The Week Ahead

9:26PM

Monday is the last day of March and also the last day of a 2 1/2 day stretch of nasty weather, courtesy a slow-moving low pressure area that has crawled up the East Coast along a frontal boundary over the weekend. It will slowly wander out to sea later Monday and Monday night, but as it starts its departure, enough cold air working around its back side will cause some mixed showers (rain/sleet/snow). Only minor brief accumulations of sleet/snow may occur where showers concentrate for a while, mainly inland and higher elevations, during the day on Monday. It won’t be cold enough at the surface to allow anything that falls to stay on the ground. And anything that does sit for a while would do so on unpaved surfaces.

A nice break comes on Tuesday as we get some sunshine and a little milder air due to a narrow area of high pressure extending down across the region. But with the tendency for high pressure to be centered to the north of the region and a frontal boundary still hanging around to the south and east, it seems that clouds will try to make a comeback by Wednesday, and we may see the winds turn more north or east, tempering any warm-up. As most Spring forecasts are, this one is a little iffy as we move through the week. I’m feeling a little more optimistic about Thursday, not because we get a warm push from the south, but because the high to the north is a bit stronger and pushes things back to the south. So based on that idea I’ll go optimistically for some sun but below normal temperatures. This may hold into Friday, an important day for Red Sox fans as it is the home opener (2PM). By later Friday, clouds should be advancing ahead of a northeastward push of low pressure which is likely destined to make the next weekend unsettled (wet and cool Saturday, breezy and cool but drying out Sunday). Again, this is somewhat low confidence. There will be plenty of fine tuning to come.

For now, here’s the best guess for southeastern New England…

OVERNIGHT: Overcast. Areas of fog. Periods of rain and drizzle. Some rain may be heavy. Lows 35-40. Wind N 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

MONDAY: Cloudy. Periods of rain showers except some sleet/snow at times especially inland and north/northwest of Boston where brief minor accumulation may occur. Temperatures steady 35-40. Wind N 10-20 MPH with gusts around 30 MPH.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain or snow showers early, followed by partial clearing. Lows 30-35. Wind NW 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy to mostly sunny. Highs 45-50. Wind W 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Low 33. High 55 except cooler coast.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Low 35. High 50 except cooler coast.

FRIDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of rain at night. Low 35. High 50 except cooler coast.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Periods of rain. Low 40. High 45.

SUNDAY: Breaking clouds, windy. Low 35. High 45.

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What’s New Is Old

7:33AM

It’s a new pattern, and in some ways the same old result for people’s feeling about the weather. They won’t like it. But it is a matter of opinion. Some of us, me included, won’t mind this. There won’t be much sun in the next week, and other than a couple mild days (today and well, maybe early tomorrow, and well….maybe sometime the middle of next week) it’s going to be a chilly pattern. Some significant rain is also on the way.

Today, a mild air mass moves in, but the price will be an increasing south to southwest wind which will get quite strong at times this afternoon and evening, along with a chance of rain showers ahead of a cold front. That front will settle through the region tonight and then stop just to the southeast of the region Saturday. Low pressure will form and ride up the front, bringing rain to southeastern New England Saturday afternoon through Sunday. By later Sunday and Sunday evening, enough cold air may work down from above to cause a mix with or change to sleet and snow in parts of southern NH and northern MA. This is always a tricky forecast at this time of year, so it is something to watch. By Monday, the low pressure area should be off the coast but wandering away slowly, so it will likely start cold and damp but may end brighter. Toward the middle of next week, with a tendency for high pressure to be in eastern Canada, a front to be south of the region, and low pressure waves also along that front, the tendency will likely be for not much sun and not a lot of warm air around. Not sure how it works out day to day so just a generally worded and low confidence forecast will follow at the end.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers mainly mid to late afternoon. Highs climb to the 50s but holding upper 40s south-facing shores and some interior valleys. Wind S to SW increasing to 10-20 MPH with gusts around 30 MPH, possibly stronger near the South Coast.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers before midnight. Lows 40-45. Wind SW 10-20 MPH with gusts around 30 MPH, shifting to W and diminishing late.

SATURDAY: Partial sun possible early, then cloudy. Rain developing from south to north. Highs 45-50. Wind light W shifting to N in the morning, NE 5-15 MPH in the afternoon.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Overcast with rain, possibly heavy at times. Lows around 40. Wind NE 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

SUNDAY: Overcast with rain, possibly heavy at times. A rain/sleet/snow mix possible southern NH and parts of northern MA afternoon and evening. Temperatures in the 30s. Wind NE 15-25 MPH with higher gusts.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain/drizzle especially southeastern areas morning. Low 30. High 40.

TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the 30s. Highs in the 40s, may break 50 in some areas.

You Wanted Spring

7:23AM

The bombing-out storm that sideswiped southern New England with big wind and some Cape Cod and southeastern MA snow is now gone, and in settles a more typical Spring pattern. Spring! Yay! Right? Not so fast. You  may have wished for Spring, but the collective annual “forgot this is what spring in New England is like” syndrome suffered by the collective population is about to be cured by the reality of nature. Ah, nothing like a dose of natural medicine to shock you back into sense right? Here are a few things to keep in mind. The air aloft in the Spring can be pretty cold, moreso than in the Autumn. The water of the Atlantic is just weeks beyond its coldest of the season. The pattern of 2 years ago (70s and 80s most of March) was a major anomaly. Now, onto the unsettled forecast.

There is only 1 day of the next 7 that present an opportunity for fair weather start to finish. That day is today. After that a cold front, low pressure area, and stubbornly slow upper level flow will combine to keep southeastern New England on the cloudier, cooler, wetter side for many of the days following.

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Mostly sunny but clouds increasing later in the day. Highs 40-45. Wind W 10-20 MPH.

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the 30s. Wind SW 5-15 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs in the 50s except upper 40s south-facing coastal areas. Wind S 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

SATURDAY: Cloudy. Chance of rain. Temperatures in the 40s.

SUNDAY: Cloudy. Chance of rain except sleet/snow mix possible inland. Temperatures in the 30s.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny. Low 30.  High 50.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain showers. Low 38. High 50.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of drizzle. Low 38. High 46.

March Wind

7:28AM

It’s mostly about the wind out of this one, except on Cape Cod, where it is about wind, snow, and coastal flooding. As mentioned in previous blogs, most of the snow falls on the Cape today, with a sharp cutoff just to the west meaning only dustings to 1 inch on the MA East Coast building up to around 6 inches or a little more on the Cape, which will be blowing around and hard to measure, with blizzard conditions for a while down there. Elsewhere, the snow tries to edge into eastern MA and coastal NH then moves back to the east out to sea.  The wind today will still be the biggest story for all of southeastern New England as the beast of a storm winds up and goes far enough east to spare most of the region the snow, but not the wind. Gusts of around 40 MPH will be common inland and 50-60 MPH will be common near the coast, with gusts over 60 MPH over Cape Cod. Some damage is possible especially on the Cape. Coastal flooding is most likely this morning during high tide on north-facing shores.

Storm pulls away tonight, high pressure builds in for a nicer Thursday, cool for the season but feeling mild due to less wind and more sun. Warmer southerly wind Friday as a cold front approaches but with rain showers becoming more likely during the day.

Weekend does indeed look cooler and unsettled as low pressure forms on the front as it settles to the south and doesn’t move too much after that. Rain returns Saturday and may linger into Sunday. Still some hope for clearing late Sunday but we’ll see how that works out as we get into a Spring pattern that looks a little more unsettled than fair. Do expect some dry weather to work into the region by early next week.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Cloudy. Snow of around 6 inches with blizzard conditions at times Cape Cod, up to a few inches of snow southeastern MA, and 1 inch or less near the eastern MA and NH coasts. A few flakes may penetrate slightly inland this morning otherwise all snow ends west to east midday and early afternoon. Highs in the 30s. Wind N to NW 15-30 MPH inland with gusts frequently around 40 MPH, 25-35 MPH with gusts 50 MPH or more near the coast, and around 60 MPH top gusts Cape Cod.

TONIGHT: Clearing west to east. Lows 15-20 except 20-25  South Coast and Cape Cod. Wind NW slowly diminishing to 10-20 MPH but still gusty for a while.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 40-45. Wind W 10-20 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. PM rain showers. Low 40. High 60.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain. Low 40. High 50.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain. Low 35. High 40.

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 30. High 45.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny. Low 30. High 50.

Beast To The East

7:24AM

Short update this morning due to time constraints on my agenda today. Apologies!

High pressure holds for cold and dry weather today but clouds do start to show up from the developing storm to the south as described in the previous blog post. There is not a whole lot of change to the outlook. This beast of a storm will pass too far to the east of southeastern New England for a full major impact, but Cape Cod, sticking out into the ocean and closer to the storm, will have the most impact in terms of snow and especially wind. The time frame is generally during the day Wednesday for the wind and the first half to 2/3 of Wednesday for the snow. Again, a subtle shift one way or another makes a big difference, so watch for updates. Also, still expecting some coastal flooding at the time of high tide Wednesday, especially north-facing shores.

Fair weather returns Thursday, not as cold. Much milder Friday but with clouds and an eventual shower risk due to an approaching cold front. This front hangs up in the region for cooler weather and unsettled weather for at least part of the coming weekend before fair weather returns for the start of next week.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Mostly to partly sunny. Highs around 30. Wind light E.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Snow developing late, heaviest Cape Cod and southeastern MA, may barely reach the distant NW suburbs of Boston and interior southern NH by morning. Lows around 20. Wind E 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Snow likely, possibly heavy for a time near the coasts of NH and MA and especially Cape Cod and Nantucket, and light to moderate elsewhere, tapering off west to east midday and afternoon. Snowfall estimate: Coating to 1 inch far northwestern suburbs of  Boston and interior southern NH, 1-3 inches east central and northeastern MA, RI, and southeastern NH, 2-4 inchest Cape Ann and North Shore MA, 3-6 most of  southeastern MA, and 6-12 inches Cape Cod and Islands. Will change with any shifts in storm track! Highs around 30. Wind N 15-25 MPH gusting 30-40 MPH inland, 25-35 MPH gusting 45-55 MPH coastal areas especially Cape Cod.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 20. High 45.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. PM rain showers. Low 40. High 60.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain. Low 40. High 50.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of drizzle. Low 30. High 40.

MONDAY:  Clearing. Low 35. High 50.

The Week Ahead

2:57AM

Once upon a time, indications of a significant storm appeared on computer generated forecast maps as they chugged through programs created in an attempt to simulate the behavior of the atmosphere over a period of time, given a set of initial conditions at the surface and multiple levels above the ground. Though these prognostications are never perfect, they are often accurate enough to provide adequate notice of impending significant occurrences. Such is the case with the upcoming storm threat, which now looms so much closer than when it appeared as a distant star in the night sky of meteorology. The storm threat has become an asteroid hurtling toward our tiny little place in the universe. Will it crash into us with major impact, will it sideswipe the region with a scary close pass, or will it pass harmlessly as just an awesome sight just too far away to do anything?

This is what we do know: High pressure will build across the region today after having delivered yet another late season blast of Arctic air – a bright and cold start to the week. Two disturbances, a weak one drifting eastward from the Great Lakes region, and a slightly stronger one off the US Southeast Coast, will merge and intensify into a monster ocean storm off the US Mid Atlantic and Northeast Coast Tuesday through early Wednesday, tracking northeast to north. Eventually this storm will plow into the eastern Maritime Provinces of Canada, but before it does that, it will have some impact on southeastern New England.

The uncertainty arises out of the fact that a subtle shift in storm track one way or another will have significant influence on the details of the envelope of snowfall, the intensity of it in a given location, and of course, the snowfall amounts. A first call on snow amounts will appear below, based on where I expect the most likely path to be, which is a little east of where the tracks of heaviest snow-producers are. Strong northerly winds around the western side of the intensifying low may result in some damage with the most vulnerable place being Cape Cod in the early to middle hours of Wednesday morning. It is very important to remember that a slight shift of storm track will significant impact the snow amounts (eastward shift, amounts go down / westward shift, amounts go up). Coastal flooding especially near high tide time Wednesday morning is most likely along north-facing shores especially Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket.

The reasoning for going with a track a little further east is due to a lack of blocking in the steering currents that would help slow the storm down and push it a little closer to the coast. But the explosive development and size of the storm will still allow for a significant impact especially near the coast and especially far southeastern MA and Cape Cod.

Once this progressive system is by the region, rapid improvement in the weather will be seen by Thursday as high pressure builds in. By Friday, this high will already be moving offshore with a milder southerly wind developing. An approaching cold front from the west may send showers into the region as early as Friday afternoon. There are some questions regarding the speed and timing of this front and the potential for an extra wave of low pressure that may develop and move along it, keeping unsettled weather going into Saturday, which will likely turn out cooler than some current extended forecasts indicate. By Sunday, a chilly high pressure area will be in place, though it does not look as cold as it will be to start this week out.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Sunny. Early temperatures around 10 recovering to highs around 30. Wind NW 10-20 mph.

TONIGHT: Mostly clear. Lows around 15. Wind light N.

TUESDAY: Increasing cloudiness. Chance of light snow especially south and west of Boston by late in the day. Highs around 30. Wind light E.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Cloudy. Snow likely. Lows around 20. Wind E 5-15 MPH.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Snow likely, possibly heavy for a time near the coasts of NH and MA and especially Cape Cod and Nantucket, and light to moderate elsewhere, tapering off west to east midday and afternoon. Early snowfall estimate: 1-3 inches east central MA, RI, and interior southern NH, 3-6 inches coastal NH, and most of east coastal MA, through southeastern MA, and 6-12 inches Cape Cod and Islands. Will change with any shifts in storm track! Highs around 30. Wind N 15-25 MPH gusting 30-40 MPH inland, 25-35 MPH gusting 45-55 MPH coastal areas especially Cape Cod.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 20. High 45.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny. PM rain showers. Low 40. High 60.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of rain. Low 40. High 50.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 30. High 45.

Weekend Update

9:59AM

A cold front will sweep across the region from west to east today as low pressure passes north of the region. A line of rain showers will accompany this front as it cuts into briefly milder air over the region, replacing it with a new surge of cold that will be felt somewhat modestly at first tonight and Sunday, then more boldly Sunday night and Monday as a surge of true Arctic air arrives. Strong March sunshine Monday will make it feel a little less cold than it would have in the days of lower sun angle. The time frame of Tuesday night and Wednesday continues to be the focus point for a Winter storm (yes I know it’s Spring). There is pretty much no doubt that a monster storm will be forming off the East Coast. What is yet to be worked out is the details of the rate of intensification and the storm track, which will make all the difference in the world here regarding impact of snow and wind. So instead of outline the various scenarios (you’ve seen them a hundred times on TV anyway), just remain aware that a significant winter storm is possible during this time. I will get a little more detailed on tomorrow’s blog post about what I expect to happen. But as a heads up, it’s safe to prepare for plowable snow in most of southeastern New England Tuesday night into Wednesday. After the storm threat, the end of next week looks milder.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Variably cloudy. Passing rain showers through mid afternoon from west to east. Highs around 50. Wind S 10-20 MPH, shifting to W, with gusts up to 30 MPH possible.

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 25-30. Wind W 10-20 MPH, gusty early, diminishing late.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Highs 35-40. Wind NW 10-20 MPH with higher gusts possible.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 10-15. Wind NW 10-20 MPH, higher gusts likely.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 25-30. Wind NW 10-20 MPH, higher gusts possible.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Snow likely at night. Low 10. High 30.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Snow and wind likely. Low 20. High 30.

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 20. High 40.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 30. High 55.

Friday Morning Update

7:36AM

No current changes to previous discussion. This is just a forecast update. Full discussion and updated forecast coming this afternoon. Have a great day!

Forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 40-45. Wind W 10-20 MPH gusting to 30 MPH.

TONIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy. Chance of snow far northwest of Boston overnight with minor accumulation. Lows 25-30. Wind S 10-15 MPH gusting 20-25 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy to partly sunny. Chance of brief mix/snow northern MA and southern NH in the morning, otherwise a few mix/rain showers. Highs 45-50. Wind SW 10-20 MPH gusting around 30 MPH.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy and windy. Low 15. High 38.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 10. High 32.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of snow at night. Low 15. High 31.

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

THURSDAY: Partly cloudy. Low 15. High 40.

First Day Of Spring

9:32AM

We observe the Vernal Equinox, or the start of Spring (or maybe more ceremoniously, the end of Winter for some of you), today at 12:57PM. But as we know in New England, the season on the calendar does not always match up with the weather. And even though today will be a fairly nice day once we clear out the lingering clouds and low level moisture, we’ll be dealing with more wintry weather especially in the days from the end of the weekend into the middle of next week. The overall outlook remains largely unchanged. We’ll still be seeing a nice afternoon today, a cooler but dry Friday, a small storm system with minor precipitation Saturday, a shot of cold air Sunday into next week, and a potential winter storm in the Tuesday/Wednesday time frame. So, for now very little changes on this forecast, and as the days go by I will try to fine tune the threat for next week.

Updated forecast for southeastern New England…

TODAY: Clouds, areas of fog and drizzle in the morning, giving way to afternoon sun. Highs in the 50s. Wind W increasing to 10-20 MPH with higher gusts.

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy. Lows 30-35. Wind W 10-20 MPH.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Highs 40-45. Wind W 10-20 MPH.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Chance of brief mix/snow northern MA and southern NH in the morning, otherwise a few mix/rain showers. Low 30. High 45.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy and windy. Low 15. High 35.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny. Low 10. High 30.

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. Chance of snow at night. Low 15. High 30.

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