TODAY: Brisk and cold with clouds, some sun; a few flurries and a snow shower around. High: 39
TONIGHT: Patchy clouds. Low: 23
SATURDAY: Brisk and still chilly with sunshine and a few clouds. High: 43 Low: 21
We are certainly getting off to a chilly start this Friday morning, certainly for this time of the year. Low temperatures for many this past night settled well down into the 20s. Combine that with a west-northwest breeze that has at times gusted to around 20 miles-per-hour, and we occasionally see wind chill values dipping into the upper teens. Some scattered flurries and snow showers have also been seen, and while for many this will hardly amount to anything, a few isolated areas can’t completely rule out a dusting that could make for some minor slippery patches.
As we work through Friday, a few flurries or a snow shower or two can’t be completely ruled out as an upper-level low pressure system continues to slowly track through the region and eventually makes its way off the coast by the afternoon. The best chance for flurries and snow showers will be in the morning and then that chance should taper a bit by the afternoon with the upper-level low departing out to sea. The system should also help to make for mostly cloudy skies but a little sunshine should be able to peak through those clouds. High temperatures will be several degrees below normal today. Our typical highs now this time of year should be in the upper 40s, but we can only expect to top out around 40 degrees for today. Combine that with a west wind that could occasionally gust to 25 miles-per-hour, and it will feel like it’s in the upper 20s to low 30s.
High pressure is expected to build in across the region for the weekend making for mostly sunny skies and slightly lighter winds. With still a bit of a dip in the jet stream in place however, it will ensure our temperatures don’t warm up much. Look for the highs to only reach the low to mid 40s both Saturday and Sunday, which is only a couple degrees warmer than what we end the work week with. Saturday will still be rather brisk and breezy, but winds diminish a little bit by Sunday and the wind chills won’t be quite as noticeable.
Things get a little more interesting again Sunday night into Monday. Right now, we're tracking an area of low pressure forming over the Southern Plains Saturday which will then work its way east and slide off the Carolina or Virginia coast on Monday. The big question will be just how far north can this low pressure system and the northern fringes of its precipitation shield track? At this time, the majority of computer model guidance suggests the low will track far enough to our south that the bulk of the precipitation misses the region. It is possible though the system tracks just far enough north that at least some rain and snow clips areas along and south and east of I-95. If the storm were to track even further north however, more substantial rain and snow could be pushed even further north and west. We will definitely need to keep close tabs on this system over the weekend.
Regardless of what happens with late Sunday into Monday’s coastal low, another seasonably cold air mass settles into our region for the middle of next week with a strong dip in the jet stream building in. Northwest winds become gusty again, and this northwesterly wind flow will make for high temperatures struggling to even get out of the 30s along with lows well down into the 20s. We can expect generally fair skies through the period, but some upper level energy rotating through the dip in the jet stream may allow for some flurries and snow showers to occur Tuesday and Wednesday. There are signs that as we get closer to the Spring Equinox, the pattern will be changing to a warmer one, but in the mean-time, old man winter is certainly getting the last laugh.
Don’t forget by the way that this Sunday at 2 a.m. is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. This means before you go to bed Saturday night, be sure to set your clock ahead one hour. This means we lose an hour of sleep, but on the bright side, we will be seeing more daylight into the evening hours. Have a great and safe weekend everyone!
Allentown, PA 18102