The Week Ahead (Plus)

8:00PM

Since it is leaf-peeping season, this time The Week Ahead will venture to the virtual edge of the meteorological plank, otherwise known as day 8, which by coincidence will be the 8th day of October.

Saying goodbye to September this weekend was done with periods of showers and rain, though the sun popped out in many neighborhoods late Sunday afternoon. The last of some sun-fueled showers and thunderstorms have been trying to wander into the western parts of the forecast area as the sun sunk below the horizon for the final time in September and the just-beyond-full moon shared the eastern sky with some clouds as it started its journey across the heavens.

Now it’s time to look ahead to the first week of a month that marks a big transition from the final warmth of summer to the first hints of  a coming winter, from the green leaves of summer to the multicolored splashes of Autumn splendor. The atmosphere will be doing its own shifting and shuffling during this week, with direct impact on our weather here in southern New England. As upper level low pressure responsible for the unsettled stretch lifts out of the way via northern New England and southeastern Canada, a ridge of high pressure will build off the East Coast. This means that the air will be fairly mild for much of the coming week, even though another low pressure trough will try to press eastward into the area as the middle of the week approaches. This low should have some trouble against the high pressure to the east, and weaken and remain mostly to the west, though it will send enough moisture in for a chance of showers from late Tuesday through early Thursday. What will  likely knock the high pressure ridge down will be a deepening and advancing low pressure trough dropping out of Canada and into the Great Lakes and Midwest, broadening and eventually pressing into the Northeast as we reach the Columbus Day Weekend. A transition of about 4 days will begin on Friday from breezy and mild weather to much cooler weather, if timing goes as expected. This transition may be marked by some shower activity at some point, but it is difficult to time when that will happen this far in advance. The following forecast for eastern MA, southern NH, and RI will give my best shot at how things will unfold for the first 8 days of the tenth month of 2012…

EVENING (THROUGH 9PM): Partly cloudy. A dying shower or thunderstorm may reach the 495 belt north of the Mass Pike. Temperatures 55-60. Wind southwest up to 10 MPH.

OVERNIGHT (9PM ON): Mostly clear. Patchy fog forming over inland valley locations. Lows upper 40s to middle 50s, coolest inland valley areas and mildest in urban centers. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy. Highs upper 60s south-facing coastal areas, 70-75 elsewhere. Wind SW 10-20 MPH gusting up to 30 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows in the 50s.  Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of showers late day. Highs 70-75. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers. Low 55. High 70.

THURSDAY: Decreasing clouds. Chance of showers early day. Low 56. High 74.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. High 52. High 72.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Low 54. High 74.

SUNDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of showers. Low 54. High 66.

MONDAY – COLUMBUS DAY: Partly cloudy. Low 39. High 57.

Sunday Morning Update

7:57AM

This is just a quick update on the weather forecast for more detail today and tweaks for the work week which looks a little more unsettled than on the previous update. Full discussion and look at the week ahead (including Columbus Day Weekend) will be posted this evening.

Forecast for eastern MA, southern NH, and RI…

TODAY: Overcast through early afternoon with periods of rain, moderate at times. Breaking clouds at times with only a chance of lingering showers remainder of afternoon. Highs from the upper 50s to middle 60s, mildest interior southeastern MA and RI late. Wind NE up to 10 MPH becoming SE later in the day.

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy. Patchy fog early. Lows 50-55. Wind SE under 10 MPH early, shifting to SW and increasing to 10-15 MPH overnight.

MONDAY: Partly sunny. Highs 65-70. Wind SW 10-20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Showers mainly late. Low 53. High 67.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers. Low 57. High 66.

THURSDAY: Decreasing clouds. Showers mainly early. Low 55. High 69.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 54. High 73.

Unsettled Stretch

9:34PM

A wave of low pressure will deliver rain to the region Friday. Upper level low pressure will sit and spin just to the west of New England this weekend before moving northeastward into southeastern Canada early next week. Unsettled weather will hang on through the weekend and into Monday as a result (though it will not rain all that much during the weekend). Lower confidence on the forecast for Tuesday as we watch a wave of low pressure offshore – may be close enough to bring at least clouds and possibly rain back into some areas. It still looks like warmer weather by the middle of next week, but always stay tuned in this wildcard zone known as New England.

Forecast for eastern MA, RI, southern NH…

OVERNIGHT: Increasing cloudiness. Lows around 50. Wind NE under 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Cloudy. Rain developing southwest to northeast in the morning and continuing most of the day. Highs 55-60. Wind E 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Areas of fog. Periods of rain. Lows 50-55. Wind SE 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain early over Cape Cod. Slight chance of showers elsewhere. Highs 63-68. Wind variable 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog. Lows 53-58. Wind variable under 10 MPH.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers but rain-free much of the time. Highs 65-70. Wind SE-S 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny. Chance of showers. Low 51. High 66.

TUESDAY: Clouds and possible rain near the coast? Brighter inland? Low 52. High 70.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 52. High 75.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Low 55. High 77.

Bright Thursday, Wet Friday, Unsettled Weekend

10:21PM

A cold front moving through during the early morning hours of Thursday may set off a few showers and clouds may linger over southern MA and RI for a good part of the morning. The sun will eventually shine there as it will be for most of the day elsewhere, along with cooler and drier air. This won’t last long though, as the front that goes by will sit just south of the region and by Friday will already be pushing back to the north as upper level low pressure develops to the west of New England. Overrunning moisture will cause rain to break out during Friday – quite a wet day. The steadiest of this rain will likely occur from late morning through early evening Friday (earlier than some of the model forecasts or some media outlets have indicated). The remainder of Friday night and the weekend will be unsettled with periods of rain or showers (not raining all of the time), as the upper low continues to dig and spin just to the west. Eventually this low will lift out into eastern Canada and conditions will improve at least partially on Monday, though there may still be some threat of showers that day as well, as we say hello to October. Further improvement including a warm-up is expected toward the middle of next week as high pressure builds over the Northeast.

Forecast for eastern MA, RI, and southern NH…

OVERNIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers. Slight risk of a brief downpour with thunder. Lows 55-60. Wind SW 5-15 MPH shifting to NW by dawn.

THURSDAY: Clouds lingering in southern MA & RI limiting sun into late morning, mostly sunny elsewhere spreading southward as clouds move away. Highs 64-69. Wind NW 10-20 MPH shifting to N.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds. Lows 45-50. Wind N 5-10 MPH shifting to NE.

FRIDAY: Cloudy. Rain developing from southwest to northeast in the morning then continuing through the afternoon. Highs around 60. Wind NE 5-15 MPH shifting to SE.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy with periods of rain or showers. Lows around 50. Highs around 60.

MONDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of showers. Low 49. High 66.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 46. High 70.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 50. High 73.

4 Out Of 5 Days Unsettled

7:19AM

It isn’t about to rain for 4 out of the next 5 days, but this stretch will feature more unsettled weather than fair and stable. The lock on the nice day is Thursday. A certain unsettled one is today, which will feature lots of clouds and scattered showers as a cold front approaches the region today and crosses tonight. The Friday-Sunday period looks unsettled as the front that goes by sits just to the south, becomes the focus for overrunning moisture moving back into the region sometime on Friday, then allowing low pressure to develop somewhere in the region over the weekend which there will likely be additional episodes of showers and even the potential for a period of steadier rain. I must say, all along I have not had high confidence in the weekend forecast and I still do not. So, general wording will be used again for this update with fine-tuning as soon as possible.

Forecast for eastern MA, RI, southern NH…

TODAY: Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers. Highs 70-75, 60s some south-facing coasts. Wind SW 10-20 MPH, few higher gusts.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with additional showers before midnight followed by clearing. Lows 50-55. Wind SW 10-15 MPH shifting to NW.

THURSDAY: Clouds lingering over southeastern MA and RI during the morning, otherwise becoming mostly sunny. High 61-66. Wind NW-N 10-20 MPH.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 40-45 inland valleys, 46-51 elsewhere. Wind NE 5-10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny north of Boston, mostly cloudy elsewhere with a chance of showers. High 60-65. Wind SE 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers daytime, steadier rain possible at night. Low 51. High 64.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain early, then scattered showers. Low 51. High 63.

Brief Warm-Up, Showers, Then Cooler

11:16PM

High pressure slides offshore Tuesday bringing a warmer southwest wind into the region, this after some areas start out quite chilly first thing in the morning after a clear, relatively calm overnight. By Wednesday, clouds and a shower threat will arrive courtesy of a cold front. This front will pass by during the evening hours, introducing a shot of cooler and drier air for Thursday. Friday may turn out like Tuesday as high pressure that builds in Thursday slides offshore at that time. The weekend is a tough call this far out. There are indications of stormy weather, but I am somewhat skeptical of the medium range guidance that shows this. So for now, though I am not forecasting a perfect weekend, I am not looking for a wash-out either. Stay tuned for more on the weekend as it gets closer.

Forecast for eastern MA, RI, and southern NH…

OVERNIGHT: Clear. Lows ranging from 40 inland valleys to lower 50s urban centers. Wind SW under 10 MPH.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 72-77 except 60s some south-facing coastal locations. Wind SW 10-15 MPH.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clouding over. Lows 53-58. Wind SW 10-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers. Highs 65-70. Wind SW 10-20 MPH.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 46. High 64.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. Low 45. High 70.

SATURDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of showers. Low 48. High 64.

SUNDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of showers. Low 50. High 65.

The Week Ahead

9:03PM

The first full week of Autumn 2012 is underway.

These will be the players: Disturbance tracking west to east across the region Monday, high pressure building quickly overhead then offshore Tuesday, cold front approaching and crossing the region from west to east Wednesday, high pressure building in from the west Thursday then offshore Friday into the weekend while disturbances try to approach from the west and south later in the weekend.

This is how I expect it to play out for eastern MA, RI, and southern NH:

OVERNIGHT: Clear. Lows from near 40 deepest valleys to lower 50s urban centers. Wind NW under 10 MPH.

MONDAY: Sunshine dimmed at times by high clouds crossing the sky during the morning. Sunshine sharing the sky with developing puffy clouds afternoon with isolated showers. Highs 62-67. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows upper 30s deepest valleys to near 50 at the shore. Wind W up to 10 MPH.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 68-73. Wind SW 10-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of showers. Low 56. High 72.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 48. High 65.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 43. High 67.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Low 51. High 70.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Low 53. High 72.

Fall In!

9:36AM

Shortly after the issuance of this blog entry will be the Autumnal Equinox, or the astronomical start of Fall, at 10:49AM. Locally (Boston area & surrounding neighborhoods) this event will be met with not much fanfare as low clouds and areas of fog hang on. The marine layer sure took over during the night, socking the region in with low clouds, some fog, and more drizzle than I anticipated. With luck, the sun will have enough to burn all of this off by midday or early afternoon, though to be honest I would not be surprised if some areas struggle to be rid of the low clouds entirely until just about sunset. At that time, we’ll have a south to southwest breeze in place that should have finished off the job the sun couldn’t complete. But this southerly wind is yet another sign that the sky will not stay clear for long, as the day Fall begins starts to feel a little more like late Summer, you know that a cold front must not be far off, and if you made this assumption, you’d be correct. The front that you just knew was on the way will in fact cross the region during the early morning hours of Sunday, from west to east, bringing lots of clouds but only limited shower activity. There is an outside chance that a heavier shower or rumble of thunder may survive its trip started somewhere in NY late Saturday afternoon into the western extremities of the forecast area in the post-midnight hours, but most of us will see little if anything, just a few passing showers. By the time the Sunday morning sun rises, it may still be inhibited by clouds as this front schleps its way offshore, but alas, enough push from advancing high pressure will get this boundary far enough east so that the sky will clear, dry air will move in, and Sunday will turn out to be a very pleasant first full day of Autumn!

Regarding next week, I don’t want to fall into the trap of which forecast model is right, because looking at them right now, I’m having trouble deciding which one, if any, to buy into. Not that we have a complicated weather situation about to unfold. It’s really just a matter of how fair the weather will be, and the timing of disturbances. For now, I’ll take a chance on some clouds from a disturbance Monday, but leave the showers out of the forecast on the thinking the air will be too dry to support them. Tuesday will be forecast as a fair day, as will most of Wednesday, with a cold front to bring a shower risk Wednesday night before a push of cooler, dry air arrives Thursday and continues through Friday.

Next weekend? Nice try. Ask again tomorrow. 🙂

For now, the forecast, as I see it, for eastern MA, southern NH, and RI…

TODAY: Low clouds, areas of fog, and lingering drizzle eventually giving way to at least partial sunshine (Merrimack Valley and southern NH may hold on to clouds the longest). Highs finally reach the upper 60s coast to lower 70s inland. Wind S up to 10 MPH.

TONIGHT: Clouds increase from west to east. Showers possible from midnight to dawn. Lows around 60. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

SUNDAY: Clouds depart from west to east early. Mostly sunny for the balance of the day. Highs around 70. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Variably cloudy. Low 48. High 65.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 52. High 72.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny. Showers at night. Low 55. High 73.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 47. High 66.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 44. High 66.

Summer Swan Song

1:54AM

Generally nice weather will dominate for the final day and a half of astronomical Summer. The exception will be Cape Cod & Nantucket which will be under a canopy of clouds and may see a little light rain. This is from the front that gave the wind and rain Tuesday night and early Wednesday, which has been hanging around just offshore since then. A small ripple of low pressure is responsible for the backward jog of this area. By early Saturday, this area will be back out to the east again as a new cold front approaches from the west. Timing of this front suggests most of the clouds and any shower risk will take place between midnight Saturday night and shortly after dawn Sunday morning. This front will move right along so that weather should improve quickly on Sunday. A cool shot of air will max out on Monday which will feel very much the new season. High pressure will move in at that time and then dominate a good portion of next week with a dry stretch of weather expected, with some warming likely as well.

Autumn begins at 10:49AM Saturday, which ironically will be the warmest day of the next several.

Forecast for eastern MA, RI, and southern NH…

TODAY: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy, except mostly cloudy over Cape Cod & Nantucket with a chance of a little light rain. Highs 65-70. Wind E 5-15 MPH.

TONIGHT: Clouds with any light rain ending Nantucket & Outer Cape. Mostly clear to partly cloudy elsewhere to start then area of low clouds may develop before dawn. Lows 50-55. Wind SE up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Any low clouds melting away by mid morning then mostly sunny. Highs 75-80. Wind S 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Clouds advancing west to east. Chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm from west to east after 2AM. Lows 60-65. Wind SW 10-15 MPH.

SUNDAY: Clouds with a possible shower far eastern MA especially Cape Cod & Islands to start then becoming mostly sunny. Highs 70-75. Wind W 10-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 47. High 66.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 50. High 71.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 48. High 68.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 46. High 66.

Forward Then Backward

3:17PM

Temperatures and weather will go forward (cooler Autumn-like air for the last couple full days of Summer) and backward (warming up as Autumn begins Saturday) in the short term, and the longer term as well (additional cool shot early next week, then another warm up as we wind down the days of September). Weather systems going slowly forward right now will also slide backward a little bit before too long.

With the strong winds and heavy rain of Tuesday night and early Wednesday now a thing of the past (except for lingering damage cleanup and the last of power being restored to some areas that lost it), a shot of chilly and dry air is moving in and will last through Thursday. The front that caused the problems is lingering just offshore and will back westward toward the coast on Friday, tossing some clouds back at these areas, including the chance of some light rain or showers over at least Cape Cod. For now, I feel any shower activity  may  just lick at the coastline of eastern MA and Seacoast NH but should stay offshore for the most part.

By Saturday, a large scale trough will be digging through the Midwest, but it will remain there into early next week, sending only a frontal system eastward into New England, bringing a warm up ahead of it Saturday, showers Saturday night and early Sunday, then a cool-down later Sunday.

A peek into next week shows a cool shot for Monday, a bit of a battle at midweek, and an eventual warm up.

Forecast for eastern MA, southern NH, and RI…

REMAINDER OF AFTERNOON (will remove after sunset): Mostly sunny. Highs 65-70. Wind NW 10-15 MPH.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows from the upper 30s inland valleys to lower 50s urban centers and immediate coast, 40s most areas. Wind N 5-15 MPH, strongest near the coast.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 63-68. Wind NE 10-15 MPH.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear to partly cloudy. Lows from the lower 40s inland valleys to lower 50s immediate coast. Wind E under 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Variably cloudy – most sun inland with more clouds near the coast & Cape Cod. Slight chance of light rain over Cape Cod with a few sprinkles other east coastal areas. Highs from the middle 60s coast to lower 70s inland. Wind SE 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Showers at night. Low 51. High 73.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Showers in the morning. Low 56. High 70.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 47. High 66.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 50. High 70.