Storm Update

1130pm

Hi all! Sorry for the lack of posting today. For one, I wasn’t home much until 9pm. Also, the computer and the sites I go to were being very stubborn! Maybe they’re tired of the winter too. Well, I’m not, I know that much, but did you expect to hear any different from me? ūüėČ

After all of the trouble and finally being able to look at everything I want, I’m essentially staying with the overall ideas posted yesterday. The only adjustments are to up the Tuesday snowfall totals very slightly to 4-8 inches across most of MA & southern NH. The Wednesday storm remains very tricky, because of a mix line getting involved. I still feel that freezing rain will be confined to a narrow strip somewhere south of the Mass Pike, with sleet more likely to be mixed in along and up to 10 miles either side of the Mass Pike, with still mainly snow along and north of Route 2.¬† I still expect a widespread 6-12 inches from the Wednesday storm in terms of snow and sleet accumulation (the majority of it being from snow). There is a bit of a wild card in the southern portion of this 6-12 inch belt depending on the amount of sleet.¬† Amounts of course will drop off more as you head south and southeastward toward Cape Cod, with only a few inches of snow out on the Cape.

The 2-day storm totals of 8 to 20 inches still seem likely when you start in the region south of the Mass Pike and progress northward to southern NH, with the Boston area falling to the 10-18 inch area for the 2-days. A few spotty amounts of over 20 inches are also still possible mainly from the hills of  Worcester County to southwestern NH.

A quick look ahead… Lingering snow showers are possible Thursday but I don’t expect any additional accumulation. Dry/cold weather is likely Friday, and yet another snow threat seems probable on Saturday. We’ll take a closer look at this tomorrow¬†though updates through early Wednesday will focus mainly on the double punch storm we are about to deal with.

Thanks for your patience waiting for my update tonight!!!

Boston Area Forecast

1200am

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. High 23-28.  Wind northwest 5-15 mph.

MONDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds. Low 10-15. Wind calm.

TUESDAY: Cloudy. Snow develops west to east during the morning and continues through the afternoon, accumulating 3 to 6 inches by evening. High 25-30. Wind light northeast.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. A few periods of light snow with little additional accumulation. Low 20-25. Wind northeast to east around 10 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Snow getting steadier & heavier from west to east during the morning. Northwest of  Boston Рsnow possibly mixed with sleet at times during the afternoon. Immediate Boston area Рsnow likely mixed with sleet and possibly mixed with freezing rain during the afternoon. South of Boston Рsnow changing to sleet and freezing rain during the afternoon. High 27-32. Wind northeast 10-20 mph with higher gusts.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Snow/sleet/freezing rain changing back to snow in all areas before tapering off. Potential accumulation of snow/sleet from Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening 6 to 12 inches with highest amounts most likely north and west of Boston. Low 20-25. Wind northeast to north 10-20 mph.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny with a few snow showers possible. High 25-30. Wind north to northwest 15-25 mph.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 0-10. High 20-30.

SATURDAY: Chance of snow. Low 10-20. High 20-30.

SUNDAY: Clearing. Low 0-10. High 20-30.

January ends bright but with a bite… The week ahead!

525pm

Another surge of Arctic air is moving in behind a cold front that crossed the region today. This front brought clouds and a few isolated light snow showers though most areas did not see any snow. High pressure behind this front will build across the region Monday, which will be bright & cold. However, you will notice some high clouds beginning to stream in from the west before Monday afternoon is over. These high clouds are the first warning of a 2-stage storm system that will begin February.

The first part of this system will take place as a frontal boundary sets up to the south of New England and a wave of low pressure rides eastward along it. With plenty of cold air in place, snow will fall with this system over all of MA & southern NH, as well as much of CT & RI. Only the far southern coast of New England may see some mixing with sleet, freezing rain, and rain later Tuesday before the precipitation tapers off. Snowfall amounts from this system should range from around 2 inches in southern NH to 3-6 inches across MA, northern CT, and northern RI. Slightly less snow will fall toward the South Coast where mixing gets involved. There is a chance that a few locations along the Mass Pike and up to 20 miles either side of it could see a spot 7 or 8 inch snow amount. The time frame for the snow for the Boston area will be mid to late morning for the first flakes of snow, peaking during the afternoon, tapering off by evening.

Tuesday night, between parts 1 & 2 of the double-barrel storm, expect just a few snow flurries.

Wednesday, a stronger storm system makes an approach, and there is some question as to where this one tracks. As is often the case, the computer models vary somewhat on their predicted track, with a couple of them taking a further northern route, and a few others keeping the system further south. The further north this low pressure area rides, the greater the chance that sleet, freezing rain, and rain would get involved. I am currently favoring a colder scenario and a storm track a bit further south, with the low center passing near Long Island Wednesday night. Assuming this is how it plays out, expect snow to break out from west to east across the region Wednesday morning, with precipitation lasting through the afternoon & into the evening. A change to sleet & freezing rain will probably occur from south to north at least into the Boston area for a time. From near 495 N&W, I’d only expect a mix with sleet for a while but otherwise primarily snow. Liquid rain (where temperatures go above freezing) should be confined to Cape Cod, the Islands, and the South Coast of CT/RI/MA Wednesday afternoon & evening. A band of icing is likely somewhere over inland southern New England, but it’s a little too early to know where this will set up. Areas that stay all snow or mostly snow have the strong potential to see 6 inches or more from part 2 of this system. Bottom line, the details may not be 100% clear, but it is likely to be a very messy day across the area.

The last of the precipitation should be winding down later Wednesday night, though some lingering moisture and a weak trough may produce a few additional snow showers on Thursday. Either way, Thursday & Friday will show a trend back to drier weather with plenty of sun again by Friday. However, this will be along with a shot of very cold air, once again.

And as this pattern rolls on, there are already signs of another storm chance for next weekend (leaning toward Saturday & snow for timing and precipitation type for right now).

Later tonight another blog will have a quick view text forecast for eastern MA / Boston area. Eventually I will expand this to include other areas and hopefully add graphics as well. ūüôā

Weak Clipper, Quiet End to January

455pm

A weak clipper storm system is passing by at this time, producing lots of clouds & some scattered snow showers. Most of the snow shower activity last this afternoon has been north and west of Boston. A light snow shower of feathery flakes passed through Woburn about 430pm, but produced no accumulation. A few of the snow showers north of¬†Boston up toward the NH border may dust the roads in the next hour to 2, and a few additional snow showers to the west and eventually the south of Boston may do the same this evening, but don’t expect any travel problems from this.

Sunday & Monday will be 2 dry but cold days to end January. Highest temperatures should be near 30 Sunday, but reinforcing cold air coming in at night will keep high temperatures to the lower 20s for Monday.

Looking ahead… February is coming, and many of you I’m sure are hoping for a break in the harsh weather pattern we’ve been enduring since the end of December. I’m afraid you will have no such luck. It looks like as February begins, we jump right back into the action, with another storm system moving this way for the middle of the week. Some snow is possible on Tuesday, well ahead of the low pressure system, due to overrunning of warmer air moving up over the cold air that will be in place. The¬†main storm system is expected to pass by on Wednesday, probably tracking south of the region, keeping us on the cold side. Enough warm air aloft may get involved to make some of us have to deal with sleet & freezing rain, but it is too early to determine the exact timing and placement of precipitation types. Just keep in mind that we may end up with a midweek mess.

Later in the week, another shot of very cold air is expected behind the departing midweek storm.

We’ll take a closer look at the upcoming storm, the possibilities of more storms beyond that one, and break down the details of the week ahead in tomorrow’s blog.

Have a safe remainder of the weekend!

A Look Ahead…

400pm

I’d like to write a little bit about the next significant storm threat, which seems to be lining up for the middle of next week. For much of this winter we have been in a blocking pattern, resulting from a strong high pressure system over or near Greenland, which has been forcing the jet stream to drop from Canada into the US, with a trough of low pressure in the eastern US often resulting in cold air and snowstorms from the South to the Midwest to the Northeast. We’ve seen plenty of that since Christmas.

The overal l pattern does not appear to be changing that much, however there are some signs that the blocking pattern may relax to coincide with the next storm threat. What does this mean? Well, the most reliable longer range computer model this winter, the ECMWF (or, the Euro as I & others affectionately call it), is responding to this possible break in the blocking pattern by indicating the storm next week may take a track further west than many of the recent ones have. This would allow warmer air to move up the East Coast and bring a better chance of rain versus snow. However, one of the other longer range models does not relax the blocking as much, and therefore keeps it colder, showing a storm track more to the east, resulting in a colder and snowier result for much of New England. So early on, you can see what kinds of issues a meteorologist faces when thinking about upcoming weather.

Logic says it should be the Euro model that will have this handled better, because it’s done well most of the winter. But just because a model has done well doesn’t mean it will hit everything. So you have to look for clues that may tip you off that the model may be making an error.¬† Just the simple fact we’ve been so cold and have such a deep snowcover can mean that computer models can make errors, and forecast warmer conditions than will occur. So that will be one factor to consider. Also, the model that is giving the colder solution was one that did a fairly decent job predicting the details of the most recent big storm, so there is some pull to want to buy what it says. Confused yet? So am I…

But, having seen these conflicts before, I will wait a while before I start to come up with solid ideas. But a very early guess is that the truth lies somewhere in between. And we may see a storm that tries to stay further west, only to redevelop on the coast. If pressed to a forecast of rain vs. snow right now for next week, I’d have a slight leaning of white versus wet. Time will tell. And for me, this will be fun to follow, especially since I’m looking to break out of a forecasting slump!

2 Clippers & More Cold

700am

So maybe the storm threw me a curveball, but one thing I’m not misunderstanding is that we have no changes in the overall pattern for the near future… We will see a break from major storms, however, for several days. Two much weaker systems, “Alberta Clippers”, will move rapidly eastward through the area. The first one will cross the area late Friday with scattered mainly light snow showers. Little accumulation is expected from this feature. The second clipper will traverse our area on Saturday afternoon & evening. This one, being slightly stronger, may produce localized coating to 1 inch snow amounts.

Sunday will be mostly dry but a cold front crossing the region may produce a few isolated snow showers or snow squalls. This front will bring another very cold airmass into the region for the last day of January on Monday, though it still does not look as cold as the one from a week before.

Looking ahead to the first few days of February, more cold seems a certainty, with another snow threat as well. More about this in the next blog…

Snow Update

1010pm

Mother Nature is having fun messing with me on this one. Frustrating. But I still love weather and trying to forecast it.

So, part 1 of storm came in earlier than expected and gave a bit more than I thought. Granted, it was only up to about an inch, but I didn’t think we’d see more than flakes in the air around Boston from that part.

So now in comes part 2. It is a powerful upper level system (thunderstorms in the Mid Atlantic indicate the power of this system). As it tracks east northeast, passing south of New England overnight, it will toss its precipitation shield into southern New England (this is happening now).  With the entire area colder than originally forecast, mixing/rain has been limited to mainly Cape Cod and this will all go back to snow as colder air gets drawn into the system. So most of the region from southern NH through MA/CT/RI will see snow overnight. The heaviest bands of snow are expected to be along and south of the Mass Pike for the most part, though a few will sneak up to the nort as well.

When it’s all done expect updated snowfall totals to come in this way: 1-3 inches in southern NH, 3-6 inches with spotty 7 to 8 inch amounts in northern MA, though lighter well to the northwest, and 6-12 inches in a wide swath of CT/RI, and southeastern MA up to about Boston, including to near the cape Cod Canal. Slighty lesser amounts will occur further east on Cape Cod.

So it’s more snow than I forecast originally, though not a tremendous amount more. Still, the timing is just right, or wrong depending on your perspective, to cause alot of delays and cancellations for schools.

This system is still expected to move right along and the snow will be over in most places near or shortly after sunrise, with fairly rapid clearing from west to east following. Most of the region should have the sun out by mid morning, and rest of the day Thursday will be bright & chilly.

Looking ahead, a weak disturbance will bring lots of clouds and perhaps a few snow flurries Friday. Another low pressure area will cross southern New England late Saturday with some light snow. Clearing is expected Sunday with dry weather lasting through Monday as January comes to a close. Colder weather is expected at the end of the weekend and the start of next week, but it does not look as cold as the past very cold airmass early this week.

January’s End

1250am

Once we get by the storm system of Wednesday night, what can we expected Thursday through Monday, the last 5 days of the month?

High pressure will rapidly build across the region on Thursday, during the day, with plenty of sunshine, a few clouds, and a high temperature around 30. Colder air will move in Thursday night, and high temps on Friday will probably stay in the 20s. There will also be more clouds on Friday as a disturbance travels from the Great Lakes eastward across New England. This disturbance may produce a few snow showers but should not produce any significant snow.

Over the weekend, another, slightly stronger, low pressure area will come across the Great Lakes and head across New England. Latest indications are that this area of low pressure will pass over far southern New England or just south of New England, setting the stage for a period of snow sometime Saturday or Saturday night. It’s early, but some minor accumulations seem possible with this. Clearing should move in during Sunday as this low moves away.

Another Arctic airmass is expected to head into the region from Canada later Sunday & Monday, and the last day of January may be a bright but very cold day, with high temperatures not reaching 20. At this early stage it does not look like as cold an airmass as what went through here during the last couple days, but should be significantly cold regardless.

Update On Wednesday Night Storm

11:00pm

Hi all!

This blog will be short, because I don’t need to go over the technical aspects of the upcoming storm. My reasoning has not changed, so it would just be a re-run. ūüėČ

I’ll just get to the time frame and the snow amounts, and here it is…

Snow starts in Boston between 6pm & 9pm, a bit earlier to the south, later to the north. The reason for the 3  hour window of start time is that the air above us will be very dry and it will take some time for the snow, which will be falling above us for several hours, to stop evaporating into the dry air and start reaching the ground. The heaviest snow will occur sometime between midnight & 6am Thursday. After this we should see a rapid ending to the snow from southwest to northeast during the morning commute Thursday.

Snow amounts should be 2-5 inches from southern NH southward to the northern part of the 128 belt (just north of Boston), and 5-9 inches from Boston southward into Plymouth County. I still think that amounts of 8 or 9 inches will not be that common, but are certainly possible, in those areas. Further south, except 4-7 inches near the Cape Cod Canal and dropping off to 2-4 inches over the Cape except 1-3 inches on the outer Cape, which will mix with and probably change to rain for a time for the first half of the precipitation event.

Another blog will be posted in a while with an outlook for the last 5 days of January. This includes a snow threat Saturday and a potentially very cold Monday.

Mini Storm, Bigger Storm?

150am

The extreme cold of Monday is now easing, and even though some readings were still near zero Monday evening, temperatures have started to rise as clouds have moved in. These clouds are associated with a weak storm system that will bring a period of light snow to MA & southern NH from the early morning to midday hours of Tuesday. Accumulations will range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch, with a spot 2 inch amount possible, especially in the hilly terrain. Once this system departs Tuesday afternoon, we may see breaks in the clouds and even a little sun before the day is through. Temperatures will continue to moderate and may approach 30 in some areas Tuesday afternoon.

Partly cloudy skies are expected Tuesday night with low temperatures falling back to around 20. Clouds will return and thicken during the day Wednesday ahead of the next storm system, which is currently developing near the Gulf of Mexico. This system will have plenty of moisture with it, and one might be tempted to think it’s set to unload all of it over New England since it is forecast to move up the East Coast by most of the computer models. But I still feel that this may not quite be how it plays out. If you read recent blogs you see that I have been concered about a boundary southeast of New England causing the Gulf of Mexico storm to start getting pulled further east, rather than coming north. I still think this scenario will play out. However, the moisture from the storm should still get far enough north to make it into much of southern and parts of central New England.

A last punch of energy coming along¬†will cross CT & RI as well as south central to eastern MA. This area will be responsible for most of the snow that falls, which will occur early Thursday morning. I don’t think any snow will make it into Boston from the south until after sunset on¬† Wednesday.

Somewhat warmer air aloft and at the surface may result in mixing and a possible change to rain over Cape Cod & the Islands and a portion of southeastern MA. But I think the immediate Boston area & points north and west will see snow from this system. The question then becomes, how much snow?

I think it will break down this way in terms of snow amounts: A general¬†2 to¬†5 inches over most of eastern MA, and I’m leaning toward the lower half of that range (2 or 3) being the rule. The first burst of snow after dark on Wednesday evening should be responsible for a coating to 1 inch, with some mixing possible well SE of Boston. There should then be a lull in the precipitation toward midnight, with a second area of snow moving through and peaking during the 2am to 8am timeframe. This would be when most of the remaining accumulation would take place. Mixing to the southeast should go back to snow as colder air works southeastward across the region. As you head to the northwest, snow amounts may drop off very quickly, so that by the time you get to northern Worcester County you may see very little snow. Places like Springfield may sit on the fence as well but should be in on the Thursday morning snow enough to pick up a few inches.

Keep in mind, there is still a chance that this system is surpressed even further south, and much of the area misses out on precipitation.

By Thursday night, partial clearing & colder weather can be expected, and Friday should be a brighter, chilly, but dry day.

Looking ahead briefly, a couple of weak weather systems may bring a few periods of snow showers or light snow to the region over the weekend. We may see another shot of very cold air by later Sunday or Monday, as we close out the month of January.

The next blog update will be about 4pm Tuesday.