Wednesday 9 a.m.
With a high pressure area anchored over the Middle Atlantic states, dry weather with moderate temperatures seems assured until Saturday. After that, computer models show a stormier pattern. There is no great consensus on exactly where each storm will go, or in how snow and rain will be distributed, but there will be a more active weather pattern than we have this week.
We're in one of the atmosphere's quiet times. Last summer's leaves lie crinkly and still on the forest floor, only the oak clinging to the tattered remains. The next couple of mornings, in outlying areas, cartops, the roofs and the grass blades will be dressed in a fragile lattice work of frost that the sun will chase quickly. The morning's chill will mellow somewhat under the coaxing of the distant, low December sun.
Some day soon, we'll hear of some storm causing heavy snow that may be whipped into car-capturing, bus-blocking, truck-trapping drifts, knowing some of that snow at high elevations may lie untouched til May or June. But here, it's a time for quiet, stillness and peace. The happiness of the holidays lies before us.
All too soon the bitter blusters from the arctic north will freeze our faces and numb our thumbs. We'll awaken to sleet ticking against the window pane or the sound of scrapers toiling against windshield ice. A time for the mittens and scarves, parkas and hoods, a wintry time in the ice box fortress of winter's dim domain.
Icy needles of wind will be marauding through the Midwest, whistling through Wisconsin, irritating Illinois, icing Iowa and mesmerizing Minnesota. The cold will penetrate Pennsylvania, nip New Jersey, cool Connecticut, rush through Rhode Island, march through Massachusetts, dash through Delaware and torque thru New York.
But though the physical cliff of winter lies before us and there is no going back, the atmosphere isn't pressing the issue today through the weekend. It's a quiet time, perhaps a moment to collect our thoughts about where we've been, what we're doing, what's happening in our world and what is coming next in this life of opportunity and chances... and hoping the Mayans' calendar was dated.
This map shows last night's GFS forecast for the time when Santa is completing the rounds early Christmas morning:
Early this morning, the most concentrated rain was falling in a band from Maryland to southern Michigan.
With a high pressure area over Maine, a low pressure area over western Indiana and an upper-air storm spinning over the western Great Lakes, the stage is set for wet weather in the Middle and North Atlantic states.
This map is a rainfall forecast from the NWS Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center located in State College, PA.
The upper-air flow forecast for this evening shows the trough that helps to support rainfall ahead of the cold front.
After reaching the 80s today from NYC to Boston, it might not be that warm again through much of next week.
A noticeable push of cooler air will spread southward from Ontario and Quebec into the eastern Great Lakes and New England between tomorrow and Saturday.