Currently: Right now the only item of interest in our region is a cold front, currently located near Toledo, OH. This front passes through tomorrow, with just a few rain showers and not much fanfare.
Tonight: On a night like tonight, there is no real reason to deviate from guidance. We do not have cold air advection and it should be a mostly cloudy night. Guidance is also tightly clustered. There's always something that throws a monkey wrench into our temperature plans. Whether it's a localized sea breeze or a valley that clears out and drops suddenly, it happens. But there isn't really much you can do about that. You just roll with the guidance on a night like tonight and if you verify for 90% of locales, that's great. With that in mind, expect lows ranging from the mid 30s in the NW hills to the low 40s along the south coast.
Tomorrow: A warm day for this time of year, as we're pre-frontal during the day. The NAM and GFS temperature guidance are world's apart, which is a bit disconcerning to see on day 2. For now, I split the difference. Temperatures tomorrow will largely depend on cloud cover and precipitation. Although rainfall looks scattered and light, it occurs right around the middle of the day, so that could play a role in disrupting high temperatures. Additionally, with it being late November, it is easier to stay cloudy this time of year, due to low sun angle. Highs should generally be close to 50 degrees, but a few places in the CT Valley could make a run at 55. As far as rain, the areas least favored to see much rain are areas in SW CT, while east of I 91 is favored to see heavier, longer-lasting rain. In fact, across NE CT, rain coud linger into Thursday morning, when some sleet could mix in. Rain begins mid afternoon in the far SW and then spreads slowly NE.
For Thanksgiving day, the GFS looks ridiculously warm. It seems to not realize that there is cold air advection occurring. So I have disregarded its thermal profiles completely an gone with the cooler NAM guidance. The biggest concern for Thanksgiving day will be strong wind gusts. Winds should gust to around 40 MPH, especially in the afternoon. Otherwise, lots of sun and fairly comfortable temps. Expect highs around 50 degrees.
Long Term (Thanksgiving shopping and travel weekend): For Black Friday, guidance looks fairly reasonable. Highs should be in the mid 40s with plenty of sunshine, so not bad for shopping/traveling interests.
On Saturday, clouds should begin to increase ahead of the next system. Because of this, temperatures may not follow a typical pattern, as clouds typically arrive last in NE CT. Guidance temperatures look decent, showing highs generally around 40 degrees. But a few places in NE CT, where the sun shines longer, may get into the lower 40s.
The Sunday to Monday timeframe is where things get very interesting. A complex storm system ejects out of the High Plains states, then transfers off the east coast. This scenario is generally a snowy one for the area. In general, systems like this can produce a burst of snow, then a changeover to rain for most, followed by heavy snow, as the coastal low takes over. However, we're still a way out at this point, so it isn't a very good idea to focus on any specifics or any specific "target areas". Suffice it to say that a very messy travel period may be unfolding and those with plans may seriously consider adjusting them earlier or later. A myriad of model solutions exist, ranging from the GFS, which is too far south to even affect northern CT very much at all, to the GGEM, which would favor interior areas, to the UKMET, which is basically a non-issue, to the ECMWF, which buries most of CT! So, as is usually the case at this lead time, it's a good idea to just follow the general trends in modeling and see which way they go, Suffice it to say, there is a higher chance for most of CT to at least get some accumulating snow than not at this point, but there is a long way to go. As far as temperatures for Sunday and Monday, I've chopped 3 to 5 degrees off guidance both these days, as Sunday will have clouds and precipitation falling and Monday will "likely" have at least some snowcover, and northerly winds gusting to 40 MPH, which is not a recipe for warm temperatures. That said, expect high temperatures generally in the mid to upper 30s on Sunday and low to mid 30s on Monday.
Quick update: The new ECMWF has arrived, and looks pretty similar to the UKMET, but with heavier snow to start, before changing to rain. Just goes to show that any solution is still on the table and if I wrote this discussion 12 hours earlier or later, the "modeling" part would look completely different.
Finally, going beyond that period one more day, I will continue to assume snowcover and chop 3 to 5 degrees off high temperatures for Tuesday, which yields highs once again in the mid to upper 30s.
A little heads-up to future shifts, the period Wednesday-Thursday of next week really needs to be watched. There's an adequate cold air supply, and a system diving out of the Lakes region with redevelopment near or off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Although not implicitly shown in today's guidance (other than as a weak system) that is usually a setup that can yield a winter storm in this area and needs t to be watched as our next potential threat.
Finally, I haven't really had all that much time to look into the long range, concentrating on a very active period coinciding with a very busy weekend. However, after the mid-week threat, the pattern looks to moderate a bit for a while. Now, having said that, I don't see any long, prolonged warm-ups on the horizon and we could be back to tracking winter storms very soon after.
Now, let's take a look at systems slated to affect the area in the upcoming week. I'll post a map of tomorrow's frontal passage, and then the weekend storm. You can see that rainfall amounts are generally light and that E CT, especially NE CT, gets favored.