I’m Dreaming Of A White Halloween

4:30PM

Who would ever have thought we’d have the first white Halloween in parts of eastern MA, well most areas away from the immediate coast. Even more bizzare, knowing the climate around here, is that we could have a white Halloween and possibly a green Christmas? Time will tell on that…

The good news from the weather department is that we are at the start of a lengthy period of quiet weather, and about to enter a mild temperature pattern as well, which will aid in cleanup and recovery from the recent record-setting storm.

Here’s your “quiet” forecast, starting with tonight’s trick or treat forecast for towns that have not postponed it. If your town has, and you want more detail on the weather for the day they are holding it, let me know.

THIS EVENING: Increasing clouds. Temperature falling through the 40s. Wind light E.

OVERNIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Low 34-39. Wind E under 10 MPH.

TUESDAY: Decreasing clouds. High 50-55. Wind NE up to 10 MPH.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Low 30-35. Wind N up to 10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. High 53-58. Wind N up to 10 MPH.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 42. High 60.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. Low 39. High 53.

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 28. High 44.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 25. High 53.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 35. High 55.

The Week Ahead

7:54PM

Before we look ahead, a brief look back at the historic October snowstorm, which was just beyond belief in some inland higher elevation areas. Here is a link to the snowfall reports:

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0&highlight=off&issuedby=BOX&product=PNS

I hope that all of those that are still without power have it back soon!

Looking ahead… High pressure will be in control most of the coming week, and should be strong enough to keep low pressure areas south of the region on Tuesday and Friday.

Detailed Boston Area Forecast…

TONIGHT: Clear. Scattered icy patches. Low 24-29. Wind NW diminishing to 5-10 MPH.

MONDAY: Sunny. High 50-55. Wind W 5-10 MPH shifting to S during the afternoon.

MONDAY NIGHT – HALLOWEEN: Increasing clouds. Evening temperature in the 40s. Overnight low 35-40. Wind S under 10 MPH.

TUESDAY: Increasing sunshine. High 50-55. Wind E 5-10 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 36. High 54.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 34. High 58.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 39. High 55.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 33. High 53.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 33. High 50.

Updated Forecast / Storm Observations

9:40AM

Here’s just an updated forecast. A full discussion about the upcoming week will be posted this evening. See the previous blog for some comments, and below, PLEASE add your thoughts and observations on the historic October storm. I know some people were not fortunate, suffering damage and power outages. I hope that all of them are safe and things get back to normal as soon as possible!

TODAY: Clearing. High 42-47. Wind N-NW 15-35 MPH but gradually diminishing.

TONIGHT: Clear. Low 25-30. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. High 50-55. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT – HALLOWEEN: Partly cloudy. Evening temperature cooling through the 40s. Overnight low 35-40. Wind W under 10 MPH.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny. High 53-58. Wind variable 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 33. High 55.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 38. High 59.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 38. High 53.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 33. High 51.

October Dresses Up As January For A Halloween Party

8:04PM

Much of what is in the last post still holds. Some of the uncertainties spoken about are starting to work themselves out. Among these, earlier mixing and changing in some areas putting down a base of snow in areas more immediately in Metro Boston. This causes a very slight up-tweak in snow amounts there, and also in the hills to the west, where intensity was maintained longer earlier in the storm, with several inches of snow already occurring in some locations from the hills of Worcester County westward.

The most significant aspects of this storm will be power outages caused by a combination of heavy, wet snow and strong wind gusts.

Updated Boston Area Forecast…

TONIGHT: Snow still mixed with rain at times coast, eventually all snow. Snow elsewhere. Thunder possible. Accumulations of snow from an inch or two immediate coast building to around 4 inches 95 belt, around 7 inches 495 belt, and 8-12 inches in many areas outside 495 except slightly less in valleys and a few spotty higher amounts in some higher elevations. Low 31-36. Wind NE-N 15-25 MPH with gusts around 30 MPH inland, 25-35 MPH with gusts around 45 MPH closer to the coast.

SUNDAY: Snow ending early. Clearing from southwest to northeast. High 42-47. Wind N-NW 15-35 MPH with gusts to 50 MPH early, diminishing to 10-20 MPH with gusts to 30 MPH by noon and beyond.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear. Low 25-30. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. High 50-55. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT – HALLOWEEN: Partly cloudy. Evening temperature cooling through the 40s. Overnight low 35-40. Wind W under 10 MPH.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny. High 53-58. Wind variable 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 33. High 55.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 38. High 59.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 38. High 53.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 33. High 51.

Fine Tuning Uncertainty

2:10AM

Well, here comes the storm. And though I certainly don’t mean to downplay the potential, I’m also not going to overdo the trumpet blasts, because that leads to ringing ears. So instead of launching into all kinds of what-ifs, I’ll summarize the main aspects of the storm and update the forecast, expanded a bit to include most of MA and southern NH.

Time frame: Starts by mid to late afternoon Saturday, ends by mid morning Sunday.

Coastal flooding: Most likely at the time of Sunday morning’s high tide, about 2AM. Flooding will be minor to moderate. No major flood damage is expected.

Wind: Starts out east to northeast increasing to 15-25 MPH then increases to 25-35 MPH with gusts to 45 MPH, especially in coastal areas and higher elevations. Wind eventually shifts to north during Saturday night, and northwest Sunday.

Precipitation: Starts as mix to snow Berkshires, rain in Connecticut Valley, rain mixed with snow at times Worcester Hills, rain over the balance of eastern MA. The change to snow takes place by early Saturday evening across most areas outside of  Route 495, but may take longer, possibly as late as 10PM, closer to the coast. This is a highly uncertain part of the storm and may depend on the placement of a boundary that sets up in these storms, known as a coastal front, where winds on the eastern side are from the east or northeast, and winds to the west of the boundary are from the north. This will make a major difference in precipitation type, and snow accumulation. We’ll just have to watch this feature during the storm’s evolution. I’ve observed a feature like this sit in place and cause one area to have slushy minor snow accumulation while just 2 miles away several inches of solid snow have accumulated. The gradient of snow accumulation may be very sharp in this storm. The fact that the ocean water temperature just offshore is about 55 degrees is going to have a significant influence in how rain vs. snow plays out, and why I think many amounts in the media may be overdone.

Snow accumulation: Slushy patches southeast of Boston, around 1 inch, possibly up to 2, right around the city, 1 to 4 inches from the North Shore westward to between 95 and 495, 4 to 8 inches west of there with pockets of 8 to 12 inches in the highest elevations of Worcester County, the mountains of southwestern NH, and the eastern slopes of the Berkshires of MA, with an area of 3 to 7 inches in the Connecticut Valley. *** A shift of 10 or 20 miles in the storm track will make a significant difference in amounts. ***

Power outages: The combination of heavy snow accumulating on trees that still have leaves, especially inland, will lead to tree damage and some power outages. Some power lines themselves may fail due to the weight of heavy, wet snow. Closer to the coast, strong wind gusts, not so much snow, will result in scattered power outages due to broken tree limbs. I don’t expect this to be widespread.

Forecast Details…

TODAY: Cloudy. Rain developing south to north mid through late afternoon. High 40-45. Wind E to NE increasing to 10-20 MPH.

TONIGHT: Overcast. Rain and snow inland changing to snow. Rain and snow closer to the coast should change to snow eventually. Lightning and thunder possible. Low 30-35. Wind NE 15-25 MPH increasing to 25-35 MPH with gusts to 45 MPH, especially coastal areas and higher elevations. SEE ABOVE for snow accumulations.

SUNDAY: Snow/mix ending by mid morning followed by clearing. High 42-47. Wind NW 15-25 MPH with higher gusts, diminishing during the afternoon.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear. Low 30-35. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. High 50-55. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT – HALLOWEEN: Mostly clear. Evening temperature cooling through the 40s.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 37. High 55.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 41. High 60.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Late-day showers. Low 47. High 64.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 38. High 54.

2 Down, What’s Next?

7:30AM

The second in a series of low pressure systems has moved through, producing a fair amount of rain during the day Thursday, mixing with and changing to some snow especially west and north of Boston, though some snow did make it into Boston as well. Snowfall amounts Thursday evening ranged from a coating to 3 inches with heaviest amounts in the hills of Worcester County.

A more significant storm now threatens for Saturday, especially Saturday night. This is what I had been referring to as storm #3 on previous posts. I’d been in the thinking that this storm would stay far enough south to just brush the area, but it looks like it will come close enough to bring a short-lived but significant impact “pre-season” winter storm.   This system will bring rain to mixed precipitation and possibly snow along the coast, starting as a mix and going to mainly snow over inland areas. The exact impact will be determined by the precipitation type and exact track of low pressure. There may be a swath of record-setting snowfall and considerable tree damage (most likely northwestern Middlesex County and Worcester County).

Still some room to tweak if needed.

Boston Area Forecast…

TODAY: Mostly sunny. High 44-49. Wind NW 10-20 MPH.

TONIGHT: Increasing clouds. Low 29-34. Wind N 5-10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Rain developing from south to north during the afternoon except rain or snow in the 495 belt. High 43-48. Wind NE 10-20 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Overcast. Rain coast, mix of snow/rain 95 belt, snow 495 belt … changing to mostly snow except mixed near the coast. Several inches of wet snow accumulation especially inland (from a maximum around 6 inches in higher elevations near the 495 belt north of the Mass Pike to a slushy inch or less toward the coast. Low 30-35.  Wind E 10-20 MPH with gusts to 30 MPH, shifting to N.

SUNDAY: Clearing. High 42-47. Wind NW 10-20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH.

MONDAY – HALLOWEEN: Partly cloudy. Low 30. High 50.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 32. High 55.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 40. High 60.

THURSDAY: PM showers. Low 50. High 65.

Flaky Future

9:58PM

Perhaps the headline is a little dramatic, but yes most of the Boston area will see the first snowflakes of the season Thursday evening.

Summarizing and looking ahead, low pressure wave #1 went by today with periods of light rain. Low pressure wave #2 will move in Thursday with rain, and as cold air drains in from the north we’ll see the rain change to snow in the evening, especially north and west of Boston, but eventually the city will see some flakes. Accumulations will be minor and confined to unpaved surfaces, with any snow melting not long after it ends during the night.

During Thursday afternoon, east-facing and north-facing coastal areas may see some minor flooding at high tide, due to a gusty east wind and tides that are astronomically high.

Areas that have not seen their first freeze should see one on Friday morning if the sky clears quickly enough. Many areas will go below freezing again Saturday morning since the sky should be clear all night. Any snow that falls Thursday night will melt by morning and I don’t expect any icy spots despite the chill, because the ground is too warm still.

Low pressure wave #3, which many expect to hit the region Saturday and Saturday night with rain and snow (some calling for possible significant snow), is actually likely to be mostly a miss, staying south, with just some cloudiness spreading over most of the region during the day and into the night, with any precipitation probably on the light side and occurring south of the Mass Pike.

Once all of this is done, expect a dry & chilly Sunday and some clouds and cool weather for Halloween.

Onward! To the details of the forecast…

TONIGHT: Cloudy. Rain returns west to east after 2AM. Low 35-40. Wind NE up to 10 MPH.

THURSDAY: Cloudy. Periods of rain. Rain mixing with snow in the 495 belt north of the Mass Pike by late afternoon. High 40-45. Wind N increasing to 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Cloudy through midnight with mixed rain/snow changing to snow from northwest to southeast, but may remain mixed in areas south of Boston. Snow accumulation up to around 1 inch on unpaved surfaces especially north and west of Boston. Clearing overnight. Low 26-31. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. High 45-50. Wind NW 10-20 MPH.

SATURDAY: North of Mass Pike – filtered sun fades away. South of Mass Pike – thickening clouds, slight chance of rain or snow in the afternoon into the night before ending. Low 29. High 47.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 32. High 50.

MONDAY – HALLOWEEN: Variably cloudy. Low 38. High 53.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 39. High 54.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 41. High 58.

Update Of Previous Post

11:34PM

Updating the previous discussion, and noting there are no major changes to the forecast at this time. Here is all the latest: A breakdown of weather systems, followed by a detailed forecast…

Overnight…Clouds moving in as a frontal system sits south of the region.

Wednesday… The front remains south of the region and wave of low pressure #1 moves along it, passing south of New England, and a chance of light rain is the result.

Wednesday night…  Clouds hang in, cold air filters in, but it is mostly dry between low pressure #1 and low pressure #2.

Thursday… Low pressure area #2 moves along the front, this one a bit closer and a bit stronger than the one before it. Rain overspreads the region. Cold air continues to filter in, cold enough to probably start mixing rain with snow in the higher elevations to the northwest of Boston by day’s end.

Thursday night… As long as the precipitation from low pressure #2 does not get really light or move out too quickly, enough cold air will be available to change the rain to snow from northwest to southeast across the area, the exception possibly being the immediate coast and areas south of Boston, which may remain just a little too warm. Even areas that were to go over to all snow would see little in the way of accumulation other than brief coatings on unpaved surfaces. The ground, after 2 very mild months in September & most of October, will be just too warm, so you won’t need to run out and get any ice melt.

Friday… Low pressure #2 moves away, high pressure moves toward the region, and a bright but breezy and chilly day is in store.

Saturday… Low pressure #3 threatens. It still remains uncertain what happens, as the guidance is split, so we’ll just continue to monitor the situation. Enough cold air will be around to produce some snow if precipitation should move in.

Sunday… Whatever happens, or doesn’t happen, on Saturday, will be moving away and expect a dry and chilly day.

Monday (Halloween)… A very weak disturbance moving in from the west may produce some clouds. Not expecting any meaningful precipitation at this time, but this is quite a distance out.

Details…

OVERNIGHT: Increasing clouds. Low 35-40. Wind W diminishing to 5-10 MPH then shifting to N.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. A few periods of light rain. High 45-50. Wind N 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Low 35-40. Wind N 5-10 MPH.

THURSDAY: Cloudy. Chance of rain especially in the afternoon. Chance of rain/mix/snow at night. Low 38. High 48.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 29. High 49.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain or snow. Low 32. High 44.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 33. High 50.

MONDAY – HALLOWEEN: Variably cloudy. Low 35. High 53.

Winter Preview?

7:55PM

Why not? It’s snowed in October before, and it will again. And all of this snow talk you are hearing today is based on speculation prompted by  meteorologists reading computer models and news directors trying to activate the hype machine.

That said, yes, there are a couple shots of snow, even in the Boston area, before this week is out, but instead of trying to get all technical and then hedging, I’ll just outline briefly what I think is going to cause the weather, and then follow that with an updated forecast based on my best guess at this point. I’ll use this format for the next couple of days and only get detailed on specific events when it’s close enough to be confident enough.

No hype. Here goes…

Tonight… A cold front approaches, and passes the region by dawn. It’s relatively mild ahead of this front, and somewhat dry, so a weakening band of showers is about it for this.

Tuesday… Low pressure wraps up to our northeast, high pressure tries to build in from the west, and between them it will be on the windy side here, but nice, with sun & passing clouds, but a bit of an October chill to the air as it is in the 50s for most of the day.

Tuesday night… The front that goes by tonight will be sitting south of the region through the day then start to drift back toward the north, generating clouds that will move in.

Wednesday… The front remains south of the region and a wave of low pressure moves along it, passing south of New England, and a chance of light rain is the result.

Wednesday night…  Clouds hang in, cold air filters in, but it is mostly dry between low pressure #1 and low pressure #2.

Thursday… Low pressure area #2 moves along the front, this one a bit closer and a bit stronger than the one before it. Rain overspreads the region. Cold air continues to filter in, cold enough to probably start mixing rain with snow in the higher elevations to the northwest of Boston by day’s end.

Thursday night… As long as the precipitation from low pressure #2 does not get really light or move out too quickly, enough cold air will be available to change the rain to snow from northwest to southeast across the area, the exception possibly being the immediate coast and areas south of Boston, which may remain just a little too warm. Even areas that were to go over to all snow would see little in the way of accumulation other than brief coatings on unpaved surfaces. The ground, after 2 very mild months in September & most of October, will be just too warm, so you won’t need to run out and get any ice melt.

Friday… Low pressure #2 moves away, high pressure moves toward the region, and like Tuesday we will have a bright but breezy day, with a chill in the air.

Saturday… Low pressure #3 threatens. And when I say threaten, I mean that I’m not even sure we will even have a #3. Just because 4 of 7 major computer models have a storm for southern New England guarantees nothing. It does mean we should follow it closely, as it should be cold enough to support snow in at least parts of the area if precipitation occurs. This day will be played very generically in the detailed forecast for now.

Sunday… Whatever happens, or doesn’t happen, on Saturday, will be moving away and expect a dry and chilly day.

Monday (Halloween)… Very early call: Dry weather. Cool air.

Details next…………

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. A few rain showers crossing the region from west to east late. Low 44-49. Wind S up to 10 MPH shifting to W.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy. High 55-60. Wind W 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds. Low 35-40. Wind W diminishing to 5-10 MPH then shifting to N.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Chance of light rain. High 45-50. Wind N 5-15 MPH.

THURSDAY: Cloudy. Chance of rain especially in the afternoon. Chance of rain/mix/snow at night. Low 38. High 48.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 29. High 49.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain or snow. Low 32. High 44.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 33. High 50.

MONDAY – HALLOWEEN: Variably cloudy. Low 35. High 53.

The Week Ahead

2:41AM

What’s up this week? Well the pattern is still volatile (look it up). A mild Monday? Yes. A cold front will slide through at night with a few showers and set up a bright, dry, breezy Tuesday. By Wednesday, a frontal system will string itself out just south of New England and a series of low pressure waves will move along it through early Friday, resulting in spells of unsettled weather. The 2nd wave on Thursday (moved up a little from my earlier thinking that it would be Friday) will probably produce the most rain. Might someone see the first flakes of snow? You probably heard that rumor already, but it isn’t really a rumor, because indeed things may come together in some areas (most likely northern Worcester County) that Thursday’s system ends with a mix of rain and snow or even just some wet snow. These conditions will be over the Boston area Friday morning so if any showers are leftover, they could in fact be in the form of snow showers. Normally we wouldn’t care so much about this 5 days in advance but when its your chance for the first flakes of the season you look at it a little differently. For most people that novelty wears off quickly (not for me). And even though I feel we remain in the overall mild regime into November, we are going to feel a hint of winter in the air at the end of this week, so get ready for that, especially if you have outdoor plans Saturday night like I do…………………….

Oh and this is not my official forecast or anything but one of the computers says there is a chance of snow showers on Halloween. Don’t get too excited, one of the other ones says fair and mild! They don’t know. We have a week to figure that out.

Here is your updated Boston area forecast for the week ahead! Have a great week everybody!

TODAY: Partly sunny. High 60-65. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Scattered rain showers. Low 50-55. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. High 55-60. Wind W 10-20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds. Low 35-40. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Chance of rain. High 50-55. Wind NE 5-10 MPH.

THURSDAY: Cloudy. Periods of rain. Low 40. High 52.

FRIDAY: Chance of rain or snow showers early then clearing. Low 33. High 48.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 29. High 50.

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny. Low 30. High 52.