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Up and down temperatures this week
are reminiscent of seasonal change
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Long Range Outlooks

3/18TemperatureBelow averageVery high
3/19-3/21TemperatureSlightly below averageVery high
3/22-3/24TemperatureBelow averageHigh
3/25-4/2TemperatureNear to slightly above averageModerately high
4/3-4/9TemperatureSlightly above averageModerate
3/18PrecipitationA warm front presses through the region on Friday night and Saturday, with snow/sleet for interior locations ahead of the front, which will become light rain showers Saturday morning in areas farther south. NE PA, EC PA, NNJ could have minor snow/ice accumulations. Inverted trough may bring additional light snow to eastern NE PA and NNJ later Saturday.Very high
3/25PrecipitationA cold front moves through next Saturday, accompanied by showersModerately high
March as a wholeTemperatureNear to slightly below averageHigh
March as a wholePrecipitationSlightly above averageModerately high
March as a wholeSnowfallWell above average interior, near average SE areasVery high
April as a wholeTemperatureSlightly above averageModerately high
April as a wholePrecipitationSlightly above averageModerate

Outlook table last updated: Friday March 17th, 9:25am. Next update: Friday March 24th.

This is a weekly updated public long range guidance product from EPAWA. For daily long range updates and more detailed updates M-F, please join the EPAWA forum. More information/sign-up at: http://epawaweather.com/my-pocket-meteorologist/ 

*Indications of above or below average temperatures in the table above are relative to what is considered “normal” using data collected over the long term for a particular date. This is collected and maintained by the National Climatic Data Center in conjunction with the National Weather Service actual data from previous years collected at official ASOS/climatology stations across our coverage area. Also note that as time moves forward into a different period as shown above, average temperatures for those dates will also change. See the example below using Philadelphia, PA as the climo station:

DateAverage Hi/LoEPAWA projection
March 18th53°F/35°FBelow average
March 25th56°F/37°FNear to slightly above average
April 1st59°F/39°FNear to slightly above average

The departure from normal uses the average temperature for the date, averaging temps over 24 hours for any given location, using both high and low temperatures hourly during any particular day. This outlook determines warm vs. cool periods relative to normal temperatures.

Long range analysis: Technical discussion is below for advanced readers:

Technical discussion below will feature two (2) subcategories: Precipitation, and Pattern Discussion. Wintry possibilities will be discussed exclusively in the Premium Forum with intense model analysis leading up to any Wintry events, not publicly. To join this discussion and hear our updated thoughts from our team, visit The My Pocket Meteorologist Page by clicking HERE and select the “Premium Weather Forum” option.

Precipitation Discussion:


Two precipitation events to speak of this week, the first of which is the immediate threat Friday night and Saturday. A warm front will be pressing toward the region overnight Friday night, in association with weak low pressure in the eastern Great Lakes. Overrunning precip will start as light snow in most places, but will transition to sleet and perhaps rain showers south of I-78 in PA and NJ. Along and north of I-78, light snow showers will continue. Most places will see a coating to 1″ of snow on mainly non-paved surfaces, however areas farther north closer to I-80 and I-81, especially in areas of elevation, could see a 1-3″ snowfall. Alerts will be sent to appropriate areas on Friday for those subscribed to the My Pocket Meteorologist text alerts, but overall, this event is a nuisance at best. Short range mesoscale models are suggesting that as the Great Lakes low transfers to a 2nd low offshore, that during the redevelopment process of the new low, could form an inverted trough feature that could produce additional light snow for eastern portions of NE PA, northern New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. Confidence in this feature is low, and will be handled on a shorter term basis. Should it come to fruition, a few additional inches of snow are possible in the aforementioned areas.

The 2nd event is a cold front passage expected around the 25th of the month, accompanied by rain showers. It is likely that for all intents and purposes, outside of the wintry event Friday night and Saturday, that wintry precipitation will be largely over for most of the area.

All public/freely available maps will be updated when the threat is imminent for severe weather and snow threats on the weather alerts page throughout the Winter: http://epawaweather.com/weather-alerts/


Note:  Any image in the outlook is clickable for larger viewing

The GFS shows the overrunning light snow and sleet out ahead of a warm front prior to low transfer offshore Friday night, with generally light amounts


The NAM among others shows an inverted trough feature later Saturday evening once the low redevelops offshore, bringing additional light snow


Pattern Discussion:


After a lackluster winter as a whole, and very warm February where many days were spent in the 70s, it looked like winter was essentially over. In previous outlooks, it was noted that if anything were to occur on the wintry side of things it would be during the 2nd week of March. We first made this proclamation on the public long range outlook on Friday February 24th, in the midst of what was a day of record warmth across the region, with highs in the middle to upper 70s that day. Some thought we we nuts, but in hindsight, it was the correct call. Takeaway here is… long range forecasting certainly isn’t useless.

A major nor’easter on the 13th/14th came to fruition, and another “appetizer” of sorts also occurred during that 2nd week of March occurred for parts of the region on the 10th, with a 3-6″ snowfall. This were the thread-the-needle storms that we were talking about, coinciding with the cold shot expected at that time. It is also what snow lovers were hoping for much earlier throughout the winter. Late, but not denied. With one more wintry event Friday night and Saturday on a much smaller scale, we look ahead to see not many if any storms at all on the horizon that would give us reason to think wintry implications are probable.

Going forward, the cold will start to become more marginal. Below normal, yes, but normal highs are also steadily increasing with time. By April 1st, the normal high in Philadelphia is nearly 60° and we are transitioning into more of a Spring climate. It will become increasingly more difficult to sustain a colder pattern, and we should be coming out of it in about a week or so. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel if that’s what you are looking for. Average highs for the next week will average slightly below average for most, and then more typical temperatures for late March are expected toward the end of the month. April will also start off mild, with near to slightly above average temperatures.

Note:  Any image in the outlook is clickable for larger viewing

The GEFS (GFS ensemble) suggests cold air remains in the NE US for the next week or so, with slightly below average temperatures relative to seasonal averages during that stretch. 


The same GEFS and Euro weeklies suggest that from late March and on into the first week of April, temperatures will rebound as a trough settles into the western US, and a ridge builds in the east.


EPAWA 1-5 day temperature departure outlook


EPAWA 6-10 day temperature departure outlook


EPAWA 11-15 day temperature departure outlook


EPAWA 16-20 day temperature departure outlook


Current U.S. Snow Cover

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Forecaster: EPAWA Meteorologist Bobby Martrich
Discussion last updated:  Friday March 17th, 9:25am