Monday, December 31, 2012

Dec 30, 2012 Brief Update

Forecast Overview:

The region will be under a cold and generally dry pattern for the next week, with few notable upcoming weather events. Aside from a few flurries on New Year's Eve and on January 1, most of the week will be dry. Until Tuesday, highs will be in the 30s, with highs in the mid 20s to low 30s expected for the rest of the week. The coldest day is expected to be next Friday, with highs in the 20s for most of, if not all of the area, with widespread lows in the 10s likely, possibly slightly below 10 degrees for interior northern areas. A moderation in temperatures is expected towards next weekend with the possibility for some precipitation but no major storm likely at this time.

The next full discussion and updated 5-day forecast will be posted on Monday, 12/31.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dec 29, 2012 Storm Updates

Updates will be posted on the rain and snow event currently affecting the region. A few detailed updates will be posted in the bottom of this post, with most updates from Twitter.

Live storm updates will be posted on Twitter occasionally throughout the day.

Latest Twitter Updates:  (Scroll to the bottom of the post for blog updates)

Blog Updates:

3:55 PM: Since the last update, the coastal low affected the area, with moderate accumulations observed in NW parts of the area. Towards NYC and NE NJ, however, this is busting on the low side, with rain in NYC resulting in barely any accumulations, while a persistent dry slot in NE NJ just west of the banding with the coastal low prevented locations from picking up much more than an inch. Long Island has seen rain so far, although a changeover to snow is expected as the coastal low intensifies, with heavy snow expected for some areas.

With the latest observations, the totals have been again revised. For NW NJ and SE NY, 2 to 5 inches are still expected. In NE NJ, 1-3 inches are expected, with less than 2 inches in NYC and western Long Island. Higher totals are expected in eastern Long Island due to heavy precipitation from the coastal low tonight with parts of the island picking up 2-4 inches, with the highest totals in the area in eastern and central CT, where at least 4 to 8 inches of snow are expected, with locally higher totals above 8 inches towards eastern CT.

12:10 PM: Since the last update, the coastal low has continued to intensify, and is currently a 1002 mb low near eastern North Carolina moving NNE. Precipitation associated with the coastal low continues to expand and intensify, and moderate to heavy snow is moving into the area, mixing with rain in parts of Long Island. Heavy snow rates are expected up to 1/2 to 1 inch per hour especially west and north of NYC for the main part until the storm ends.

Forecast accumulations have been slightly raised to 1-3 inches in Long Island, 2-4 inches in NYC, 3-5 inches in NE NJ and SE NY, and 4 to 7 inches in southern CT. Locally higher totals may be possible.

10:30 AM: The snow from this storm has been affecting Pennsylvania and New York throughout the morning, although most of the area has been dry so far. Last night's update mentioned the potential for a drier area to set up near the Interstate 95 corridor southwest of NYC in between the interior snowfall and the developing coastal low, which is what is currently happening, only that the dry conditions are reaching NYC and extending into southeastern New York. Precipitation from the developing coastal low is currently intensifying over Washington DC, and will reach the area late this morning through the afternoon hours.

Currently, temperatures are currently cold enough to support snow across most of the area, with 925mb temperatures ranging from 0C in eastern LI to -4C in NW NJ, and 850mb temps near -3C to -5C across the area. A southeast wind persists at 925mb, however, with the low still near western Pennsylvania, and 925mb temperatures will continue to rise. With that said, some of the models were already too warm for this morning, showing NYC and Long Island in the upper 30s when temperatures are only near 33-34 degrees for most, and may be overdoing the warmth at 925mb and thus the northern extent of the rain/snow line as well. The current forecast for today is still for plain snow north and west of NYC, perhaps mixing with rain at times towards Newark; snow occasionally mixing with rain in NYC and western LI; and mostly rain for eastern and coastal Long Island.

At this time, my thoughts on snow accumulations have not changed, although locally higher totals are expected across the area, especially in Connecticut. Below is an updated version of my regional snow map posted yesterday on Twitter:

Dec 28, 2012: Saturday Snow Forecast

Forecast Highlights:

After an unusually mild December, a winter pattern gradually began to spread through the US starting mid December, and will reach the NYC area starting tomorrow with a snow and rain storm expected for the area tomorrow. Behind this storm, a sustained cold pattern will develop going into the first week of January, with very cold temperatures possible as well as a few snow shower potentials, one of them on New Year's Day.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dec 27, 2012: Snow Expected For Saturday

Forecast Highlights:

The gradual turn to a cold pattern continues through the forecast period, with no warmth in sight through the next week. Following yesterday's storm, drier conditions returned today and will continue on Friday, with the next storm affecting the area on Saturday with widespread moderate snowfall. Behind the storm, much colder temperatures are expected for next week with the first period of sustained near to below average temperatures since November.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dec 26, 2012 Storm Updates

Updates will be posted on the rain, snow, ice and wind event currently affecting the region. A few detailed updates will be posted in the bottom of this post, with most updates from Twitter.

12 AM: An update has been posted on the weekend storm and the potential for changes in the forecast with a significant snowstorm possible. Scroll down for more information.

Latest Twitter Updates:  (Scroll to the bottom of the post for blog updates)

Blog Updates:

12:00 AM: While most of the event has ended for the area, a last strong batch of heavy rain is moving through the area, and is expected to produce strong to damaging wind gusts, up to and locally over 60 mph. Today's storm has had many impacts on the area; ranging from power outages further south due to the strong winds, heavy rain near NYC, and significant snowfall in the northwestern parts of the area, which are still reporting snow but are expected to mix with and gradually change over to rain, sleet and freezing rain.

**Forecast Update**: Behind this storm, yet another snow event is expected for the region, this time including more of the area without a changeover to heavy rain. A relatively weak storm will quickly move towards the region, with snow expected throughout the day on Saturday as it moves towards the coast and intensifies offshore. At this time, most models are relatively weak with the storm, but there are signs of a trend of a slightly stronger and wetter storm. The current expectation based on the latest model trends is for a light-moderate snowstorm to affect the area with snow totals generally between 2 and 5 inches, although it is not out of the question that a snowier scenario with a stronger and more amplified storm ends up being shown with future model runs; if so, forecast totals may need to be adjusted upwards for parts of the area with later updates, and a more significant snowstorm may be possible. More information will be posted on this with Thursday night's discussion.

9:00 PM: Over the last few hours, the snow in the immediate NYC area gradually mixed with and changed over to sleet and rain; currently, rain is the dominant precipitation type in NYC and further east and south, with southern Connecticut and NE NJ near the borderline, switching between rain and sleet. Heavy rain, mixing with sleet occasionally north of NYC, will continue until at least 12 AM, with only light occasional showers expected afterwards. Strong wind gusts will continue tonight, with lighter winds expected tomorrow.

Heavy snow continues to affect NW NJ and interior SE NY, with heavy snow and strong winds resulting in near blizzard conditions at times. Accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected prior to the end of the bulk of the storm, with freezing rain expected to begin mixing later tonight. Plain rain is also expected to start mixing but not until the bulk of the storm ends, when precipitation is lighter and more spotty.

5:40 PM: Since the last update earlier this afternoon, snow has developed from NYC and further north/west, with rain and some snow/sleet in Long Island. Moderate to locally heavy snow was observed in N NJ and SE NY, with accumulations generally in the 1-3 inch range so far. Especially towards NE NJ and NYC, precipitation has been going back and forth from snow to rain/sleet, but is expected to transition towards more sleet and rain as the rain/snow line, currently close to the Interstate 80 corridor, continues to slowly shift north.

Additional accumulations are expected in SE NY, southern CT, north central and NW NJ through the evening hours while NYC and NE NJ gradually change over to plain rain, with sleet, freezing rain and rain gradually reaching the northwestern areas as well this evening. For the immediate NYC area into Long Island and southern CT, once the changeover takes place, heavy rain will continue through at least 12-4 AM with up to an inch expected, along with wind gusts up to 50-60 mph, perhaps locally higher in Long Island.

Following the weakening of the primary low pressure over Kentucky, the secondary low pressure is developing as expected near SE Virginia, and will move NNE towards New Jersey and just south of NYC by tonight, although most of the precipitation will fall ahead of the low pressure.

2:40 PM: This morning, the storm produced light accumulating snow for Baltimore, with the rain/snow line currently set up near the Interstate 95 corridor with flurries observed from NYC and further west and SW. Light non-accumulating snow is expected in NYC, changing over to rain by at least 5 PM. West of NYC, the snow is expected to pick up in intensity through at least 5-6 PM, when the rain/snow line will gradually move from northeastern NJ further north/west, gradually making its way towards NW NJ and interior SE NY where more ice is expected towards the overnight hours. The current accumulation forecast is for 1 inch in NE NJ, 1-2 inches in SE NY, 2-4 inches towards western Bergen county and interior Rockland county, and 4-8 inches in NW NJ and interior SE NY, with locally higher amounts possible.

Dec 25, 2012: Final Storm Forecast

Forecast Highlights:

An active pattern continues for the region following a light rain/snow event last night, with a major storm currently in the southern United States making its way towards the Northeast, and is expected to produce heavy rain, strong winds, significant snowfall and ice across the region from Wednesday afternoon through early Thursday. A brief break is expected for Friday before another storm affects the region on Saturday with light snow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dec 24, 2012: Two Storms, Then Cold

Forecast Highlights:

A weak and fast moving light snow event affected the region tonight, with less than 1 inch of snow for most of the area, locally higher, with more snow than expected in NYC and Long Island. With the minor accumulations, enough snow will remain on the ground for some to experience a white Christmas. This is just the first storm of this new wintry pattern, however, as a significant storm on Wednesday produces heavy rain, wind as well as snow and ice inland, followed by another storm potential next weekend.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Dec 24, 2012 Storm Updates

NOTICE: Pattern Outlook #7 has been posted this evening, and can be found below this post.

Updates will be posted on the light snow event currently affecting the region. A few detailed updates will be posted in the bottom of this post, with most updates from Twitter.

Latest Twitter Updates:  (Scroll to the bottom of the post for blog updates)

Blog Updates:

6:30 PM:The first snow event since November 27, almost a month ago, is affecting the region tonight. Observations from the Mid Atlantic show the storm has overperformed with the extent of the snowfall, with bursts of heavy snow reported east of the Interstate 95 corridor while accumulations have been reported along and west of I-95, with some locations seeing up to 2-3 inches of snow. While the precipitation is slightly weaker than it was in the Mid Atlantic, the potential is there that there is more widespread front end snow than expected, extending into NYC and parts of Long Island as well. With the warmer surface temperatures, however, accumulations will be limited to locations north and west of NYC, with up to an inch expected for the north/west suburbs and 1-2 inches for the interior NW parts of the area.

Long Range Pattern Outlook #7

Brief Overview:

Today's long range pattern outlook focuses on the medium range pattern going into early January, with growing indications that the pattern changes evolving during late December continue into early January with a cold pattern for the region, possibly including several snowstorms as well, one of them on December 29-30.

Click below to read the full post.

Dec 23, 2012: Three Storms Coming Up

Forecast Highlights:

Following Friday morning's cold front, mostly cloudy skies were observed on Sunday with windy conditions and isolated snow flurries; weaker winds were observed on Sunday. Chilly temperatures will continue until Monday night, when two storm potentials are expected for the region. At least some snow is expected north and west of NYC on Monday night, with a more significant storm on Wednesday into Thursday that will produce heavy rain, wind, as well as snow and freezing rain for the interior.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dec 23, 2012 Noon: Brief Update On Storms

This post covers the planned update for yesterday, 12/22. Two posts will be added tonight, a pattern outlook and an additional discussion on the upcoming storms.

Monday Night - Tuesday: Christmas is shaping up to be wet rather than white for most of the area, although parts of the area still have a chance to make it to Christmas morning with snow on the ground. Light precipitation will develop early on Monday night, ending by Tuesday morning; this will be mostly, if not entirely rain from NYC and further south and east, with light snow quickly changing over to rain for the north/west suburbs with a longer period of light snow for the interior northwest parts of the area. Accumulations will be limited to north/west of NYC, with up to 1 inch possible for the suburbs and 1 to 2 inches towards NW NJ and interior SE NY.

Wednesday - Thursday: The model guidance is still not consistent with the storm mid-late next week, with the GFS having gone all the way from a coastal low with a major snowstorm in NYC to a low pressure over Ohio with heavy rain and 50 degrees for the area. The 18z GFS run last night showing this outcome is likely a western outlier, just as the 18z GFS run 2 nights ago with the major snowstorm is also an outlier. For now, I'm making little revisions to my original thinking, going with a slightly more west track and a warmer outcome with the low pressure tracking over or not far west of New York City. Most of the area is likely to see plain rain, with some snow to start changing over to rain north and west of NYC as well. The exact timing is uncertain at this time, but appears to be mostly a Wednesday night event into Thursday. The main risk at this time appears to be heavy rain over 1 inch and strong winds, although some accumulations are still possible further inland towards NW NJ and interior SE NY.

These storms will be discussed in more detail tonight, along with another storm potential towards the end of the month. A pattern outlook focusing into early January will be posted as well.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dec 21, 2012: Winter Begins With 2 Snow Potentials

Forecast Highlights:

While the start to winter has been delayed, unlike last year winter has not been denied; the heavy rain and wind event today marks the transition to an actual wintry pattern, starting off with snow showers and strong winds across the region tonight and tomorrow, followed by chilly temperatures. The effects of this change will become even more noticeable next week, with two snowstorm potentials expected for the region, one which may result in a white Christmas for parts of the area.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dec 21, 2012 Noon Update

4:55 PM: Last night, the area was affected by a heavy rain and strong wind event. Widespread gusts of 45-60 mph were observed along with rainfall generally up to 1 inch as temperatures surged well into the 50s for some. Following the cold front, temperatures have dropped, and are currently in the upper 30s to low 40s west of NYC and in the low to mid 40s from NYC and further east. Winds will pick up again with the strong upper level low over the region, with gusts up to 40-50 mph expected again on Saturday along with scattered snow showers, especially towards interior western areas where a coating of snow may be possible.

The December limited posting schedule of one discussion in 2-3 days has ended yesterday. Daily discussions and updates, including a daily 5-day forecast update, will resume starting tonight. More information on the upcoming wintry pattern, including two snow potentials, will be posted tonight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dec 19, 2012: Rain Thurs Night, Then Cold

*Correction: The headline was edited to fix a typo expecting rain tonight instead of Thursday night.

Forecast Highlights:

Following heavy rain and even some thunderstorms on Monday night into Tuesday, conditions are briefly drying up across the region for Wednesday and Thursday. This period of calm weather will be short lasting, as a stronger storm affects the region on Friday with heavy rain, wind and isolated flurries while a cold air mass settles over the region until about Christmas or the day afterwards, when the next storm is set to affect the region.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec 17, 2012: Rain Tonight, Thursday Night

Note: The current limited posting schedule with 1 discussion in 2-3 days will end late this week. The typical daily posting schedule will resume next weekend.

Forecast Overview:

Today - Tuesday: Following the departure of the overnight showers, another round of rain is expected on Monday night, with mainly cloudy skies and highs in the low to mid 40s inland and mid to upper 40s elsewhere on Monday. Light to moderate rain is expected overnight with locally heavy showers possible. Rain totals are expected to generally end up around 1/2 to 3/4 inch for most with locally higher totals possible. Temperatures will reach the upper 40s to low 50s inland and the low to possibly mid 50s for the rest of the area on Tuesday with mostly cloudy skies and increasingly windy conditions from the NW.

Wednesday - Friday: Wednesday will be another windy day but with mostly sunny skies, as high temperatures reach the mid 40s inland and the upper 40s for the rest of the area. Lighter winds are expected for Thursday with highs slightly warmer than those of Wednesday. By Thursday night, a strong low pressure will move into the Great Lakes region, with temperatures overnight steadily rising into the low to possibly mid 50s across the area while moderate to locally heavy rain affects the area with the cold front. Once the front moves through, temperatures will quickly cool down by the morning hours into the 30s west of NYC and 40s in NYC and north/east, with mostly cloudy skies and windy conditions for Friday with highs in the 40s for most.

Longer Range: There is still some uncertainty regarding what happens in the longer range with the late week storm, with the latest model guidance keeping the upper level low suppressed over the region with a strong block to its north, which would result in several days of near to colder than average temperatures, with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s, starting on Saturday. At this time, a cold and dry Christmas appears likely, with a storm potential afterwards. Stay tuned for more information on the longer range.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dec 14, 2012: Three Storms Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

Following a generally inactive and mild first half of the month, some changes in the pattern are currently developing with less sustained mild temperatures, and at least in the short to medium range more storminess as well. This will be most noticeable next week with three storms expected; at this time, rain or a wintry mix is favored over a snowstorm, especially for the first two storms, but the potential is still there for at least one snow event to affect the area before the end of the month.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dec 11, 2012: More Active Pattern To Return

Forecast Highlights:

Following last night's cold front, cooler temperatures returned with highs in the mid 40s inland and the upper 40s to low 50s for the rest of the area, which was warmer than expected. Similar conditions will continue through Saturday until a more active pattern develops, with rain expected on Sunday and Monday with another potential storm around the 19-20th.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Long Range Pattern Outlook #6

Brief Overview:

Tonight's long range pattern outlook focuses on the medium range pattern going into the second half of the month, as some changes in the pattern do not result in a much colder pattern but do increase the probability of seeing at least one snowstorm by the end of the month.

Click below to read the full post.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dec 9, 2012: Rainy Start, Dry End To Week

Forecast Highlights:

Showers have been observed across the area today as temperatures are currently starting to climb, and will peak in the low 60s near NYC for the third time this month tomorrow behind a stronger cold front. Temperatures will cool down significantly on Wednesday before slowly rising throughout the rest of the week ahead of another rain event towards next weekend into early next week.

Dec 8, 2012: Warmth, Rain Early This Week

Forecast Highlights:

A cold front is currently moving through the area, although rain will redevelop again on Sunday as a warm front moves through the region, with warmth returning briefly for Monday before another cold front overnight. Temperatures will warm up again throughout the rest of the week with dry conditions ahead of another rain event likely late next weekend or early the following week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dec 5, 2012: Rain Returns Weekend, Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

Following another unseasonably warm day on Tuesday, slightly colder but still above normal temperatures returned today (Wednesday) behind a cold front, with chilly temperatures sticking around through Thursday night. The cool temperatures will only be short lasting, however, as a warmer air mass returns for the weekend into early next week with persistent cloud cover and occasional showers, peaking on Monday into Monday night as another cold front moves through the region.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dec 3, 2012: Little Cold, Snow Through Mid Month

Forecast Highlights:

As soon as meteorological winter began two days ago, the winter-like pattern in November fell apart, with a short lasting surge of warmth providing the region with widespread 50 and 60 degree weather through Tuesday for most and Wednesday for some areas further east. While cooler temperatures will return behind a cold front on Tuesday night, they will not be long lasting, with a warmer than average pattern with little snow chances continuing through at least the middle of the month as more clouds and rain return for parts of the weekend and especially early next week.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dec 1, 2012: Fall-Like Start To Winter

Forecast Highlights:

The region has been under a cold pattern for the last week of November, with the 2nd snowstorm of the month on the 27th. Following another cold day today, a warm front is moving through the region, removing the cold air mass from the region as much warmer temperatures briefly return. Behind a cold front on the 5th, temperatures will cool down briefly before returning to slightly above average, with stormy weather potentially returning by the 9-11th.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Final Winter 2012-2013 Outlook

This is the only winter outlook posted this year; there was no preliminary outlook. Last year's final outlook can be found here. As with the last 2 years, an updated winter outlook will be posted in early January.

Final Winter 2012-2013 Outlook
NYC Area Weather

For the second consecutive year, winter is already off to an early start for the NYC area. Only a year after last year's historic late October snowstorm, a significant snowstorm affected the area on November 7th this year with another minor snowstorm on the 27th, as this November ended up with the coldest monthly temperature anomalies for the area since early 2011. The early October snowstorm was as close to a winter as last year got in terms of snow, however; a mild, snowless and progressive pattern persisted through the entire season, resulting in one of the warmest and least snowiest winters on record. While the winter will be off to a somewhat mild start, unlike last year, there are already significant differences that will prove this year to be different than last year with more cold and snow, potentially even above average.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nov 27, 2012 Evening Update

5:25 PM: Storm Ending West Of NYC

The second snow event of the month affected the area today, with snow totals as of earlier this afternoon mostly below 2 inches north and west of NYC into southern CT, with the highest totals towards western and central NJ away from the coast with as much as 3-5 inches of snow. NYC and Long Island mostly observed rain with little to no accumulations.

As the latest radar shows to the left, the storm is currently moving out of the area, with rain and snow ending from NYC and further west over the next 1-2 hours. Precipitation will persist through the early overnight hours for Long Island and southern Connecticut as the coastal low, currently south of Long Island, intensifies while moving away from the region. Temperatures will drop into the 20s tonight north and west of NYC, with low 20s further inland and mid to upper 20s for the north/west suburbs of NYC including parts of southern CT. Chilly temperatures will stick around through Friday, with warmer temperatures returning for the weekend and into early next week. More information on the forecast will be posted with a brief update tonight.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nov 26, 2012: Tuesday Rain/Snow, Then Cold Again

Forecast Highlights:

After warmer temperatures for the area today, cloud cover will be on the increase tonight as a fast moving low pressure approaches, producing the second snow event for the month mostly focusing west and southwest of NYC. Behind this storm, temperatures will cool down for the second half of the week, but will not last for long as a warmer pattern develops for the first week of December, possibly beyond.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nov 24, 2012: Weak Storm For Tuesday

Forecast Highlights:

Following last night's cold front, a much colder air mass resulted in colder temperatures and windy conditions across the area, with isolated snow showers observed in some areas especially north and west of NYC. This colder pattern will last through the end of the month; while no significant storms are expected for at least the next 2 weeks, the main highlight will be a fast moving low pressure producing a light rain/snow event for Tuesday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nov 23, 2012: Light Rain/Snow Likely Tuesday

Forecast Highlights:

The stable pattern with little variation in temperatures that has been in place since last Tuesday is coming to an end with a cold front moving through the region tonight, producing scattered showers north of NYC with much colder temperatures for this weekend. A stormy pattern is unlikely to develop through the start of December, although a weak storm will affect the region during the middle of this week with light rain and snow likely. Click below to read tonight's forecast discussion.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Nov 22, 2012: Storm Possible Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

After what has been a long stretch of dry conditions through the middle of the month, with most of the area at least 25-50% of the average monthly rainfall, a change in the pattern is expected, although at least for the next 2 weeks is not expected to result in any stormy pattern. The next upcoming precipitation event is possible for the middle of next week, with a storm expected to reach the region but with the track still uncertain.

Long Range Pattern Outlook #5

Brief Overview:

Tonight's long range pattern outlook focuses on the end of November into early December, regarding the medium range pattern and an expected pattern change, along with verification for the 2nd pattern outlook from 10/16. The final winter outlook will be posted next Tuesday.

Click below to read the full post.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nov 20, 2012: Winter Approaches; Storm Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

Three more days of mostly to partly sunny skies and similar temperatures are expected in time for Thanksgiving day, with dry conditions and highs in the low to mid 50s expected. By this weekend, the pattern will begin to change as the cold air that has been building up in Canada drops into the US more frequently, starting with a much colder weekend followed by a storm around the middle of next week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nov 19, 2012: Mostly Sunny Thanksgiving, Colder Weekend

Forecast Highlights:

Temperatures will continue to gradually warm up slightly throughout this week, with partly sunny skies expected for Thanksgiving along with highs in the low to mid 50s. The zonal and dry pattern in place will begin to change starting this weekend with a transient cold air mass expected, with the next widespread storm potential expected around November 27-29.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nov 17, 2012: Pattern Lasts Through This Week

Forecast Highlights:

The drier pattern that has been in place since Wednesday will fail to break apart through the medium range, with a high pressure keeping dry conditions and little variation in temperatures sticking around through Sunday and the rest of the upcoming week as a coastal low pressure remains suppressed to the south and east. Beyond Friday, however, changes will begin to take place in the pattern leading up to December, starting with a likely cold spell around next weekend.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nov 17, 2012 Evening Post

The blog will be updated tonight with a forecast discussion and a new 5-Day Forecast. Brief updates will be posted until Tuesday due to my busy schedule, with the current posting schedule, in effect through December, to be resumed on Wednesday.

Blog Announcements:

1. The hurricane Sandy and early November storm summaries will be posted by late November.

2. Pattern outlook #5 will be posted on Tuesday, 11/20. This outlook will discuss the pattern through early December, including a verification of pattern outlook #2, as well as a preview of this year's winter outlook.

3. The 2012-2013 winter outlook is currently scheduled to be posted on Tuesday, 11/27.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

**No Updates Posted 11/14-16, 2012**

Due to a very busy schedule, I will not be able to update the blog tonight and tomorrow. The next update will be posted on Saturday, 11/17/12.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nov 13, 2012: Cooler Temperatures Continue

Brief Forecast Overview:

Following this morning's cold front which brought widespread showers, a colder air mass returned into the region today, with chilly temperatures sticking in place through the rest of this week into most of next week. In this time period, high temperatures will generally remain in the mid 40s to low 50s across the area. Lows will start out tonight in the mid 20s to low 30s away from NYC, with mid 30s in NYC and the immediate coast, although will gradually warm towards the weekend and next week into the low to upper 30s away from NYC, with upper 30s to low 40s in NYC and the immediate coast. Mostly to partly sunny skies will continue through the weekend.

The forecast becomes more uncertain next week with a coastal storm, with some models keeping the storm south of the region while others show rain reaching the Northeast. With the pattern in place, this storm will generally be slow moving; increased cloud cover and possibly rain are expected for early-mid next week, with the storm likely to exit the region towards late next week. Stay tuned for more information on this storm potential and the possible impacts in the area.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nov 12, 2012: Chilly, Drier Pattern Coming Up

Forecast Highlights:

Following another warmer than average day, a cold front is currently moving through the region, with a chilly air mass returning by Tuesday. Chilly temperatures will continue through the next 1-2 weeks without any significant warmth or cold, while a coastal storm may affect the region next week, especially in the Mid Atlantic and potentially in the Northeast, with additional rain possible.

Forecast Overview:

As the radar image above shows, a cold front is moving through the region with widespread showers. The rain should clear most of the area by the late morning except for the eastern half of the area, with colder highs expected for Tuesday peaking in the mid to upper 40s inland and the upper 40s to low 50s across the rest of the area. Dry conditions will persist through the rest of the week and into next weekend with little changes in the weather conditions across the region; highs will generally reach the mid 40s to low 50s for most days, with lows in the mid 20s to low 30s away from NYC, ending up slightly warmer by next weekend into early next week.

As mentioned with yesterday's pattern outlook, a more progressive and less amplified pattern will develop, with above average 500mb heights across the northern US with below average heights in the Southeast along with a potential coastal storm around early-mid next week. With the above average heights and a strong surface high pressure to its north, the low will remain suppressed, and at this time would be most likely to have possible impact in the Southeast, possibly extending further north into the Mid Atlantic. Frozen precipitation is not out of the question for interior parts of the region should precipitation make it this far north, but with an absence of widespread strong cold air which remains bottled up in Canada, this storm is unlikely to be a widespread snow producer. With the pattern in place, this is likely to be a slow moving storm, influencing the pattern across the region through at least mid next week. No significant change in temperatures appears to be on the way through at least late next week.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Long Range Pattern Outlook #4

Brief Overview:

Tonight's long range pattern outlook focuses on the second half of November, regarding the medium range pattern and the potential for a coastal storm, along with verification for the 1st pattern outlook from 10/6. The final winter outlook will be posted towards late November.

Click below to read the full post.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nov 10, 2012: Warmer, Less Extreme Pattern Ahead

Forecast Highlights:

Following the extreme 10-day period ranging from hurricane Sandy to extreme cold and a significant early season snowstorm, the NYC area is finally getting a much needed break from the active pattern. A pattern change is currently unfolding, with much warmer temperatures returning this weekend into early next week as a less active pattern continues through at least the middle of November.

Nor'easter Brief Summary:

For the 2nd year in a row, the NYC area was affected by an unusually early significant snowstorm, with widespread amounts of 4 to 10 inches, locally as high as 13-14 inches, observed. This storm was very difficult to forecast with the model guidance failing to reach a consensus on the storm scenario until the storm was already underway. While parts of the forecast from the night before did verify, such as the expectation for a widespread snowstorm across New Jersey, SE NY and CT, the heavy snow began earlier than expected, with the heavy snow axis east of the expectation as totals were much higher than expected. Parts of Long Island which were expected to receive rain ended up with as much as 4-8 inches of snow, parts of Connecticut and New Jersey received as much as 10-14 inches of snow, and even Central Park received 4.7 inches of snow; this makes this month the snowiest November since 1989 which also had 4.7 inches, tying it with that year as the 6th snowiest November on record; the top 5 snowiest Novembers in recorded history were all from 1938 and earlier.

Latest Forecast: Drier, Not As Cold

Fortunately, there is not much to say about the upcoming pattern which remains relatively calm, bringing a much needed break to the region after Sandy, unseasonable cold and an early snowstorm. A strong ridge is currently building over the eastern half of the US, with a much warmer air mass spreading into the region. This will result in a significant warm up as temperatures reach the upper 50s to mid 60s on Sunday and the low to mid 60s, locally upper 60s near NYC, on Monday. A cold front will move through the region on Monday night with scattered showers as a colder air mass returns behind it, with highs returning into the upper 40s to low 50s for most of the area on Tuesday, followed by more widespread lows in the upper 20s to low 30s away from NYC. These colder temperatures will continue through at least Thursday, with a gradual warm up late in the week into next weekend as highs return into the mid to potentially upper 50s range. The main highlight towards the medium range is the potential for a storm around next weekend or early next week, which remains uncertain at this time.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nov 7, 2012 Storm Summary

November 7, 2012 Snowstorm

On November 7, 2012, a moderate snowstorm affected the NYC area with moderate to locally heavy wet snow. Typically, a storm of this magnitude is not unusual, with numerous bigger storms observed over the last few years. This event, however, was made notable due to several factors, including this being the second year in a row the NYC area observed an unseasonably early snowstorm, unusually difficult forecasting of the storm even 1-2 days in advance, and this wet snowstorm coming barely a week after hurricane Sandy devastated the Mid Atlantic coast.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nov 7, 2012 Storm Updates

Updates will be posted on the nor'easter and unusual early season snowstorm currently affecting the area starting later this afternoon. A few brief Twitter updates will be posted before then, with blog updates on the storm starting in the late afternoon as well.

10:20 AM: concern growing for heavy snow this afternoon to begin a bit earlier than expected with accumulations a bit higher in the NYC area. Update will be posted at 11:40.

Latest Twitter Updates:  (Scroll to the bottom of the post for blog updates)

Blog Updates:

11:20 PM: The snow band impressively continues to hold in place over the NYC area, although it has slightly weakened over the last few hours and has become a bit more broken up. Regardless, this storm has significantly overperformed in terms of snow totals, with widespread totals of 5-10 inches, locally up to 12 inches, likely across parts of New Jersey, NYC, western Long Island, and western/central CT, with the highest totals over SW CT.

This is the last storm update for tonight. The snow will gradually weaken later in the overnight hours, with dry conditions expected by the morning. The next forecast update will be posted on Thursday evening.

7:50 PM: The heavy snow band continued to train over the immediate NYC area over the last few hours, with accumulations as high as 6-8 inches reported in SW Connecticut. Precipitation from the nor'easter has dried up across parts of the Northeast, although the band of heavy snow remains strong over the immediate NYC area, with lighter snow observed in NW NJ, Orange county in interior SE NY, and eastern Connecticut and Long Island. Additional power outages are being reported with the snowstorm on top of locations that remain without power due to hurricane Sandy a little more than a week ago, while winds were weaker than expected, generally reaching 40-50 mph in Long Island. The snow is expected to begin weakening after 8-9 AM, gradually ending through the overnight hours.

5:30 PM: A highlight of the winter came quite unexpectedly before the season even started, and in the strangest of all situations possible: A significant early season snowstorm in the NYC area a little more than a week after a late season hurricane in New Jersey. The current set up is somewhat east of yesterday's forecast, the northwestern parts of the area are underperforming, with Sussex and Orange county likely to end up with 1 to 3 inches total, with the lowest totals further northwest.

Instead, the heaviest snow is focusing in the area over NE NJ, NYC, western Long Island into Nassau county, and southwestern/central Connecticut, where the storm is significantly overperforming. Totals of at least 4 to 8 inches are expected across most of this area. The latest radar shows banding over NYC, Nassau county and SW CT, with the heaviest storm totals possible towards CT where amounts as high as 10 inches may be possible in some areas.

Current conditions will generally continue through the evening, with weakening snow likely towards the late evening and early overnight hours, with lighter snow mixing with light rain later into the overnight hours with temperatures staying close to the freezing mark. Mostly cloudy skies with isolated rain/snow showers are expected  for Thursday with slightly warmer temperatures, peaking in the low to mid 40s across most of the area.

1:30 PM: As of the latest observations, the heavy precipitation band is now near western Long Island and SW CT, approaching NYC and the north/western suburbs. Once the band crosses NYC, heavier snow will develop in the immediate NYC area for the rest of the afternoon into the evening hours while moderate to heavy snow continues in western Connecticut. The snow will continue through the evening hours before starting to weaken.

The updated snow map has been posted below. The heaviest snow totals will be across north central and NE NJ into SE NY and western Connecticut, where totals above 4 inches are expected. Isolated locations may see as much as 7 to 9 inches of snow under the heaviest bands.

11:45 AM: As expected, snow is starting to affect the immediate NYC area with some areas also reporting rain. The main  change in the expectation, however, is that the period of heavy snow originally expected for late this afternoon into the evening looks to end up a bit east of the original expectation while also moving in earlier than expected, affecting the immediate NYC area into central NJ and SW CT with moderate to heavy wet snow as early as 1-2 PM, even in NYC. This could be a big issue for locations where snow accumulates on the roads, with hazardous driving conditions for the afternoon and evening commutes.

At this time my forecast accumulations are similar to my map from last night but slightly adjusted upwards, with up to 1-2" likely in parts of NYC, and widespread 3-4+ inch totals across northern NJ, SE NY and SW CT, starting from the north/west suburbs of NYC. Totals may be as high as 6-8 inches in some areas.

Nov 6, 2012: Snow and Wind Expected Tomorrow

Forecast Highlights:

As the nor'easter that has been significantly complicated by unusually large differences in the model guidance approaches, there remains some confusion regarding exactly what it will end up doing, with the latest model guidance just 12 hours before the storm still not showing signs of agreement regarding the exact solution. Despite the uncertainty, there is more confidence that the area is dealing with a moderate to significant nor'easter tomorrow with strong winds for the coast and a wet snowstorm for interior parts of the area. Click below to read the latest analysis for the nor'easter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nov 6, 2012 Noon Update

The science of weather forecasting is not perfect. Storms are not always certain to follow a specific solution even in the short range prior to a storm's arrival; typically, the model guidance narrows a range of a storm down to a reasonable expectation within at least the 3 day range, allowing  for a high confidence forecast to be made, but in some cases, there continue to be differences within this range with lower confidence. This has happened in the past few years on numerous occasions, including the 12/26/10 blizzard and the 10/29/11 snowstorm. Typically, I take the conservative route to wait for more data, but sometimes I take a risk and make a forecast that's bolder and which I think has the higher chance of being closer to reality.

In this case, the risk I took with the forecast backfired. The model guidance has had an extremely poor handling of this storm, and even now, less than 2 days away from the storm, still can't get the set up right and continues to vary with the handling of the storm. After every model shifted east last night, the model guidance is back to being inconsistent, with most models shifting back west while some remain well to the east; while the models have had large short range trends as mentioned with the two examples in the top, there was already a growing model consensus 48 hours out; the models rarely change this much while within the 48 hour range as we are seeing with the current storm. As such, my latest forecast focuses less on the model guidance trends and more on the recent observations.

My preliminary forecast at this time, one which I do have a bit more confidence with than yesterday but still not a high confidence forecast, is for the low to end up closer to the coast but not as close as the discussion 2 days ago showed. Many of the points from that discussion will be brought back into tonight's final forecast as well, which will include a longer discussion focusing on the observations of the storm, comparing them to today's different model outlooks, and attempting to narrow the forecast down to a single scenario, clearing up the confusion from last night and earlier today.

With the latest thinking, coastal areas look to suffer the most, with strong wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph, perhaps higher in some areas, which along with coastal flooding will bring back many issues to the same places still devastated by Sandy which are struggling to recover. While the coastal flooding is not expected to be as significant as it was with Sandy, that region is already left more vulnerable to the impact of coastal flooding following Sandy.

The biggest change from Sunday's forecast discussion, however, is the snow outlook. Heavy precipitation is expected to move into the eastern Mid Atlantic region, likely from Delaware into New Jersey, which along with marginal boundary layer and mid level temperatures, is likely to result in a band of moderate to heavy wet snow in places that typically do not receive snowstorms in early November, which in this case includes most of New Jersey, perhaps eastern Pennsylvania, into the NYC area and parts of southwestern New England. Even the Jersey shore and NYC may see some mixing with snow, although at this time very little, if any accumulations are expected in the coast. Snow accumulations are uncertain, but the potential is there for at least 2 to 5 inches of wet snow in the areas that fall under the heaviest snow in New Jersey.

Stay tuned for additional updates this afternoon and evening for the final forecast, and if any changes are to be made to the forecast above. Coastal areas are still highly recommended to pay close attention to this storm and the recent developments.

Nov 6, 2012 Morning Update

Nov 6, 2012 Morning Update

This is very unusual, and an unprecedented move on my part, but I had to remove my forecast discussion from last night. The model guidance is almost never this inconsistent - in the nearly 3 years I had this blog, and before that as well, the model guidance was never this inconsistent with an expected storm just 1-2 days prior to the event. After every single model trending and staying east last night, this morning's models are trending back west just as quickly.

Stay tuned for more information as I post additional updates on this frequently changing situation. An update will be posted at noon, focusing less on the model guidance and more on the observations.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nov 5, 2012 Noon Update

5:00 PM: Confidence remains low on the forecast as some of the models that have been the most consistent with a significant nor'easter are backing down and shifting east, towards less impact in the region. The latest GFS run significantly changed from its previous runs and keeps the storm almost entirely east of NYC with less winds as well. Forecasts usually aren't this uncertain within the 2 day range ahead of an approaching storm - for now I kept the 5-day forecast similar, but slightly lowered probability of precipitation west of NYC. Tonight's forecast will be posted at 1:30 AM, following the rest of tonight's model runs, to have a better idea of what the storm might do. Stay tuned.

1:20 PM: Since yesterday's update, there have been significant changes with the model guidance regarding the nor'easter on Wednesday and Thursday. Some of the models are much more east, such as the NAM and UKMET, although they are likely outliers and are expected to trend back west. The CMC model has the storm intensifying much further south, with some snow in Virginia and Maryland along with moderate rain and strong wind gusts in the NYC area; the GFS and the 12z ECM, however, show a moderate wet snowstorm for the eastern Mid Atlantic up through eastern Pennsylvania and most of New Jersey, even including NYC.

Confidence in the forecast is currently lower than it was yesterday as the models continue to change around, with the main changes involving the precipitation type and the intensity, although wind gusts are still expected to be strong for the area, especially for the coast with wind gusts near or above 50-65 mph expected for Wednesday night into Thursday, which along with some coastal flooding will result in even more issues for the coastal areas struggling to recover from Sandy. Stay tuned for a detailed forecast discussion this evening reviewing today's trends along with a new, updated forecast.

Long Range Pattern Outlook #3

Brief Overview:

Tonight's long range pattern outlook focuses on the first half of November, regarding the medium range pattern and the warmer pattern developing, along with the November outlook. The final winter outlook will be posted towards late November.

Click below to read the full post.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nov 4, 2012: Rain, Wind Return This Week

Forecast Highlights:

Colder temperatures will continue to affect the area over the next few days with highs in the 40s to low 50s and lows in the 20s to mid 30s, which will be an issue for areas without power and heating still struggling to recover from the devastating impact of hurricane Sandy. The dry conditions won't last for long, however, as a nor'easter affects the region on Wednesday into Thursday with additional rain, wind, and even snow for interior areas, with additional wind and coastal flooding for the coast. Click below to read the full post.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nov 2, 2012: Nor'easter Expected Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

As the NYC area enters its fifth day after the devastating hurricane Sandy, the weather pattern offers little improvement over the next week. A sustained cold pattern will continue for the next several days, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s to mid 30s becoming an issue for places without power and heating. Following the cold, a nor'easter is expected to affect the region next week with additional rain, wind and snow, although not nearly to the extent of Sandy. Click below to read the full post.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nov 1, 2012: Cold Weekend; Storm Possible Next Week

Forecast Highlights:

The devastating impacts from hurricane Sandy continue to affect the region three days since its landfall in New Jersey; although some places have regained power, many others still remain without power. Unfortunately, the upcoming weather pattern is not helping the hard hit areas from Sandy, as places without power will have to deal with a cold weekend with highs in the 40s to low 50s and lows in the 30s, which will additionally be followed by the potential for a storm next week. Click below to read the full post.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Summary

For many years, the New York City area was said to have been overdue for an extreme hurricane; there have been many tropical cyclones over the last few decades, some with significant impacts, although most were weakening extratropical-transitioning cyclones once affecting the region and generally had more impacts in terms of flooding, or kept the worst impacts east of NYC. The last hurricane to hit the eastern United States was hurricane Irene in 2011; Irene made landfall in NYC as a tropical storm, and resulted in significant impact especially from flooding across the region, most notably in interior New England with devastating floods, but did not produce the worst possible impacts for coastal locations. Hurricane Sandy, however, took a different approach when affecting the region compared to typical East Coast hurricanes, with stronger intensity, longer duration, and extreme damage along the coast that have secured its place as one of the worst storms on record to affect both the NYC area, and with over $70 billion in damage, one of the most damaging storms in the United States as well, with Sandy the second costliest US hurricane in recorded history, only behind Hurricane Katrina.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Updates

In this post, updates will be posted about the historic Hurricane Sandy as long as I have power. Should I lose power connection, updates will be suspended.

NOTE: Due to a change in schedule, live updating mode will begin earlier, at 1:30 PM. Updates will frequently be posted on Twitter regarding current observations, with slightly more detailed updates in this post regarding the progress of the storm and any potential changes of the forecast.

NYC Area Weather Twitter:

Scroll down below the Twitter updates for the latest detailed updates.

Tuesday Afternoon Brief Update:

Sandy continues to weaken over Pennsylvania as of early this afternoon while rain bands continue to spin around, occasionally moving through New Jersey. Occasional showers will continue today, while breezy winds will continue with gusts occasionally up to 30-40 mph. Mainly cloudy skies with scattered showers and breezy conditions will continue through Thursday, when Sandy will finally exit the region.

Sandy has caused widespread devastation across the NYC area and the Northeast. Houses have been destroyed, streets and subway stations are flooded, and coastal locations along NYC, Long Island and New Jersey were left partially or mostly underwater by Sandy's surge which brought water levels at the battery to a record 13.88 feet, flooding lower Manhattan, while the majority of lower Manhattan south of 39th street was left without power. Widespread power outages continue, with over 900,000 customers with Long Island Power Authority and 800,000 customers with Con Ed without power, with outages for many likely to last for days. In the end, Sandy is expected to end up as one of the most expensive natural disasters in US history.

No forecast discussion will be posted today. The next forecast update will be either on Wednesday or Thursday, with an update on the weather following Sandy's departure from the region.

11:30 PM Update:

Although the strongest winds from Sandy have likely passed, damage from Sandy only continues to get worse and more widespread due to the historic storm surge resulting from the storm. Many damage reports are coming out of the NYC area - entire neighborhoods are flooded, transformers are exploding with widespread power outages and fires due to downed power lines, large sections of lower Manhattan are without power with subway stations flooded with seawater, with many more reports, both confirmed and unconfirmed. Significant flooding has also been observed along the Hudson River into coastal locations in northeast NJ, including Jersey City and Hoboken, also extending across the majority of the New Jersey and Long Island coasts. A record high water level was set at the battery NY of 13.88 feet, far exceeding the previous record of 10.02 feet set with Hurricane Donna of 1960. The storm is still ongoing, and the full extent of the damage remains unknown. By the time that the storm ends, Sandy will be among the worst storms in recorded history in New York City.

Looking at the next few hours, there are additional rain bands that will develop and move into the immediate NYC area and New Jersey, with strong wind gusts expected to continue, although the worst of the winds have peaked earlier this evening when a large part of the NYC area had gusts above 70 mph, with a few reports of 90+ mph gusts in Long Island. Wind gusts will gradually improve throughout the overnight hours, with occasional showers and windy conditions still expected later tonight into Tuesday with less winds than observed today, although the storm surge will remain a problem for many coastal locations in the NYC area and the Long Island Sound.

This is the last storm update for Sandy of the day. Unless I lose power, the next update is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Stay safe for the night.

7:48 PM: As of this evening, Sandy has officially transitioned into a post tropical cyclone ENE of Cape May while approaching landfall. Despite this, Sandy remains a very dangerous storm.

The peak of the storm is currently underway across the area. Widespread wind gusts of 70-80+ mph have been reported, including a 90 mph gust in Islip, NY. The storm surge continues to rise, with widespread and significant coastal flooding affecting Long Island, NYC, and coastal New Jersey, as the Hudson River continues to flood into Jersey City and Hoboken. The surge continues to rise at the battery near the New York Harbor and is over 12 feet, and has yet to peak. The record flood stage was 11.25 feet. By now, the wind and storm surge are clearly worse than last year's Irene. By the time this storm ends, it will have its place as one of the worst storms on record to affect the NYC area.

The worst of the storm will continue for the next few hours, until at least 10 PM, with decreasing winds afterwards as additional rain develops especially west of NYC. Conditions will gradually improve throughout the overnight hours but windy conditions will continue, just not to the magnitude of what is currently being observed.

6:54 PM Update: A partial building collapse happened in 8th Ave. and 14th St. in Manhattan, although fortunately no one was significantly injured. For more information click here.

5:54 PM: As of 5 PM, Sandy was still a category 1 hurricane, with 90 mph sustained winds and a very low minimum pressure of 940 mb. Sandy was 30 miles ESE of Cape May, and is moving at 28 mph to the WNW. If Sandy makes landfall in Cape May and doesn't miss it to the south and/or transition to a post-tropical cyclone first, it will be the first hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey since 1903. Sandy's minimum pressure is the lowest on record for this region.

Widespread power outages are already affecting the area, with over 400,000 customers in Long Island alone without power. Wind gusts continue to steadily intensify across the area, and are generally in the 60-75 mph range across most of Long Island and coastal CT with lower gusts into northern NJ and SE NY. As Sandy makes landfall, a strong low level jet will move in which along with steeper lapse rates will result in the strongest winds of the storm out of the southeast, with widespread 65 to 85 mph gusts, perhaps locally up to 90 mph, expected, between at least 7 and 10 PM. Afterwards, wind gusts will gradually decrease with additional light to moderate rain expected.

The storm surge continues to rise as well, with Sandy Hook passing record stage of about 10 feet. Battery Park continues to rise as well and is up to 8.9 feet, expected to reach at least 11-12 feet this evening. The strongest winds will be from the southeast this evening, with the worst of the storm surge also expected around the high tide, which along with the full moon tonight is a set up for even more widespread and damaging coastal flooding.

2:18 PM: There are several minor changes with Sandy: Sandy is south of the forecast track, and is set to hit Atlantic City. The area will still see very strong wind gusts in the back side of the storm in the evening, although the highest gusts are likely to be further south. Additionally, Sandy is moving faster than expected towards landfall, and may already be onshore by 4-6 PM. This will still bring a significant storm surge of 6 to 11 feet for coastal areas tonight, however, in time for the high tide and the full moon tonight, with coastal flooding only to get worse.

The very worst of Sandy looks to hit the New Jersey coast, from Cape May to locations just south of New York City, with Atlantic City close to the worst of the storm. The storm is not onshore yet and conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate across the coast. Despite the landfall location and the speed changing, this does NOT mean that Sandy will spare the area of its impacts, as it remains a massive storm with the lowest minimum pressure ever recorded in the region. Wind gusts are still expected to peak in the 50-60 mph range for interior northwestern areas, 60-75 mph in the immediate NYC area, and 65-80 mph for most of Long Island and southern CT. Wind gusts of 85-90 mph may be possible for some areas with the peak of the storm this evening. Rain amounts, however, are expected to be lower than forecast due to the low pressure staying south, with at least 1 to 3 inches expected from today through Thursday across the area, locally higher west and south of NYC.

6:30 AM: Hurricane Sandy defied expectations early this morning and intensified more than expected - as of NHC's 5 AM update, Sandy is up to 85 mph sustained winds with a minimum pressure of 946 mb. The latest hurricane hunters found even lower pressures, as low as 942 mb, and additional intensification with wind speeds is expected as well as Sandy moves over water sea surface temperatures. I may need to revise the wind gust and storm surge forecasts upwards later this morning.