Slow but steady improvement 📈

Update #446

The Hudson Valley has endured a cooler and wetter than normal start to May. The second half of April wasn’t winning any awards for nice weather, either.

I think it’s fair to say that we’re due for some improving conditions.

The week ahead won’t get an A+, but probably a solid B with a focus on meaningful improvement. Hopefully you can get with that!

Rain will slide into the region on Sunday evening, continuing through the night. By Monday morning, the wet weather will be exiting stage right with clouds and breaks of sunshine expected during the day.

A cold front will blow through the area on Monday night, ushering the (recently) oh-so-common cool, northwesterly wind by the time you wake up on Tuesday. While it won’t be frosty, the temperature is expected to reach the upper 30s and there will be a wind chill factor.

Tuesday will be a cool day (upper 50s) — about 10 degrees below the average high. Gusty winds will continue on Wednesday along with below average temperatures.

Thursday morning looks chilly, possibly dipping as low as 35 degrees — this could be the last time that temperatures come within striking distance of the freezing mark this spring, so a perhaps a good time to consider planting if you had been holding off! 🌾

Despite the cold start, Thursday looks like the pick day of the week with highs in the mid to upper 60s and a good deal of sunshine 🌞

Although high pressure will be overhead for Friday and Saturday, a weak impulse in the upper atmosphere will stride across the region. This means that while the days will probably start dry and feature some sunshine, instability will build in the atmosphere as sunshine warms the ground, causing air parcels to rise. Rising air parcels will cool and condense into clouds, some of which may produce localized afternoon showers.

A gradual warming trend is also expected with high temperatures near 70 degrees by Sunday.

Warmth will continue to build during the week of the 17th, but it remains to be seen if high pressure will maintain its grip.

Believe it or not, meteorological summer is just *23 days* away! Have a great week.

Fun with numbers - Hudson Valley climate

When a meteorologist says “the high temperature was 10 degrees warmer than average today”, have you ever wondered how the average is determined? Well, here’s how…

Typically, the average is determined by taking the high (or low) temperature on that day averaged over the last 30 years. This is called the “long term average”.

Every 10 years, to keep up with the changing climate (especially when it comes to temperatures), meteorological centers around the world recompute the long term average.

Up until recently, the long term average was computed using data from the 1981-2010 30-year period.

However, since the new decade has arrived and we now have observed climate data through 2020, international centers like NOAA are moving to the 1991-2020 30-year period for long term averages.

Understanding big picture changes in the background climate is quite important for accurate forecasting at a local scale.

I’ve combed the temperature data for the Hudson Valley, comparing the 1991-2020 long term average to 1981-2010. It has revealed that every month except November has experienced a warming trend.

December and January have observed the largest increases (over a degree) with September and October next in line (fall has gotten decidedly warmer!).

Have a look for yourself…

I’ll look at precipitation next. Hope you learned something!

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