Thursday 12:15 a.m.
I am out of the office until next Tuesday.
It became more apparent in the last couple of days that the center of this week's northeaster would pass east of where we feared earlier. This meant that with cold air in place, and no warming available from the Atlantic, snow became more likely.
The New York City area, part of the target zone for Sandy's worst, received heavy wet snow: 3 inches in Midtown Manhattan to more than double that amount in Westchester County and on parts of Long Island. Parts of New Haven County in Connecticut had more than 10 inches. In New Jersey alone, there were more than 60,000 NEW power outages as of mid-evening. Here is the enhanced infrared satellite picture from late Wednesday evening.
As the storm departs, the troughiness that has dominated the Northeast recently will be replaced by a ridge. This will promote a warming trend as we go through the weekend. As the warm air approaches on Saturday, rain may develop north of a warm front that will extend from Michigan to the New York-Pennsylvania. However, the warm front should continue north past the Canadian border by the end of the weekend. It will feel more like September than November in the Northeast early next week.
By the middle of next week, a cold front will advance into the Northeast and move off the coast. However, the air behind it does not look to be as cold as the air mass now in place. Beyond next week, numerical forecasting models become less and less accurate, but there are hints of another cold air mass and maybe snow in parts of the Northeast around Thanksgiving.
One concern: the chance of cold frontal snow squalls that could move all the way to the East Coast tomorrow night. Sudden snow squalls have been implicated in chain reaction collisions that turn deadly and damaging.
These two maps show the change from the very, very cold flow likely this Saturday to the much milder Pacific-origin westerly flow later next week.
When we look more closely, we see a variety of disturbances embedded in the main current, each capable of temporarily increasing or cutting off the chance of snow. This map shows the setup:
This map shows the circulation around the offshore storm and a larger but less intense storm moving into the Great Lakes. With this sprawling storm likely to be in the region for several days, the weather can vary widely.
...speculation about a snowstorm Monday or Tuesday, and one is still possible. However, timing and placement remain elusive. This map shows the GFS ensemble mean "solution" for Tuesday morning showing snow just off the New England coast. Watch this story evolve on accuweather.com all weekend.