Nor’easter Update

 

Things are progressing pretty much on schedule.  Low clouds did take over very early today and there has been a flurry or two in a couple spots.  Parts of Long Island have seen a coating of snow today.  There will be a little bit of light, mixed precipitation around at times tonight (i.e. light snow, sleet, maybe even some freezing rain or drizzle).  The snow will not really accumulate much, but some surfaces will become a bit slick.  The temperature will slowly drift up during the night, but probably not break freezing inland until sunrise.

Any mix to the north will turn to rain early Tuesday.  Even western MA will go over to rain during the day.  Some of the rain will be heavy.  Could be looking at 1.5″-2.5″ of rain in a number of spots.  High temperatures will be in the 40′s south & east of Hartford, upper 30′s north & west.  There will be a stiff, northeast wind at about 20-30 mph, with higher gusts – especially near the coast.  The precipitation will become lighter and not as steady Tuesday night into Wednesday.  As colder air moves in aloft, lingering light precipitation will tend to change to light snow and snow showers in western MA and northwestern CT, and elsewhere Wednesday night.  Some flurries or snow showers could even linger into part of Thursday.  There could be 1″-3″ of snow accumulation in the northwest CT hills and 2″-6″ in the Berkshires between Wednesday & Thursday.  High temperatures Wednesday will be in the low-mid 40′s, except mid-upper 30′s in the Berks & NW hills.  Groton might make the upper 40′s.  Temperatures Thursday will be mostly in the mid 30′s-low 40′s.

"850 Freezing Line"

“850 Freezing Line”

"540 Line"

“540 Line”

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The Dillio On Tuesday

GFS Forecast 1 PM EST Tuesday

GFS Forecast 1 PM EST Tuesday

High confidence: A coastal storm will develop early this week and bring precipitation (some heavy) to the region.

Moderate confidence: Much of the precipitation will fall as rain across our area.  Although the airmass is fairly cold going into this event, a strong ocean flow and a low center likely tracking in quite close to us will pull in enough milder air to produce rain – especially during the times of the heaviest precipitation on Tuesday.  I expect to see some light, mixed precipitation (i.e. snow, sleet & freezing rain) at times Monday night.  Then a change to rain Tuesday as the precipitation becomes heavier.  The pressure difference between this developing low and a strong high to the northeast will result in a strong, northeast wind developing Tuesday (go ahead – you can call this a nor’easter).  I’d expect northeasterlies at about 20-30 mph, with gusts over 40 mph in some areas Tuesday/Tuesday evening. As colder air associated with an upper-level low slides in Wednesday, lingering light showers will tend to change over to snow showers.

Lower confidence: Exact location of the surface and 500-millibar lows Tuesday & Wednesday.  A fairly small change in the location of these features could mean the difference between a cold rain and heavy wet snow in the northwest hills of CT and western MA Tuesday.  Some of the modeling suggests we could still have some lingering snow showers around into Thursday.

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After a windy and chilly afternoon, temperatures will bottom out tonight.  Many locations will drop into the teens overnight.  Maybe a few low 20′s along the shore.  Some of the traditional cold pockets well inland cloud drop into the single numbers before sunrise if the breeze lets up enough!.  Monday’s partly sunny with increasing clouds and highs in the 30′s.  Looks like a nice, big, high pressure builds in during next weekend, with dry conditions and moderating temperatures.

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Weekend Outlook

Surface 15ZA fairly diffuse area of low pressure over the southern Plains will be tracking northeastward tonight & Saturday as high pressure centered northeast of Maine retreats.  The low will pass a little to our south & east by late Saturday/Saturday night, but come close enough, combined with an easterly flow at the surface, to bring in enough milder air so that primarily rain falls across the region.  There will probably be a little bit of mixed precipitation – especially well inland this evening.  In CT, probably not much snow, but a smattering of freezing rain & sleet in some places well inland initially.  Mostly rain to the south & east.  Up into western MA, the mix (including briefly some snow) will linger a little longer, and across VT & NH the mix will last longer still.  So if your headed up into those areas, or live there, anticipate some travel issues tonight.  But most areas of CT should just be wet, except perhaps briefly slick in some of the northwest hills.  The first spotty, light precipitation will arrive by this evening.  Lows tonight will be mostly in the 30′s, but around 40 at some shore points.

Areas of showers & rain will linger at times Saturday.  South & east of Hartford some places could crack 50 degrees – especially toward the coast, elsewhere we don’t get out of the 40′s.  Lingering rain will taper off from northwest to southeast during Saturday night, possibly ending as a flurry to the north & west.  Lows will drop into the 20′s-low 30′s (near 35 parts of the shore) and it will be breezy/windy, making for an uncomfortable night.  Sunday looks sunny, breezy & cold with highs in the 30′s-low 40′s.  Next chance for precipitation on the horizon would be some light, mixed precip. Monday night and rain Tuesday morning.

 

 

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A Cold Front Approacheth

Northeast Surface Map & OKX Radar 2PM EST

Northeast Surface Map & OKX Radar 2PM EST

Some batches of showers/rain out there this afternoon as a cold front approaches our region from the west.  This front will sweep across the area by early this evening, ushering any lingering showers out to sea and allowing colder, drier to flow in behind it starting tonight.  Thursday through daytime Friday will be dry and cold.  Highs will be in the 30′s-low 40′s.  Lows early Friday morning mostly between 17-27.  More rain moves in Friday night (which might begin as a bit of mixed precipitation well inland).  Looks like that rain will linger into Saturday.  Saturday’s highs nevertheless, could crack 50 from Hartford, south & east.  After that, highs remain in the mid-30′s to low 40′s Sunday & Monday.

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Light Mix To Rain Tonight

Visible Satellite Image 8:45 A.M. EST

Visible Satellite Image 8:45 A.M. EST

Satellite imagery this morning shows northwestern portions of southern New England seeing some sun.  This may also spread a bit further east before clouds thicken up again later today.  Cold, high pressure is retreating to the northeast as a small, weak low drifts up from the south.  Expect some light, mixed precipitation to develop this evening, quickly becoming rain near the coast.  Further inland the mix will last longer before changing to rain, however I don’t expect more than a dusting or coating of snow to accumulate, even across northwestern CT and the Berkshires.  This is because the temperature aloft (3,000-6,000 feet) will rise above freezing during this evening/early tonight.  Slippery conditions however, will likely develop in parts of northwestern CT and western MA due to sleet and freezing rain, with the surface temperature remaining stubbornly near or slightly below freezing for a while tonight.

The rain will tend to taper by Wednesday morning, however clouds will linger, along with the chance for a shower or two during the day.  Drier, colder weather takes hold Wednesday night into the daytime Friday.  High temperatures Wednesday could crack 50 in many places, however after that don’t expect to see anything warmer than the 40′s for a while.

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Some Light, Mixed Precipitation Tuesday Night

NAM Forecast 7 PM EST Tuesday

NAM Forecast 7 PM EST Tuesday

Enjoy the mild weather while it lasts today.  A cold front will pass across the region this afternoon and be followed by falling temperatures later today and tonight.  This front may produce a couple light showers in parts of CT (especially to the south) this afternoon/evening, however most of the moisture will remain just to our south and east.  Temperatures will drop below freezing in many areas tonight.  As milder air, on an ocean flow tries to push back in starting late Tuesday, some light, mixed precipitation will develop Tuesday evening/night.  As usual, much of the precipitation will likely be rain near the coast, although there will probably be a little light snow and/or sleet at the start.  The frozen precipitation will last a little longer further inland, however I don’t expect much more than a coating of snow to accumulate until you get up into northwestern MA, where there could be a couple of inches.  Even across the interior, the frozen precipitation will gradually change over to rain as temperatures slowly rise during Tuesday night.  The rain will taper off Wednesday morning, although clouds may linger.  As the milder air continues to push in, highs Wednesday could hit 50 in many places.

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Weekend Outlook (and beyond)

GFS Forecast Sunday 1 PM EDT

GFS Forecast Sunday 1 PM EDT

A very turbulent/disturbed atmosphere out there this afternoon due to cold air aloft associated with a well defined trough.  Any intervals of sun this afternoon will tend to be self-destructive and give way to clouds again.  A scattered shower is possible, and some sleet and/or snow showers are not out of the question for higher elevations.  It will stay breezy/windy this afternoon with temps trying to reach 50 in the most populated areas.  The wind should start to ease up during tonight and tomorrow.  Much of the area will see the temperature drop below freezing overnight.

The weekend doesn’t look half bad.  Should be partly sunny both days.  Maybe a cloudier period later Saturday night into early Sunday, and perhaps even a shower as a surface trough moves through.  A touch of sleet or snow again possible across the higher els.  High temperatures will remain in the 40′s Saturday, but will be more like the low-mid 50′s Sunday afternoon.  Decent weather holds on Monday with sunshine and highs in the low-mid 50′s.

Tuesday looks to be the mildest day of the week with parts of the region reaching 60 degrees!  A cold front arrives by Tuesday night, though, and temperatures will be cooler during the second half of the week.  The current weather pattern is favorable for cold & snowy weather if it continues into the next month or two and it could happen sooner rather than later.  It gets a little interesting later next week (i.e. Thursday night/Friday) with colder air established over our area and moisture lurking just offshore.  Maybe be worth watching, but still pretty far out, timewise.

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Upper Level Low = Stubborn Rain

Radar 11:33 A.M.

Radar 11:33 A.M.

There is currently a low pressure area in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere centered right over us.  Areas of rain are rotating around this cyclonic circulation and will be slow to leave, as these systems are usually (as this one is) slow movers.  The rainfall today will be unevenly distributed.  There will be pockets of heavy rain in places, while many other locations have light rain, scattered showers, or no precipitation at the same time.  This is illustrated in the recent radar image above.

Areas of rain & showers will continue into tonight and part of Thursday morning.  Things should improve incrementally Thursday afternoon as the low begin to drift further east.  Friday look like a good day as a ridge slides in from the west.  However, clouds will be thickening again Saturday, with some more rain developing by midday/afternoon.

Temperatures will not go higher than the low 60′s in most places today.  Maybe a couple/few degrees higher Thursday, and even with sunshine Friday, it will be a struggle to reach 70.

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Disorganized

Radar 5:30 P.M.

Radar 5:30 P.M.

Radar continues to show that the rain affecting parts of the region remains pretty disorganized.  This is a result of the dry air holding on that is associated with high pressure centered northeast of here.  Parts of northern CT and points north will see little to no rain from this system.  Elsewhere, scattered areas of (mostly) light rain and showers will taper off tonight, as low pressure moves further offshore.  Lows 48-55.  The sky will become mostly sunny Friday with highs in the 70′s.  The weekend still looks nice – sunny with highs 77-83!

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How Wet?

U.S. Surface Map 2 P.M. Wednesday

U.S. Surface Map 2 P.M. Wednesday

The models continue to disagree on how much rain will fall across the region Thursday & Thursday night as low pressure meanders up the east coast.  High pressure, centered over eastern Maine today, will have a blocking effect of the approaching low.  Just how effective this is and the actual interaction between these two systems, will determine how much rain falls.  The potential for over an inch exists – especially in parts of southern CT, however some of the modeling suggests considerably lower amounts – especially to the north.

Clouds will thicken up overnight.  Lows between 49-56.  Expect areas of rain and showers to develop from south to north Thursday morning and continue into the afternoon.  Highs 58-66. There will likely still be some showers around at times Thursday night – at least for a while.  Lingering clouds and maybe a shower in some places Friday morning, then becoming partly sunny.  Highs 70-75.  The weekend looks sunny & warm with highs in the mid-upper 70′s Saturday and 76-81 Sunday.

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