A rarity: today’s high temperatures - in the low-to-mid 50s - were cooler than average. Days like this have been few and far between since November, basically. On Wednesday, warm - the new norm it seems - returns, as highs bounce back into the 70s. A fast moving cold front - however - introduces the chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.
Through Tonight: Take this morning’s lows and add 6-10 degrees. That’s what an inbound wind from the south will do for you. Although skies are mostly clear - good for viewing the Moon-Jupiter-Venus trio - lows only fall to the mid-to-upper 30s in the cooler suburbs to the low-to-mid 40s downtown.
Wednesday: Considerable sunshine in the morning yields to increasing clouds into the afternoon. Winds from the southwest (at 10-20 mph) boost afternoon temperatures into the low-to-mid 70s. Upper 70s can’t be ruled out if clouds are delayed, but 70 may be all we can muster if clouds thicken on the early side. Showers and even a thunderstorm could develop starting in the mid-afternoon - but they should be hit or miss - with about 30-40% odds.
Pollen update from the U.S. Army Allergen Lab: Tree pollen levels are HIGH at 429 grain/cubic meter, but down from the 1,229 count Monday. The normal count for the 3rd week of March is just 136!
Severe Northeast freeze: After spiking into the 70s and 80s last week, accelerating the start of the growing season, portions of Pennsylvania, New York state and New England dipped into the teens and 20s this morning. For example, Saranac Lake, NY plunged to 13 degrees after hitting 77 last week. The Syracuse Post-Standard reports damage to the apple crop locally, but that most buds survived. At wunderground, Jeff Masters warns: “Plants will steadily grow more susceptible to cold temperatures in the coming weeks as the growing season progresses, and the odds of more destructive frosts and freezes for the Midwest and Northeast fruit industry are high.”