Windswept Rainfall Tonight…Colder Air Returns…But For How Long?

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce
 Cool filtered sunshine this morning with increasing high altitude clouds will give way to mostly cloudy skies this afternoon and warming temperatures into the 40’s. High pressure off the coast will wrap in warming SW winds…but the lack of sunshine will make it feel cooler. Keep a close eye on the radar today because we have quite a bit of rain just to our SW which is heading right to us for tonight. Clouds will thicken in advance of the rain this afternoon with showers arriving in western New England around sunset. Showers will be reaching the coast between 6-8 PM…
The main event comes after 8 PM. This will be a fast moving windswept rainstorm which will last about 6 hours. The peak of the rain will be from 8 PM-2AM. The rain will quickly be tapering off after that time. The low is currently in the Tennessee Valley. It will track to eastern PA by 6 PM, then up the CT valley tonight where it will deepen  and be pushing into Canada by dawn tomorrow. We can expect a widespread .5-1″ rainfall out of this…with a few embedded t-storms possible later tonight. The progressive nature of this storm will keep flooding problems minimal. Unfortunately this is a warm storm…even our northern mountains will get rain out of this…but it should not be enough to wipe out the snow. The rain will simply be absorbed.
12 Windswept Rainfall Tonight...Colder Air Returns...But For How Long?

24 Hour Rainfall

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for the Cape & Islands and a Wind advisory for the rest of the coastline of New England. This storm will be accompanied by a strong low level jet on it’s eastern side. At 925 mb winds will be howling at 70-80 kts just above our heads. Any downpours or T’storms may be able to mix this winds down to the ground. Peak winds are expected between 9 PM and 3 AM. Winds may gust from the south to 50-60 mph on the Cape & Islands as this storm blows through. This may produce some scattered tree and limb damage.
2 Windswept Rainfall Tonight...Colder Air Returns...But For How Long?

Strong winds may mix down in heavy rain


Temps will rise into the 50’s on this southerly wind during the evening hours. Mild air will be in place left over from the storm for the morning hours. Once this storm departs, strong winds from the NW on the back side of with building high pressure will direct another cold shot of air into the northeast. Temps in the 40’s tomorrow will be falling into the 30’s by afternoon with winds still gusting to 40 mph Wednesday..thanks to the cooler blustery NW wind direction. Cold air in place of Wednesday Night into Thursday.
Lo0king ahead to Friday, a weak clipper low will push through New England providing a light mix of snow showers across the north and light rain showers or sprinkles in the south. Once this low passes through…the confidence in the long range looking to the New Year goes down the drain. Timing what happens after Friday is still up in the air as our models have shown a variety of solutions for what will occur this weekend. The Euro has another low following right behind the Friday low…for another shot of light Snow Saturday in southern new England….While the GFS and Canadian have weak high pressure Saturday with another clipper low pushing into Northern New England Sunday with another wintry mix.  So we will see how this all plays out. Which camp eventually joins with the other? Until then…I am remaining optimistic for a dry First Night somehow between these disturbances…but that could change as well.
There is still hope for a pattern change into January…A turn to colder and snowier times is likely…
This year so far the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation have remained positive. This has prevented any upper level blocking pattern so far. Last year at this time, both of these indicators were negative and we were just beginning to enter a 6 week period of extreme winter weather none of us will soon forget.
Looking at the AO chart below, which is similar to the NAO too…there is a trending down towards the neutral and maybe even slightly negative heading into January. It is nothing to get excited about…but it is something that will help the cold to build in the Northern Hemisphere, a few more stronger troughs to develop, and maybe just maybe some upper level blocking …maybe by the end of January.
ao Windswept Rainfall Tonight...Colder Air Returns...But For How Long?
The GFS ensemble out to January 5th shows a trough in the eastern half of the country, but this is simply a cold shot of air following in behind what ever moves through this weekend. I would not be surprised to see something come together off the coast when you see how deep the trough extends down into the Southeast
gfs Windswept Rainfall Tonight...Colder Air Returns...But For How Long?

gfs ENSEMBLE ending Jan. 5th

Again, just showing the colder start to next week , a deep trough, temps below normal. Can it hold?
mslp f168 ussm Windswept Rainfall Tonight...Colder Air Returns...But For How Long?

GFS ensemble 168 hrs outGFS ensemble 360 hrs out

Looking out to the 11th, a broadscale trough and a serious push of cold air. So a colder look and feel can be expected for January which may be more persistent through the end of the month…but I cannot guarantee the blocking pattern until NAO & AO start looking more negative.
  • Stuart Neal

    Thank you Joe for the great details that you give us weather nuts. I remember a few simular winters way in the past that the winter started out like this but ended up real tough in the end. O f course Don Kent was the weatherman and he did a good job with what he had to work with. Thanks again. Stu

    • Maria

      A lot of details but nothing definitive for the weekend.

  • WeatherWizard

    Good evening.
    The GFS and European Model differ on the amplification of the pattern next week. The GFS is much more progressive and unimpressive compared to the amped up European Model showing a huge storm. This huge storm could bring more rain or perhaps a major snow storm. With the lack of blocking it is going to be tough for this to become a major snow storm for I-95 Corridor, but the potential is there.
    Which One Is Right?
    The pre Christmas non event was correctly predicted because the pattern did not support the amped up PNA ridge the models were showing. This resulted in no phase and a non event for the most part. Now we are seeing the Euro go nuts with a PNA ridge. Are we seeing the GFS progressive bias? Or are we seeing the Euro tease us again with hopes of a deep Eastern trough?
    I am siding with the European
    I believe a major storm will form across the Eastern US. The track of this storm is uncertain, but with the lack of blocking I am sure we will see a myriad of solutions from the upcoming model runs the next few days. The GFS will come around to the European thinking as it picks up on some key features.
    The SOI values are crashing. The MJO was stuck in phase 4-5 for a while and we are seeing SOI values peaking at around 50!!This peak value occurred on Christmas Day. So maybe some Christmas magic post Christmas, Since the peak at around 50 values continue to decrease and if they continue to decrease we should see this major amplification in the pattern out West.
    The MJO is currently in Phase 5 as we see the enhancement of convection over the South China Sea. There is a Tropical Cyclone as a result of the westerly sfc winds behind the enhanced convection. The enhanced upper level divergence and warm SST behind this signal resulted in a Tropical Cyclone. CPC mentions that the high frequency in Tropical variability could be leading to the models progressing the MJO signal to the east too quickly. Is this a big deal? Yes, but in terms of our amplification… not really.
    The longer range forecast of whether or not we go back into the COD or head into Phase 8 is not as important as one might think for this event/amplification. The eastward progress has great agreement amongst models and sat observations. This should allow a continued free fall in SOI values supporting a huge amplification to the pattern that the European shows. It would be an added bonus if we can get into phase 8 helping support a change to the pattern.

  • Rob Rose

    WeatherWizard, shut up!

  • Rob Rose

    BTW, great explanation Joe…thanks for the informative post. I hope the NAO and AO stay postive for a long while longer…probably won’t happen but one can dream

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