Despite a cold front tonight we are going to have another dry weekend. High pressure overhead means a sunny day with a high in the lower 50s. A cold front that stretches all the way from Quebec down into Mexico is going the pass through the city tonight. It's a dry front so all that's going to happen is the wind is going to become gusty and northerly and Saturday will be cooler with a high in the upper 40s. The temperature should rebound to the mid 50s on Sunday afternoon.

There's considerable uncertainty in the forecast for next week, especially regarding precipitation. In a nutshell a storm from the west is expected to run into the ridge of high pressure that's been giving us the warm weather the past couple of weeks. How that plays out is still not clear but look for warm weather, highs in the upper 50s for the first half of the week. Rain could happen a cooler air mass displaces the storm.

You may have noticed that this has been a warm and wet year. But how warm and wet? Well, if you plot temperature against precipitation as measured in Central Park for all January through November periods from 1869 until now you'll get the blobby graph above. This year, which so far is the 12th warmest and 2nd wettest on record, ranks with 1983 in their own special wet and warm corner. You might recall that last year was on it's way to being the warmest year on record before a cold December knocked it down a few notches. Other items of interest on the graph are the really cold years of the 1870s and 1880s and the drought years of the mid-1960s at the bottom of the map. There's a slight correlation between cooler years being drier and wetter years being warmer but it is not significant. A graph of long term trends is after the jump.

Central Park temperature and precipitation trends

Two things stand out on Central Park's long-term January through November temperature and precipitation trends. One is the slow but steady increase in temperature. The Jan-Nov period for the past couple of decades is roughly three degrees warmer than it was in the first couple decades of the record. The precipitation trend isn't so clear-cut, but look at that crazy increase in year-to-year variability since the 1960s.