Posted by: splillo | April 29, 2012

Where did summer go?

For the last week it would seem that the Northeast has been tossed into a new ice age. Today marks the longest stretch of below normal temperatures in the region since the end of October into early November last year (coinciding with the historic snowstorm).

High temperatures have generally been held to the 50's with lows dipping into the 30's and even 20's. For the third night in a row, frost and freeze warnings have been issued across southern New York, Pennsylvania, and into southern New England where the growing season has officially begun. Snowflakes were even seen whipping through the air in many areas of New England Friday night. Still, this stretch of cooler weather is no extraordinary occurrence. In fact, we're only averaging a few degrees below normal. It's just that in comparison to the record-smashing warmth, this feels like the winter we never had.

Following the significant rainstorm last week, an upper level trough has permanently set up shop over the region, associated with cold and windy conditions. This trough will finally kick eastward tomorrow, with sunny skies prevailing but calmer winds, and warmer temperatures. Monday looks like the pick of the week at this point. Though more ridging builds to our south, the jet stream is still riding over us, carrying disturbances along the way. The threat for showers will be focused on Tuesday and Thursday, though cloudy skies stick around for Wednesday and Friday too. Temperatures will be back around normal though, generally in the 60's to near 70 if the sun should break out.

Elsewhere around the United States, the east coast of Florida is keeping an eye on a disturbance that has been spinning over the Bahamas for the last day or so. Notice the streaks of green and blue on the satellite image (courtesy of rap.ucar.edu). This is cirrus outflow indicating a level of organization and singularity to the storm. The circulation is still primarily in the mid to upper levels (versus a surface circulation that defines a tropical system), though there are some subtropical characteristics. The distinction matters little in terms of sensible weather however. The amount of moisture being pumped toward eastern Florida is near record levels for the time of year. If this storm continues to sit in place, rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches are possible, with considerable flooding concerns.


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