Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaping Into Raw, Damp, Puddle Jumping Weather

We're starting off Leap Day with temperatures in the 30's throughout the region this morning as clouds thicken up and rainfall (or a mixed variety of wintry slop for you up in the Poconos and Lehigh Valley) is poised to move in over the next few hours.  Precipitation should reach the western suburbs after 9 AM, hitting the city by 11 AM this morning as it is just moving into Western Pennsylvania as of 4 AM this morning.

Our thoughts from last night on precipitation type and transition timing are still pretty similar although it's possible the Lehigh Valley sees a slightly quicker transition to rain than initially outlined as the timing is slowing just a touch and that slowing might do the trick on keeping you from getting accumulations as temperatures warm just enough ahead of the precipitation.   The burbs will see some mixing with sleet before transitioning all rain ("snowiest" scenario that was outlined last night probably doesn't happen).  After the initial burst of precipitation around midday, a lull is possible into the front end of the rush hour this evening with showers and drizzle around.  One thing that seems to be more likely is the potential for a second slug of heavier, steadier rainfall moving in this evening for the Philly metro, Northern Delaware, and South Jersey.  Between these two bursts of rainfall some locations will pick up more than an inch of rain from this system.  Best chances for that one inch rainfall total to come in would be where that second heavier shot of rain moves through this evening.

One other thing...some thunder is possible as well with the rainfall as both shots move through today, even into Philadelphia.

Temperatures will be colder today compared to yesterday thanks to the presence of clouds, an east breeze, and precipitation.  The Lehigh Valley gets into the upper 30's if not to near 40 degrees at the "warmest" point of the day today, with Philly hanging out in the mid 40's during rainfall later on this afternoon.  Temperatures may get to near 50 at the Shore.   Keep in mind "normal" for the end of February is 47 degrees in Philadelphia so temperatures won't be that far away from what's considered average.  It just won't be a very nice day.