Hey! It’s Still Winter!

7:25AM

A break in the cold is here, as the next 3 days will show. But hey, it’s still winter you know! A storm threat is showing itself next week, followed by another cold shot.

First, to end January and start February, it’ll be on the quiet but cloudy side as a front wavers around the region, dropping in as a cold front today, retreating back to the north as a warm front Saturday, then charging back through as a cold front Sunday, but not in a dramatic way because this time no Arctic air mass is set to charge in behind it.

Looking into next week, Monday looks cool and quiet, though a wave of low pressure on the recently-passed front may toss some clouds into the region but it looks like any precipitation should remain well offshore. Another storm will approach the region late Tuesday and pass through Wednesday. Very early indications are that this storm will have a track that will allow it to start as snow then change to sleet and rain in most of the region, but it should move right along and be followed by cold and dry weather Thursday.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Mostly cloudy. Highs 35-40. Wind SW 10-20 MPH.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows 25-30. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Highs 35-40. Wind S 10-20 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers. Temperatures steady 35-40. Wind SW 10-20 MPH.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Highs 40-45. Wind SW 10-20 MPH shifting to NW.

MONDAY: Partly sunny. Low 22. High 33.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Low 18. High 35.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Snow to sleet/rain. Low 30. High 40.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 21. High 30.

Coldest Exits … For Now

7:50PM

The latest cold snap of this winter is in its final stages with one more very cold night tonight and reasonably cold day tomorrow. Moderation follows, with temperatures going above freezing in some areas Friday and in all areas over the weekend. During this time, some minor weather systems will impact the region, first a cold front dropping into the region on Friday but with not much push to it, going back to the north as a warm front on Saturday, before a low pressure wave passing to the north of southern New England drives the front back through as a cold front on Sunday, which is a big day in sports (Super Bowl in NJ) and a big day in rodents predicting the weather (i.e., ground hog day). Upcoming blogs will have some outlooks for both of these events.

Looking into next week, seasonable cold returns Monday, and a storm threat looms for late Tuesday and Wednesday, but it’s far too early to determine the impact the storm may have on this region.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TONIGHT: Clear. Lows from 0 inland valleys to 10-15 immediate coast and urban centers. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 27-32. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds. Lows 15-20. Wind light W.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Highs 32-37. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Snow to rain showers. Low 30. High 44.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 33. High 42.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 22. High 33.

TUESDAY: Increasing cloudiness. Lows 15.  High 34.

WEDNESDAY: Snow or rain. Low 25. High 35.

Cape Scrape

8:40PM

The winter storm that is bringing some rare snow and ice to the Deep South is of an elongated nature and as it slides out well southeast of New England through early Wednesday, the northwestern extent of its snow shield will be over far southeastern New England, bringing up to several inches of snow to Cape Cod and Nantucket. It all gets out of the area during the day Wednesday leaving behind some more cold and dry air which will linger through Thursday.

Slight moderation follows on Friday but an approaching warm front will produce clouds and a slight chance of some very light snow. We will likely bust into the mild air on the other side of that front by Friday night and Saturday as low pressure passes to the north, then swings a cold front harmlessly through the region Saturday night, bringing slightly colder and dry weather for Sunday.

Next week is expected to start dry and chilly with high pressure in control, but low pressure may approach by later Tuesday with clouds arriving ahead of a midweek storm threat. But that storm threat is beyond my comfortable forecasting range at this time, so I am not going to speculate its potential at this time.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

OVERNIGHT: Cloudy. Snow develops over most of RI and southeastern MA and should back its way northwestward up to about a line from Cape Ann to Boston to the northwest corner of RI. Lows 11-16. Wind NE to N 5-15 MPH but a little stronger over Cape Cod.

WEDNESDAY: Snow tapers off west to east where it is falling – accumulations from a dusting near Boston to 1-3 inches southeastern MA except 3-6 inches outer Cape Cod and Nantucket. Highs 23-28. Wind shifting to W 5-15 MPH with higher gusts.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear. Lows 5-10 except 10-15 immediate coast and urban centers. Wind light W.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 25-30. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of light snow. Low 20. High 35.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers. Low 35. High 45.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Low 25. High 38.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 18. High 31.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Low 18. High 34.

The Week Ahead

10:59AM

This is a late-posted and brief version of the usual Sunday night post. Full blog this evening.

Simple pattern this week. A cold front plows through the region today, with brief mild air and rain showers ahead of it and a fast return to Arctic air behind it by tonight. Rain showers may end as snow showers as the cold air comes back in this afternoon. Dry and cold Tuesday through the middle of the week. Milder air tries to return later in the week but no major storminess expected at least into the first couple days of February (next weekend).

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Mostly cloudy. Rain showers crossing the region west to east, ending as snow showers this afternoon with brief minor accumulation possible. Highs in the 40s through midday but falling to the 30s southeastern areas and upper 20s north and west of  Boston later in the day. Wind SW shifting to W increasing to 15-25 MPH with gusts over 30 MPH.

TONIGHT: Clearing. Lows around 10. Wind W 15-25 MPH with higher gusts. Wind chills below zero.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 13-18. Wind W 15-25 MPH with higher gusts. Wind chills around zero.

WEDNESDAY: Sunny. Low 5. High 20.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 10. High 25.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. Low 15. High 30.

SATURDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 20. High 35.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers. Low 35. High 45.

Weekend Outlook / Peek At Next Week

5:39PM

Our old Winter pal, the Polar Vortex, will be spinning about eastern Canada for the foreseeable future, keeping us in a cold and dry pattern. There will be 2 brief “warm-ups”, Saturday and Monday as we get into the relative warm sectors of low pressure areas passing north of southern New England. The warm fronts from each of these will pass by Saturday morning and late Sunday night, respectively. The cold fronts from these 2 lows will come through Saturday evening and Monday afternoon, respectively. Each of these systems will produce the threat of some snow or snow showers, but no major snowstorms. Saturday’s system comes along with some decent instability, so there is some risk of minor snow accumulation in some locations with moderate to even briefly heavy snow showers. There are also indications that a main batch of snow showers will weaken as it nears the NH and MA East Coast and redevelops offshore. This will be monitored because only a brief heavy snow showers can cause dangerous travel, so we should not let down any guard. Cold eases on Saturday, when many areas may crack the freezing point for the first time in many days, but the cold will come right back in Sunday, only to ease a bit Monday and be reinforced yet again Tuesday into the middle of next week. Also, we’ll watch for some offshore storm development during the Tuesday-Thursday period of next week, but right now most indicators point to this storminess remaining offshore. As always, it will be monitored.

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

TONIGHT: Increasing clouds. Lows around 10. Wind W to SW up to 10 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Snow showers developing west to east in the afternoon, but possibly rain showers over far southeastern MA especially Cape Cod and the Islands. Minor snow accumulation may occur in any locally moderate to heavier snow showers. Highs in the 30s, may reach 40 Cape Cod. Wind SW to S 15-25 MPH gusting 30-40 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Variably cloudy. Isolated snow showers and snow squalls early. Localized minor accumulations and brief low visibility in any passing heavier squalls. Lows 10-15. Wind shifting to W 15-25 MPH with higher gusts.

SUNDAY: Sunshine followed by increasing cloudiness. Chance of light snow at night. Highs 15-20. Wind W 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

MONDAY: Variably cloudy. Snow showers likely. Low 15. High 30.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 5. High 15.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 0. High 20.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 5. High 25.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 10. High 30.

The Winter Coldrums

7:00AM

Cold pattern. Dry pattern. Air supplied from the North Pole via Canada, not from Alaska. Boston was colder than Fairbanks on Wednesday, 17 and 30 respectively late afternoon at Boston and early afternoon at Fairbanks. Reinforcements of cold air are due here tonight as a system to the south dies and a cold front from the north northwest passes by dry, later Saturday from a stronger front and attendant moisture bringing a snow shower threat and a brief “warm up” first, and again Monday as another weak low and Arctic boundary blow through the region.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Partly cloudy. Highs 15-20. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows 0-5 except 5-10 urban centers and coast. Wind shifting to NW 10-20 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 13-18. Wind NW 10-20 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Snow showers likely. Low 16. High 33.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Chance of snow at night. Low 11. High 26.

MONDAY: Partly sunny. Chance of snow showers. Low 11. High 30.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 5. High 18.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 0. High 19.

Wednesday AM Update

3:22AM

Short version now, expanded blog later…

While my snow #’s were partly obliterated by Mother Nature (much less to the N & NW of Boston) it became a case of the “haves and have nots” as we saw a persistent band of snow dump many inches (over a foot in some cases) just south of Boston, southwestward to northern RI. A very sharp cut-off was observed just to the NW of this band with a rapid drop-off to 1 inch or less in north central and interior northeastern MA and southern NH.

This morning as low pressure winds up and passes well southeast of Cape Cod, a final batch of snow will be across southeastern MA and Cape Cod, then the storm will pull away leaving cold in its wake, which will dominate for many days, except for a brief moderation on Saturday as a disturbance passes north of the region and brings some snow showers.

A little later, more detail in the day-by-day, and a look into next week’s pattern.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Sharp contrast from snow/wind Cape Cod and southeastern MA to breaking clouds and clearing NW of Boston with the clearing pushing eastward with time. Lingering snow Cape Cod into midday where several more inches may occur. Areas of blowing snow. Temperatures steady in the teens. Wind N 10-20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH inland, 15-30 MPH gusting to 40 MPH coast. Wind chill near zero at times.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear to partly cloudy. Lows -5 to 0 inland, 0-5 coast. Wind NW 5-15 MPH with gusts over 20 MPH. Wind chill below zero.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Highs 15-20. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Sunny. Low 0. High 15.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 10. High 32.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Low 10. High 20.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 5. High 22.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 5. High 17.

It’s Getting Snow Cold!

7:31AM

An Arctic cold front passed through southern New England late Monday, and will now serve as the track for an express train low pressure area developing  off the Mid Atlantic Coast and traveling southeast of New England tonight through early Wednesday. Moisture from this system combined with the much colder air now in this region will produce a moderate to heavy snowfall in most of southeastern New England late today into early Wednesday.

The specifics of the snowfall…

*Starts over the South Coast by mid afternoon and overspreads all of RI and southern MA by sunset, then expands northward to include all of RI, eastern MA, and southern NH by early evening.

*Ends west to east during Wednesday morning.

*Blowing and drifting snow because of moderate to strong and gusty northerly wind.

*Blizzard conditions may occur along the South Shore of MA tonight.

*Very cold air, temperatures in the teens to single numbers most of the storm, wind chills often near to below zero.

*Snow accumulations: 5-10 inches most of the region except under 5 inches north central MA and southwestern NH and some areas of 10-12 inches or slightly greater in coastal southeastern MA. Remember to focus on ranges and not the high number.

*Coastal flooding: Minimal.

*Power outages: Minimal.

After the storm… Arctic air dominates – dry and very cold weather through Friday, moderating slightly Saturday but with a chance of snow showers as a disturbance passes through the region, then windy with a new cold air mass arriving by the end of the weekend and early next week.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Thickening overcast. Snow developing across RI and southern MA by mid afternoon then progressing northward through eastern MA by dark or shortly thereafter. Highs 15-20, lower 20s South Coast. Wind light N.

TONIGHT: Overcast with snow, heaviest coastal and southeastern areas, with blizzard conditions possible at times South Shore. Blowing and drifting snow. Lows 10-15. Wind N increasing to 10-20 MPH with gusts to around or over 30 MPH inland, 20-30 MPH with gusts around or over 40 MPH coast, especially South Shore through Cape Cod.

WEDNESDAY: Overcast with snow tapering off west to east morning. Clearing afternoon though clouds and snow showers lingering Cape Cod. Temperatures steady 10-15. Wind N to NW 15-35 MPH. Blowing and drifting snow.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Low 0. High 15.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 0. High 20.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 10. High 30.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 20. High 30.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 5. High 20.

The Week Ahead

12:12AM

Certainty: cold.

Uncertainty: snow.

A broad upper level low spinning around eastern Canada and poking spokes into the northeastern US will deliver plenty of cold air this week, starting with the passage of an Arctic cold front Monday. As this front settles just south of New England, a wave of low pressure is expected to develop on it and pass south and east of the region Tuesday night, bringing a period of snow. What is still unclear is how much snow will fall from this. Right now, leaning toward a light amount north and west of Boston and a moderate amount to the southeast, dry and fluffy, with a gusty wind. Another threat may come along around Thursday but at the moment this is looking weaker and further south. But computer models have trouble with such things around a broad trough, struggling with timing and development, so “monitor mode” will be essential. It may briefly moderate next weekend ahead of yet another push of Arctic air.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

OVERNIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows around 30. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of rain or snow showers first half of the afternoon, snow showers and isolated snow squalls second half of the afternoon. Highs in the 30s, falling into the 20s late in the day. Wind SW 10-20 MPH shifting to NW late in the day.

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy with isolated snow squalls. Lows 10-15. Wind NW 15-25 MPH. Wind chills around zero at times.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow mainly afternoon and night with up to a few inches north and west of Boston and several inches possible from Boston southeastward. Highs 15-20. Wind N 15-25 MPH and gusty.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 0. High 15.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 4. High 18.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 8. High 24.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Low 14. High 34.

SUNDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Low 19. High 32.

Oh, Snow Is Me!

9:30PM

I could whine. I could be cranky. I could make up an excuse for a bad forecast. But I will do neither of those. It was a bad forecast. I don’t care if it was a bad forecast by everybody. It was a bad forecast by me. So how did I know that it may snow significantly enough to plow/shovel today about 5 days in advance but somehow not forecast it the day before? Easy answer. When you’re 5 days away from a potential event, it’s easy to talk about what you think may happen. You have time to refine it, adjust the forecast a little at a time so it doesn’t look like a drastic change. You don’t need to worry. You have nothing but time. About 5 days ago I was reviewing guidance and applying what I know about meteorology to it, and came up with the idea that there would be a snow threat for Saturday. But somewhere between then and Friday, I lost hold of that idea, and believed I had a better idea that the threat that once looked somewhat significant had dwindled to an insignificant disturbance with rain and some snow, but not significant snow. But even last night there were hints that this system may turn out a little more significant after all. I didn’t really bite on it. I kept it in the back of my mind and gave more weight to the higher confidence forecast I made just hours before. We now know how well that worked out. Snowfall amounts Saturday ranged from nothing along the South Shore and through Cape Cod to an inch or so along the coast of the North Shore but rapidly building up to 2-4 inches just inland and 4-8 inches from near I-95 northward from Route 2 into southern NH. Amounts dropped off southwest of Boston but several inches still fell in some of the hilly areas. That was the result. Mother Nature got me good on that one. And speaking of Moms, the irony is that last week in chatting with mine I decided to take care of some outside stuff that may have waited until this weekend, because I had a feeling some snow would be on the ground by  Saturday/Sunday. Had a feeling? Where’s the science in that? I had it right on a hunch a week in advance, but had it wrong on applied meteorology less than 24 hours out from the event. Sometimes the weather fools you, despite your best application of your knowledge acquired in your years of college and all of your years of experience since. Today, a humble reminder that you can never make a perfect forecast, you’ll make some really bad ones, and you can only do your best.

Well now it’s time to move on, and in having taken up much of your reading time already, I’ll keep this part short and simple. We’re heading back into the cold pattern. The uncertainty will be snow threats, but for now I’m going to lean toward the drier side of things and just keep an eye on disturbances rotating around the large scale upper level low pressure area that will be dominating eastern Canada and the northeastern US in the days ahead. Our Saturday storm is on its way out, and a dying disturbance will deliver clouds and a little snow for the first half of Sunday before some clearing follows. An Arctic cold front will knife through the region Monday and may produce a few snow showers and squalls. The deep freeze arrives Tuesday and lasts a while, and as stated above there is uncertainty on snow threats, but for now the most likely day for one seems like it would be Thursday.

One more significant warning before moving to the forecast details. Please use caution if out walking or driving tonight and Sunday morning as below freezing temperatures will create icy areas on untreated surfaces where snow has been removed by the ground was wet, or the ground is still wet from rain that fell further to the southeast of Boston.

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

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Spotty light snow tapering off. Little additional accumulation. Lows in the 20s. Wind W under 10 MPH.

SUNDAY: Cloudy with snow of a coating to 1 inch this morning, then mostly cloudy to partly sunny this afternoon. Highs in the 30s. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 20s. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY – MLK JR DAY: Variably cloudy. Scattered snow showers and isolated snow squalls. Highs 30-35 by midday then falling through the 20s by later in the day. Wind W 10-20 MPH and gusty, shifting to NW.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 8. High 17.

WEDNESDAY: Increasing clouds. Low 2. High 16.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Low 10. High 20.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 10. High 28.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Low 14. High 32.