Thursday, March 08, 2012

Marching Into May

Today is shaping up as one of those classic March torch days -- warm southwest breezes, a mild start, and a decent amount of sunshine. The three typically can combine in concert to send temperatures soaring to high levels at this time of the year, especially since daylight is almost to twelve hours in length now (yep, crazy that it is!).   We'll be able to tick two of the three off the bucket list for a March torch in rather easy fashion -- it's mild this morning as temperatures are in the 50's across the Delaware Valley and we have a decent southwest breeze setting up later on today.  Expect breezes at 12-20 miles per hour and higher gusts this afternoon.
The only wild card is how much sunshine we see with an advancing cool front.  As of this morning, the front is stretching from Michigan through Indiana and Kentucky, heading east.  This front is increasing clouds out in Central and Western Pennsylvania this morning, so clouds will be on in the increase as the day progresses, especially west and northwest of the city.  We should have enough sun to coax 70 in the city, and definitely should be able to coax lower and middle 70's south and east of town.  It would not surprise me to see a few 73-75 degree readings in the Pinelands this afternoon or in Southern Delaware away from the water.  The Shore probably will struggle to reach 60 this afternoon, especially along south-facing beaches with the southwest breeze pushing a bit along the colder ocean.

While today's warmth is excessive compared to average and more typical of May 8th than March 8th, it's not a record.  In 2000, we hit 80 degrees in our earlier 80 degree day on record.  Today will be our earliest foray into the 70's around here since 2009 (March 7th with 72).

Showers are in the offing tonight but not until after sunset.