Thursday November 26 2020 Forecast (8:36AM)

COMMENTARY

Nobody needs to be reminded what the last 10 months have been like. Regardless of your point of view and set of beliefs on the many issues that impact us daily, we all have one paramount commonality. We are all human beings, capable of understanding and compassion, and we should exercise that to the best of our ability every day, for every day is a gift and an opportunity for you to make what you can out of. I realize for some, for many in fact, there are things out of our control – health and other issues, life circumstances, etc. This is where I sincerely hope we have at least a friend and/or loved one we can count on, who will be there for us, knowing we’d be there for them if and when needed. Nobody is going to magically fix a health issue, something going wrong in somebody’s life, or make disease disappear. If only we could… What we can do is only the best we can do: support one another, make choices, some of which will be mistakes. Learn from the mistakes, grow with the successes, share what is good with those around you, and if we all do the same, we’d be spreading something that everybody would benefit from. It’s time to put aside differences, turn our backs on hatred, and try to be thankful for what we have. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but we have to try. Wherever you find yourselves today, I hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving that you can possibly have. And I thank all of you for supporting this blog, which is nearing its tenth anniversary. Where does the time go? Take care, friends. Be safe. Peace.

DAYS 1-5 (NOVEMBER 26-30)

Discussion…

Shifting gears now, onto the weather, and an active pattern sends yet another storm system into our region for the holiday. The down-side is that it makes local travel and “outdoor dining” for the holiday much less pleasant, and the up-side is that we get another good dose of rain to contribute to reducing our long-term precipitation deficit. There’s enough instability in the atmosphere that as an occluding frontal system passes through, we’ll have rounds of showers, some heavy, that may include thunder. In 2017 we had thundersnow on Christmas and we may have thunder for Thanksgiving today. All that’s left is a good old fashioned Halloween thunderstorm, right? Maybe next year… 😉 Today, our greatest chance of thunder will be south of Boston as that area is in the warmest and most unstable air. As was suspected, the warm air has had trouble pushing too far to the north, with the boundary having even slipped back to the south again late yesterday. This “cold air damming” set-up is rather common around here, especially in the colder season from later autumn through mid spring, and is something that a lot of computer guidance will have trouble with, often under-predicting its influence. Thankfully, the surface temperatures on the cold side of the boundary over interior northern MA and southern NH sit above freezing, so we’re not seeing any icing issues, just cold, raw, wet weather. Closer to the coast of MA down through RI we’ve seen the milder air move in with a little more ease, and temperatures as of 8 a.m. range from the upper 40s to middle 50s. We won’t see too much more rise in these areas, perhaps a few upper 50s to near 60 degree readings over parts of southeastern MA and RI to go along with the showers and downpours. The main front pushes through the region this evening and the wet weather will move out, but initially, winds will be fairly light and there may be some areas of fog to contend with, so keep that in mind if you have evening or nighttime travel plans, as visibility may be reduced. Some improvement takes place tomorrow, but it may be very tough to break up all the cloudiness that remains, as we don’t have a really strong push of westerly wind to help. While an upper disturbance coming by may trigger a quick passing shower, most areas will remain dry during the day, despite the cloudiness, and the air will be fairly mild, so while the ground may remain damp, otherwise it won’t be too bad out there is you plan to get outside to walk or put up Christmas lights / decorations. If you wait for Saturday and Sunday to do these things, you’ll be in luck too. Other than a weak cold front moving through from west to east with some clouds and a very remote chance of a quick shower Saturday, it won’t be a bad day. Sunday ends up a bit cooler but will feature more sunshine. Don’t get used to that though. Things change quickly on Monday as the next storm system takes shape and heads this way. The low track on this one will be west of New England, and by later Monday we’ll find ourselves in a pretty significant southerly air flow and staring at a band of moderate to heavy rainfall. While it’s still a handful of days away, the initial thought on this is that it will be a late day and nighttime “main event” of rain, wind, and possible thunder – something to monitor and tweak as we get closer to it. But it looks like November may borrow the March lion for its exit.

Details…

TODAY (THANKSGIVING): Cloudy. Numerous to widespread rain showers, including the chance of thunderstorms favoring the South Coast region. Highs 45-52 interior northern MA and southern NH, 53-60 elsewhere. Wind E under 10 MPH interior northern MA and southern NH, SE to S 5-15 MPH elsewhere.

TONIGHT: Cloudy. Scattered showers and a chance of a thunderstorm in the evening. Spotty drizzle and areas of fog. Lows 41-48. Wind variable under 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny. Chance of a passing rain shower. Highs 50-57. Wind variable under 10 MPH becoming W up to 10 MPH.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 37-44. Wind W up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy morning and midday with a slight chance of a brief rain shower, then mostly sunny. Highs 48-55. Wind W around 10 MPH shifting to NW.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Clear. Lows 31-38. Wind NW up to 10 MPH.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 45-52. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Increasing high clouds. Lows 40-47. Wind variable up to 10 MPH.

MONDAY: Thickening clouds. Numerous rain showers arrive west to east by late-day or night. Highs 53-60. Wind SE to S increasing to 10-20 MPH.

DAYS 6-10 (DECEMBER 1-5)

As December gets underway, we’ll be dealing with a more amplified pattern that has a trough in the interior eastern US initially, putting our area in a southwesterly air flow aloft. The storm that approaches us on Monday will likely have a broad center across the Great Lakes region with us in mild air with a rain shower threat on December 1, although much of that day may end up rain-free. Some cooler air will get in here in modified form behind this system as it lifts away into eastern Canada and shifts the wind to more westerly December 2-3. We’ll have to watch for another storm threat December 4 and/or 5, with timing uncertain. Odds would favor our area being on the milder side of that system as well, as the pattern would probably still favor a low track over the interior eastern US, but given model divergence and inconsistency, we’ll be having to do a lot of defining of possibility and detail with this system as that time draws closer.

DAYS 11-15 (DECEMBER 6-10)

Continued hints of an evolving blocking pattern with additional chances of unsettled weather here, but with a trend toward a little colder weather as well, we’ll have to start thinking about the possibility of some wintry weather. Keep in mind, this is just a rough outlook on a pattern that may evolve more slowly, and that the forecast itself as low confidence based on the reasons previously discussed. So think of this as a “very rough draft outlook” if you will. 🙂

Wednesday November 25 2020 Forecast (8:31AM)

DAYS 1-5 (NOVEMBER 25-29)

Discussion…

Well, here we are, the Wednesday through Sunday period that is traditionally known as “Thanksgiving Weekend”, which includes the day-before, the holiday itself, “Black Friday”, and the actual weekend. Not to beat a dead horse, but we all know that this year is very different for many of us, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for a weather forecast, so here’s mine for this 5 day period, and it goes something like this…. Initially, we sit in air that is quite cold especially away from the South Coast, so it’s a good thing that the warm front that approaches us is not a bigger generator of precipitation, or we’d be dealing with some frozen stuff. A quick look at the observations as of 7 a.m. will show temperatures from the upper 20s to lower 30s over southern NH and much of eastern MA with a very light northerly air flow, except for coastal and southern areas where it is in the upper 30s to lower 40s with a light wind mostly from the southeast. There may be a few flakes of snow, pellets of ice, and drops of rain that fall from these clouds in spotty locations today, but for the most part the air is dry enough between the mid level cloud deck and the surface that anything falling out of the clouds will dry up before reaching the surface. With the surface warm front still south of most of the area this evening, and a little more moisture available, we should see a period of light rain especially north of I-90 during the evening to overnight hours, and there may be just enough cold air still at the surface for a little icing if that rain is significant enough to wet the ground. This would be most likely over interior southern NH and far northern MA. Eventually as we get to Thanksgiving morning, the surface temperature should be warm enough in these areas that any ice threat would be gone. The front itself is going to struggle getting north of the I-90 area on Thursday, so the daytime temperatures will reflect that, holding in the 40s in southern NH and far northern MA while climbing into the 50s in areas to the south, especially nearer the South Coast where a few locations may make a run at 60. A cold front will sweep eastward toward the region during the day on Thanksgiving, but this version is a little weaker than what we saw back on Monday, and the low pressure area parenting it will be doing the “gelatin effect” and wobbling its way along the frontal boundary that had been struggling to move northward through the region. But regardless of the surface shenanigans, the upper level energy will be potent enough with this system for a couple solid rounds of showers, the first Thursday morning to midday, which may include thunder in some South Coast locations, and the second one from late afternoon into evening which may include downpours and embedded thunder anywhere in the region. Since the surface set-up will feature a little bit of a low pressure center over to just east of the region as it exits, we will have a lot of low level moisture left in place to start Friday, since we will lack a good westerly air flow to clear it all out of here like what we saw with Monday’s frontal passage. So it may take a good part of the day Friday to rid ourselves of the clouds, waiting for a little upper level disturbance to cross the region, which itself may kick off a shower. But don’t cancel any outdoor decorating plans for Friday because it will be a generally dry day with air not all that cold. Saturday and Sunday look like two very pleasant days with high pressure generally in control, although a weak surface trough still has to come through the region sometime during the first half of Saturday, most likely accompanied by some clouds but only the slightest chance of a rain shower.

Details…

TODAY: Cloudy. Spotty very light snow/sleet/rain possible. Highs 37-44. Wind N to NE under 10 MPH interior southern NH and interior MA, E to SE up to 10 MPH elsewhere.

TONIGHT: Overcast. Periods of rain/drizzle developing, with the potential for some icing interior southern NH and north central MA. Lows 31-38 southern NH and north central MA, 38-45 interior central MA to northeastern MA, and 45-52 in areas to the south during the evening. Temperatures may rise slightly overnight. Wind E to SE up to 10 MPH.

THURSDAY (THANKSGIVING): Cloudy. Numerous to widespread rain showers, especially morning and midday, including the chance of thunderstorms favoring the South Coast region. Highs 43-50 north of I-90, 51-58 to the south. Wind E to SE up to 10 MPH north of I-90, SE to S 5-15 MPH to the south.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Numerous showers and a chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Spotty drizzle and patchy fog overnight. Lows 40-47. Wind variable under 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny. Chance of a passing rain shower. Highs 50-57. Wind variable under 10 MPH becoming W up to 10 MPH.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 37-44. Wind W up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy morning. Sunny afternoon. Highs 48-55. Wind W around 10 MPH shifting to NW.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Clear. Lows 31-38. Wind NW up to 10 MPH.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 45-52. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

DAYS 6-10 (NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 4)

A large scale trough approaches from the west and our area will see a temperature moderation initially with wet weather moving in on November 30 and lingering on December 1 as a frontal boundary and up to a couple waves of low pressure move along the boundary. Should turn drier and somewhat cooler December 2-3 but unsettled weather may return before the period is over.

DAYS 11-15 (DECEMBER 5-9)

Seeing hints of some high latitude blocking and increased chances of unsettled weather here, but this pattern is likely to be slower to evolve than any guidance suggests at this point. Still watching the December 6-8 period for a potential unsettled weather event.

Tuesday November 24 2020 Forecast (8:08AM)

DAYS 1-5 (NOVEMBER 24-28)

Discussion…

On we roll toward the end of November, with Thanksgiving just 2 days away. Today will be the coldest day of this week as high pressure in the Great Lakes delivers an air mass right out of Canada, air that crossed over snow covered ground on its way here. You’ll feel that chill in the air, minus the snow, but with a gusty breeze today. High pressure will slide eastward, its center passing to our north, tonight into early Wednesday. As a warm front approaches Wednesday, we’ll see clouds move in. As previously noted, this warm front is going to be in for a struggle to make much progress into New England Wednesday night into Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) as low pressure moves slowly eastward into the region. While the actual low center will be weakening, its center, or what’s left of it, will move along the frontal boundary, which by the time it gets into the area will become generally stationary. This means that the warm air probably gets into the South Coast and maybe as far north as I-90 but not much further. This sets up the issue of possible icing in north central MA and interior southern NH if precipitation comes in early enough Wednesday evening, and also sets up an interesting temperature forecast for both Wednesday night and Thursday. Thanksgiving Day itself is likely to be overcast through the day, and see periods of rain, especially during the morning and midday hours. Once we get to Thursday night and Friday, the wind will turn more to the north and eventually northwest, and we will dry out as clouds break, but there is still the risk of a passing rain shower as a disturbance crosses the region on Friday. Even Saturday, which looks mainly dry and milder will have the chance of a passing shower as a front passes through later in the day or during the evening.

Details…

TODAY: Sun/cloud mix through midday then mostly sunny rest of afternoon. Highs 38-45. Wind NW 10-20 MPH, gusting around 30 MPH.

TONIGHT: Clear evening. Increasing high clouds overnight. Lows 20-27. Wind NW 5-15 MPH early, shifting to NE and diminishing to under 10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Early morning sun and high clouds, then thicker overcast. Slight chance of brief very light snow/mix southern NH and far northern MA late morning or midday. Highs 38-45. Wind NE to E up to 10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Periods of rain/drizzle developing, with the potential for some icing interior southern NH and north central MA. Lows 31-38 southern NH and north central MA, 38-45 interior central MA to northeastern MA, and 45-52 in areas to the south during the evening. Temperatures may rise slightly overnight. Wind E to SE up to 10 MPH.

THURSDAY (THANKSGIVING): Cloudy. Rain likely in the morning. Chance of a few lingering showers or some drizzle in the afternoon. Highs 40-47 southern NH and northern MA, 48-55 to the south. Wind E to SE around 10 MPH.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. A few additional showers possible early. Patchy fog. Lows 37-44. Wind NE to NW up to 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. Chance of a passing shower. Highs 48-55. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 37-44. Wind W up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy. Highs 48-55. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

DAYS 6-10 (NOVEMBER 29 – DECEMBER 3)

I don’t know. Just kidding – killing a bad joke. Working out the timing and looks like high pressure brings a nice day for November 29 to end “Thanksgiving Weekend” before low pressure comes at us from the southwest and brings a beneficial rain event for the last day of November. There remains some uncertainty in how the first few days of December play out with guidance again all over the place. My current thought is that we may need to watch for a low pressure wave to bring additional unsettled weather at the same time we watch the approach of cold air December 1. Dry/colder weather follows that.

DAYS 11-15 (DECEMBER 4-8)

Hints of of what may be some high latitude blocking trying to set up at some point during this period. This would increase the chance of some East Coast storminess while we’re in the battle zone of warm air to the south and east and much colder air to the west and north. Far too soon for details, other than I’m most concerned with the December 6-8 period.

Monday November 23 2020 Forecast (8:27AM)

DAYS 1-5 (NOVEMBER 23-27)

Discussion…

Thanksgiving Week. I know that travel will be far less than usual, but there will still be some people on the road, depending on their situations, for errands and visits leading up to and including the holiday on Thursday, so it’s still an important forecast for moving about during these days. This morning, a warm front divides the WHW forecast area in half, still in the cool air in most areas north of I-90 while areas to the south are warmer and more humid, and this front is trying to push northward, and as previously stated, will probably never quite make it all the way through southern NH before a strong cold front from the west comes through the entire region. Widespread moderate to occasionally heavy showers will accompany this system as it passes through, and there may even be some thunder with it. This has already been occurring in parts of the region (South Coast, RI). Areas prone to flooding will likely see some, and this may be worsened by some leaf-clogged storm drains. Keep that in mind if driving. By the end of the day, we’ll be seeing the arrival of a cold Canadian air mass via the Great Lakes, and as high pressure moves into the Great Lakes region through Tuesday, we’ll see a period of dry, breezy, and chilly November weather. This won’t last long, however, as the high will slide to the east and be offshore by Wednesday. But it’s not going to be just a simple case of warming right back up on Wednesday. We’ll see clouds increase ahead of a warm front, and by the end of the day some precipitation may be generated by the approach of that front, which will probably get into the South Coast region with no issue and through the Providence / Hartford area and into Boston’s southern suburbs as well, but how far north of there it gets is in question. Models tend to handle this poorly, moving the warm air too far north too quickly, although some of the guidance is already catching on that this front may never quite make it as far north as northern MA and southern NH at all, and eventually a wave of low pressure will ripple along it and move over or even just south of a lot of the region through Thanksgiving Day, which looks like an overcast and wet day. But before that happens, we may have an issue with some icing over interior southern NH and northern MA as the onset of rain/drizzle may be met with surface temperatures slightly below freezing there Wednesday evening. Regardless of how this plays out, after our unsettled Thanksgiving, conditions improve for Friday, which will be a milder and mostly dry day, although I cannot rule out a couple showers due to a disturbance moving across the region.

Details…

TODAY: Overcast through early afternoon with widespread showers, some heavy, including embedded thunderstorms in some locations. Street and parking lot flooding may occur where heavier showers are occurring. Showers end and clouds break later in the day, and a clearing line may approach from the west quickly enough for the sun to appear before setting, at least in areas to the west. Highs 48-55 southern NH and northern MA, 55-62 to the south. Wind SE 5-15 MPH in southern NH and northeastern MA, SW 5-15 MPH elsewhere, shifting to W and increasing to 10-20 MPH with higher gusts all areas by late day.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows 27-34. Wind NW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 37-44. Wind NW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear. Lows 20-27. Wind N under 10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Early sun, then becoming cloudy. Highs 37-44 southern NH and northern MA, 45-52 elsewhere. Wind NE to E up to 10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Periods of rain/drizzle, with the potential for some icing interior southern NH and north central MA. Lows 31-38 southern NH and north central MA, 38-45 interior central MA to northeastern MA, and 45-52 in areas to the south during the evening. Temperatures may rise slightly overnight. Wind NE to SE up to 10 MPH.

THURSDAY (THANKSGIVING): Cloudy. Rain likely in the morning. Chance of a few lingering showers or some drizzle in the afternoon. Highs 40-47 southern NH and northern MA, 48-55 to the south. Wind E to SE around 10 MPH.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog. Lows 35-42. Wind NE to NW up to 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. Chance of a passing shower. Highs 46-53. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

DAYS 6-10 (NOVEMBER 28 – DECEMBER 2)

If I wrote “I really don’t know” in this space it would be reasonably accurate. The insane model divergence tries to lead forecasters astray. Going to keep November 28-29 mainly dry and lean toward November 30 for the next unsettled system which would be in the form of rain. Drier but somewhat colder as December arrives, but low confidence on that as well.

DAYS 11-15 (DECEMBER 3-7)

Leaving this the same as yesterday: Highly uncertain outlook with many questions to be answered about the pattern’s evolution, but the scenario I feel is most likely looking at it this far in advance is for dry but seasonably chilly weather early in the period, briefly milder and still dry mid period, and a possible flip to colder with a storm threat at the end of the period, although we may be very near a boundary of warmth to the south with much colder air to the north, so that would set-up a vast range of how the weather could turn out here.

Winter Forecast 2020-2021

I can say every year that this is a hard forecast, but that has become redundant. There is no “easy” long range forecast. So with that in mind, onto the one for the upcoming winter.

OVERVIEW

The greatest factor in this winter’s weather is likely to be the ENSO phase, which is now La Nina (central-east based), with this expected to be the case through the winter, including March. I have factored in the pattern that has been ongoing since about mid October into late November, with La Nina in place, and this has given me some clues. Other factors influencing this long range forecast are the QBO (Quasi-biennial Oscillation), stratospheric winds in the tropical regions, in their westerly phase at this time with this likely to continue through winter as well. Other significant factors in place include below normal Arctic sea ice and below normal Siberian early season snow, but above average snow cover in North America. We are just coming off a solar minimum (low sunspot activity) and entering the upswing phase, although the activity overall will continue on the low side for the winter. Three wildcard factors: 1) Anomalous warm water in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. 2) Anomalous cool water pool in the central Pacific, northwest of Hawaii, related to a Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) that has been somewhat neutral but is having a trend to positive, which is a phase featuring warmer water off the US West Coast and cooler water in the central Pacific. 3) Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), which is a measure of movement of regions of enhanced and suppressed tropical rainfall, has been in a very weak phase for some time, and indications are that this will continue for a while, but this index can be somewhat unpredictable and can become more of a factor with little warning, so its impact may become more influential as we move into and through winter. Further factors which we can get an idea of based on the above are less predictable in the longer term, such as the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), will be factors as well, but I can’t say with any confidence that I can tell what phases these will be in as we go through the winter. What I can say is that the factors previously mentioned weigh toward a frequently positive phase for both AO & NAO. The positive AO is a polar vortex (PV) that is strong and rather tight to the pole, keeping the coldest of the arctic air bottled up. However, the lack of sea ice is a catalyst for causing the PV to become unstable at times, potentially sending the AO into intervals of negative phase. This will be something we’ll have to watch for. Another factor in helping to determine this is sunspot activity. With the solar activity, while still not far from its relative minimum, starting to increase, the chance of a burst of energy from the sun increases, and it has been shown that a strong pulse of energy from the sun can correlate with keeping the AO positive. Will the low sea ice and increasing solar activity have to “fight it out” at any point? We can’t know that in advance, only monitor for the possibility. Similarly, the NAO would like to stay in its positive phase (little or no high latitude blocking) under many of the conditions mentioned above, but a disruption of the PV, or the MJO heading into certain phases in a stronger cycle can have an impact on that, and we could find ourselves with one or more periods of negative phase of NAO, which would present a blocking pattern and potentially increase the chance for colder weather and winter storms. Again though, no guarantee that this happens at any particular time. I can look ahead and say that I can see the potential for at least a brief episode of something like this after the first week of December, but would it result in anything that would make us remember the early part of winter 2020-2021? Only time will tell… As always, other factors that I have not even mentioned will be monitored and I can talk about those in the day-to-day comments if and when needed. So with all of the above in mind, what follows is my best shot at month-to-month characteristics for the winter.

DECEMBER
As goes November, so goes the winter? I said this last year, and based some of my forecast off it. That only worked out briefly, then was a lost cause. So will I abandon that thought this year? Well, not necessarily. Last year, a very cold November was followed by a cold to seasonable early to mid December, early snow, and then winter making an exit just as the solstice announced the actual beginning of winter. That said, I do think the pattern that we have been in from mid October well into November does hold some significant clues as to what December (and even beyond) will be like. Since it took place as we got into La Nina, and that La Nina will be persisting, that alone gives it some credibility, especially since the westerly QBO is also likely to continue, and these are 2 of the larger factors that drive the pattern at this time. So what does that mean for December? Well, Canada has been pretty cold, and we’ve seen this go into the western US several times, and punch its way into our area a few times as well during the course of autumn, and I think this general pattern is still going to be in place as we head through the final weeks of autumn and into the first couple weeks of winter, astronomically, of course adjusting for climatology based on the calendar. The wild card for December is MJO. There are some signs recently that as we get into December by several days that the MJO may strengthen and move into a phase 6/7 cycle. MJO can be a little more favorable for wintry weather in the Northeast when it is in phase 7 early in the season. Add in the possibility of temporary PV disruption as we continue with good snowcover in Canada and low sea ice in the Arctic region, and our pattern could find itself favorable for some early ice/snow opportunities here as we get toward the middle of the month. Odds would favor the stronger long term pattern of milder with brief cold shots taking back over before the end of the month, as the larger drivers would be superior and eventually win out. But will that episode of wintry opportunity be enough to produce some significant snowfall? I say yes it will, and while this is a risky call that can make my winter forecast look bad early, I’m going to lean that way. Temperature: Near normal, mildest relative to normal late in the month. Precipitation: Near to above normal, most active in the middle 20 days. Snowfall: Above normal, but not by that much.

JANUARY
The first month of 2021 should display the general characteristics of the pattern leading up to winter, as the large scale drivers that are strongest become most dominant (La Nina, QBO, AO). This pattern would be mild overall, but with short-lived and sometimes sharp cold shots. Several times during the month we would be the pathway for disturbances along the boundary between a fairly cold Canada and an persistently mild to warm Southeast as the La Nina driven ridge dominates that part of the US. The polar jet would be spending more time north of the border with occasional inroads into the northern tier of the Lower 48, including New England, but more often west of here. A weakened version of a Pacific jet stream would drive the primary storm track from the West Coast east northeastward across the country, sometimes north of, sometimes over, and sometimes south of New England. And while I don’t think it will be a gangbusters storm pattern, we will see our share of “events”, many of which would be wet versus white, but a couple or a few that could be on the messier side. Nevertheless, the first 2 months of winter should help us take steps to getting out of drought, but falling well short of getting us out of it. Temperature: Slightly above normal.
Precipitation: Slightly above normal.
Snow: Below normal.

FEBRUARY
La Nina peaks, westerly QBO dominates, PV is strong and tight to the Arctic, NAO is positive, MJO probably continues its overall trend of being not a big factor, and this should allow the Southeast ridge to be dominant, keeping that battle zone we had been in for much of the winter so far further north, and fooling everybody into thinking winter was ending early……… Temperature: Above normal.
Precipitation: Below normal.
Snow: Much below normal.

MARCH
What happens when you wind something up really tight? Eventually something has to give. All you need is a weak point or some kind of trigger. Canada will have spent a good amount of autumn and winter building a solid snow pack and holding a fair amount of cold air, that at times finds its way here but for long stretches is locked up there or in the western US thanks in part to a ridge of high pressure in the Southeast. Most of the indicators are also that the cold in Canada will extend through Alaska, and often when Alaska has a cold anomaly, the eastern US trends warmer. What may happen in March would possibly be triggered by a weakening and shifting of the warm pool of water in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, basically a PDO readjustment, along with the normal shifting of the behavior of upper air patterns as spring approaches, leading to a better chance of high latitude blocking which can help trigger a disruption of the PV. We’d likely see a period of ridging across Alaska, warming that area up, and flushing cold air southeastward through Canada and into the north central and northeastern US, and a southward shift of the Pacific jet as the Southeast ridge gives ground as the La Nina shows its first signs of weakening. This would shift our pattern to a colder and more active one, opening the door for a late burst of wintry weather that had been missing during the heart of winter. I realize this is a gamble, but given the inherent uncertainty in forecasting that far in advance, an educated guess leads me to this conclusion. If we get late snow, at least the sun angle will be higher and the days will already be noticeably longer, easing the impact of late-season cold and snow. Temperature: Below normal.
Precipitation: Above normal.
Snow: Much above normal.

WINTER SEASON OVERALL
Temperature: Slightly above normal.
Precipitation: Slightly Above normal.
Snow: Near to slightly above normal.
-Boston 45-50 inches
-Worcester 60-65 inches
-Providence 40-45 inches
-Hartford 45-50 inches

Sunday November 22 2020 Forecast (8:18AM)

DAYS 1-5 (NOVEMBER 22-26)

Discussion…

High pressure centered north of New England will slide off to the east and south as so many have done since the summer. But only now since it’s November, instead of a pleasant ocean breeze taking the edge off summer heat, we’ll have a cool and increasingly raw east wind today with a lot of low level clouds coming from the ocean and spreading inland, while above that high and mid level clouds advance ahead of an approaching warm front. While the relatively mild air of the previous two days will be gone, we will still stay dry through the daylight hours today, but the aforementioned warm front will be the trigger for some rainfall tonight. This front, as previously discussed, may never completely make it all the way through the region before a cold front from the west comes across the area around the middle of the day Monday as low pressure tracks eastward to our north. This set-up is one for a wide spread in temperature across the region as the wettest weather is taking place during Monday morning, after which a stronger westerly wind will arrive and we’ll dry out from west to east, and all areas will start a quick drop in temperature as a cold air mass arrives from Canada Monday night as it clears out, and Tuesday, which will be a windy, dry, bright, but below normal temperature day. But that will also be short-lived as the high pressure that delivers the cold will make a quick trip eastward and we’ll already be on its back side by Wednesday. But instead of a nice milder day, Wednesday will feature a lot of cloudiness as we get an increase in moisture ahead of the next low pressure system, set to bring wet weather to the region by Wednesday night and into Thanksgiving. With Thanksgiving at day 5, there’s still some uncertainty on how quickly that system gets out of here. Some guidance has taken it quickly out of the region early in the day for clearing, while other guidance keeps it around. However, the guidance that had been displaying the faster timing is showing me signs of finding the trough that would at least keep cloudiness in the region for the balance of the day even if we saw the wet weather end, so at this time I am leaning toward just an overcast day with greatest rain chances in the morning.

Details…

TODAY: Mostly cloudy eastern areas with partial sun mostly interior MA, RI, eastern CT, and southwestern NH before all areas are cloudy by afternoon. Highs 45-52. Wind E 5-15 MPH.

TONIGHT: Cloudy. Periods of rain and drizzle. Areas of fog. Lows 42-49. Wind E to SE 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Cloudy with rain showers likely through early afternoon. Areas of fog and drizzle in the morning mainly Merrimack Valley into southern NH. Breaking clouds later in the day. Highs 48-55, coolest southern NH and northeastern MA. Wind SE 5-15 MPH in southern NH and northeastern MA, SW 5-15 MPH elsewhere, shifting to W and increasing to 10-20 MPH with higher gusts all areas by late day.

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 27-34. Wind NW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 37-44. Wind NW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear. Lows 20-27. Wind N under 10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Early sun, then becoming cloudy. Highs 46-53. Wind SE 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Rain arriving late evening or overnight. Temperatures steady 46-53. Wind SE to S 5-15 MPH.

THURSDAY (THANKSGIVING): Cloudy. Rain likely in the morning. Chance of a few lingering showers or some drizzle in the afternoon. Temperatures steady 46-53. Wind SE to E 5-15 MPH.

DAYS 6-10 (NOVEMBER 27 – DECEMBER 1)

Currently expecting mostly dry and milder weather for November 27 & 28 as high pressure moves in but without tapping cold air from Canada. Next low pressure area may bring wet weather to the area in the November 29-30 time frame but the exact timing of this is highly uncertain. Drier/colder weather is possible as December arrives to end this period.

DAYS 11-15 (DECEMBER 2-6)

Highly uncertain outlook with many questions to be answered about the pattern’s evolution, but the scenario I feel is most likely looking at it this far in advance is for dry but seasonably chilly weather early in the period, briefly milder and still dry mid period, and a possible flip to colder with a storm threat at the end of the period, although we may be very near a boundary of warmth to the south with much colder air to the north, so that would set-up a vast range of how the weather could turn out here.

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