Wednesday 11 a.m.
Strong thunderstorms with heavy rain came and went across eastern New England, slowing rush hour traffic to a crawl (swim?) in Providence and then Boston. Things has since settled down. Very dry air aloft has now moved over western Pennsylvania and western and central New York... and this will suppress new thunderstorm development today. However, a short wave trough aloft moving east-northeast from West Virginia is sending clouds into the area from southern Pennsylvania to Virginia, and the disturbance may help to set off a new round of thunderstorms in the I95 corridor this afternoon. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center suggested that the greatest threat for damaging winds and large hail will be from the Delmarva Peninsula (the Peninsula that includes parts of DELaware, MARyland and VirginiA). Around 11 a.m., a new thunderstorm fired up over western Long Island.
A cold front from the northern Plains will cross the Great Lakes tomorrow night and Friday then reach the East Coast on Saturday. This front will sponsor thunderstorms along and ahead of it. One question is whether the front stalls temporarily along the Northeast coast or instead simply moves away to allow quick clearing on Saturday. We'll be looking at that issue in the reports tomorrow and Friday. Cooler and drier air will follow the front.
A large thunderstorm developed last evening just east of my house. We got no measurable rain, but a few miles to the east the rain was so heavy that many motorists who would otherwise have kept on going (slowly) pulled off the road. At one point, outflow clouds moved over then northwest of our house. I expect to show a time lapse of this on my video tomorrow, but this picture is a still shot taken during the event.
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.
If each one of us lights an inner flame for just one thing- just one aspect of our lives we are thankful for, the warmth we create can light the world on Thanksgiving. The flame of warmth and love can burn so bright that no cold wind on earth can blow it out.