Cold and Dry (Dec 25-27)

Jonathan Carr
By December 25, 2020 13:42

Cold and Dry (Dec 25-27)

Discussion: A pretty solid wind event for much of NJ last night. There were a few spots in NNJ/CNJ who never gusted above the 30-40mph range. But most other places saw 40-60mph, some higher. SWNJ was gusting to 70mph before midnight last night and Little Egg Harbor inlet clocked an 80mph gust. This slow moving, negative-tilting, boundary took its time departing NJ to the E today (Friday). For that reason, enough lifting was still around for cloud coverage and some lingering showers. It’s really only NENJ/ECNJ hanging onto milder temps still. The boundary does meridionally separate the polar and temperate air masses of the N Hemisphere though. We’re now inside of the trough which was fed a bit of Arctic air. Therefore, as skies improve through sunset, temperatures are going to drop significantly. With the general unsettled nature of a trough (ULL, very low heights, etc.), snow flurries are possible today into tomorrow. This will keep tonight (Friday night) through all of Saturday and into Sunday morning cold and dry. A transient moderation in temperatures is expected for Sunday-Monday before another re-enforcing cold shot for Tuesday-Wednesday. Friday (New Years Day) is the next synoptic storm signal I’m watching. As of right now it looks like what happened last night. The upper-levels and teleconnections still indicate a favorable pattern for east coast winter storm development as far as I can see. There’s about 4-6 periods to watch on model guidance for the first few weeks of 2021. Nothing showing a perfect snowstorm at the surface just yet (perfect timing) but that wouldn’t be expected from this range. What’s NOT showing…is any prolonged periods of warmth.  

Note: Unless specifically mentioned by location (Example: NNJ elevations, SENJ immediate coast, Interior CNJ/SNJ, etc.) assume the following forecast language is statewide for New Jersey. When I say “from elevations to sea” I mean from NWNJ mountains spreading down to immediate ECNJ/SNJ coastal areas. Directions are shortened (N = North, S = South, W/SW = West/SouthWest, etc.).

Friday (Dec 25) high temperatures were achieved during AM hours in the mid-to-upper 50s. We’ll continue to gradually drop today and then really take a nosedive from sunset through overnight hours. NENJ will be last to drop today. The entire state should at least drop into the 20s tonight maybe teens for some. Please take this into consideration for any untreated surfaces that do not dry before freezing this evening. Otherwise, skies should improve from now on and winds should relax out of the W. Isolated flurries are possible from now through tomorrow morning.

Saturday (Dec 26) high temperatures should struggle to rise above freezing, even for coastal SENJ locations. Skies should be mostly sunny. Winds should be light-to-breezy out of the W. Overnight lows should range from teens to 20s from elevations to sea, possibly colder if clear skies and lighter winds.  

Sunday (Dec 27) high temperatures should reach the low-to-mid 40s from elevations to sea. While still an average cold December day this should feel mild after Saturday’s below-average conditions. Skies should be mostly sunny. Winds should be light out of the SW. Overnight lows should range from mid-20s to mid-30s from elevations to sea.

An early look at next week indicates clouds and maybe some rain showers moving in for Monday. Tuesday-Wednesday looks cold and clear. Thursday-Friday unsettled with possibly another strong frontal passage. The status quo remains. A very active pattern heading into 2021 but still nothing that times the cold and precipitation together. Until that happens, I’ll continue to track the favorable pattern. Everyone please have a Merry Christmas and a great weekend. Be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By December 25, 2020 13:42