Major Changes Afoot
By Kate Bilo
On Monday, the city of Denver, CO hit a record high of 80 degrees with abundant sunshine. The forecast for Wednesday? 34 degrees with heavy snow. Imagine going from summer to winter within the span of a day!
You may ask why we’re talking about Denver when we’re firmly planted in the City of Brotherly Love. The reason is twofold – one, to illustrate the jarring change from mild to cold that we’re about to experience, and two, because the storm that may bring half a foot of snow to Denver could impact us by the weekend.
Today was a gorgeous fall day in Philadelphia. High 65 with a cloudless cobalt-blue sky. Tomorrow will be another warm one, topping out near 70 degrees. By Saturday we’ll be lucky if we break 50 for the high. Sure, the temperature swings aren’t as extreme here as in the Plains, but 20 degrees is still pretty significant.
Now to the chance(s) of precipitation this week, and the potential for the dreaded “S” word… that’s right, SNOW. You may be thinking “it’s too early to be talking about snow”, and I would agree with you on that point, but we may have to watch for the potential for at least a few wet flakes as we head into the weekend, especially in the mountains.
Our first storm will begin to impact the area tomorrow, with the chance for scattered showers. The slow-moving system will bring periods of rain to the area on Thursday, and some spots in the Poconos and the Catskills could see this system end as a little bit of wet snow. Friday is dry but much colder, with highs only in the low to mid-50’s. But it’s the weekend that brings the chance for a coastal storm, which could be the first chance for some of us to see those white flakes.
The weekend storm track is still highly uncertain and I’m not yet willing to put all my eggs in the basket of one particular model (the Euro, for those playing along at home) which drives the heaviest precipitation directly into our area Saturday afternoon and evening. This system is related to the storm bringing the snow to Colorado and it all depends on how quickly that energy moves across the country. I do think there will be at least the chance for a cold rain Saturday afternoon. With temperatures Saturday night dropping into the 30’s, it’s not out of the question that some of that rain could end as a brief period of wet snow. But if the storm zips by to our South early Saturday, it may stay dry. We have to watch the behavior of Thursday’s storm and also the track of Hurricane Rina in the Caribbean and see how all these players come together.
Right now, plan for umbrellas on Thursday, coats on Friday, and perhaps BOTH on Saturday! (Halloween Monday, as of now, looks sunny and dry for all you trick-or-treaters).