Storm Slips, Cold Holds

7:24PM

Arctic air made it feel like mid Winter today, though bright sun ruled. We lose some of the sun tomorrow as a frontal boundary approaches, though we also moderate the air mass. Areas that were near 20 today should near 30 tomorrow, for example, so about 10 degrees “milder”. But this will be after one frigid night tonight, with a mostly clear sky and a calm wind with very dry air allowing temperatures to fall below zero in most areas away from cities and shorelines. The approaching front will make its way though the region from northwest to southeast. Some precipitation, snow/mix north, mix/rain south, may accompany this front. As it sits south of the region by Sunday night, a low pressure area is expected to ripple along it. This should throw precipitation back into most of southeastern New England with air cold enough for snow, some some accumulation is expected. This will taper off Monday as the low pressure wave moves away. A second wave of low pressure would bring more important snow if it came close enough, but my current feeling is that this area will pass too far south to impact all of the region, and may just bring some snow to the South Coast. For the entire event (Sunday-Monday), only light snow accumulation is expected from southern NH into MA, with light to moderate amounts in far southern MA and RI, moderate favoring the South Coast.

Behind the unsettled weather will come another bout of cold and dry weather for mid week, with some temperature moderation late in the week. Don’t look for a big warm up, however, as the pattern we are going into is one that will feature less storminess, but frequent cold air masses.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows from -8 interior valleys to around 0 most suburbs to around 10 urban centers and immediate shores. Wind calm.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Highs 28-34. Wind WSW 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows 20-28. Wind SW 10-15 MPH.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Chance of midday-afternoon light rain/mix south of Boston and light mix/snow Boston north and west, then a period of snow possible everywhere at night. Highs 30-38. Wind SW 10-20 MPH shifting to NW.

MONDAY: Cloudy with a chance of snow in the morning. Clearing NW to SE by late day. Low 20. High 30.

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 10. High 25.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 5. High 30.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Low 15. High 35.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 20. High 40.

Frigid Friday Forecast

7:19AM

Very short update for now, full discussion later.

*For late February standards, frigid day today, as we are in some pure Arctic air. It just won’t feel that cold because of the higher sun angle.

*Cold eases ahead of the next front Saturday, which brings a period of snow or snow showers Sunday.

*Storm tracks south of the region Monday, light to moderate snowfall is most likely.

*Cold air and dry again into the middle of next week.

*Less cold later next week but watching another storm to the south.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Sunny. Highs in the 20s. Wind W 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows 0-10, coldest interior valleys. Wind W 5-15 mph.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Highs in the 30s. Wind WSW 10-20 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows 15-20. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow or snow showers in the afternoon. Highs in the 30s.  Wind SW 10-20 MPH shifting to W.

MONDAY: Cloudy. Snow likely. Low 20. High 28.

TUESDAY: Clearing. Low 15. High 25.

WEDNESDAY: Sunny. Low 10. High 25.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 15. High 35.

Well, The Groundhog Was Right

7:15AM

It may be a fun tradition, but one can argue that our good old hole-dwelling friend was right on with his prediction of 6 more weeks of winter. We’re entrenched in a pattern more like the middle of winter than the end of it. We have plenty of cold and more snow in our future here in southeastern New England, and this is how I expect it to play out…

Low pressure passes north of the region later today, dragging an Arctic front through the region from west to east, setting off scattered snow showers and possibly a line or two of organized snow squalls. Snow or not, this front will reinforce the cold air over us, setting up a bright but very cold day for the last day of February on Friday.

Then March gets underway and things get interesting. A battle zone will set up as the Arctic cold continues to pressure down from eastern Canada with the northern jet stream, while the southern jet stream starts to lift northward through the southeastern US, all the while carrying some Gulf of Mexico moisture, and some energy from a storm system now entering the West Coast. This should result in an elongated area of low pressure and a swath of snow across the region, initially with scattered snow showers Saturday as the boundary sets up, then a prolonged snow threat from later Sunday into Tuesday. The peak of this snowy period is expected to be Monday. Significant snow amounts are possible, but it’s still a little early to pinpoint exactly what the amounts will be. By the middle of next week, this will all be pushing off to the east and yet another shot of very cold air is expected.

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

TODAY: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy morning. Variably cloudy afternoon with scattered snow showers and a possible line or two of snow squalls. Any heavier snow showers/squalls may drop visibility to under 1 mile and produce a quick coating of snow. Highs in the 20s. Wind W 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

TONIGHT: Clearing. Lows 0-10 from rural areas to the coast. Wind W 10-20 MPH and gusty. Wind chill below zero at times.

FRIDAY: Sunny. Highs upper 10s interior higher elevations to middle 20s South Coast. Wind W 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

SATURDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Low 10. High 30.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow showers early. Snow developing at night. Low 15. High 30.

MONDAY: Cloudy. Snow likely. Low 18. High 28.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Low 18. High 28.

WEDNESDAY: Sunny. Low 15. High 25.

Sun & Snow

10:26PM

A cold weather pattern has returned and our weather for the last few days of February will be dominated by the northern jet stream, sending a couple more disturbances through the region with episodic snow showers during midweek followed by a sunny day on Friday.

As March gets underway, we’ll see a battle zone setting up again as a broad ridge of high pressure sets up over the far southeastern US and forces the subtropical (southern) jet stream further north, adding more moisture to the  mix, while a trough in the northern jet stream tries to hold in place over southern Canada and the northeastern US. The battle zone will include southeastern New England, which will end up with a 4-day stretch of unsettled weather as a result.

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

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows 10-15. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Variably cloudy. Periods of snow showers through mid afternoon. Potential for a more organized line of snow showers and snow squalls late morning through early afternoon from west to east, which may deposit up to 1/2 inch of snow. Highs 25-30. Wind W 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 15-20. Wind W 10-15 MPH.

THURSDAY: Variably cloudy. Periods of snow showers with again a risk of a few squalls. Highs 25-30. Wind W 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

FRIDAY: Sunny. Low 8. High 24.

SATURDAY: Clouding up. Chance of snow PM. Low 16. High 28.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow AM. Low 22. High 30.

MONDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow late. Low 16. High 32.

TUESDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow. Low 20. High 30.

Too Cold To Snow?

10:34PM

Before you scoff at my title… I know it can’t be too cold to snow. What I am alluding to is that we’ll have a cold, northern jet stream dominated pattern for the remainder of this week, keeping significant snow threats away and only producing some minor snow shower events as disturbances in the northern jet stream pass through the region. A series of these will move through during the next few days, with a break Friday and then another minor system possible on Saturday. There is some chance of a more significant storm early next week, but enough uncertainty that this is the only mention it’s going to get right now. What continues to be the certainty is the colder than normal temperatures.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

OVERNIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 10-15. Wind W 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Isolated light snow showers. Highs 25-30. wind W 10-20 MPH and gusty.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows 15-20. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers in the morning, then partly cloudy. Highs 25-30. Wind W 10-20 MPH and gusty.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Chance of snow showers late. Lows 10-18. Highs 22-30.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Lows 5-13. Highs 19-27.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow or snow showers. Lows 9-17. Highs 20-28.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. Lows 8-16. Highs 20-28.

MONDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of snow late. Lows 10-18. Highs 22-30.

The Week Ahead

6:56PM

Several days ago when it was apparent the cold pattern was coming back, I stated that the cold for this coming week was a certainty, and the snow threats were somewhat uncertain. It’s funny that it hasn’t changed all that much, with still some uncertainty on snow threats. It’s pretty certain that the first threat for the early hours of Monday will be insignificant with only some rain showers changing to snow showers mainly south of the Mass Pike with a coating of snow in some locations possibly causing brief slippery conditions. This is being caused by a cold front and a weak wave of low pressure riding along it. The front is introducing the first shot of cold air as the pattern returns to one we’ve seen a few times this winter. The second shot of snow comes Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and there is some uncertainty on this still, but I’m leaning toward the low pressure area moving rather quickly and a little further out to sea than what would be needed for a significant snowfall, resulting in a light snowfall for parts of southeastern New England. This system will intensify as it moves well east of the region and help to pull down even colder air for the second half of the week, though fair weather is expected Thursday and Friday. Next weekend looks like it carries a storm threat and a push of still colder air, but it’s too far away for details.

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

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. A period of rain showers changing to snow showers mainly near and south of the Mass Pike after midnight with a few light snow showers elsewhere. Coatings of accumulation possible mainly south of the Mass Pike. Lows in the 20s. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

MONDAY: Partly sunny. Highs 30-35. Wind W 15-25 MPH and gusty.

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 15-20. Wind WNW 10-20 MPH and gusty.

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

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or snow showers in the morning. Clearing in the afternoon. Lows 12-20. Highs 22-30.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Lows 6-14. Highs 20-28.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy. Lows 0-8. Highs 18-26.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Chance of snow. Lows 10-18. Highs 22-30.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Lows 0-8. Highs 18-26.

Wintermission

8:05PM Friday original

8:05AM Saturday update

Winter will take an intermission for the weekend, which will be quite nice for this time of year. A relatively mild airmass will dominate, with mostly dry weather into Sunday. Later Sunday, a strong cold front will move into the region from the west, with a few rain showers at first, then a few snow showers and possibly a period of snow at night. This will signal a return to a much colder pattern next week as the Polar Vortex takes up residence over eastern Canada. Watch for a potential snow threat around the middle of next week as low pressure tries to get going offshore and may be close enough to spread snow into southeastern New England. Behind that will arrive the coldest air of the upcoming cold stretch.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 44-52. Wind SW 5-15 MPH gusting around 20 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 27-35. Wind light SW.

SUNDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of rain showers late in the day, snow showers and possibly a period of snow at night. Highs 42-50, turning colder at night. Wind SW 10-20 MPH shifting to NW at night.

MONDAY: Partly sunny. Low 16. High 31.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 11. High 29.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny. Chance of snow showers. Low 13. High 26.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 8. High 24.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 5. High 20.

“Dam” That Cold Air!

11:37AM

The cold snowcover continues to allow the surface cold air to hold in place over most of southeastern New England while warmer air trying to advance in from the south, ahead of a cold front, rides up and over the dense cold wedge of air dammed up over the region. Some of the warm air will start to erode away the cold later today, enough to send temperatures into the 40s especially in the coastal plain and far southern areas. But by the time that happens, a ribbon of rain and embedded thunderstorms will be moving through the region along a cold front. Ahead of that we’ll see areas of fog and drizzle in the cold air, but at least the temperatures have gone above freezing, to the middle and upper 30s, to preclude any further icing as some areas had been slippery to the north of Boston.

Once the cold front clears the region from west to east this evening, the wet weather will exit and clouds will decrease, but the clearing sky will allow the temperature to drop to below freezing overnight in much of the region, especially away from the urban areas and immediate shoreline. Watch for icy spots on untreated walk ways, driveways, and roads that remain wet from rain and snow-melt runoff.

Saturday will be a fair and relatively mild day as high pressure moves in with its origins not in the Arctic, but much further south, with a modified cool air mass. This will be the type of day that is good for removing excess snow and ice from driveways, roofs, etc., but use caution if doing so.

Sunday will be a transition day as a trough and cold front move through the region. A few rain/snow showers may occur during the day, and as an Arctic cold front moves through at night, watch for some snow showers and possibly a period of steadier snow with a potential low pressure wave forming along the front.

Next week it’s back to the cold weather as the Polar Vortex makes a trip into southeastern Canada and supplies the northeastern US with fresh cold air. We’ll have to watch for a developing low pressure area offshore that  may be close enough to threaten the region with a period of snow sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Reinforcement of cold air is likely as that system moves away.

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

TODAY: Overcast. Areas of fog and drizzle along with a chance of light rain through mid afternoon, then numerous showers and embedded thunderstorms arriving west of Boston late afternoon and early evening. Late day high temps push into the 40s but may stick in the upper 30s interior valleys. Wind light E eventually turning S 10-20 MPH and gusty but not til the end of the day in many areas (southern areas sooner, northern areas and valleys later).

TONIGHT: Cloudy with many showers and possible embedded thunderstorms ending from west to east early, lastly over Cape Cod, followed by breaking clouds west to east. Lows 28-35 by morning, coldest inland / rural areas. Watch for icy spots on untreated surfaces. Wind S to SW 10-20 MPH with stronger gusts, shifting to W from west to east.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Highs in the 40s. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 20s. Wind light W.

SUNDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of rain or snow showers during the day, snow showers and possibly a period of snow at night. Highs in the 30s to 40. Wind SW 10-20 MPH shifting to NW late.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 16. High 31.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny. Low 11. High 28.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Low 13. High 26.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 8. High 24.

Who Left The Fridge Open?

8:54AM

Snow is Mother Nature’s natural refrigerant. And there is plenty of refrigerant around. It’s having an impact on temperatures, locally, and will continue to do so during the next few days. The result of this will be a warm up that is not as pronounced as it would be in a bare-ground situation. I hope that I have adjusted the forecast enough, based on this. The most immediate results of the snow pack will be temperatures that don’t go as high today as they would have, a warm front that is going to have a great struggle getting to or beyond the Merrimack and Nashoba Valleys tonight and early Friday, and only push northward just in time for a cold front coming from the west to pinch off any significant warmth, and that warm front resulting in snow/ice for parts of the region, instead of just plain rain, for a period of time tonight.

Today / Tonight… Small area of high pressure does bring sunshine today, that will start to fade during the afternoon as the warm front approaches. Watch for icy areas on the ground to persist through late morning, especially in shadowed areas where the sun doesn’t have the chance to heat the surface and melt the ice. By afternoon, it will have been above freezing long enough so that most icy areas should have melted. Tonight, clouds thicken up and overrunning precipitation arrives, especially from the Mass Pike region northward. The issue is that it will be cold enough again near the surface, especially over the interior, to promote icing if rain falls, and it will be cold enough aloft to support snow in areas near and north of Route 2, at least for a time, before it warms up aloft for sleet and freezing rain. So, some minor snow accumulation and icing issues may occur from east central and northeastern MA into southern NH tonight, especially in the 9PM-3AM window. To the south, spotty light rain and drizzle will develop tonight. Fog is possible in all locations, and may grow dense especially in northern MA and southern NH.

Friday / Friday night… Low pressure will track well north of the region, but its frontal systems will be playing with us. The cold air will be stubborn at the surface and the warm front will struggle to get by northern MA and into southern NH, and may never really make it there until sometime Friday afternoon. This will keep it cool, foggy, and drizzly, with even some freezing drizzle possible. To the south just patchy fog and drizzle as the milder air oozes into the region from the south across southeastern MA and RI. A cold front will sweep eastward across the region Friday afternoon and early evening, with a final push of mild air just ahead of it finally getting into the areas where it had trouble. But with this front comes an area of showers, some of which may be heavy. Thunderstorms cannot be completely ruled out as it will be unstable enough to trigger a few just ahead of the front. Later at night, the front will be offshore and clearing and drying will take place. Temperatures will not fall too much behind the front as this is not the leading edge of a very cold airmass, but it may cool enough to create some icy spots on the ground where rainwater and melted snow sit.

Saturday… Probably the nicest day, no storm system to deal with, no Arctic air (yet). A weak high pressure area will be our friend for the day.

Sunday… Transition day with some cloudiness and a risk of rain or snow showers as a trough and then an Arctic cold front pass through the region from west to east.

Next week… Our old buddy, the Polar Vortex, will take another southward journey into central and eastern Canada, turning our pattern cold to very cold for the last week of February. Though timing is still uncertain, we will not be without at least some threat of snow. So the higher confidence part of the extended forecast is the cold, and the lower confidence part will be the threat of any snow. Will be watching how things unfold…

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

TODAY: Sunny morning. Increasing clouds afternoon. Highs 40-48. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

TONIGHT: Becoming cloudy. Developing areas of snow/sleet/freezing rain to the north, light rain/drizzle to the south. Some minor accumulation of ice with slippery areas especially east central and northeastern MA and a coating to 3 inches of snow and some sleet especially southern NH but also may work into north central and northeastern MA. Lows 30-38, mildest far to the south. Wind light variable to E.

FRIDAY: Overcast. Areas of fog and drizzle especially northern MA and southern NH. Showers and possibly a thunderstorms crossing the region west to east in the afternoon. Highs 43-51, being reached late-day and mildest to the south. Wind light E in northern MA and southern NH shifting to SE then S 5-15 MPH late. Wind SE to S 5-15 MPH increasing to 10-20 MPH to the south, with higher gusts in the afternoon.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 32. High 46.

SUNDAY: Variably cloudy. Chance of rain and snow showers. Low 25. High 40.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 17. High 30.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 10. High 25.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Low 12. High 26.

Minor Mess

2:09PM

The second storm system in 2 days will move through southeastern New England this afternoon and tonight. It will be mild enough for mostly rain from the immediate Boston area south and southeast, but cold air hangs on for mix/snow to the west and north. where rain occurs, it may be heavy enough for some local flooding of streets and parking lots due to snow-blocked storm drains. The storm is made up of one low passing to the northwest of the region and a secondary low forming near or just south of Boston which will then move into the Gulf of Maine this evening. Enough cold air coming in at the end of the precipitation may flip it to snow into Boston and parts of southern MA to northern RI, but with only minor accumulation in these areas.

A break comes tomorrow, which will be a fair day with relatively mild air, as non-Arctic high pressure dominates. Clouds will arrive later tomorrow as a warm front approaches, and this may bring some rain later at night, especially from Boston north and west. A one-day shot of warmer air comes on Friday, but a cold front sweeping eastward into the region will bring a band of showers and even the chance of a few thunderstorms during the afternoon. This will push eastward and out of the region Friday evening. The air will not be too cold behind the initial cold front, setting up a decent day Saturday with dry, mild weather. A second cold front will pass through the region Sunday with a few rain/snow showers.

Next week looks much colder as we get another visit from the infamous Polar Vortex, though it remains too early to be sure about timing of any snow threat.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

THIS AFTERNOON: Cloudy. Rain develops west to east, except mixed freezing rain/snow to mostly snow near and west of I-95 north of the Mass Pike. Highs 31-41 from northwest to southeast across the region. Wind variable 5-15 MPH shifting to E late.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with rain ending as mix/snow in all but central and southern RI eastward through southeastern MA. Accumulation of snow from a coating to 2 inches possible interior eastern MA through southern NH. No accumulation immediate coast and areas to the south. Lows in the 20s. Wind NE to N 5-15 MPH.

THURSDAY: Sunshine, fading later in the day behind increasing clouds. Highs 40-45. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Rain showers, ending late. Low 40. High 50.

SATURDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 30. High 44.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Chance of rain/snow showers. Low 30. High 40.

MONDAY-TUESDAY: Much colder, dry weather expected but will watch unsettled weather to the south that could move north with a snow threat. Lows 10-18. Highs 22-30.