Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Mt. Holly, NJ

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FXUS61 KPHI 252028

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
428 PM EDT Sat Mar 25 2017

A backdoor cold front will push southward through the region
overnight, allowing Canadian high pressure to briefly move into
our area on Sunday. Low pressure moving from the Mississippi
Valley into the Great Lakes will allow a warm front to move
northward through the region on Monday, followed by a cold
frontal passage Tuesday night. Canadian high pressure will build
into our area Wednesday through Friday. By next weekend, low
pressure moving into the Ohio Valley may send a warm front
toward the region.


Temps have really warmed up this afternoon to near record levels
over southern NJ and Delmarva, showing the power of the late March
sun where skies have remained clear except for cirrus. This warmth
constrast with mid-40s temps in far northern NJ where much cooler
air is funneling down from the lower Hudson Valley, and cloud cover
has limited the heating. Radar continues to show bands of light
precip, mainly aloft, altho a few spots have reported .01 inch. A
more solid band of precip is noted over NY state but it seems to be
shrinking with time.

Still see pressure rises just to our north even through early/mid
afternoon, and thus expect high pressure to continue building in.
This will push the cold front south across NJ and eastern PA late
this afternoon/evening and across Delmarva later this evening. Temps
will fall steadily overnight behind the front and reach mins in the
30s north to 40s south by sunrise. Temps in the higher Poconos and
adjacent NW NJ may reach freezing for a couple of hours, which has
implications for p-type.

Low-level moisture and clouds will increase as winds veer to the NE
behind the front. Also, winds above the lowest few thousand feet
will be SWly setting up a pattern for overrunning. Otherwise there
is now clear mechanism for lift so have kept PoPs in the chance
range tonight. Pops increase from evening into overnight and are
higher north of PHL. As noted above, there could be some freezing
rain or drizzle at higher elevations far north NJ and Poconos, but
confidence in both temps and precip is not very high, so no WSW will
be issued at this time. Following shifts will monitor the


For Sunday the forecast area will remain in the cool moist air north
of the front. A widespread overcast and winds off the ocean will
limit heating and temps will struggle to rise. Daytime max temps
will generally be aboutg 20 deg colder than today. The overrunning
pattern will continue along with chances for occasional light rain,
again with the chances increasing from Delmarva northward thru NJ
and eastern PA. Any rain amounts should be limited to a few
hundreths of an inch. The GFS is quite a bit more bullish on QPF for
the next 24 hours or so but it seems to be overdone.


Unsettled weather will continue through Tuesday night with a
return to fair weather Wednesday and Thursday. Some uncertainty
remains with regard to freezing rain chances on Sunday night.
Then, considerable uncertainty with the next system Friday into
Saturday. Temperature-wise, around 10 to 15 degrees above normal
from Monday thru Wednesday, falling to around 5 degrees above
normal Thursday into Saturday.

In terms hydrology, given the above normal temperatures through the
long term, the snow pack north of I-78 will continue to melt. The
model consensus brings additional rainfall amounts of up to 1.5
inches across this area through Tuesday night with most of this
spread out between more substantial precip Sunday night into
Monday morning and Tuesday night. We expect rises on area
streams and rivers, but no flooding concerns at this time.

There remains the potential for spotty minor coastal flooding along
the ocean front for the high tides centered on Sunday evening and
again near sunrise on Monday. See: Tides/Coastal Flooding section.

As low pressure moves through the Ohio Valley into the Great Lakes
from Sunday night into Monday, overrunning precip is likely. For the
most part, the models remain consistently too warm for freezing rain
Sunday night into Monday morning. In addition, boundary layer winds
are sufficiently strong enough to advect warm air northward through
the low-level column, despite somewhat of an in-situ cold air
damming signature. In addition, the lack of low-level dry air will
limit evaporational cooling. Given the proximity of the cold air, we
cannot rule out freezing rain, but the probability of it occurring
is low. Nevertheless, we maintain the wording from the previous
shift with regard to freezing rain potential in the HWO. Please note
that the most likely ice glaze map on our website only reflects
amounts tonight into early Sunday afternoon.

Expect showers to continue Monday afternoon into Wednesday,
with another round of more substantial precip likely centered on
Tuesday night, associated with a cold frontal passage. We do
not anticipate any p-type issues during this period. There
remains uncertainty with the timing of this front, particularly
given the time range, with the GFS being the most progressive.
For now, we expect a gradual return to fair weather on
Wednesday, continuing into Thursday.

There is considerable model uncertainty beyond day five, as the GFS
and ECMWF diverge in their handling of low pressure exiting the
Mississippi Valley. Initially a southern stream system, the
ECMWF phases it with a northern stream system, bringing a period
of precip to the entire area Friday night into Saturday. The
GFS keeps both streams separate, and takes a southern stream
system to our south, but close enough for precip across Delmarva
and southern NJ. The GFS does not have support from the UKMET
or Canadian, both of which are more similar to the ECMWF. For
now, the forecast brings in chance PoPs Friday into Saturday.
Also, given the orientation of the surface high, cold air
damming is possible. Thickness value indicate the cold air is
right on our door step, so p-type could be an issue.


As of mid/late afternoon all our TAF sites have VFR condition with
just a high or mid-level overcast. However, things will be going
downhill later this afternoon/evening as a cold front pushes north
to south across the region. By 00z winds are forecast to shift to
the NE and lowering ceiling will follow as moisture comes in off the
Atlantic. MVFR cigs are expected to develop by mid to late evening
and IFR cigs are possible by late tonight. Timing is a bit uncertain
but confidence in the trend is high. Generally poor conditions will
continue through the day Sunday.


Sunday night thru Monday night...Periods of MVFR/IFR possible
in low clouds and fog. Restrictions will be more widespread
Sunday and Monday night, while VFR develops on Monday from
around I-95 and points southeast.

Tuesday thru Thursday...MVFR possible Tuesday morning northwest
of I-95, otherwise, VFR thru thru the period.

There is the potential for wind gusts up to around 25 knots,
out of the south-southwest on Monday, then northwest on


Although sub-SCA conditions currently prevail over the forecast
waters, the SCA already in place for later tonight still looks good.
A cold front will cross the area north to south this evening,
ushering in stronger NE winds. Some wind gust may reach 25 kt
tonight and Sunday, but higher confidence is in seas building to 5-6
feet over the SCA area.


Sunday night...Small Craft Advisory in effect for the NJ waters
for combined seas increasing to 5 or 6 feet and scattered gusts
25 kt.

Monday thru Wednesday...Seas may remain elevated Monday into
Tuesday, and the SCA may need to extended into this period.
Quite a bit of uncertainty with regards to winds and seas on
Wednesday, which may be near SCA thresholds.



In the wake of a backdoor frontal passage, a 36 hour period of
onshore flow is expected through Monday morning, with easterly
wind gusts up to 25 MPH at times. Astronomical tides are also
increasing, coincident with the New Moon this Monday, March 27.
The ESTOFS remains most aggressive out of the guidance suite,
with near minor flooding for the sunrise Monday high tide along
the DE and NJ oceanfront, and it has has outperformed the other
guidance recently. Both the NOS and ETSS are more conservative.
The wind will also be trending more parallel (southerly) to the
shore by sunrise Monday, so there remains uncertainty with
regard to water levels reaching the minor flooding threshold.


March monthly average temp: While the negative departures will
diminish considerably the next few days...the month as a whole
for PHl is currently expected to end up about one half to 1
degree below normal.


MARINE...Small Craft Advisory from 6 AM Sunday to 2 AM EDT Monday for
     Small Craft Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 2 AM EDT Monday
     for ANZ450-451.


Near Term...AMC
Short Term...AMC
Long Term...Franck
Tides/Coastal Flooding...Franck
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