Weekly Outlook: March 25-31, 2019

We’re into the last week of March and we have our surest sign yet that winter is just about over. Opening Day for the defending World Champion Red Sox (we really love saying that) is Thursday. Granted, it’s in Seattle, and we have to wait another week and a half before they come back to Fenway, but we’re talking about baseball! Summer will be here before you know it.

Baseball is back! That means winter is nearly over. Image provided by Sportslogos.net

The first half of the week will actually be fairly quiet. High pressure builds in today and Tuesday behind a departing cold front, with dry but chilly conditions. As the high moves off to the east, temperatures will start to moderate for Wednesday and Thursday.

On Thursday in Seattle, when the World Champion Red Sox take the field for a 4:10pm PDT first pitch, some showers are possible with temperatures in the middle to upper 50s. Don’t worry about the showers though, as Safeco Field T-Mobile Park has a retractable roof, so there shouldn’t be any weather-related issues. As for bullpen issues, well, that’s for other blogs to discuss, but after last season, our mantra for now is “In Alex We Trust”. After all, they are the defending World Champions (we really love saying that).

Getting back to the weather, things start to get complicated around here for Friday and the weekend. You may have heard some forecasts that show highs in the 60s and 70s around here for Friday, Saturday, and possibly Sunday. Sure, that would be great and it’s very possible, at least according to a couple of models. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen though.

Several models think that Saturday could end up being a spectacular late March day. Do we agree with the models? Read on to find out. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

A cold front may bring in some showers Thursday night into early Friday. Most of the models show this front stalling out across Northern New England, and remaining there for Friday and Saturday. This would allow milder air to move in, with Friday seeing temperatures in the 60s, and Saturday possibly topping 70 in many areas. The models finally bring that front through on Sunday, with mild temperatures for one more day, though Sunday could end up a rainy day before the front snaps us back to reality. Some models actually have the rain changing to snow Sunday night before ending Monday morning. How’s that for a reality check?

The same model that has highs near 70 on Saturday (and Sunday), is forecasting 1-2″ of snow Sunday night and Monday morning around here. Spring is never fun for meteorologists. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

So, if most of the models have it mild, why are we saying it might not happen? Because the models aren’t perfect, and we’ve seen this situation plenty of times in the past during the Spring, especially early Spring, and it doesn’t always work out the way the models show. The ocean is still very cold just to our east, with water temperatures in the upper 30s and 40s. There’s also plenty of snowcover up north. So, if you’ve got high pressure to the north, sitting over that cold air, and a front dropping southward, it’s got a lot of colder air to work with behind it. The front on Friday could very easily stall out just south of New England, and not somewhere across northern New England. If that happens, you can kiss those 60s and 70s goodbye. We’ll be looking at clouds, drizzle, and winds off the Atlantic keeping temperatures in the 40s, maybe even cooler.

The GFS Ensemble shows a wide range in potential forecast highs for Friday and beyond. We’ll explain what this image shows in the next paragraph. Image provided by WeatherBell.

The image above shows the forecast highs and lows for Bedford, Massachusetts for the next 15 days, based on the 20 members of the GFS Ensemble. The top horizontal line on high temperatures each day is the highest maximum temperature forecast for highest 10% of the members (2 out of 20). The horizontal line at the bottom of each day is the maximum forecast by lowest 10% of the members. The shaded area in the middle is the range based where 30-70% of the members are forecasting. The dot in the middle is the mean of all 20 members. Using this example for Saturday, the Ensemble has forecast range of 39 to 67 for high temperatures in Bedford. Most of the members come in between 47 and 58, with a mean of 53. With this in mind, we’re going to follow this thinking for now for Friday through Sunday, with highs mainly in the 50s to lower 60s. Keep in mind, temperatures could end up 10-15 degrees warmer or cooler than what we’re currently showing, depending on which scenario actually develops.

There is still a lot of snow on the ground in Northern New England. This may cause flood problems later in the Spring, but for now, it may help ruin a potential warm spell later in the week. Image provided by the Northeast River Forecast Center.

Monday: More clouds than sunshine. High 42-49.

Monday night: Clearing. Low 21-28.

Tuesday: Sunshine, and lots of it. High 36-43.

Tuesday night: Clear skies. Low 18-25.

Wednesday: Sunshine and just a few clouds. High 41-48.

Thursday: Morning sunshine, clouds start to move in during the afternoon. Showers possible at night. Breezy and milder. High 48-55, coolest along the south coast.

Friday: Plenty of clouds with some sunny breaks, especially during the afternoon. More showers and drizzle are possible at night. High 55-62.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy and breezy. High 58-65, cooler along the south coast.

Sunday: Cloudy and breezy with rain likely, possibly changing to snow at night. High 53-60.

Weekly Outlook: March 18-24, 2019

Meteorological Spring began on March 1. Astronomical spring begins with the Vernal Equinox this Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58pm EDT. Aside from our brief taste a few days ago, when will it really feel like Spring? Probably not this week.

Astronomical Spring starts late Wednesday afternoon. Image provided by AccuWeather,

Once again, we’ve got another fairly quiet week coming up across the region, thanks to high pressure. As it builds it, we’ll have dry and chilly weather for the next few days. Chilly is of course a relative term, as “chilly” in mid-March is a lot different than “chilly” in mid-January. We’ll moderate a bit for the first day of Spring on Wednesday as the high moves offshore. It might even be a decent day for some ice cream, since Dairy Queen is offering a free small vanilla cone to celebrate the start of Spring. Then again, is there a bad day for ice cream?

After a very wet fall and winter, precipitation is below to well below normal over the past 30 days. The next 7 days aren’t going to reverse that trend. Image provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

By Thursday we’ll have a cold front approaching the area. It will bring in some showers. Colder air moves in on Friday, and with an upper-level disturbance moving through, some rain or snow showers are possible. We’re not looking at any accumulation around here, but it’s just a reminder that even though it’ll be “Spring”, Mother Nature follows her own calendar.

High pressure returns on Saturday with much colder conditions. It’ll feel like winter, with highs in the upper 30s to middle 40s. The high moves offshore, and we’ll quickly warm up again on Sunday.

At least one model shows the potential for a nice warmup next Sunday after a rather cool Saturday. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Monday: Sunshine and afternoon clouds. High 37-44.

Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low 21-28.

Tuesday: Partly sunny. High 37-44.

Tuesday night: Clear skies. Low 22-29.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny for much of the day, clouds start to stream in by late afternoon. High 43-50.

Thursday: Plenty of clouds and breezy with scattered showers. High 44-51.

Friday: Some early sun, then clouding up again with a few rain or snow showers possible, breezy. High 41-48.

Saturday: Sunshine. Lots of it. Blustery. High 37-44.

Sunday: Plenty of sunshine again, with just a few clouds around. High 53-60, cooler along the South Coast.

There are some indications that we could be looking at a storm around here next Tuesday or Wednesday. It’s obviously way too early for any specifics, and we’re not expecting this to be a snowstorm, but it might not be just rain either. Late-season snowstorms aren’t unheard of, as we’ve had big storms well into April and even early May before. If the models continue down this path, well obviously have more info in our weekly outlook next week. Basically, we’re just telling you now that you shouldn’t take the ice scraper out of the car and put away your winter clothing just yet.

Weekly Outlook: March 11-17, 2019

We’ve actually got a fairly quiet week coming up across the region, and we should melt quite a bit of the snow that’s out there.

High pressure builds into the region today as yesterday’s storm continues to move into southeastern Canada. We’ll have a mild day, but cooler air will filter in, with Tuesday and Wednesday turning out much cooler than today. Still we’ll have temperatures above freezing during the daylight hours, so the snowpack that’s been in place for over a week now will gradually start to dwindle as the strong March sun also goes to work on it.

As we get into the middle of March, average high temperatures are in the middle 40s. Image provided by WeatherBell.

By late week, the high slides offshore, allowing milder air to move back in. By Friday, another storms system heads into the Great Lakes. This one looks like it will be mainly rain around here. In fact, we should be quite mild, with temperatures well into the 50s on Friday.

Friday could be a very mild day across the region. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

We’ll cool down a little on Saturday behind the system, then high pressure builds in next Sunday, making for a chilly St. Patrick’s Day.

Monday: Sunshine and some afternoon clouds, breezy. High 41-48.

Monday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 24-31.

Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny, still breezy. High 34-41.

Tuesday night: Clear skies. Low 18-25.

Wednesday: Sunshine filtered by afternoon high clouds. High 39-46.

Thursday: Partly sunny, breezy, and milder. High 46-53.

Friday: Cloudy and mild with showers likely. High 54-61.

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny and breezy. High 44-51.

Sunday: Lots of sunshine. High 37-44.

Weekly Outlook: March 4-10, 2019

The first full week of March is shaping up to be a wintry one, mainly in the temperature department, but a little in the precipitation department as well.

The snow will be ending across the region this morning as our storm system pulls away, with some clearing this afternoon. Temperatures may even get a tad mild, allowing for some melting to take place. However, we’re going to drop back below freezing tonight, so anything that melted with ice back up. If you’re heading out this evening, watch out for slippery conditions on untreated surfaces.

Temperatures could get into the middle to upper 30s this afternoon, allowing some of the fresh snow to melt. Image provided by WeatherBell.

After that, a rather cold airmass will settle into the region for Tuesday through Thursday. While temperatures won’t be as extreme as in the Plains states, we’re still looking at temperatures that are 10-20 degrees below normal, especially Wednesday and Thursday. A couple of upper-level disturbances will also be moving through the region, which may produce a few snow showers at times, especially Wednesday and Thursday.

Temperatures will be 10-20 degrees below normal during the middle of the week. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

By Friday, high pressure will move offshore and temperatures will start to moderate. That just means it won’t be quite as cold, but temperatures will still be below normal. The weekend is where things get complicated.

It looks like we’re going to have 2 systems impact the area, a weak one on Saturday, and a stronger one on Saturday. Given that these are both several days away, nothing is set in stone at this point. The first system passes south of New England on Saturday. There is at least one model that has it pass too far south to have any impact on us, but most bring it close enough to spread in some light precipitation. Right now, it looks likely mainly some light snow, but it could be some rain as well, especially along the south coast.

The stronger storm comes in on Sunday. This one looks like it will produce some rain across the area. However, some models are showing temperatures below freezing at the start, which means we’d be looking at yet another situation where we have snow to sleet or freezing rain inland and rain along the coast. Again, this is a week away, so trying to nail down details at this point is a futile exercise. Just be aware that next Sunday could be messy, especially north and west of Boston.

Daylight Saving Time starts at 2am Sunday. Sunset next Sunday evening will be at approximately 6:45pm. Image provided by the National Weather Service.

Monday: Snow (rain on the Cape) ending early, some sunny breaks develop in the afternoon. High 33-40.

Monday night: Becoming mostly clear. Low 9-16.

Tuesday: Morning sunshine, afternoon clouds, slight chance for a snow flurry. High 24-31.

Tuesday night: Clear to partly cloudy. Low 10-17.

Wednesday: A sunny start, then clouding up again, breezy. A snow shower is possible. High 19-26.

Thursday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine, with a few afternoon snow showers possible. High 20-27.

Friday: Plenty of clouds. Light snow or rain developing at night. High 28-35.

Saturday: Cloudy with some snow or rain showers possible in the morning. High 31-38.

Sunday: Cloudy with a chance of rain, possibly some snow or a wintry mix across the interior. High 34-41.

Sunday Night Special or Monday Morning Madness?

As promised, the second storm in our one-two punch is heading this way. While most of the snow is expected while you’re asleep Sunday night, it could have a big impact on your Monday morning commute.

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for most of the Northeast as of Sunday morning. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

High pressure is hanging on this morning, providing us with sunshine, but clouds will quickly move in this afternoon as low pressure starts to move towards the Mid-Atlantic coastline, passing south of New England Monday morning. This storm will be a bit stronger than the one we had yesterday, and also have a little more moisture to work with, but will be moving fairly quickly, limiting the amount of time it spends in the region. One thing working in its favor is that most of the snow will fall at night. We’re at the time of year where the sun angle is high enough that snowfall during the daytime has a hard time sticking on pavement. At night, that’s not an issue.

The high-resolution NAM model shows the snow moving in this evening, becoming heavy overnight, and ending in the morning, with any rain confined to the south coast. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Snow will move in this evening, likely in the 7-10pm time frame, and will continue through the overnight hours. It may be heavy at times, especially between about 1 and 5am. A change to rain is expected for Cape Cod and the South Coast, but likely won’t advance past Route 44. Everything should wind down and end around 6-8am. That’s also the time of the morning commute. Road crews should have plenty of time to work on getting the roads cleared, but given past experience, and that people will likely leave early since it’ll still be snowing, we expect many roads to still be in awful shape. Give your self a lot of extra time in the morning. We also expect many school districts to cancel classes for Monday.

Snowfall is running about 10-20 inches below normal across the area this winter. Image provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

It’s been a down year for snowfall, running 10-20 inches below normal across the area, but this storm will put a dent in those departure numbers. How much are we looking at?

Cape Cod/South Coast/Southern RI: 2-5″
The rest of the region: 4-8″ with isolated 10″ totals possible, especially from northern RI into the South Shore.

The high-resolution NAM has had a great winter for snowfall predictions, and we’re not straying from it again. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Things look to quiet down and get colder behind this storm, but a pattern change to milder weather could be coming as we head towards mid-March. We’ll have more details on at least the next week in our Weekly Outlook early Monday morning.

Not One, But Two Storms on the Way

Back in our Weekly Outlook on Monday, we warned you that even though Meteorological Winter ends on February 28, that March can still be a wintry month. Well, today is March 1, and we’re looking at two snowstorms in the first four days of the month.

You can see that this is a fairly fast-moving storm. In by daybreak Saturday, out before dinnertime. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Technically, there’s actually 3 storms, as the first one is passing south of the region this morning. It brought in some clouds, and a few stray flakes across southeastern Massachusetts, but otherwise, had little impact on us. The first storm we need to pay attention to is moving across the central Appalachians this afternoon. It will move off the Mid-Atlantic coast tonight, then pass south of New England on Saturday. A few days ago, it looked like this storm would pass harmlessly to our south while a a system to the north brought in some snow or rain later on Saturday. Well, this storm became the more dominant of the two, and will pass closer to us than originally thought.

Snow will develop Saturday morning, maybe before daybreak south of Boston. It may even start as some sleet or rain across Cape Cod before changing to snow It will snow steadily during the morning hours, and then taper off and end during the afternoon, possibly lingering along the coast until evening. Despite the hype from some of the media, this will not be a big storm. Oh sure, it’ll be disruptive to your Saturday morning/afternoon plans, but it’s not a major storm.

So, the big question – how much?

Central NH/Southern ME (Concord/Portland) – Less than 1″
Southern NH/Seacoast/Cape Cod (Manchester/Nashua/Portsmouth) – 1-2″
Merrimack Valley – 2-4″
Metro Boston/MetroWest/Southeastern MA/ Rhode Island – 3-6″

Would be we shocked if a few spots, especially south of Boston, pick up 7 or 8 inches? Nope, not at all. This won’t be the fluffy snow we had a few days ago, so it won’t pile up as quickly.

We’ve stuck with the high-resolution NAM for most of the winter and it’s served us well, so we’re going to do it again. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

OK, so the snow ends Saturday afternoon/evening, and we’re all set, right? Nope – the next storm, follows fairly quickly for Sunday night and Monday. This one looks a little strong, and will pass a little closer. This will allow for the rain/snow line to penetrate a little farther into southeastern Massachusetts. However, with it being a stronger storm, it will have more moisture to work with, and that means more snow. There’s still many details that need to be worked out, and some things will depend on what the first storm does, so we’re not going to go into too much detail yet. We’ll have another blog post Sunday morning focused on that storm. But, there are several models showing the potential for up to, or even more than a foot of snow in spots from that storm.

The NAM model indicates that we could get a pretty good wallop early Monday. We’ll see if things stay that way over the next day or two. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

After that storm goes by, it looks cold and dry for a few days. But let’s take it one storm at a time for now. Look for an update from us Sunday morning.