with here and this will severely limit any potential snow event.

As we ring in the new year next week, some of the medium range guidance has been hinting at another potential coastal storm to evolve by Wednesday or so. Around that time the models are showing a ridge redeveloping over the west coast in response to an upper level low over the Eastern Pacific. Right around this time, a strong piece of Pacific energy is being modeled to ride up and over this ridge, which allows it to dig into the Plains states and possibly deepen once it reaches the east coast. This solution is around a week away at this point in time, but the overall upper air pattern around this time may support a coastal low forming off of the southeast coast, but whether or not this low heads east and out to sea, or comes up the coast is too far out to resolve. Just know that we will have to monitor the potential for this solution over the next few days and will have multiple updates over the next few days!

This afternoons ECMWF model showing a ridge extending deep into Canada, allowing a Pacific piece of energy to dig far enough south to potentially produce a storm along the coast.

This afternoons ECMWF model showing a ridge extending deep into Canada, allowing a Pacific piece of energy to dig far enough south to potentially produce a storm along the coast.

 

Have a great night!

 

Steve Copertino

2mtemprtma2100

Video Discussion: Bitter Cold and a Couple of Snow Chances

Good evening! The stretch of bitter cold is here and it’s just beginning, with the biggest cold still yet to come. We are going to see multiple areas of large, Arctic high pressure sprawling across the entire US with a bitterly cold air source. These areas of cold and high pressure will be reinforced by departing storm systems, and the shot of cold air on New Year’s Eve will be more impressive than the one we have now.

Our latest video breaks down why these Arctic high pressures are so impressive and why this is leading to such extreme cold, and the potential low temperatures that may be realized during this cold stretch. It also discusses the potential for light, fluffy snow from an Arctic wave on Saturday, and the potential for a bigger storm in the January 3-5 period.

The first half of the video is about the storm(s) and the pattern evolution, while the second half of the video is about the cold.

Have a great night!