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March 2012

03/26/2012

COLDEST NIGHT IN WEEKS

THE OVERALL PATTERN THIS WEEK IS FAIRLY STRAIGHTFORWARD, ALTHOUGH THE ARE DEFINITELY SOME POTENTIAL PITFALLS. IN THE SHORT TERM, STRONG, GUSTY NORTH TO NORTHWEST WINDS ARE USHERING IN AN IMPRESSIVELY CHILLY AIR MASS. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE SAW SLOWLY FALLING TEMPS IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON WITH BRIGHT SUNSHINE AND A DOWNSLOPING WIND? DEW POINTS HAVE ALSO CRASHED TODAY FROM WHERE THEY WERE EARLY THIS MORNING. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THIS AIR MASS MOVING INTO THE REGION NOW IS THE CHILLIEST AND DRIEST THAT WE HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME...AND, IT COULD VERY WELL BE THE CHILLIEST AND DRIEST THAT WE SEE UNTIL LATER THIS YEAR. OF COURSE, THAT STATEMENT WOULD GO OUT THE WINDOW IF WE END UP WITH A COLD SHOT NEXT WEEK THAT RIVALS THIS ONE. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BLOW INTO THE EVENING HOURS, AND THEN WIND SPEEDS WILL DROP SOMEWHAT OVERNIGHT. HOWEVER, THE WIND WILL NEVER TOTALLY GO AWAY. THAT WILL PREVENT A BIG RANGE IN LOW TEMPS ACROSS THE REGION TONIGHT. SINCE THIS AIR MASS ORIGINATED WAY UP OVER THE YUKON OR NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, IT WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A WIDESPREAD FREEZE.

TOMORROW LOOKS TO BE A VERY PRETTY DAY WITH SUNSHINE, AND WINDS WILL NOT BE NEARLY AS STRONG AS TODAY. HOWEVER, THERE WILL STILL BE SOMEWHAT OF A BREEZE. OUR HIGH TEMPS TOMORROW WILL STRUGGLE TO REACH 50. 

SOME WARM ADVECTION CLOUDS WILL SHOW UP TOMORROW NIGHT, THENOUR NEXT BEST CHANCE OF SHOWERS WILL COME ON WEDNESDAY WITH THE APPROACH OF ANOTHER SYSTEM. HEIGHTS ARE PROGGED TO FALL QUITE A BIT HERE BETWEEN WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, SO IT WOULD BE SURPRISING IF IT DIDN'T SHOWER AT SOME POINT.  WHETHER OR NOT IT THUNDERS ON WEDNESDAY WILL DEPEND ON HOW MUCH OF A PUSH OF MUCH WARMER AIR WE GET. WE FEEL THAT FROM THE SOUTHERN 1/2 TO 2/3 OF PA AND THE SOUTHERN 1/2 OF NJ SOUTHWARD, A T-STORM IS A DECENT BET. THE FARTHER NORTH AND NORTHEAST YOU GO, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS THAT THE REALLY WARM AIR WILL GET CUT OFF AT THE PASS, THUS KEEPING IT MORE STABLE.

WE STILL HAVE A MENTION OF A POSSIBLE SHOWER ON THURSDAY WITH THE LOWER HEIGHTS AND COLDER AIR ALOFT. IT IS A TRICKY SITUATION AS TO JUST HOW HIGH TEMPS GO ON THURSDAY. WE WILL BE COMING OFF OF A MILD NIGHT, AND SO OUR LAUNCHING PAD ON THURSDAY MORNING WILL BE FAIRLY HIGH. IT ALSO LOOKS TO BE A WELL-MIXED, UNSTABLE DAY ON THURSDAY. SO, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SQUEEZE OUT EVERY POSSIBLE DEGREE. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT WILL BE COLD ADVECTING THAT DAY, AND WE MAY HAVE A CASE WHERE THE BRAKES ARE PUT ON TEMPS AFTER A CERTAIN POINT.

FRIDAY WILL BE COOLER, AND IT COULD EASILY BE COOLER THAN OUR CURRENT FORECAST. THIS MAY BE ONE OF THOSE "SNEAKY" CHILLY AIR MASSES.

TEMPS OVER THE WEEKEND MAY NOT BE TOO FAR FROM NORMAL, AND AT THIS POINT, IT IS LOOKING MAINLY DRY.

03/15/2012

OCEAN AIR SPOILS SPRING PREVIEW FOR NOW

BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH. HERE IT IS MARCH 15TH, AND WE CERTAINLY HAVE SOME CHALLENGING ISSUES TO DEAL WITH IN OUR FORECAST OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THE OVERALL IDEA OF STAYING IN AN ABOVE NORMAL TEMP PATTERN FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE STILL HOLDS. THERE IS NO SIGN OF WINTER RETURNING ANYTIME OVER THE NEXT WEEK TO 10 DAYS AT LEAST. ON ANY GIVEN DAY THROUGH NEXT WEEK OR BEYOND,TEMPS HERE CAN SURGE INTO THE 70S, GIVEN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES...DRY TOP INCH OR TWO OF GROUND, LOTS OF SUNSHINE, AND THE PROPER WIND DIRECTION.

HOWEVER, WE DO HAVE TO KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE THAT YES, IT IS ONLY THE MIDDLE OF MARCH. THE OCEAN AND ALL OTHER BODIES OF WATER ARE CHILLY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. WHEN DEALING WITH BACK DOOR COLD FRONTS AND ONSHORE FLOW SITUATIONS, THEY TEND TO BE MUCH MORE BULLISH AND AGGRESSIVE IN MARCH THAN THEY ARE LATER IN THE SPRING OR IN EARLY SUMMER. WITH THAT SAID, WE DEFINITELY HAVE TO BE ON GUARD FOR ANOTHER WESTWARD AND SOUTHWARD PUSH TO THE BACK DOOR COLD FRONTAL BOUNDARY TONIGHT...UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT, AND THE SAME THING IS LIKELY TO OCCUR AGAIN TONIGHT. WE SAW THE BACK EDGE OF THE LOW CLOUDS GET ERODED BY SUNSHINE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH LOW LEVEL WINDS WERE LIGHT OUT OF THE EAST. WE FEEL THAT EVERY PLACE THAT KEEPS AN EASTERLY FLOW TONIGHT WILL END UP WITH LOW CLOUDS AND MAYBE EVEN SPOTTY DRIZZLE AND PATCHY FOG. OF COURSE, THE AREAS THAT STAYED SOCKED IN TODAY WILL JUST HAVE A CONTINUATION OF THE SAME WEATHER TONIGHT.

MEANWHILE, IN THE MUCH WARMER AIR AND CLOSE TO THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY, WE ARE SEEING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND T-STORMS. THE CURRENT SURFACE MAP SHOWS A WEAK BUT FAIRLY WELL-DEFINED LOW PRESSURE WAVE CENTERED OVER LAKE MICHIGAN. WE EXPECT THAT FEATURE TO TRACK EASTWARD THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES REGION TONIGHT, REACHING A POSITION NEAR BUFFALO, NY BY TOMORROW MORNING. FROM THERE, THE LOW TRACK GETS TRICKY. IF THIS WERE A STRONG SYSTEM, WITH GOOD UPPER LEVEL SUPPORT, THEN IT WOULD BE ABLE TO TRACK PRETTY FAR NORTHWARD, EVENTUALLY CUTTING INTO THE COOLER AIR IN PLACE OVER NEW ENGLAND AND THEN EXITING OFF OF THE NEW ENGLAND COAST. HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT A VERY POTENT FEATURE, AND THE OCEAN AIR WILL BE WELL-ENTRENCHED FOR AWHILE TOMORROW ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BACK DOOR FRONT.  SO, IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE LOW FINDS THAT FRONTAL BOUNDARY AND ENDS UP EXITING OFF OF THE NJ COAST...FARTHER SOUTH THAN WHERE THE MODELS HAVE IT? THAT CAN'T BE RULED OUT, AND MORE THAN LIKELY THE TRUTH WILL BE SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE HAVE TO FORECAST A RATHER UNSETTLED DAY HERE TOMORROW. WITH A COUPLE OF SHOWERS AROUND...AND MAYBE A BIT OF MORNING DRIZZLE FROM THE EASTERLY FLOW. THE AIR MASS MAY BE JUST UNSTABLE ENOUGH TOMORROW FOR SCATTERED T-STORMS FROM ABOUT SOUTHCENTRAL NY STATE SOUTHWARD INTO THE SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY OF PA AND INTO PARTS OF MD AND DE. THE FARTHER EAST AND NORTHEAST YOU GO, THE AIR MASS IS LIKELY TO JUST BE TOO STABLE TO SUPPORT ANY THUNDER.

TEMPS TOMORROW ARE VERY TRICKY...ONCE AGAIN. IN THE AREAS WHERE WE ARE CONFIDENT THE FLOW WILL TURN AROUND INTO A WESTERLY COMPONENT AND THERE WILL BE ENOUGH BREAKS OF SUN, I.E., WEST OF THE DELAWARE VALLEY AND DOWN TO THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AREA, TEMPS TOMORROW WILL END UP GETTING QUITE WARM. MEANWHILE, THE IMMEDIATE JERSEY SHORE, THE NYC AREA, LONG ISLAND, AND MUCH OF NEW ENGLAND WILL BE ON THE COOL SIDE OF THINGS TOMORROW. THE ZONE IN BETWEEN COULD GO EITHER WAY...AGAIN, DEPENDING ON EXACTLY WHERE THE WAVE TRACKS.

BEHIND THIS FEATURE, DRIER AIR WILL MOVE IN FOR THE WEEKEND...CERTAINLY IN THE MID AND UPPER LEVELS OF THE ATMOSPHERE. HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD DOWN ACROSS NEW ENGLAND ON SATURDAY, AND WILL SET UP ALONG THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST BY LATE SUNDAY. LINGERING LOW LEVEL MOISTURE MAY BE AN ISSUE FOR AWHILE ON SATURDAY, BUT WE ARE MORE CONFIDENT THAT SUN WILL WIN OUT OVER CLOUDS BY SUNDAY. DESPITE THAT FACT, SOME OF THE GUIDANCE HAS ACTUALLY BEEN SHOWING A BIT OF COOLING IN THE LOW LEVELS FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY. SO, THE NET RESULT MAY BE THAT TEMPS BOTH DAYS WILL BE WITHIN A COUPLE OF DEGREES OF EACH OTHER.

03/13/2012

70S ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUPERSTORM OF '93

TODAY IS THE 19TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT SUPERSTORM OF 1993, OR, AS IT WAS KNOWN OVER INTERIOR AREAS OF THE EASTERN STATES...THE BLIZZARD OF '93. THAT STORM WAS TRULY A MONSTER, AS A NUMBER OF INGREDIENTS ALL CAME TOGETHER IN PERFECT FASHION. 110 PEOPLE WERE KILLED FROM THE STORM, SNOWFALL AND ALL-TIME LOW PRESSURE RECORDS WERE BROKEN IN 13 CITIES, AND 132 LOCATIONS SET RECORD LOW TEMPS. SEVERE T-STORMS AND TORNADOES SPAWNED BY THIS STORM RIPPED THROUGH FLORIDA, AND BEACH EROSION AND COASTAL FLOODING WAS COMMON UP AND DOWN THE EASTERN SEABOARD. SOME COASTAL SITES REPORTED WIND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 80-90 MPH, WHILE 60-70 MPH WIND GUSTS FARTHER INLAND WHIPPED THE POWDERY SNOW INTO MASSIVE DRIFTS. THE HIGHEST SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM THE STORM OCCURRED IN THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS FROM NC TO CENTRAL NY STATE. I WAS WORKING IN SYRACUSE AT THE TIME AND IT WAS THE FIRST MAJOR STORM OF MY BROADCAST CAREER. CENTRAL NEW YORK RECEIVED NEARLY 4' OF SNOW. SNOW DRIFTS OF 8-10' HIGH WERE QUITE COMMON.

GIVEN WHAT HAS (OR HAS NOT) HAPPENED THIS PAST WINTER, AND HOW WARM THE WEATHER PATTERN LOOKS OVER THE NEXT WEEK TO 10 DAYS, IT IS CRAZY TO THINK THAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT CAN AND DOES HAPPEN AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. OF COURSE, AS WE STATED YESTERDAY, THERE IS NO SIGN OF WINTER ON THE MAPS ANYTIME SOON. IN SHARP CONTRAST, WE WILL BE EXPERIENCING AN INCREDIBLE STRETCH OF UNUSUALLY WARM WEATHER FROM NOW THROUGH MUCH OF NEXT WEEK. OUR WARM PATTERN WILL BE INTERRUPTED BY A BACK DOOR COLD FRONT LATER THIS WEEK. THE COOLING WILL BE VERY NOTICEABLE IN COASTAL AREAS ON THURSDAY. THEN, THE OCEAN AIR WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE INROADS FARTHER INLAND AS WELL AS FARTHER SOUTH AND WEST THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY. THERE IS STILL SOME DEBATE AS TO HOW FAR THE BACK DOOR COLD FRONT WILL MAKE IT. CERTAINLY, CLIMATOLOGY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE MUCH COOLER AIR WILL HAVE NO PROBLEM PUSHING AT LEAST AS FAR AS THE MODELS SUGGEST, IF NOT FURTHER.

TEMPS WILL TREND UPWARD A BIT OVER THE WEEKEND, ALTHOUGH THE MAJOR WARMTH WILL LIKELY HOLD OFF UNTIL NEXT WEEK. BARRING ANY SEA BREEZE EFFECTS, NEXT WEEK LOOKS EXTREMELY WARM FOR THE MIDDLE OF MARCH. BY THEN, WE MAY BE GOING SUPER-ADIABATIC ON A REGULAR BASIS, GIVEN THE DRYING TOP SOIL AND LACK OF LEAVES ON THE TREES.

IF THE UPPER LEVEL RIDGE AXIS DOES INDEED SET UP FAR ENOUGH WEST OF US NEXT WEEK, THEN THAT WILL LEAVE SOME ROOM FOR ANOTHER BACK DOOR FRONTAL BOUNDARY TO WORK ITS WAY TOWARD US LATE NEXT WEEK.

IN THE SHORTER TERM, WE HAVE TO KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON RADARS, JUST IN CASE A SHOWER OR T-SHOWER POPS UP ALONG THE WEAK FRONT PASSING THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING. OTHERWISE, SKIES WILL TURN CLEAR TONIGHT, SETTING THE STAGE FOR A GORGEOUS DAY WEATHER WISE TOMORROW AS A SMALL HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVES TO THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST BY EVENING.

THURSDAY WILL BE DRY WITH SUNSHINE WINNING OUT OVER CLOUDS...FOR MUCH OF THE DAY. WE WILL LIKELY SEE A HUGE TEMP GRADIENT ON THURSDAY FROM THE COAST TO AREAS FARTHER INLAND AND TO THE WEST. FRIDAY WILL PROBABLY BE OUR CLOUDIEST, COOLEST, AND POTENTIALLY WETTEST DAY OF THIS FORECAST PERIOD. SATURDAY WILL BEGIN THE TRANSITION TO NICER WEATHER, BUT WE MAY HAVE TO DEAL WITH LINGERING MOISTURE FOR AWHILE.

03/01/2012

WELCOME TO MARCH, THE MONTH OF WEATHER VARIETY

YESTERDAY, WE TALKED ABOUT A BIG RANGE IN TEMPS SETTING UP TODAY ACROSS THE NORTHEASTERN QUARTER OF THE NATION. THAT IS INDEED WHAT WE HAVE TODAY. THIS AFTERNOON IT IS SNOWING PRETTY WELL IN PORTLAND, MAINE WITH A TEMP OF 23. IT IS ALSO SNOWING IN ALBANY, NY AT 33. GOING SOUTHWARD, THE 2 P.M. TEMP IN NYC WAS 40, IT WAS 52 IN PHILLY, 60 IN DOVER, DE, 66 IN BALTIMORE, 70 IN WASHINGTON, DC, AND 80 DOWN IN NORFOLK, VA. WELCOME TO THE MONTH OF MARCH!

WE ARE SURE TO DEAL WITH MORE OF THESE TYPE OF TEMP GRADIENTS IN THE WEEKS AHEAD AS COLD AIR TRIES TO HOLD ITS GROUND UP NORTH IN CANADA, AND THE WARMING KICKS INTO HIGH GEAR ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PART OF THE U.S. SNOW CONTINUES TO FALL AS OF THIS WRITING FROM EAST-CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST NY STATE EASTWARD INTO CENTRAL AND NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND, WITH SOME RAIN OR RAIN SHOWERS ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND. WE'LL HAVE TO CHECK THE RADARS THIS EVENING AND NOWCAST ANY LEFTOVER SHOWER IN THE AREA. OTHERWISE, A FAIRLY QUIET PERIOD OF WEATHER IS COMING UP TONIGHT AND TOMORROW. THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGE WILL BE SKY COVER. WHILE AREAS FROM SOUTHERN NJ AND EXTREME SOUTHERN PA SOUTHWARD ARE LIKELY TO BE CLEAR TO AT WORST PARTLY CLOUDY TONIGHT, IT APPEARS THAT CLOUDS WILL HANG IN TOUGH THE FARTHER NORTH AND NORTHEAST YOU GO. IN THE AREAS THAT STAY MOSTLY CLOUDY TONIGHT, THERE COULD BE SOME BREAKS TOMORROW. HOWEVER, WITH THE SURFACE FLOW TURNING AROUND FROM NORTH TO NORTHEAST AND THEN AROUND TO THE SOUTHEAST OFF THE OCEAN, THE LOW LEVELS WILL TEND TO EITHER STAY MOIST OR RE-MOISTEN. FARTHER SOUTH, WE EXPECT A TREND TOWARD MORE CLOUDINESS AS THE DAYS GOES ON. TEMPS TOMORROW, AS WE HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS, ARE SKY COVER DEPENDENT. THERE IS STILL ROOM FOR A LITTLE MORE ADJUSTMENT ON TOMORROW'S MAX TEMPS, BUT WE ARE PROBABLY PRETTY CLOSE NOW. WITH THE ONSHORE FLOW CONTINUING ALL NIGHT TOMORROW NIGHT, WE MAY BEGIN TO SEE DRIZZLE BREAKING OUT BEFORE THE MAIN BATCH OF RAIN GETS HERE. THEN, WE ARE FOR SOME RAIN AT TIMES LATER TOMORROW NIGHT INTO PART OF SATURDAY. THIS LOOKS LIKE A NICE SETUP FOR T-STORMS, OR AT LEAST SOME ELEVATED CONVECTION, TO GET FAIRLY FAR NORTHWARD LATE TOMORROW NIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING.

AS FOR RAINFALL TOTALS WITH THIS SYSTEM, IT DOESN'T LOOK QUITE AS WET NOW AS IT DID THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS. HOWEVER, WE CAN STILL PICK UP 1/3" TO 1/2", WITH 3/4" OR MORE NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION, ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE SOME EMBEDDED T-STORMS MOVING THROUGH.

SEVERE T-STORMS AND TORNADOES WILL BE THE BIG WEATHER STORY TOMORROW IN THE TN AND OH VALLEYS.  THERE COULD EVEN BE SOME WIND DAMAGE THAT COMES UP INTO WESTERN PA AND SOUTHWESTERN NY STATE, AS A STRONG LOW LEVEL JET IS FORECAST TO RUN INTO THOSE AREAS TOMORROW NIGHT AND ACTUALLY STRENGTHEN OVER TIME. THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT WILL THEN SHIFT TO THE EASTERN CAROLINAS AND MAYBE UP INTO SOUTHEAST VA ON SATURDAY. THE TIMING OF THIS COLD FRONT LOOKS A BIT FASTER TODAY THAN IT DID YESTERDAY. SO, WE NOW HAVE TO ALLOW FOR THINGS TO DRY OUT HERE BY THE MID TO LATE AFTERNOON HOURS ON SATURDAY.

AFTER A VERY MILD DAY ON SATURDAY, COOLER AIR WILL RETURN FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE WEEKEND. HOWEVER, THE CHILLIEST WEATHER WILL WAIT UNTIL EARLY NEXT WEEK. WITH SURFACE TEMPS ABOUT AS HIGH AS THEY CAN POSSIBLY GET ON SUNDAY DUE TO A WELL-MIXED, UNSTABLE ATMOSPHERE, AND FALLING HEIGHTS ALL AFTERNOON, WE DO HAVE TO COVER FOR AN INSTABILITY SHOWER SOMETIME DURING THE AFTERNOON OR EVENING HOURS. THE COMBINATION OF LOW HEIGHTS, COLD AIR ALOFT, AND CYCLONIC CURVATURE AT THE SURFACE, MAY LEAD TO A FEW FLURRIES AROUND THE REGION LATER SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY...PERHAPS EVEN A HEAVIER SNOW SHOWER IN SPOTS. 850 MB TEMPS AND THICKNESSES SEEM TO BOTTOM OUT HERE SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY. HOWEVER, THE LOW LEVEL AIR MAY BE AT ITS CHILLIEST POINT ON TUESDAY. SO, TEMPS THAT DAY ARE LIKELY TO BE ABOUT THE SAME AS MONDAY, IF NOT A BIT LOWER.

A HUGE WARMUP WILL GET UNDERWAY ON WEDNESDAY!