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Public Analysis: Beautiful Presidents Day Weekend, Unsettled Next Week

After very blustery conditions with harsh windchills the past few days, we’re on tap for a beautiful Presidents Day weekend with clear and dry conditions expected over the entire region

Despite temperatures in the upper 30’s to low 40’s across most of the area this afternoon, the winds that have been present over the past two days due to the large area of low pressure was located to our east has finally moved on. This has allowed the winds to calm significantly and eliminated any real windchills from the area, making for seasonable conditions. This afternoons visible satellite imagery shows very little in the way of any cloud cover as a weak area of high pressure centered near Buffalo, New York remains in control throughout the rest of the day. This  should provide a very nice close to the work week with only high clouds possible towards sunset. Later this afternoon and this evening, a warm front located to our south will begin to move to the north and overspread the area by tomorrow morning. This front should initially usher in some mid-level clouds tomorrow morning, but these should be short-lived as tomorrow afternoon should be an excellent day for outdoor activities as the clouds burn off and the entire area sees temperatures climb well into the 50’s for the NYC metro and NE NJ, while locations closer to the coast remain limited to the upper 40’s and low 50’s. It is also quite likely that given the amount of warm air advecting into the region on Saturday, that portions of Central and Southern New Jersey reach temperatures at or above 60 degrees! This airmass is quite unseasonable for this time of year and most of the area will be running 10-18 degrees above normal on Saturday.

Visible satellite imagery of the Northeast showing relatively calm conditions and little in the way of cloud cover (Courtesy of Simuawips.com)

Visible satellite imagery of the Northeast showing relatively calm conditions and little in the way of cloud cover (Courtesy of Simuawips.com)

Some high clouds are possible Saturday evening as yet another series of weak mid-level disturbances pass to our north as well the south, but Sunday is shaping up to be very similar to Saturday with yet another beautiful day in store. Temperatures in the immediate New York metro area should be able to reach well into the 50’s, with southern locations once again seeing temperatures 10-20 degrees above normal as they climb into the low 60’s by late afternoon on Sunday. As we progress later into the day Sunday, a backdoor cold front will swing through the northern sections of our area and begin to usher in a more seasonable airmass as winds begin to shift from the south, to a more west/northwest. As this front continues on, we can expect a cooler day for Presidents Day Monday with a sharp temperature gradient from north to south across the area, with southern locations remaining in the low 50’s and 40’s for the northern locations. Overall, Presidents Day should be cooler than this weekend, but should remain dry and with very little cloud cover as a high pressure system from southern Canada begins to build south over the area providing continued calm/dry conditions once again.

Afternoon European model showing temperatures on Sunday reaching 18-25 degrees above normal for the entire area (Valid 1pm Sunday)

Afternoon European model showing temperatures on Sunday reaching 18-25 degrees above normal for the entire area (Valid 1pm Sunday)

As we continue on into the work week next week, mid level ridging will increase once more so a return to above-normal temperatures is likely over the entire Northeast. As a series of mid to upper level disturbances work their way east from the very active Pacific jetstream, we can expected our first shot of rain on Wednesday with a more significant signal for precipitation showing up just in time for next weekend as a stronger system works it’s way into the central part of the country. While we’re currently in a period of unseasonable warmth, the potential does exist for a return to colder temperatures and a more active weather pattern later this month and into the first few weeks of March. Make sure to stay tuned for any and all updates over the next few days! For more information and posts like this one, make sure you sign up for Zone Forecasts — where multiple detailed articles, videos, and interactives are posted each day.

Have a great Friday and an excellent Presidents Day Weekend!

 

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Public Analysis: Cold Front Passage, Big Warmup This Weekend

The general theme of the winter of 2016-2017 continues this week.

Due to a lack of blocking that would normally work to slow individual pieces of energy within the jetstream down, we have once again missed out on a sizeable storm for the Northeast. As you can see down below, we have two separate pieces of energy that were quite literally just 12-18 hours away from being able to interact with one another and produce a snowstorm for the Northeast US. The computer models were in excellent agreement over the past five days that instead, these two pieces would not be able to interact in time due to the very quick flow, and would instead come together this evening to produce a low pressure system that will track to the east of the 40N/70W benchmark while rapidly strengthening and deliver sizeable snows to southern New England and portions of Maine.

500mb map highlighting the two disturbances that were able to remain just far enough apart to prevent another snowstorm for our area (Valid 4am this morning)

500mb map highlighting the two disturbances that were able to remain just far enough apart to prevent another snowstorm for our area (Valid 4am this morning)

Even though we miss out on a large storm, the northern piece of energy moving over our area today is quite vigorous and will be accompanied by a strong cold front. This cold front was located in central Pennsylvania as of 1pm this afternoon with numerous showers noted across the region. In conjunction with the strong mid level disturbance, we have strong low-level lapse rates, which are basically the change in temperature within an area from the surface to a few thousand feet above our heads. When there is a healthy difference in temperatures with increasing height, we see upward motion take place in the atmosphere which promotes shower development like we are seeing ahead, as well as behind this cold front. This afternoons short range computer models have been keying in on these showers and the associated cold front impacting the NYC region by 3pm or so.  The entire region should expect showers lasting through the evening commute, but due to the factors mentioned above, it would not be impossible for the northern sections of the area to see some graupel or even snow mixed in with these showers as the front passes and temperatures begin to drop. Those traveling should pay attention for possibly slick road conditions in the heavier rain/snow showers this afternoon and evening. As the precipitation moves out later this evening, expect gusty winds on the order of 25-35 mph from the WNW to take over and last into tomorrow due to yet another tight pressure gradient over the area associated with the strong low exiting to our east.

Current surface map showing the location of the cold front and associated showers set to move over the region this afternoon (Courtesy of Simuawips.com)

Current surface map showing the location of the cold front and associated showers set to move over the region this afternoon (Courtesy of Simuawips.com)

With temperatures this afternoon in the 30’s to middle and upper 40’s across the area, the cold front passage later today should provide a good contrast as temps fall into the low 30’s and into the 20’s for inland sections this evening. Thursday and Friday will feature a more seasonable airmass in place with highs in the middle to upper 30’s across the entire region with mostly dry weather expected for both days. As we move into the weekend, a broad area of mid level ridging will move in from the west and continue east over our area. Winds from the south/southwest will send temperatures well-above normal on both Saturday and Sunday with highs deep into the 50’s across the area. Some southern locations may possibly sneak into the 60’s by Sunday afternoon if stronger southwest winds are realized. Due to the aforementioned ridging, conditions should remain dry with mostly clear skies, so this weekend should be an excellent one to enjoy the warmer weather before things turn a bit cooler and unsettled into the work week next week.

Afternoon European model showing temperatures on Sunday possibly reaching 18-24 degrees above normal (Centered on 1pm Sunday)

Afternoon European model showing temperatures on Sunday possibly reaching 18-24 degrees above normal (Centered on 1pm Sunday)

For more information and posts like this one, make sure you sign up for Zone Forecasts — where multiple detailed articles, videos, and interactives are posted each day.

Have a great day!

 

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Public Analysis: Very Gusty Today, Close Call Thursday

An area of low pressure which passed to our north on Sunday and provided our northern sections with some wintry precipitation is now located just to the east of the Gulf of Maine this afternoon. This area of low pressure has rapidly deepened into an impressive blizzard for parts of Maine bringing well over a foot of snow to some locations and can be seen clearly on today’s visible satellite imagery. This area of low pressure, in conjunction with a high pressure located over the Ohio Valley are producing a tight pressure gradient between the two systems which causes the air between them to accelerate rapidly and occasionally work their way down to the surface.

As of 1pm, the highest gusts in the immediate New York City area were White Plains, NY 72 MPH, LaGuardia 61 MPH, Stamford, CT 55 MPH, Glen Cove, NY 56 MPH, Central Park 44 MPH. These gusts should continue throughout much of the afternoon as instability increases and allows the winds above the surface to mix down from about 4,000-5000 feet above the surface. Winds of this magnitude will be able to easily blow garbage cans around, displace lawn decorations, break medium-large tree limbs, and possibly even cause localized power outages. These high winds have also prompted significant delays at local airports, with Newark experiencing over two and a half hour delays at this time. Accordingly, the National Weather Service has already issued wind advisories and high wind warnings through throughout the area.

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2/9 PM Zones: Storm exits, more to come in New England

Snow is wrapping up from west to east throughout the area this evening, including parts of Long Island where snow has lingered for the longest today. A low pressure center moved from the coast of New Jersey to a position south of New England — in fact, quite close to the 40/70 “Benchmark” for impactful storm systems. Impactful snow moved from Northeast NJ and NYC through Long Island and Connecticut, and now is positioned near Southern New England.

The storm system will continue wrapping up and pulling further eastwards as the evening goes on tonight. As low pressure moves away from the Northeast US, northwesterly winds will gradually allow drier air to move into the region. A developing pressure gradient between the low pressure center and an incoming high pressure will lead to the potential for gusty winds through the evening. This will be especially true near the area coasts, where gusts may exceed 35 miles per hour at times.

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