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NJTV Weather: Cold and Snow Returns

2-25-14

By Meteorologist John Cifelli

The first panel shows a strung out shortwave in Texas interacting with energy dropping down from Canada at 500mb. There is no defined low at the surface either, yet panel two shows a wave of precipitation riding along the frontal boundary draped over the upper Ohio Valley and northern mid-Atlantic. The black line is freezing at the height aloft at 850mb. Everything north is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This a textbook “overrunning” event.

Brrrr. That chill in the air is made all the more cold after the false hope of the warm weekend, but that is now behind us. In my nearly 10 years of forecasting as a hobbyist or degreed meteorologist, I never remember such a stretch of winter without a meaningful thaw. Yet here we are, staring at March with just two days of widespread 50s on the books over the last two months.

Some snow returns to the picture as well tomorrow, as a rather weak 500mb shortwave ripples across the northern mid-Atlantic tomorrow morning. Expect a few hours of steady snow, particularly south of 195, with an inch or so of accumulation, best bet being south.

Looking a bit further out, temperatures will return to well below average cold, similar to the kind of departure from average that we had in January. This time, however, the average overnight temperatures are warmer, so overnight lows in the single digits Wednesday to Friday looks likely, instead of the subzero stuff we dealt with last time the Polar Vortex visited the Northeast.

There is a pretty clear signal for an overrunning event for this weekend. These types of setups can spread copious amounts of moisture across the mid-Atlantic without a strong surface low nearby. If the cold hangs on across New Jersey, we could see significant winter weather as March comes roaring in.

Warm Regards,
John