The old saying is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. We’ll see about how it goes out, but it certainly looks like it’s going to come in like a lion this year, but not in the usual way.
We’ve got some unseasonably mild air already in place, but it’s going to get even warmer as a warm front moves across the region tonight. It’ll be accompanied by some showers, and maybe even a rumble of thunder when it moves through. Some of the rain overnight may be locally heavy, but since most of you will be sleeping when it comes through, you won’t even notice. Also, with the warm front coming through, we’ll have our low temperatures this evening instead of in the morning, as temperatures will slowly rise overnight.
This brings us to Wednesday. Once that warm front moves across the area, even warmer air will flood into the region, with highs again soaring well into the 60s. The only limiting factor for tomorrow will be cloud cover, which there will likely be plenty of. If we can get some breaks of sunshine, it wouldn’t be a surprise if temperatures made a run at 70 in spots.
Warm temperatures aren’t the only story for Wednesday though. A strong cold front will be approaching from the west. While this front will bring an end to our warmth Thursday morning, it’s what happens ahead of it that is a bigger concern.
As is usually the case during the warmer months, with a warm and relatively humid airmass in place, the atmosphere will become unstable. Add in some lift ahead of the front and you get showers and thunderstorms. The bigger the clash in airmasses, but stronger the storms. That’s what will happen tomorrow. Thunderstorms will develop ahead of the front during the afternoon and evening hours and may even continue into the nighttime ahead of the front. Some of the storms could become quite strong, with heavy downpours, frequent lightning, and damaging winds. There is even the chance for an isolated tornado. Just last week, a tornado touched down in Goshen and Conway, Massachusetts – the first confirmed tornado ever during the month of February in the Commonwealth.
New England isn’t the only place where severe weather is expected though. In fact, what’s expected up here is minor compared to the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. As that cold front moves into those areas later today into early Wednesday, widespread severe weather is expected to develop. Large hail, heavy downpours, damaging winds and several tornadoes are expected. This is more typical of April than the last day of February.
After this front moves offshore, things quiet down a bit, and we get back into weather that is more typical of early March, especially here in the Northeast. We do need to keep an eye on Friday though. An Alberta Clipper will be diving southeastward from the Great Lakes. It will pass south of New England during the day on Friday and into Friday morning. While the majority of the forecast models keep the system far enough south of have little to no impact on us, not all of them do. So, there is the chance for some light snow, especially south of the Mass Pike, on Friday. We’ll have more on this later in the week if the threat materializes.