In Like A Sleeping Lion

5:23PM

We like to think of the “Lion” meaning unsettled or stormy weather, and the “Lamb” as being tranquil or fair weather. Well March isn’t about to come in lamb-like, but neither will it be much like a lion (maybe a tired one). We won’t see all that much sunshine during the first week of the first month of Meteorological Spring, but we won’t be seeing a whole lot of roaring from storms either. More like a sleeping lion as a lazy upper level low hangs around and keeps away any really nice weather. A few disturbances will bring chances for rain and/or snow showers now and then, but no organized storminess is expected at least through early next week. By the middle of next week, there is expected to be a significant storm near or off the Mid Atlantic Coast, but early indications are that this system will stay south of New England. As always, it will be watched.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Isolated rain showers before midnight, transitioning to snow showers from northwest to southeast overnight but no significant accumulation is likely. Lows upper 20s to lower 30s. Wind N under 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow showers early morning, rain showers late day. Highs around 40. Wind N up to 10 MPH.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Isolated to scattered snow showers. Lows around 30. Wind NW up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain or snow showers. Highs around 40. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Chance of a few snow showers. Lows around 30. Wind NW 5-10 MPH.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of a few rain showers. Highs around 40. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 28. High 39.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain or snow showers. Low 31. High 41.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain or snow showers. Low 30. High 40.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 28. High 42.

Block Up

11:35PM

Things won’t be moving too much in the atmosphere during the next several days. And with upper level low pressure stuck over New England we will be in an unsettled and cool pattern. Rain showers will transition to snow showers during the course of Thursday and Thursday night, and a period of steadier snow is possible in parts of southern NH and eastern MA early Friday as colder air returns. Though the weekend is not going to feature another winter storm, it will be on the chilly side with dominant cloud cover. Not much change is expected early next week, and we’ll be watching the development of a storm near the Mid Atlantic Coast toward the middle of next week.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

OVERNIGHT: Mostly cloudy. A few rain/snow showers. Lows 32-39 from northwest to southeast. Wind light variable.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Spotty rain showers. Highs 40-47. Wind variable around 10 MPH.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Rain showers becoming snow showers. A period of steadier snow possible with minor accumulation. Lows around 30. Wind variable to N up to 15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Cloudy. Lingering light snow eastern areas early. Highs round 40. Wind NE to N 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 30. High 40.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 30. High 40.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 28. High 39.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. Low 29. High 41.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. Low 30. High 41.

White Way Out, Wet For The Rest

10:05PM

7:20AM edit for time period and snow amount

A large storm system will crank its way into New England today, then sit, spin, and decay over the region on Thursday, before wandering away to the east as February turns to March. This time, mild ocean air will prevent snow for much of the forecast area, with only far northwestern Middlesex County through the Worcester Hills and up into the southwestern through south central NH seeing some accumulating snow (points west and north of here will have even more significant snow). Quite a bit of rain may be falling for the morning commute in the Boston and Providence areas on Wednesday, so keep this in mind if you will be out there. Rain will taper and become more showery (snow far to the northwest will become spotty mix/rain showers) by later Wednesday through Thursday, but later Thursday night, colder air will work back in and things will switch back over to snow showers, which will last through early Friday. Enough snow may fall to bring minor accumulation early Friday to southeastern NH through northeastern MA (not looking like a big deal at this time). And I know some of you won’t believe me, but it looks like we may have a storm-free weekend (additional storminess remaining far offshore). The down side is that it will likely be on the chilly side to start the month of March.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

WEDNESDAY: Overcast. Rain, moderate to heavy  in some areas, except mix/snow mainly outside of 495 and mainly north of the Mass Pike, tapering to areas of mostly rain showers except rain/mix showers far northwest of  Boston. Snow accumulation of a slushy coating up to a few inches over higher elevations of far northwestern Middlesex County and northern Worcester County MA into the higher elevations of south central NH. Highs middle 30s to near 40. Wind E to SE 10-30 MPH, strongest Cape Cod.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Overcast. Areas of rain showers, drizzle, and fog. Temperatures steady from the middle 30s to near 40. Wind SE to S 5-25 MPH, strongest Cape Cod.

THURSDAY: Cloudy. Areas of fog. Scattered rain showers, transitioning to snow showers from north to south at night, most numerous southeastern NH to northeastern MA. Highs 40-47. Wind variable 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Cloudy. Early snow showers. Low 30. High 40.

SATURDAY: Variably cloudy. Low 30. High 40.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Low 28. High 38.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 31. High 40.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 30. High 41.

Developing A Storm Complex

7:38PM

Unsettled pattern! This will be highlighted by a complex storm arriving late Tuesday night and continuing through Wednesday with a combination of precipitation across southeastern New England. Lingering unsettled weather is expected after this, through the upcoming weekend, though this time we may escape a weekend storm threat for a change.

The focus for now will be on the upcoming storm, as it will have the most impact this week. It will be evolving as a big upper level low pressure area and surface system, with a sprawling warm front trying to push northward into New England later Tuesday into Wednesday but getting stuck, allowing cold air to hold on. The bulk of the precipitation will likely fall as rain along the immediate coast and across southeastern MA, but inland, and especially areas north and west of Boston, snow is expected at least at the start of the event late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. A rain/snow line should push northwestward during the storm on Wednesday, but it may have a tough time doing so over areas well northwest of  Boston and especially higher elevations, and even closer to I-95 if precipitation comes down heavy enough. We also have to watch interior valleys where cold air may be trapped at surfaces, allowing icing to take place when rain starts to fall. I’m still not sure where exact transitions will take place and when, but this will be given a first guess in this forecast and tweaked as needed through the event.

Once we get to Thursday, milder air should have overtaken all levels so that we are seeing scattered areas of rain for the first half of the day, but as upper level low pressure drifts overhead, the upper levels will cool enough that some snowflakes may mix back in at times by later in the day. Not expecting any significant snowfall from this part of the system.

The first 3 days of March will likely feature lots of clouds, maybe some spotty rain or snow showers Friday with less of a chance of these over the weekend. Though some guidance suggest more sunshine by the weekend, I’m going to remain on the pessimistic side for now, and forecast clouds to dominate, along with below normal temperatures. This will probably continue into early next week as well.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows 22-32 interior to coast. Wind light variable.

TUESDAY: Partial sun morning then becoming mostly cloudy again. Highs around 40. Wind light variable becoming E under 10 MPH.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Precipitation developing toward dawn as mix/snow inland, mix/rain coast, rain Cape Cod. Lows upper 20s well northwest of Boston to middle 30s Cape Cod. Wind E 5-15 MPH except 15-25 MPH Cape Cod / Islands.

WEDNESDAY: Overcast. Rain coast and southeastern MA, mix of rain/snow possibly alternating from just west to just north of  Boston, snow/mix further to the northwest may become more rain during the day. Some snow accumulation, up to several inches, possible but mainly well northwest of Boston. Highs 33-43 from northwest to southeast. Wind E to ESE 15-25 MPH with higher gusts.

THURSDAY: Cloudy with numerous rain showers changing to scattered snow showers. Low 33. High 39.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Scattered snow or rain showers. Low 32. High 39.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 30. High 41.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 28. High 43.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 27. High 44.

The Week Ahead

10:18PM

And now the slow wind-down of a long, drawn-out, complex weekend storm system comes as snow gradually tapers off from northwest to southeast as of the writing of this blog late Sunday evening. After all of it, not a whole lot of snow fell in much of the forecast area, but amounts did build up to greater than 6 inches in parts of north central MA into southern NH, with some double-digit snowfall amounts further north in east central NH into Maine.

During the overnight hours as the final flakes end and the clouds break, watch for some freezing of newly fallen wet snow and slush. Icy spots on untreated surfaces will develop overnight and last through much of Monday morning. Monday itself will be a nice day with sun & some clouds as low pressure moves away and high pressure builds in. This high will hold on into Tuesday before giving way to approaching low pressure late  Tuesday into Wednesday. Enough cold air will be in place so that some snow falls in north central MA, interior northeastern MA, and southern NH  Tuesday night into Wednesday. But eventually milder air will take over so that rain falling elsewhere will overtake the snow areas as well. The problem is that cold enough air may be trapped at the surface over inland areas, resulting in a set up for icing. This storm system will lead into a long period of unsettled weather as February ends and March begins. It’s hard to time precipitation and specifics on movement and strength of disturbances this far away. That will be fine tuned as the week goes on.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

OVERNIGHT: Snow ends, clouds break, icy areas develop. Lows upper 20s to lower 30s. Wind light N to NW.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy. Highs around 40. Wind NW 10-20 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows 20-25. Wind light variable.

TUESDAY: Sunshine followed by increasing clouds. Highs around 40. Wind light variable to E.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Mix/snow interior northeastern MA into southern NH away from coast eventually changing to rain but possibly freezing rain if cold air remains trapped, with rain elsewhere. Low 28. High 42.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. Low 33. High 38.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 29. High 37.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. Low 31. High 38.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Chance of rain and snow. Low 30. High 37.

Sunday Morning Update

9:02AM

What happens today…

Cold works southward, as does a rain/snow line, across a precipitation area that will be fed through this evening by an inverted trough between offshore low pressure and an old storm to our north. Steadiest and heaviest precipitation will occur from the Boston area northward, and these areas will also see snow the longest as it is already snowing in many areas outside I-495 as of 8AM. As mentioned above, change of rain to snow is expected in other areas with time, lastly in RI and southeastern MA. All of it pulls east and out to sea tonight.

What happens this coming week…

2 decent days to start the week, then a long stretch of unsettled weather which will include a wet Wednesday (white for some briefly?) and a colder trend later in the week with episodes of mix/snow. More on this with The Week Ahead post this evening!

Updated forecast for southeastern New England (southern NH, eastern MA, and RI)…

TODAY: Overcast. Mix/snow far NW of Boston and rain elsewhere (lightest in southeastern MA and RI) all turning back to snow but taking several hours to do this from north to south. Snow may be moderate to heavy in some sections north of Boston into southern NH (not everywhere!). Temperatures cooling through the 30s. Wind NE to N 10-20 MPH with higher gusts, strongest along the coast.

TONIGHT: Overcast through midnight with snow continuing, steadiest from Boston northward, all ending from west to east by shortly after midnight, followed by breaking clouds. Snow accumulations from today through tonight (NOT including what fell in some areas Saturday), traces Cape Cod / Islands through RI except 1 or 2 inches possible northern RI across interior southeastern MA up to about the Mass Pike, and from around 2 to as much as 5 inches anywhere north of there (keep the range in mind, not the top #), and a few greater than 5 inch amounts possible especially parts of northern Middlesex County and Essex County of MA into southern NH (not everywhere will see this either!!). Lows upper 20s to lower 30s. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs around 40. Wind NW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny day. Cloudy at night with snow/mix/rain developing late. Low 22. High 42.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Mix to rain north, rain to rain showers south. Low 33. High 44.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. Low 32. High 41.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 28. High 38.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 29. High 37.

Saturday Morning Update

10:15AM

I thought of titling this “Storm Fizzles” or something, but that would be a lie. A storm cannot fizzle that hasn’t even really developed yet. This would be an inaccurate description. What is going on (short answer), is we are not seeing a merging of 2 streams of energy as model forecasts and sensible meteorology had steered me (and most of us) to conclude. As is usual, I tried to hold back on numbers until at most 48 hours out from what I considered to be the start of the event later today (hence first numbers posted late Thursday). These numbers are going to end up too high. I made one adjustment yesterday when reliable guidance and other signs were suggesting the new storm would be weaker and a bit further offshore. And as those trends continued to the point it’s now apparent that we’ll be dealing with a much weaker system, there will be further adjustment. That said, it’s not like I’m expecting a few snow flurries. It still is going to snow this weekend in a good portion of southeastern New England, and this snow may linger for quite a few hours into Sunday night as an elongated upper level disturbance traverses the region.

Beyond this, we will still see a tranquil break to start the new week on Monday into Tuesday, followed by a long stretch of unsettled weather. This appears to want to evolve as a very large scale and complex upper level trough or closed off low pressure area, and a series of surface disturbances resulting. Lots of puzzle pieces sitting out there with set up of large and smaller scale systems, temperature profiles, etc. – so the approach here will be to come at it carefully and not try to tell too much too soon. I’ll make a first decent stab at this in  Sunday night’s “The Week Ahead” post. For now, forecast wording beyond Monday will be very generalized.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England (southern NH, eastern MA, and RI)…

TODAY: Cloudy. Spotty light rain and snow (snow mainly interior MA and southern NH). Highs around 40. Wind E up to 10 MPH.

TONIGHT: Overcast. Periods of rain coast and south of Boston, mix/snow elsewhere. Little snow accumulation. Lows 30-36. Wind NE up to 15 MPH.

SUNDAY: Overcast. Steadier precipitation mainly rain/mix South Coast of RI & MA including Cape Cod & Islands, mix to snow interior RI and southeastern MA, snow elsewhere, continuing into the evening before eventually tapering off. Snow accumulations by the end of the event at night: Nothing to coatings closer to the South Coast, Cape Cod, Islands, building to 1-3 inches interior RI & southeastern MA and just inland from the coast from Boston north, 3-5 inches further northwest especially north of the Mass Pike and along and outside Route 495, with isolated 6 inch amounts still possible in higher elevations. Highs in the 30s. Wind NE to N up to 20 MPH, gusts around 30 MPH coast.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 18. High 38.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny. Low 22. High 42.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Rain likely. Low 36. High 44.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain or snow showers. Low 32. High 40.

FRIDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow/mix. Low 29. High 37.

Weekend Storm Still Coming

5:48PM

Yes it’s still coming, despite some of you hearing over-reacting media saying one thing then another then back and forth again like a bungee cord holding a rock spray painted with the word “hype”. I hate to bust on the media but it just gets frustrating sometimes. Oh well. Enough rant and now onto the weather… 🙂

It looks like the developing storm will be a little weaker than previously expected, but still fully capable of throwing a moderate amount of precipitation across the forecast area, with a large area of it seeing several inches of heavy, wet snow, especially Saturday night and Sunday. This will still potentially impact the region with busted tree limbs and power lines, and will also be tough to move around (at least it’s not a foot plus of the heavy stuff). Areas most likely to be snow longest and see most of the accumulation will be away from the immediate coast and along and north of the Mass Pike. The overall idea of the storm and timing are still there, just to a little lesser degree than described in the last blog entry. Though minor coastal flooding issues may take places on east-facing shores Saturday night and north-facing shores Sunday morning, I’m not expecting anything too significant.

Still looks like a break early in the week between the weekend event and what may be a long-duration winter weather event as we head toward the beginning of March. I’ll discuss this a little more over the weekend.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows from 20 southern NH and interior MA valleys to 30 coast. Wind NE under 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Precipitation developing late in the day – mainly snow near and north of the Mass Pike except mix/rain immediate coast, mainly mix/rain to the south. Highs 35-40. Wind NE to E up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY: Overcast. Snow northern areas, rain/mix to the south eventually turning to snow and may be slow to taper off during Sunday night. Accumulation of snow from under 1 inch Nantucket and outer Cape Cod to around 1 inch coastal RI and remainder of Cape Cod, 1-3 inches remainder of southern MA and central RI, 2-4 inches northern RI with isolated higher amounts possible in higher elevations, 3-6 inches across the balance of east central to northeastern MA into southern NH with a few 2 inch amounts immediate coast and a few 6+ inch amounts possible mainly in higher elevations interior MA and southern NH. Temperatures generally in the 30s. Wind backing from E to N averaging 10-20 MPH, some higher gusts possible mainly Cape Cod and the Islands.

MONDAY: Clouds give way to sun. Low 25. High 38.

TUESDAY: Sun gives way to clouds. Low 20. High 41.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Rain/mix possible. Low 32. High 42.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Few rain/snow showers. Low 30. High 40.

FRIDAY: Cloudy. Snow/mix possible. Low 30. High 36.

Trifecta

6:26PM

As I heard someone say earlier, we’re going to hit the Weekend Trifecta in regards to winter storms. We are not hitting any trifecta with computer models, as the 3 main ones are in great disagreement only 48 hours out from the storm. So, as I did previously, I’m sticking closer to the one most consistent and proven most accurate in recent events (though it has made some adjustments on the latest run which I am taking into account).

Before we get to the storm, we first have what’s left of a windy/cold Thursday to finish off and the winds will finally slacken as the night goes on and we’ll end up with a mostly clear and cold night, leading into a pleasant, bright, and chilly Friday (sometimes referred to as a “weather breeder day” or more commonly known as “the calm before the storm”). Whatever nature is breeding will be coming in lazily on Saturday in the form of a cloudy sky at first. The process taking place will be a  primary storm moving northeastward into the Great Lakes and a secondary storm being born on the Mid Atlantic Coast. The track of this secondary storm will be the key in determining how much precipitation falls, the positioning and movement of a rain/snow line, and ultimately the end result in terms of snowfall amounts. Whatever happens, I do not expect a whole lot of snow to be on the ground before midnight Saturday night. The bulk of the precipitation, in whatever form, will take place Sunday morning (in the 12 hours between midnight and noon), with it all winding down during Sunday afternoon and evening. With decent confidence I will say that heaviest snow amounts will take place north of the Mass Pike. I think spotty precipitation will take place any time from later Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening before growing steadier. Where rain is mostly is along and south of the Mass Pike and especially close to the coastal areas. As steadier precipitation gets underway later at night, this rain/snow line will be tough to determine and will become a now-casting situation, but what I expect is that it will hang on right along the South Shore of MA and across Cape Cod and the Islands and possibly coastal RI as well. Some mixing is possible in an area between this and an all snow area mainly along and north of Route 2. Eventually the rain/snow line will collapse to the southeast and areas that are raining will turn to snow. The amount of snow in these areas will depend on the timing of the change to snow. Taking all this into account and sticking to my general rule of not putting out snow #’s until about 48 hours prior to the start of an event, I will issue a best guess on final accumulations here…and keep in mind this will not fall all at once, it is a total amount of snow expected from the onset of spotty precipitation Saturday to the end of snow on Sunday night. Amounts may be nothing like what fell in the blizzard 2 weeks prior, but impact could be greater since it will be a heavier, wetter snow, tougher to move and more conducive to producing damage to trees and power lines. Accumulations expected from the Saturday night through Sunday evening event: 1-3 inches Cape Cod and the islands and right on the coastline of RI and Plymouth County MA, 3-6 inches elsewhere south of the Mass Pike, 6-9 inches north of the Mass Pike including southern NH, with isolated 10+ inches mainly in higher elevations.

A break comes Monday as the weekend storm will be gone and the atmosphere will be in the process of thinking about what to do with us for the end of February and to welcome March. I hear that it may be thinking about hiring a lion for the party… More later!

Detailed forecast for southeastern New England…

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy early then clear. Lows 17-26, coldest inland valleys. Wind NW to N diminishing to around 10 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 33-40,  coolest in the hills northwest of Boston. Wind N 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy early. Mostly cloudy late. Lows 20-26. Wind light E.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy morning. Cloudy afternoon with spotty light rain or snow. Highs 35-42, mildest Cape Cod area. Wind SE 5-15 MPH shifting to NE late.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Overcast. Precipitation becoming steadier, light to moderate early, moderate to heavy overnight, mostly rain/mix south of the Mass Pike, mix/snow to the north. Rain/snow line may move southeastward rapidly toward dawn. Temperatures falling slowly, mainly middle to lower 30s, some upper 20s well north and west of Boston. Wind E to NE 10-20 MPH with gusts over 30 MPH especially along the coast. Some coastal flooding possible east-facing shores around the 10PM high tide.

SUNDAY: Overcast. Snow/mix becoming all snow, possibly heavy at times morning, tapering off in the afternoon and evening (see expected snow amounts above). Temperatures steady mainly upper 20s to lower 30s northwest to southeast. Wind NE to N 10-20 MPH gusting over 30 MPH especially along the coast. Some coastal flooding possible at north-facing shores late morning high tide.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 20. High 40.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Snow/mix/rain at night. Low 25. High 38.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Rain/mix likely. Low 32. High 36.

THURSDAY: Cloudy. Mix/snow likely. Low 30. High 34.

Thursday AM Update

7:32AM

Quick forecast update for now – full discussion later today.

TODAY: Partly sunny. Highs 30-35. Wind NW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows 15-20. Wind NW 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 35-40. Wind N 10-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Snow/mix/rain late. Low 22. High 40.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Mix/snow ending late. Low 30. High 40.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 18. High 38.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Low 22. High 41.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Rain and snow showers. Low 31. High 42.