This fall's wild weather ride shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. We've got near record warmth today followed by potentially dangerous travel conditions on Wednesday and cold conditions next weekend. A large low pressure system over the Great Lakes is responsible for today's gusty winds and is also pulling a deep layer of warm, moist air across the eastern third of the country. The record high for today in Central Park is 73 degrees and we should easily get into the upper 60s once the sun comes out this afternoon.
The cold front trailing the big low pressure system gets dragged through the region tonight. Tuesday will be cooler, with a near normal high in the lower 50s, and sunny. Really nice driving weather if you have flexibility in your holiday travel plans!
Wednesday is looking ugly. It is pretty obvious that a disruptive nor'easter is going to form, but the details on timing and location are still a bit fuzzy. Precipitation is expected to start after midnight Tuesday. Whether that precipitation is rain, snow or something in between will depend on the temperature which is still uncertain. Along the coast, including the city and Long Island, we can expect mostly rain on Wednesday, changing over to snow late in the afternoon and evening. Snow could linger until late Wednesday night, with 2-4 inches on the ground in time for the parade on Thursday.
It's a different story away from the coast. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the lower Hudson Valley, Northern New Jersey and interior Connecticut. As much as 6-10 inches of snow could fall in the Hudson Valley and New Jersey, with 4-8 inches in Connecticut. The heaviest snowfall is expected Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Standard nor'easter caveats apply! The rain-snow boundary is very narrow in a nor'easter and is tricky to forecast. A little wobble in the storm, or a change in when the cold air arrives, will make a big difference in whether or not the city sees all rain, a mix of rain and snow, or lots of snow. Despite those uncertainties it is clear that travel conditions will be lousy on Wednesday. If you can travel on Tuesday, or wait until Thursday morning, please do so. The fast-moving storm will be gone by Thanksgiving and we can look forward to a cool, dry extended weekend with highs near 40 under mostly sunny skies.