Tuesday 11 a.m.
A storm developing in the Southeast will move northeast and strengthen tonight and tomorrow, creating gale -riven rain for beleaguered coastal locations in the Middle and North Atlantic states. This enhanced infrared satellite picture from just before 8:30 a.m. shows the concentration of clouds over the Southeast.
The strongest winds are likely to affect the New Jersey coast tomorrow afternoon and night, and the New England coastal area will get their strongest gales tomorrow night and early Thursday. Though nowhere near as strong or extensive as Sandy was ... and taking a track northeastward instead of straight west... this will be a strong northeaster. This video shows what to expect as the situation unfolds.
On the northwest edge of the precipitation, wet snow is likely. Last night's GFS model suggested that Philadelphia and the northwest suburbs of New York could get their first snow accumulation of the season. Baltimore and parts of the Washington, D.C., area could also get snow with that scenario. This morning's NMM-WRF run was a little warmer, suggesting just rain in the I-95 corridor. However, the morning run of the GFS is colder and snowier looking all the way through Philly. Since there will be wide variations over short distances, I urge you to check our frequently updated stories, forecasts and videos rather than using this report as the final answer.
Regardless of how things turn out with the storm, much milder air is likely to spread toward the Northeast as we go through the coming weekend.
This map shows a draft of our starting time lines and expected accumulation from tomorrow's quick-moving East Coast storm.
A storm that has brought hardship and danger to parts of Texas and Arkansas with an assortment of ice and snow will send a swath of snow northeastward today and tonight. Here is a map showing our overall estimates as of 10 a.m. ET:
That could lead to tough travel at the end of the weekend. This map for Sunday at 7 p.m. ET shows where those troubles could be (north of the line with the label "snow rain line.")
This table shows the ensemble means for the next two weeks at Philadelphia: It suggests that whereas it does turn cold, any snowfall looks quite limited.
It is too early to be confident about any forecast for Christmas Day (or even the week before). However, the GFS model does go out 16 days, and it has a cold look for the Northeast exactly one week before Christmas.
As the flow aloft becomes southwesterly, mild moist air will spread northeastward from the Gulf States. In summer, this creates a hazy, very warm and humid scene for the Northeast. Now though, the warmth is slowly drained away as the moist mild air advances over cold ground. With temperatures near the saturation point, clouds form.