Wednesday 10 a.m.
Temperatures a mile overhead in the Northeast today would support afternoon ground-level temperatures well up in the 80s today... if this were July. In July, the sun climbs high in the sky. Mornings warm quickly; soon it is very warm or hot. Not so fast in October, though. The longer nights allow more time for the temperature to drop to the saturation point, and soon fog forms.
The fog prevents much solar energy from the reaching the ground to cause warming. If there are higher clouds around like there are at many places today. the warming process is delayed further... and before we know it the sun is sinking back toward the horizon. The changing amounts of clouds and fog can wreak havoc on temperature forecasts. Despite this, we can say confidently that temperatures in Middle and North Atlantic states will run higher than the long-term averages for this time of year.
Fog may redevelop late tonight and longer tomorrow morning. On Friday, however, slightly drier air will advance from the west and southwest... and with the breeze picking up, it could turn out to be the warmest day of the week. A cold front will arrive and be followed by noticeably cooler air for the weekend. The cold front is associated with a low pressure area that will cause heavy snow across parts of the far North Central states and adjacent Canada. This video shows the expected progression of events:
Dense fog has often proven to be very challenging for painters and photographers. You can see why with this image from a webcam overlooking the area between the Statue of Liberty and the buildings of Manhattan.
This map shows a projection from last night's European model. It shows an huge temperature difference in a short distance across northern and central New England.
A number of you have submitted weather photos and graphics that we really enjoy. One person with a keen eye for how to visualize weather and climate events is Ralph Fato of Connecticut, who graciously allowed me to use this graphic about snowfall.
Snowfall amounts yesterday were low from Philadelphia to New York City. Accumulations increased toward the north and northeast.
This map shows the NAM's projection for this Friday night. The isobaric pattern suggests there is a southwesterly flow of mild air from the Gulf states to the Middle Atlantic region. Farther north, we see evidence of the frontal boundary that separates the mild air from chillier air.
A new area of snow now over southern Minnesota should expand southeastward to reach Chicago this afternoon, streak to Pittsburgh this evening, then reach the Philadelphia/New York City area late tonight or early tomorrow morning. This map shows a low pressure area over Missouri.
This map shows expected accumulations.