I think we all blew the forecast for this morning’s freezing rain. Nobody predicted the that the rain would get into the area before surface temperatures rose above freezing. The models had temperatures rising during the night.
That said, I think we all fell asleep at the wheel on this forecast. There was no thought of “cold air damming” (the tendency of cold air to linger longer close to the surface during a warmup, something the models aren’t good at.) There was also no thought to the fact that ground temperatures were well below freezing for an extended time.
This is a part-time hobby for me. I didn’t catch this one and I’m sorry. I drank the official forecast discussion cool-aid and I didn’t critically think about the temperatures this morning.
But if I were a full-time professional meteorologist, I would be hanging my head down today. I’m wondering if any of the TV “meteorologists” will own up to their very poor forecast? It is their job to predict ice storms like this. Gee, there’s been deaths, road closures and hundreds of accidents. Maybe a little humility and apology would be appropriate?? I bet you won’t see a single acknowledgement of this poor forecast.
Latest models crank out well over an inch of rain for areas around PHL and east into NJ on Sunday. There is an increased possibility that there will be a changeover to snow before ending late afternoon. Surface temperatures will still be above freezing, so little or no accumulation is expected.
A cold front moved through late Friday and Saturday will be cold with a high of 32.
A clipper disturbance moves through Sunday and merges with a coastal front bringing heavy rain, especially in NJ. Low pressure spawning from this merger will bring cold air back in later Sunday. Right now, it doesn’t appear that there will be a changeover to snow, but it remains a possibility. High on Sunday about 38.
A cold cyclonic flow and cold surface high pressure will bring well below average temperatures for Saturday. Breezy conditions will make the temperatures seem even colder. It will be sunny but highs will be around 20 on Saturday.
Winds shift to the southwest on Sunday and temperatures are expected to moderate into the mid 30s. Mostly sunny most of the day but with moisture returning with some clouds late in the day on Sunday.
A low pressure system is expected to move to our south on Monday. Precipitation moving in before daybreak will arrive with surface temperatures below freezing, so expect some sleet and icy conditions early Monday. It’s not clear how soon surface temperatures will move above freezing, but travel will be affected early Monday. Stay tuned.