“Punch” seemed a bit too strong a word for the two systems that will impact southern New England this weekend. Both of them moving along a fast jet stream from west northwest to east southeast, the first will be a low pressure system passing just south of the region Saturday morning, bringing a swath of snow and rain to the region from the early morning to the midday hours of Saturday before tapering off. It will be cold enough above us to support snow with the heaviest precipitation, and this is slated to pass across southern Worcester County, northern Rhode Island, and southeastern Massachusetts, where the “greatest” accumulations will occur in the highest elevations. Even in these areas we are not talking about more than 3 inches maximum (there is an outside chance of a 4 inch amount). Most locations will see less than 2 inches, and many less than 1 inch with slushy coatings being most common. In all areas that see snow, the accumulations will really take place only on unpaved surfaces, with the areas seeing the most only getting some slushy build up on side roads, sidewalks, and walkways. With temperatures above freezing, I’m not expecting icy grounds to become a problem, as anything that falls will have melted off surfaces by the end of the day Saturday. The second disturbance will appear in the form of a low pressure area tracking right over southern New England Sunday night and offshore by early Monday. With milder air in place, the bulk of this system will be in the form of rain, and on the light side, though it is not out of the question that as colder air starts to work in as the system departs, any lingering precipitation may switch to snow, especially west and north of Boston. If this occurs it will be during the early morning hours of Monday and the mild grounds should prevent any problems for the Monday morning commute, but follow updates just in case something changes with this.
Once we are beyond this, medium range guidance is coming into agreement in suggesting that much of next week will be on the quiet side, with one unsettled weather system late Tuesday and Wednesday interrupting what will be a mostly dry week. A chilly start to the week is expected, with a reinforcing cool shot at midweek. As we head toward the late week (Good Friday and Easter coming up for those who celebrate it), early indications are that we may be looking at a warm-up. But as recently as yesterday, some guidance showed a much cooler and unsettled pattern for this time period, so I speak of the drier/warmer pattern by then with some reservation.
Forecast for eastern MA, RI, and southern NH…
TONIGHT: Clouding up from west to east early. Cloudy with snow developing from west northwest to east southeast, except rain/mix over southeastern MA, southern RI, and Cape Cod to start with, and little or not precipitation in far northeastern MA and southern NH. Low from the middle 20s across southern NH to middle 30s over Cape Cod. Wind NW under 10 MPH shifting to N.
SATURDAY: Cloudy. Snow, steadiest along and south of Route 2, less to the north, and some mix over southern RI and Cape Cod during the morning, then tapering off from northwest to southeast as light mix/drizzle in the afternoon. Snow accumulations from a slushy coating to 1 inch on unpaved surfaces except locally up to 2 or even 3 inches over the highest elevations west and southwest of Boston. High 40-45. Wind light variable.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Clearing. Low around 30 except some middle 20s inland valleys. Wind light N.
SUNDAY: Increasing clouds. High 45-50. Wind variable up to 10 MPH.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. A period of rain showers, may end as snow showers after midnight. No accumulation expected. Low 30-35. Wind variable 5-15 MPH becoming NW.
MONDAY: Decreasing clouds. High 42-47. Wind NW 10-20 MPH.
TUESDAY: Sun to clouds. Low 28. High 53.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. AM rain showers. Low 35. High 49.
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 26. High 50.
FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 33. High 55.
EASTER WEEKEND SNEAK PEAK: Dry weather, warming trend.