1993_blizzard.jpgLots for Gothamist to talk about today so let's start with the wind. It's windy, and will be getting windier as the day moves on. What's unusual about today is that the sources of the wind are far away. A high pressure system is building up in the Midwest. As that gains strength the pressure gradient between it and a stationary low pressure system over Nova Scotia increases. The steeper the pressure gradient the faster the wind as the atmosphere tries to level out the pressure differences. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the daylight hours. Winds will be blowing at a steady 20-30 miles an hour, with gusts up to 50 mph.

The wind is bringing very dry air into the region. The dew point temperature has dropped ten degrees in the last few hours. Add winds and very dry air and the chance of brush fires goes way up. The busy National Weather Service has also issued a Red Flag Warning, meaning there is a high fire danger today. Even the slightest spark could start a fire, and once started a fire is going to spread rapidly. Staten Island has already seen a couple of fires break out this week.

The winds will be strong overnight, just not quite strong enough to warrant an advisory. The mixing by the wind will keep temperatures higher than they would be otherwise given the dry conditions. The Weather Service is saying upper-20s, the Weather Channel predicts 32. Were the wind to die down it would be easily ten degrees cooler. Snow flurries tomorrow night into Friday. Little accumulation is expected, and certainly not like we had this week in 1993. You remember the great blizzard of 1993 don't you? More snow may have fallen in Central Park from last month's storm, but the 1993 blizzard buried the eastern U.S. from Alabama to Maine and had a much greater impact.

Satellite image of 12-14 March 1993 blizzard from wikipedia.