Friday, March 16, 2012

Tricky Temperatures

Yesterday's temperature bust was pretty bad (by my pretty high standards)'s another one of those days where, on paper, the influence of the Atlantic will rear its ugly head today and help keep temperatures lower than what modeling was indicating even up into last night.  Where we got burned yesterday was with the cooler east breezes and with that low deck of clouds that moved in for about three hours in the morning.  The damp east breeze off of the Atlantic helped to keep Philly's high at the Airport from reaching 60...although the western burbs did make it into the lower 60's for a time.   Unlike yesterday, however, we'll have more clouds around for much of the day and it may take until mid or late afternoon for us to get some breaks in the overcast and some sunshine.

Radar early this morning detects some showers and thunderstorms in Western Pennsylvania that are moving east.  That rainfall will move into the stable marine air over our region and likely weaken into showers and drizzle later on this morning.  However, a round of showers or drizzle between 9 AM and 1 PM is not out of the question for many of us.

Today is shaping up as another cooler day east of the city than west but the temperature gradient will not be as extreme as yesterday when it was 56 in Philadelphia, 82 in Washington.  We should see less of a sharp gradient today -- generally in the 50's east of the city, lower and middle 60's for most everyone around Philadelphia and the suburbs, and 65-70 in Central/Southern Delaware and Central Pennsylvania.  These highs are assuming we get at least *some* sunshine in the mid and late afternoon...if we stay cloudy all day, Philly may not break 60 for a high.  The unfortunate reality is that some low clouds may hang around into Saturday as's not going to result in an "awful" St. Patrick's Day but it may be another tricky temperature day in the offing.  Such is life near the Atlantic in early Spring when the ocean is still cool.