-Winter storm threat Saturday.
Flash Freeze threat Sunday night.
-Modifying pattern leaves cold air near the border and will offer cold and stormy shots in the long range, interspersed with milder days.
Currently: A lot of players on the field tonight. In an NFL game, today's weather map would be penalized for too many men on the field, but this isn't an NFL game... this is SCIENCE! Low pressure along an old frontal boundary stretches from Huntsville, AL, to Charleston, SC. This low will likely stay too far out to sea to impact the area. High pressure is moving out. An area of overrunning moisture is producing snows over Central PA. A strong cold front was over Central OH. Finally, the real Arctic reinforcing shot of cold air was located over the Canadian Prairie provinces.
So, for tonight, generally a cloudy night. Because of this, temperatures won't fall much. The snow over PA is moving this way, but VERRRRRRRYYYY slowly, so it won't arrive tonight. Expect low temperatures to range from the mid 20s over the north to the low to mid 30s over the south coast.
Tomorrow: A few things to deal with... First, the overrunning snow over PA will finally move into the state around dawn and could produce a quick round of snow showers. These will last through the morning rush hour, but I wouldn't expect anything too consequential as far as accumulations, because precipitation will be quite light. The first cold front will cross the area after the evening rush and should probably come through dry, since it doesn't have that much forcing to work with. Also, since the front will come through after the daytime heating, temperatures will rise to 40 to 45 along the south coast and the upper 30s to near 40 everywhere else, except some mid to upper 30s in the NW hills.
Tomorrow Night/Thursday: Turning sharply colder, with temps plunging into the upper teens to mid 20s. The Arctic front goes through around lunchtime Thursday, and will be noticed! Winds will begin to gust in the 45-50 MPH range, temperatures will begin to fall during the day, and there will be snow showers and squalls around the state. It should be noted that it is impossible to predict where accumulations will be and how much any one location will get, because this isn't a band of snow, but rather different squalls. It is prudent to say that as temperatures both and the surface and upstairs drop dramatically, any squalls will be capable of producing accumulations, as well as gusty winds, and dramatically reduced visibility. Temperatures on Thursday will not rise much, with high temperatures only expected to be from the mid 20s to low 30s.
Longer Term- the Weekend and Beyond: For Friday, expect bitterly cold weather, with still a few snow showers possible in the morning. Friday's low temperatures will plunge to within a few degrees of 10 degrees throughout the state, and highs will only reach the 20 to 25 degree range. Winds will be gusty in the morning, and diminish as the day goes on.
Now, for the rest of the weekend... In word.. STORMY! Models have been trending significantly colder with the system Saturday, which meteorologically makes sense, since this storm is moving into temperatures in the the teens! Significant accumulations may actually occur, even for the south coast (although that part is not yet set in stone, the trend is that way)! After that, we change to rain and Sunday is rainy... Temperatures soar Sunday and reach 50 to 55 degrees! However, Sunday night, temperatures will free fall, with readings getting back into the 20-25 degree range by Monday morning! In fact, many locations will reach the teens in the NW Hills! Now, to complicate things, the front will not be in a hurry to clear the nearshore waters, so precipitation will change back to snow Sunday night, possibly with renewed accumulations! This reminds me of systems in the winter of 1994, when snow would change to ice and rain, then back to snow, we'd flash freeze, and everything would turn to concrete. It is certainly something to watch!
Further down the road, Monday and Tuesday will be cold. There could be something of a follow-up system on Tuesday, which would be a possible snow or ice producer for the area. At this time, models keep this energy offshore, but at that range, it wouldn't take too much to bring it closer, if the flow would buckle a little. Beyond that, the pattern will be largely "storm-track driven". This means we'll have normal temperatures by and large. Storms going by would control what the temperatures do. Depending on the orientation of highs and the jet stream, if a storm cut into the lakes it would get very warm for 24-36 hours, whereas a storm passing offshore would deliver snow. It's way too early to speculate on individual storm tracks at this point.
Now, let's take a look at some of the systems affecting our state in graphical format. First, let's take a look at the snow squall potential for Thursday.
Anyway, that's all for now! Enjoy the rest of your week and this ever-changing weather pattern!