It’s been a decidedly fall-like week so far, with cool temperatures and cloudy weather the rule for most. The seasons have changed, and we are quickly moving towards the winter to come. We’re also finally getting some much needed rain, with more in the forecast for this weekend. For the upcoming forecast period, generally normal to slightly below normal temperatures are expected, with rain and clouds being the prevailing conditions, before all eyes turn to Hurricane Matthew, currently tracking towards the Bahamas. For most of the forecast period, global guidance is in excellent agreement, so took a consensus blend for the daily forecasts.
A cutoff low has been to our west for most of the week, bringing substantial rain to western NY, PA, and further south. That low will finally move east tomorrow into the weekend, bringing much needed rain to the area. I don’t expect a total washout over the weekend, rather, scattered to numerous showers look likely, with the highest chances for showers on Saturday. When you combine the showers with the low clouds, fog, and cool temperatures, it may be a wise idea to plan indoor activities for the weekend. If you’re itching to be outside, Sunday looks like the best day of the three, with breaks in the showers likely and maybe even some partial clearing in western areas. Temps will continue to run below normal, with highs around 60 expected all three days. Total rainfall will vary depending on location and shower placement, but generally, I expect between half an inch to an inch of rain across the state, with the best chance of an inch being in the eastern portions of the state.
Here’s total rainfall from the GFS, as well as simulated radar from the NAM for Saturday morning.
Some showers could linger into Monday, especially in eastern areas. Otherwise, expect cool and cloudy conditions to continue, with highs only reaching the low to mid 60s, warmest in the SW corner of the state. We could see some pockets of clearing on Tuesday, but they will likely be far and few between.
GFS and Euro differ here, with the former keeping us under the clouds while the latter lifts the deck out to our north and brings us some sunshine at last. For now, will split the difference and go for a partly cloudy forecast. Temps around normal in the mid 60s.
Late next week
It’s been another quiet hurricane season in the east, with very few storms of note so far. So, several days ago, when the GFS showed what is now Hurricane Matthew hitting the northeast late next week, weather enthusiasts everywhere took note. Over the past couple of days, we’ve seen a range of solutions on the guidance, ranging from a direct hit, to a glancing blow, to a complete miss out to sea. Several factors influence the eventual track of the storm. The first is when it turns to the north; right now the system is running almost due west and it is forecast to turn north over the weekend. If it can “thread the needle” between the Caribbean islands and travel through open water, the storm will remain stronger than if it travels over land. Secondly, the guidance has recently begun to key in on the development of a kicker in the northern stream, which would be arriving on the eastern seaboard around the same time as Matthew. The kicker would serve to “push” the storm further east, resulting in a track out to sea. And the third factor, perhaps the most important, is time.
We are still eight to nine days out(at the minimum, the Euro has the storm still well south of us at day 10, the end of its run) from a potential impact to the area, and as regular readers will know, that is an eternity in weather land. At this range, the only thing we can really take from the models is the idea that there will likely be a large storm somewhere on the eastern seaboard towards the end of next week; where it will end up and who it will impact will remain unclear until we move closer to the event and can get more accurate data. National Hurricane Center recon flights are going out tonight which will likely put more accurate data into the modeling, but for me to become more confident in some sort of impact, I’d want to see a uniform consensus of a hit last through the weekend on the guidance.
We’ll continue to keep a close eye on Matthew, and will have more information for you in our next discussion on Sunday. To illustrate the inconsistencies and swings in modeling at this range, here is a comparison of the 12z and 18z GFS for 8 AM next Friday. Notice that one has a large hurricane over the area, while one has it so far out to sea that the low center isn’t even visible in the image. The lesson to be learned from these images is that at this lead time, nailing down any sort of track is impossible, and the general theme of a storm somewhere in the area is all we can realistically look for.