There remains considerable uncertainty in the computer forecast models on a potential coastal storm that will develop off the mid-Atlantic and northeast coastline later this week. National Weather Service forecast offices continue to monitor the potential for snow with this storm as plenty of cold air will be drawn southward as it strengthens offshore. The key to the forecast, as it often is during the winter months, is the exact strength and track that the storm will take. It is too early to determine these details and computer models will continue to shift back and forth over the next few days.
On Halloween, low pressure will track into the Great Lakes and drag a cold front through the northeast, which will bring the first ingredient for a potential snow event…cold air. A fresh and cold Canadian air mass will infiltrate into the region once all the ghost and goblins have gathered their treats and gone to bed on Friday night. Low pressure will then begin to develop off the mid-Atlantic coast along the thermal gradient into early Saturday, spreading precipitation back into the region on the backside of the storm. The evolution of the storm, the track of the low along the coast, along with the timing of the coldest air, will all be crucial as to what areas see precipitation and what type of precipitation. A track much further offshore, which is still just as possible as a track close to the coast, will lead to less amounts of precipitation along with breezy and cold weather into Saturday. Other complex factors are also in play, including the timing of crucial energy which will strengthen the storm once offshore.
Regardless of rain, snow, sleet, or just cloudy skies, cold and gusty winds are expected for all of the northeast and mid-Atlantic throughout the weekend. Any locations that have not seen a hard freeze yet will likely have one this weekend as overnight low temperatures drop into the 20’s and 30’s. Gusty winds will make wind chills even lower and it will feel more like December than early November.
The good news is that once this cold shot departs, prospects are good for temperatures to warm and return to above average values into early November. The Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook calls for above average temperatures for much of the contiguous United States from November 5 through November 11.
Stay tuned for more information on this developing weather story.
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The Outlook for the Coming Winter
The Weather Channel severe weather expert Tom Niziol takes a look at the forecast for the upcoming winter.