On this first day of meteorological winter, December 1st, record warmth enveloped New England with new maximum temperature records set in Burlington, Montpelier and St. Johnsbury. From the Northeast Kingdom to the Connecticut River Valley, it was short-sleeves and iced coffee early Tuesday morning.
However, though it was still quite mild in eastern New York, the warmth was really confined to New England today. You would have found much colder, more seasonable air for this point in the year with Syracuse and Washington D.C. Maxing out in the 40s and Buffalo barely inching into the upper 30s. In fact, only tropical South Florida and the Southwest saw top temps that rivaled New England today. (Some high temperatures in this posting are unofficial as of 6 PM EST.)
So, why was it so warm? A nearly stationary broad area of low pressure sits just off to our west, in the eastern Great Lakes. Around that low, in the atmosphere, we have counter-clockwise flow, helping to pull cold air down from Canada through the Ohio River Valley into the mid-Atlantic and Southeast – where light snow fell yesterday in northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
On the opposite side of that, over a typically much colder New England, a strong southerly jet brought ample rainfall, record-setting in some spots, too, Monday, and the few hours of spring-like warmth today.
Well, that’s enough of that. For those of you looking forlornly up at the bare ski trails, change is afoot. Temps are falling fast Tuesday evening, and will reach down into the 30s tonight, hovering there through much of Wednesday. Scattered showers return tomorrow, too, and though mixing with rain is likely through broad valleys, we’ll stick with snow from midlsope on up to the summits. Even though some quick, heavier bursts are possible, don’t expect much more than a coating to 1-3″ in the mountains. Better than nothing! The wind, breezy from the south with top gusts to 20 mph. Wednesday night, mostly to partly cloudy. 20s. Thursday is shaping up to be a very pleasant day. It’s also seasonable, low 40s, with ample sunshine.
Have a great evening!
-Skytracker Chief Meteorologist Amanda Thibault