Weekly Outlook: December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017

As we head down the home stretch of 2016, we’ve got plenty going on in the weather department. In fact, we’re looking at three separate storms over the next seven days. So, let’s get right to it.

Storm #1 impacts the region later today into Tuesday. For the most part, this storm will not be a big deal, with some light rain for much of the region. However, when the precipitation moves in this afternoon, temperatures will be on the chilly side. We may see some flurries or sleet in a few spots, but it should all change to rain by mid-to-late afternoon. That’s good if you’re south of Boston. If you’re north and west of Boston, it’s bad, because temperatures will likely still be below freezing, meaning, we’re looking at some freezing drizzle or freezing rain for much of the afternoon. Warmer air will eventually spread northward, with temperatures rising above freezing as we head into the evening, but it may be close to midnight across central and southern New Hampshire before that happens. The rain ends by midday Tuesday, then we dry out for Wednesday, though it will remain on the chilly side. This brings us to Storm #2.

The Monday evening commute could be a slippery one north and west of Boston. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Storm #2 will impact the region Thursday, and there are still plenty of questions with this storm that we can’t answer definitively right now. What we do know is that a storm will move across the Great Lakes and into central Quebec. A secondary storm system will develop off the Mid-Atlantic coast and head northeastward. How quickly that secondary system develops and where it actually tracks will have a big impact on the forecast. Right now, it looks like most of our area will see mainly rain, with the best chance for some snow across areas north and west of Boston. The farther north and west you go, the better the chance for more snow.That storm heads into Atlantic Canada on Friday and really gets cranked up, which means we’re looking at a windy and cold day. A few flurries are even possible.High pressure builds in for Saturday, before Storm #3 comes calling on Sunday.

Storm #3 is the weakest of the bunch, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cause problems, especially since it’ll be New Year’s Day. The precipitation should start out as snow before daybreak, so if you’re out REALLY late on New Year’s Eve, you may have to watch out. However, it will likely change over to rain across much of the region before ending in the early afternoon hours.

As always, if any of these systems become a bigger threat, we’ll have a more detailed post in advance of it. Right now, the Thursday system is the one we’d be most concerned about that being the case.

Monday: Becoming cloudy with some spotty flurries or sleet around near midday, then some freezing drizzle or freezing rain likely in the afternoon, changing to plain rain across much of eastern Mass by evening. High 27-34 north and west of Boston, 34-41 south and east..

Monday night: Any remaining freezing rain across southern NH and the Merrimack Valley changes over to plain rain by midnight, with light rain and showers across the rest of the area. Becoming windy, especially across Cape Cod and southeastern Mass. Temperatures gradually rise overnight.

Tuesday: Showers ending in the morning, some clearing takes place in the afternoon. Breezy. High 48-55 before midday, then temperatures drop in the afternoon.

Tuesday night: Clear to partly cloudy, still breezy. Low 23-30.

Wednesday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 34-41.

Thursday:Becoming cloudy with rain likely, changing to snow across central/southern NH and into central MA, tapering off and ending late at night. High 37-44.

Friday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, breezy, chance for a few snow showers. High 32-39.

New Year’s Eve:A mix of sun and clouds, still breezy. Light snow develops towards daybreak, except rain along the South Coast and across the Cape. High 26-33.

New Year’s Day: Cloudy with any snow changing over to light rain across the region, ending late in the day. High 36-43.

What will January bring? Well, at least one model says that temperatures will be above normal, with near normal precipitation. That likely means we wouldn’t see a lot of snow around here.

The CFS model says that January will be warmer than normal. Will that be the case? We’ll find out. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Weekly Outlook December 19-25, 2016

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.”

Sorry Bing, it looks like you’ll need to keep dreaming again this year. It’s not going to be in the 60s like last year, but it’s probably not going to be white either. The week will start off quiet though, which is a welcome change from the rollercoaster we’ve been on for the past few days. High pressure builds in with dry and cold conditions for Monday, but temperatures will gradually moderate Tuesday and Wednesday as high pressure slides off to the south and east of New England. Another system passes to our north on Thursday, with some snow or rain showers expected. High pressure returns for Friday and Saturday, giving us some nice weather for those last-minute trips to the mall, so that you can finally start your Christmas or Hanukkah shopping. As for Christmas Day itself, for now, it looks to start off dry, but another storm system will be moving across the Great Lakes, possibly sending some rain or snow into the region at night. We’ll have more on that system latr in the week as the details become a bit clearer.

Remember how warm Christmas was last year? Yeah, it won’t be that warm this year. Image provided by Plymouth State University.

If you’re wondering when we might be looking at another snowstorm, you can probably flip your calendar to 2017. The final week of 2016 looks mild for now, though we’ll need to keep an eye on the timeframe around New Year’s Eve, as at least one model is hinting that something could be brewing around then.

The week in between Christmas and New Year’s looks like it may feature above normal temperatures. Image provided by NOAA.


Monday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 22-29.

Monday night: Clear skies. Low 7-14.

Tuesday: Sunshine and some afternoon clouds. High 28-35.

Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low 22-29.

Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 36-43.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy with rain or snow showers possible. High 39-46.

Friday: Plenty of sunshine. High 37-44.

Saturday: Partly sunny. High 40-47.

Sunday: Becoming mostly cloudy, chance of rain or snow at night. High 39-46.

Here at Storm HQ, we’d like to wish a Happy Christmakwanzakah to you and yours! (And a joyous Festivus to the rest of us!)

This Ride Probably Won’t Thrill You

“Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on” – Toby Keith

Ladies and gentlemen, please make sure your safety belts are securely fastened, as this rollercoaster is ready to go. Yup, the weather will go through several changes over the next few days, giving us a little of everything – howling winds, bitterly cold wind chills, snow squalls, sleet, freezing rain, heavy rain, unseasonably mild temperatures. And that’s just before the weekend is over.

We’ll start with Thursday. A series of arctic cold fronts will cross the region. Some snow squalls may accompany the fronts, so you’ll need to be prepared for that if you’re out and about during the day. These are the winter equivalent of summer thunderstorms. They’re impossible to predict ahead of time, usually don’t last too long, but can have severe impacts if you get caught in one. Visibility can drop to near zero in an instant, a quick inch or two of snow could accumulate, and the next town over could see nothing at all.

Very strong winds are likely Thursday night behind the cold front. Might be a good idea to bring some of those Christmas decorations inside for a few days. Image provided by National Weather Service – Taunton.

While the snow squalls can be a high-impact but localized event, the strong winds and bitterly cold temperatures will be felt region-wide. Northwest winds of 15-30 mph are likely, with gusts upwards of 50-60 mph possible, especially Thursday afternoon into Friday morning. High Wind Watches have been posted for parts of the region. If you have any loose objects outside, such as trash barrels, Christmas decorations, small children, etc, you may want to consider bringing them inside, so that they don’t blow away.

GFS model forecast for low temperatures across the region Friday morning. Yes, those are in Fahrenheit, not Celsius. Image provided by WeatherBell.

These gusty winds will also usher some of the coldest air so far this winter into the region. Most days, the day starts off cool, warms up until mid-afternoon, then cools off again as the sun goes down. Thursday will not be one of those days. We’ll start the day with temperatures in the 30s, but temperatures will drop into the 20s by midday, then keep dropping. By Friday morning, most places will see temperatures in the single numbers, with some sub-zero readings possible. When you factor in the wind, the wind chill will be 15 to 25 below zero in many areas. Make sure you’re all bundled up if you have to head outside for any reason at all. Better yet, stay inside, it’s easier.

Wind chills of 15 to 25 degrees below zero are expected Friday morning, Bundle up if you have to head outside for anything. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

The good news is, the cold air will be short-lived. The bad news is, the transition from the arctic air will be rather messy. A storm system will head up the St. Lawrence Valley this weekend. Precipitation will develop ahead of this system before sunrise Saturday morning. That precipitation will start as snow, but as warmer air moves in aloft, it will start to change over. How quick that changeover occurs is the big question mark.

GFS model forecast for the progression of a storm system across the Northeast this weekend. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Cold air will likely remain entrenched at the surface, especially away from the coastline. With warm air moving in aloft, that means we’ll likely see a changeover to sleet and/or freezing rain across the interior Saturday afternoon. Along the coast, a quick change to rain is likely, as water temperatures remain in the 40s, which will help warm things up fairly quickly near the shoreline. Eventually, that warmer air will move in at the surface across the entire area, with a change to plain rain expected overnight. Before that changeover happens, we’ll probably see snowfall accumulations of 1-3″ south and east of I-95, including the Boston and Providence metropolitan areas. North and west of I-95, we’re looking at 2-5″ of snow, with the possibility of some sleet or ice accretion. Please keep this in mind if you have plans in this region Saturday afternoon/evening.

Temperatures will be quite mild when you wake up Sunday morning, but more changes are coming. Image provided by WeatherBell.

OK, so it warms up Saturday night and everything changes to rain. End of story, right? Nope, the ride isn’t over yet. By Sunday morning, temperatures will be in the 40s to lower 50s north and west of Boston, with 50s and possibly even some 60s from Boston southward. So, Sunday will be a nice warm day, right? Nope. Temperatures will peak in the morning, then drop again throughout the day as the system drags a strong cold front across the region. In fact, if the rain is slow to depart, it could change back over to some snow or sleet before ending in the afternoon. It probably won’t accumulate, but with wet roads and sharply falling temperatures, we could see some black ice develop on many area roadways. Again, just one more thing to keep in mind in you are heading out and about late Sunday afternoon or evening.

Things start to calm down after that. Monday will be quite chilly again, with highs only in the 20s, and gusty winds keeping wind chills close to zero. Temperatures start to moderate next week, and a late-week system could bring in some rain. Right now, it’s not looking like a White Christmas, but things can still change. Beyond that? Well, the GFS model gave us a good laugh this afternoon.

The GFS model is having delusions this afternoon. Sure, it’s a possibility, but we’re not putting much stock in this forecast. It is fun to look at though. Image provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Weekly Outlook: December 12-18, 2016

Well, after a week of sunshine and summer-like warmth in Florida and the Bahamas, it’s back to reality for your favorite forecasters here at Storm HQ. And man, is that reality going to be harsh.

As this post is being written, snow is breaking out across Southern New England, with a change to rain already occurring across the Cape. That rain/snow line will gradually head northward early Monday morning, reaching southern New Hampshire by mid-to-late morning, though we could see a period of sleet and/or freezing rain before everything goes over to all rain. It looks like everything ends by early afternoon. While we’re not looking at a lot of snow, the combination of snow and or mixed precipitation will make a mess of the morning commute, so keep that in mind when you head out the door in the morning.

Expected snowfall before a change to rain occurs Monday. Many of you won’t even need to shovel. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Once the storm pulls away, high pressure builds in for Monday night and Tuesday, with drier and seasonably cool conditions expected. Wednesday could be an interesting day. Right now, it looks like we’ll stay dry as a storm system passes south of the region. However, some of the models bring the storm a little farther north, which could result in some rain or snow, especially south of Boston. Once that passes by, an arctic cold front will cross the region on Thursday. Some snow squalls may accompany the front, but what’s behind it will get your attention. While Thursday will be a rather chilly day, Thursday night and Friday will feature some of the coldest air so far this season, with lows possibly dropping into the single numbers virtually everywhere Friday morning, and highs Friday afternoon staying in the teens and lower 20s. Wind chills will be well below zero, especially in the morning. The good news is that the cold air will be short-lived. As a storm system heads into the Great Lakes next weekend, south to southwest winds will pump warmer air into the region. Snow will develop ahead of the system on Saturday, but should change over to rain as warmer air moves in both aloft and at the surface. In fact, Sunday could even feature above normal temperatures, though it could also be accompanied by some rainfall. We’ll worry about that storm later i n the week.

Break out the arctic gear Friday morning. Wind chills will be below zero. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: A wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain changing to all rain from south to north during the morning, ending by mid-afternoon. Some clearing developing late in the day. High 36-43 from the Merrimack Valley northward, 43-50 south of the Merrimack Valley.

Monday night: Becoming mostly clear. Low 24-31.

Tuesday: Sunshine and a few clouds, breezy. High 34-41.

Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low 21-28.

Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds, slight chance for rain or snow south of Boston late in the day and at night. High 33-4o.

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy, chance for snow squalls. High 21-28.

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny, windy, and cold. High 14-21.

Saturday: Becoming cloudy with snow developing, likely changing to a wintry mix and eventually plain rain at night. High 30-37.

Sunday: Cloudy and breezy with rain tapering off and ending. High 40-47, though there is the potential for temperatures to jump well into the 50s, especially from Boston southward..

Weekly Outlook?

By now, you’re probably wondering why the weekly outlook hasn’t been posted, especially since it was snowing. Here at StormHQ, we’re taking a little time off, for a vacation in the tropics. Don’t worry, we’ll be back next week. Until then, enjoy the snow (or complain about it), while we enjoy sunshine and temperatures in the 80s in Florida and the Bahamas.