Thursday, February 21, 2013

More About Friday PM & Saturday's Precipitation

The next systems to impact our region are currently dropping drought-denting snowfall and rain across the Plains, a place that is probably doing happy dances as farmers who really needed some precipitation are finally getting what they've probably rain danced and prayed for over the better part of the last year.

It will begin to impact our region Friday afternoon and evening with light snow showers on the front end of this one-two punch as it moves through.  A push of warmer air aloft will help drive light precipitation initially for the region.  Modeling varies in placement of precipitation -- the GFS shows very little in general, the Euro shows a bit more on the docket but mainly to the city's south, with the NAM showing a more robust look overall (not surprising, the NAM tends to be more aggressive on precipitation in general).  In any events, the GFS and Euro both look at this as a modest event so any precipitation that does fall will be minor in impact, falling probably as light snow showers on the front end.  Enough to coat lawns, perhaps an inch or so of snow in spots, but most of the models really aren't aggressive in painting much more than that.

Precipitation may lull for a time overnight, transitioning to drizzle or light rain as the storm system to the south organizes further and pushes north up the coast.  Rain pushes in as cold air at the surface and lower levels aloft is scoured out, with a steady rain event for the region during the afternoon and evening hours on Saturday.  It won't be a very mild rain on Saturday -- temperatures may not get to 40 north and west of the city. As the storm intensifies and moves on towards New England on Saturday night and early Sunday, we could see a transition of rain back to snow north of the Lehigh Tunnel and the Poconos could see a rogue inch or two of backend accumulation of snow.  New England still looks to be in line for a snowstorm for Boston and points north and west.

For us, though, this looks like mainly rain (around an inch at the coast, half inch to two thirds of an inch in the city and immediate burbs) although the very initial part of this storm could coat your lawn with snow in some parts of the region and could coat your lawn on the backend on Saturday night in the Poconos.