New York City and much of the United States Northeast have been experiencing a bit of weather whiplash since the beginning of 2018, and meteorologists say you should expect that trend to continue.
With temperatures below freezing in and outside the city for the first eight days of January, New Yorkers faced bitterly cold weather with ice and snow at the start of the new year. However, by the end of this week, temperatures are expected to once again climb into the balmy 50s before the mercury plummets back down again.
So what’s causing all this weather whiplash? Meteorologists from New York Metro Weather recently told the New York Times that circulation patterns in the northern arctic were propelled south to parts of the United States Midwest, South and Northeast, causing colder than normal air to be thrown “into places where it doesn’t usually reside” during the early part of January.
Now, however, that pattern is weakening, and warmer air from the south is moving in to replace the chill. As a result, New York is currently seeing higher than average temperatures — a good 10 or 15 degrees warmer, according to NBC 4 New York’s meteorologist Chris Cimino.
But don’t put away the thermals just yet. Rain is expected to be part of the forecast by the weekend, meteorologists say, and by Sunday, temperatures will once again be on the decline, possibly hitting below freezing just in time for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. day on Monday.
What’s more, the continued freeze-thaw pattern that’s been the hallmark of local weather since Jan. 1 could cause problems for some parts of the city and state. As the New York Times reports, both the governor’s office and the National Weather Service are asking citizens to be mindful of potential flooding. As the increased temperatures cause existing snow and ice to melt, the threat to rising water on area rivers and other water ways could also increase exponentially.
John Homenuk, a meteorologist with New York Metro Weather, tells the Times that New Yorkers can expect “a lot more water” in the coming days on the streets and sidewalks around the city — more than what they would normally see during a typical rain event.