Anyway, analyzing the current weather map, there are three low pressure systems affecting the state. The one with the greatest effects on the area is near Montauk. Another low was near Cleveland, with yet another over Lake Superior. Cold air damming was very evident, as a warm front extended from near Erie, PA, then way down into NC, and to the Southern Delmarva. A weak cold front extended southward from the Cleveland low. A much stronger cold front was over Lake Huron.
Models did not do well with today's storm. First, they warmed us up too much, largely due to not knowing the Montauk low ever existed until about 48 hours ago. The existence of that low turned the winds around to the NE and kept cold air locked in. Models also lingered the rain MUCH too long, even as recently as right now, by developing spurious convection from the warm front (which models thought was going to be over Central NJ, not NC, but what's 500 miles?)
The reason I wrote the above paragraph is because we have two potential snow threats this week (which I'll get to) and some people in the weather community are making statements like the final solution has already been determined.
Anyway, for tonight, it will by no means be a cold night. There is almost no cold air advection behind the Montauk low, since the cold front(s) are still well to the west. Low temperatures will be well above normal, in the 30s. I will ignore the measurable precipitation that models have for most of the night, and just go with spotty drizzle for the first half of the night. Along with the drizzle will come areas of fog.
For tomorrow, a really nice day and a good day to get anything done outdoors, because of what comes after. Expect clearing skies, a gusty breeze, and temperatures making a run at 50 degrees! Many of these highs will b in the earlier part of the afternoon, as the aforementioned strong cold front will pass through and temperatures will begin to drop later in the day. No precipitation will accompany the cold front, since dry air advection will beat cold air advection and the atmosphere is already pretty well wrung out.
Tomorrow night and Thursday will be noticeably colder. Expect lows 20 to 25 and highs in the 30s, with diminishing winds.
Our first potential snow threat is Thursday night into much of the day Friday. Most modeling keeps this system to the south, with light snow getting up to about Central New Jersey or so. However, some short-range guidance, including the NAM, does get the snow north of there. Because of this, and given the fact that any snow that falls on Friday will be very high ratio snow, I could see a coating to an inch along the south coast, some flakes flying up to I 84, and nothing north of there. The ceiling for this event is not very high, since it doesn't have all that much moisture to work with. Another thing that tells me not to totally write this system off is how poorly models did with today's system. Highs should be around 30 on Friday.
The next storm system comes right on its heels- Saturday night into Sunday. Once again, most models keep most impacts from this storm to our south. However, the UKMET model, a "fairly" reliable piece of guidance, brings a major snowstorm into a good chunk of the state. For now, since this model is an outlier, it will not be used for the forecast, but will not be totally ignored. The "official" forecast will keep the weekend storm to our south, but one thing that should be noted is that there is a much higher cieling for this event, since this system is loaded with moisture and coming into a very favorable jet streak position. We also won't really know where this storm is going until we see the ultimate track of Friday's system, so details are of very low confidence right now. Expect lows in the teens and highs mostly in the upper 20s over the weekend. There could be some single digit readings in the NW hills.
Monday will be very cold behind whatever happens with the weekend system, with lows ranging from the upper single digits to the upper teens, and highs in the mid to upper 20s. Tuesday will see temperatures moderate a bit, with lows in the mid teens, and highs making the upper 30s. A warm front will move through on Wednesday and bring light precipitation with it. Way out this far it looks like some freezing rain changing to rain.
The long range looks to see temperatures averaging above normal. However, there is still some very cold air nearby, and pieces will likely break off from that and give us cold shots imbedded within a generally warmer pattern. A well-timed system, since we're headed into the coldest part of winter, could still provide for wintry weather. Long range models are already hinting at that in the January 15-17 time frame.
Here is a look at some of the weather systems slated to affect our area during the forecast period. First, here's a look at the *possible* light snow event for Friday.