TODAY: Intervals of clouds and sun, blustery and still chilly; an afternoon rain or snow shower possible. High: 44
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy, brisk and cold. A flurry or two possible. Low: 28
FRIDAY: Windy and even colder despite some sunshine. A few flurries possible to the north. High: 37 Low: 22
Even though we only have 5 days to go until the Spring Equinox arrives, Mother Nature will not be allowing true spring weather to arrive for a while. After a fairly mild February and folks thinking that Punxy Phil’s forecast for 6 more weeks of winter was way off, it seems good ol' Phil will be right after all. Overall, we can expect below normal temperatures right through next week. To go along with that, we’re tracking the potential for yet another storm system that could bring snow to the area, perhaps rain as well, during the early to middle part of next week. Don’t break out those lighter spring jackets anytime soon, and don’t put away the snow shovel just yet.
The region has been under the influence of a deep trough in the jet stream the last couple days, and within that dip in the jet stream, some vigorous upper level energy has been rotating through it to provide us with scattered flurries, snow showers, and even some snow squalls. A few isolated higher elevation spots across the Poconos actually received several inches of snow Tuesday from this setup. For many of us though, we saw little or no accumulation. To go along with the snow, winds have been gusty thanks to a tight pressure gradient between low pressure across the Canadian Maritimes and high pressure well to our south. This breeze certainly adds an extra chill to the air and that’s no exception to the rule to start our Thursday morning. While temperatures for some did not even drop below 30 degrees for the lows, with winds occasionally gusting between 20 and 30 miles-per-hour, it’s been making for wind chill values down in the upper teens and low 20s. Much of the flurry and snow shower activity from yesterday has fizzled out, but a couple flurries still can’t be completely ruled out across the Poconos first thing this morning. Otherwise, one can expect a mix of sun and clouds to start the day.
As we work through Thursday, another piece of upper-level energy will rotate through the deep trough with the jet stream positioned across the region. A weak cold front will also slide through later this afternoon. The combination of these features will lead to clouds increasing later this afternoon, and perhaps a few rain and snow showers popping up. The predominant precipitation type will likely be snow for the Poconos while it may be more rain for areas south of there. Once again, a few isolated spots across the Poconos could receive a coating to an inch or two of snow where heavier snow showers are able to setup. High temperatures are expected to be a little bit warmer today compared to yesterday, generally mid 40s. This is the reason why there may be more in the way of rain shower activity today. Even though the air temperature will be a little bit warmer, with west winds occasionally gusting close to 30 miles-per-hour, it will still feel like it’s well back in the 30s.
A reinforcing shot of cold air will build in for Friday as Canadian high pressure builds closer from the northwest. A tight pressure gradient will be reinforced between high pressure to our northwest and a departing storm system offshore. This will keep our winds gusty out of the northwest. We could once again see gusts as high as 30 miles-per-hour, and this will make for wind chill values down into the teens first thing Friday morning, and well down into the 20s even during the afternoon. High temperatures Friday are expected to stay in the 30s for many.
Weak high pressure should finally build atop the region over the weekend allowing winds to die down and a bit more in the way of sunshine along with slightly warmer temperatures. A weak area of low pressure Saturday is expected to slide by to our south across Virginia and North Carolina. This system might be just close enough that it’s able to spark a few showers for parts of the Philadelphia area into southern New Jersey, but otherwise most of us should be dry with partly sunny skies. High temperatures Saturday are expected to top out in the mid 40s. Sunday should feature mostly sunny skies as the system mentioned sliding by to our south Saturday moves offshore and high pressure sits right atop our area. As of late, data is trending cooler for Sunday’s high temperatures. Earlier we were thinking 50 degrees or a little higher, but as of late, data is suggesting more of a northerly component to the breeze will make for high temperatures in the mid 40s. At least with a fair amount of sunshine expected and much lighter winds, it won’t feel as uncomfortable as the last few days have been.
High pressure should keep things dry and quiet Monday before it gets interesting again for Tuesday, perhaps into Wednesday. An area of low pressure is expected to track eastward from the Great Plains states and transfer its energy to coastal low pressure somewhere off the Mid-Atlantic coast later Tuesday. This coastal low would then track northeastward going into Wednesday. The big questions that remain are, where exactly will the coastal low for and just how far north will the system be able to track. Also, just how much cold air will be available. Computer models have been back and forth on the track and evolution of this system so it’s still way too early to pinpoint any exact details on timing, totals, and who exactly sees what. Bottom line, the potential is there for yet more snow, but perhaps some ice and rain as well, for Tuesday, perhaps into Wednesday, next week. Stay tuned!
Allentown, PA 18102