TODAY: Brisk with a mix of sun and clouds. A PM snow shower possible to the north. High: 40
TONIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy; a snow shower in spots late. Low: 24
FRIDAY: A spotty snow shower in the morning; otherwise, blustery with periods of clouds and sunshine. High: 41 Low: 25
Our second coastal storm in less than a week delivered periods of heavy, wet snow to eastern Pennsylvania and all of New Jersey on Wednesday, with brisk winds mostly confined to areas closer to the shore. Thankfully, this storm was not nearly as windy as its predecessor last week, but it did deliver a more widespread snow to the entire area. However, it did not snow everywhere equally, as the convective nature of this storm produced some very heavy snow bands in some areas, especially points south and east closer to Bucks and Montgomery counties, the Interstate 95 corridor, and much of New Jersey. The highest snow totals were in areas that received these heavier bands and even some thundersnow, although the Poconos and other higher elevation locales also saw the higher totals due to colder temperatures allowing snow to more readily accumulate. Winds along the coast gusted over 50 miles-per-hour, but winds diminished the farther inland you traveled, with gusts only around 20 to 30 miles-per-hour, more so in New Jersey and less over Pennsylvania.
The highest snow totals were found from parts of Bucks County in Pennsylvania through parts of Mercer, Hunterdon, Morris, and Sussex counties in northern and western New Jersey, with totals as high as 14 to 24 inches in these areas. For much of the rest of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey, 6-12 inches of snow was the general rule. Pockets of the Lehigh Valley from the cities of Allentown and Bethlehem through parts of Northampton County were closer to 3-6 inches, and then there was a sharp cutoff points west across Berks and Schuylkill counties. In Berks County for example, eastern areas picked up over 10 inches of snow, while western parts saw only a few inches.
Fortunately, we can say goodbye to the nor’easter as it heads away along the coast of New England for today. In its wake, we’ve seen clearing skies but a seasonably cold air mass is settling in along with some breezy conditions. Early this morning, many of us are seeing temperatures running close to 32 degrees. Some folks will be above 32 while others will be just below so while much of yesterday’s snow has been cleaned up, there will still be the potential for a few slippery patches on secondary streets, sidewalks, and parking lots, especially in those locations that received more snow. Otherwise, it’s a quiet start to our Thursday with patchy clouds and winds occasionally gusting between 10 and 20 miles-per-hour.
Look for a mix of sun and clouds as we work through Thursday with a west-northwest wind occasionally gusting close to 20 miles-per-hour. With a dip in the jet stream settling into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, this will ensure our temperatures stay below normal today with highs expected to only be either side of 40 degrees. With a bit of a breeze factored in, there will certainly be an extra chill in the air. Late in the day, a snow shower will be possible across the Poconos as an upper level disturbance and weak surface low pressure system approach from the northwest. These two features will slide across the region overnight into Friday morning keeping the chance for a snow shower going, maybe even for areas to the south as well, along with mostly cloudy skies. Look for low temperatures tonight to fall back into the mid 20s. While many should not see any real snow accumulation, an isolated dusting can’t be completely ruled out. With upper level energy exiting off the coast working through the day Friday, expect the snow shower chance to end and sunshine should mix with clouds. Westerly winds will remain breezy at times and a seasonably cold air mass will remain in place with high temperatures only expected to top out in the low 40s.
High pressure is expected to build across the region for the weekend making for mostly sunny skies and slightly lighter winds. With our wind direction keeping a northwesterly component, it will help to keep our temperatures from really taking off. Look for the highs to only get a couple degrees warmer compared to the end of the week. We’ll go with low to perhaps a few mid 40s for now. At least with some slightly lighter winds and ample sunshine, it won’t feel quite as chilly as the end of the week.
Things get a little more interesting again Sunday night into Monday. Computer models show an area of low pressure forming to our southwest and sliding off the Carolina Coast working through Monday. The big question will be just how far north can this low pressure system track, and how close to the coast will it ultimately be. At this time, the majority of computer model guidance suggests the storm system will track far enough south of us, that the bulk of the precipitation misses the region. It is possible though it tracks far enough north that at least some rain and snow clips areas along and south and east of I-95. This probably wouldn’t be anything substantial however. If the storm were to track further north though and closer to the coast then obviously that could push more substantial rain and snow further north and west. This will certainly be something to keep an eye on the next several days.
Regardless of what happens with late Sunday into Monday’s coastal low pressure system, behind that feature, another seasonably cold air mass settles into our region as a dip in the jet stream pushes back in. We might see a few snow showers with a northwest wind flow, but otherwise as we start next week we can expect sun and clouds with chilly temperatures and breezy conditions. Even though we our less than 2 weeks away from the Spring Equinox, mother nature is certainly letting winter get one last laugh in. Have a great and safe rest of the week!
Allentown, PA 18102