Weekly Outlook: February 8-14, 2021

As you stare outside at all of the snow that fell yesterday, we’ve got some a tidbit to show you that despite what it looks like, Spring is right around the corner.

Our forecast for yesterday’s storm was nearly perfect, with only a few places exceeding our forecast. Image provided by the National Weather Service Office in Norton, MA

Yes, the Groundhog said we’re going to have six more weeks of winter, but we’ve got a sure sign for you that Spring is coming soon. Today is Red Sox Truck Day. It’s the day that the big truck leaves Fenway with all of the equipment to head to Fort Myers for Spring Training. Now, the team was largely forgettable last year, and this year isn’t looking a lot better, but if we’re talking about Spring Training starting soon (we hope), then can there really be a lot of winter left? (You really don’t want the answer to that question).

The first sign of spring is upon us – today is Red Sox Truck Day, when all of the equipment gets loaded up and shipped down to Fort Myers for spring training. Image provided by Boston.com

As for the weather this week, we’re starting off with sunshine and chilly conditions as high pressure settles into the region today. It won’t last that long, as we’re in a fairly active pattern right now, with systems moving in every 2-3 days, but none of them look to be substantial, at least for now. However, if you get enough little systems over a short period, and it does add up. Sort of like “Death by 1000 Paper Cuts.” The next one sends clouds in tonight, with some light snow likely on Tuesday, possibly mixed with rain along the South Coast. This will not be a big storm, but another 2-4 inches seems likely. It will likely fall during the day, so it could impact both the morning and afternoon commutes, for those of you not working from home.

Tuesday’s show should be on the light side. Image provided by WeatherBell.

High pressure builds back in for Wednesday with drier and cooler conditions. Again, this won’t last long, as another system approaches on Thursday. This storm will also pass south of the region, so we’re looking at another period of light snow sometime Thursday into Friday. The models differ a bit on the timing of this storm, and some of the models show the high pressure area to the north building in, which would keep the snow confined to areas south of the Mass Pike. These are details that can’t be worked out that precisely 5 days in advance, especially since the models have performed rather poorly more than 2-3 days in advance lately, so we’re just going to include a chance of snow for the entire region. Obviously, we have some time to work out the details. High pressure returns on Saturday with colder weather, but then another storm may move in for Sunday with more light snow or a wintry mix possible. It’s obviously WAY too early for any details on that system.

Monday: Sunshine with some afternoon clouds. High 22-29.

Monday night: Becoming mostly cloudy. Low 8-15.

Tuesday: Cloudy with light snow likely, possibly mixed with some rain along the South Coast and Cape Cod. High 27-34.

Tuesday night: Becoming clear to partly cloudy. Low 14-21.

Wednesday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 25-32.

Thursday: Cloudy with a chance of light snow. High 23-30.

Friday: Partly to mostly cloudy with a chance for light snow. High 22-29.

Saturday: Some early sun, then clouds return. High 24-31.

Sunday: Cloudy with a chance for snow or a wintry mix. High 20-27.

Weekly Outlook: February 1-7, 2021

March is supposed to come in like a lion, and it still may, but for now, February is going to as well.

As you may have heard, it’s going to snow today. We’re not going to rehash that too much, since we just wrote a very detailed post about the storm Sunday evening, and our thinking really hasn’t changed much. Suffice to say, snow will become heavy at times this afternoon and tonight, changing to rain for the immediate coast and Cape Cod. It’ll start to wind down early Tuesday, but occasional snow showers and periods of light snow continue on Tuesday with rain eventually going back to snow near the coast. Strong winds this afternoon and tonight slowly diminish on Tuesday as well.

The NWS Blend of Models is still closest to our thinking with snowfall for the current storm. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

So, let’s get to what comes next. On Wednesday, the storm pulls away, heading towards Nova Scotia, but we may still have a few snow showers around, especially during the morning. Skies may start to clear out late in the day. The airmass behind the storm isn’t that cold, so unlike past storms, we don’t have to worry about another arctic blast freezing everything up. High pressure then builds in for Thursday and the sun should return, with temperatures right around where they should be in early February.

Average high temperatures in early February are in the middle to upper 30s across the region. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Friday and the weekend are when things get interesting again. You may recall a few days ago when some of the tv meteorologists were talking about a big warmup and rainstorm around here for this coming Friday, which would help get rid of a lot of the snow we’re getting today. Well, that’s not quite what’s going to happen now. Yes, low pressure will still travel into the Great Lakes and then Ontario, passing well north and west of us, and temperatures will moderate a bit on Friday. However, temperatures will likely only get into the upper 30s to lower 40s, which is still a little above normal, but not the 50s some of the models were showing a few days ago. We’re also not looking at a lot of rain either. There will likely be some precipitation ahead of a strong cold front, and much of it will be rain, but it might not start as rain across the interior.

The cold front moves through Friday night and high pressure starts to build in with colder air once again. It won’t be as cold as what we had this past weekend, but temperatures will be near to perhaps a little below normal. That’s not the end of the story though. That cold front likely stalls out across the Southeast and then a wave of low pressure will move out of the Gulf of Mexico and start to ride up along the front. Some of the models are showing the potential for that system to bring in some more snow next weekend. It’s still 6-7 days away, and most of the models have not performed that well beyond 2-3 days for quite some time, so we’re not completely convinced of this yet, but it’s something we’ll start to focus on once we get our current storm out of the way. If it starts looking more likely, we’ll have more details in our Weekend Outlook Thursday afternoon.

The models have lots of differences in timing and track of a potential system next weekend. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Becoming windy with snow, heavy at times by late afternoon, changing to rain along the coast. High 28-35.

Monday night: Windy with snow, heavy at times inland, and rain from Cape Cod and parts of southeastern and coastal Massachusetts. Precipitation tapers off toward daybreak. Temperatures hold steady or rise a few degrees overnight.

Tuesday: Cloudy and breezy with periods of light snow and snow showers, except rain showers for southeastern Massachusetts. High 30-37, a little warmer across Cape Cod and possibly southeastern Massachusetts.

Tuesday night: Cloudy and breezy with additional snow showers possible. Low 21-28.

Wednesday: Cloudy with a few more snow showers possible early, some glimpses of sunshine are possible in the afternoon. High 29-36.

Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 32-39.

Friday: Cloudy and breezy with showers developing, possibly starting as snow or a wintry mix north and west of Boston. High 38-45.

Saturday: Some early sun is possible otherwise mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or rain. High 33-40.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with snow or rain possible. High 32-39.

Weekly Outlook: January 25-31, 2021

This is shaping up to be one of those weeks that ages a meteorologist rapidly, since there are not only multiple systems to track, but the bust potential is much higher than normal.

The week starts off rather quietly, with high pressure moving offshore. We’ll still be on the chilly side, but close to normal for late January, and not as cold as the past few days were. Clouds will start streaming in as well, ahead of a storm system moving into the Midwest. This is the first headache of the week.

On average, high temperatures should be in the lower to middle 30s around here in late January. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

As that low pressure area moves into the Midwest, a secondary area of low pressure will develop near the Mid-Atlantic states, and will pass offshore to our south later Tuesday. However, some energy from the original system will still move towards us late Tuesday into Wednesday. The bulk of the precipitation from the secondary storm will stay to the south, with some snow showers or flurries possible along the South Coast, possibly as far north as the Mass Pike. What complicates things is the energy from the original storm. Some of the models have that move across the region with another area of snow, and possibly a decent amount. This has been a recent development in the models over the last 24 hours, which makes us skeptical, but many of the models show something similar, so we can’t completely ignore it. Right now, we’re thinking that a period of light snow is likely Tuesday night into early Wednesday, with some accumulations expected. There are some models that show significant accumulations in parts of the region. While that is possible, we don’t think it’s likely at the moment. If that were to change, we’d update the blog later Monday or Tuesday.

There is plenty of disagreement among the models about how much snow to expected between now and Wednesday afternoon. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

That system pulls away on Wednesday and high pressure builds in. However, with the high building in north of us, we’ll stay chilly, but we’ll also have northeast winds. This may result in some ocean-effect snow in eastern parts of the area, especially Cape Cod, coastal Plymouth County, and Cape Ann. Some persistent snow showers could result in accumulations, possibly several inches, but this far in advance it’s too tough to predict if or where those bands may setup.

Ocean-effect snow is essentially the same as lake-effect snow. Image provided by NOAA.

Another storm system will head towards the Mid-Atlantic by Thursday, and again, this storm should also pass far enough south to have little direct impact on us. However, unlike the system on Tuesday that will be weakening as it moves this way, this storm will strengthen. In fact, once it moves offshore, it should become a powerful storm over the North Atlantic. It may produce some gusty winds along the coast, especially Cape Cod, and possibly some additional ocean-effect snowfall, but the precipitation shield associated with the storm itself should remain offshore.

Behind that storm, much colder air will settle in for Friday and Saturday. We should finally start to clear out as high pressure builds in, though a few more ocean-effect snow showers are possible, especially across Cape Cod. The more noticeable impact is that it will be very chilly, likely colder than we just experienced this weekend. Daytime highs in the 20s (even some upper teens), and overnight lows in the teens and single-digits seem reasonable right now, with sub-zero wind chills, especially Friday into early Saturday.

Wind chills may be well below zero around here Saturday morning. Image provided by WeatherBell.

This brings us to Sunday, and our next headache. Yet another storm system will be heading for the Mid-Atlantic states, sending clouds our way. With high pressure over southern Quebec, we’ll still be on the cold side. The exact track this storm takes is still a big question mark, but this one doesn’t look like it’ll pass offshore to our south. In fact, several models bring the storm right across southern New England on Monday. We’re not going to get into too many details because it’s a week away, and technically outside the usual range of this forecast, but we’ll just let you know that there is the potential for a decent amount of snow early next week for parts of the region. It’s just potential for now and far from a lock, but the models have been showing this potential for several days now. We’ll get into more details on this one in our Weekend Outlook on Thursday.

Monday: Sunny in the morning, clouds start to move in during the afternoon. High 30-37.

Monday night: Becoming partly to mostly cloudy. Low 17-24.

Tuesday: Cloudy, light snow may develop late in the day. High 29-36.

Tuesday night: Cloudy with light snow likely, possibly mixed with some rain along the south coast. Low 22-29.

Wednesday: Cloudy with light snow likely, mainly north and west of Boston, with snow or rain showers likely from Boston southward. High 32-39.

Thursday: Cloudy and breezy with a chance of snow showers, especially near the east coast. High 31-38.

Friday: Becoming partly to mostly sunny, breezy, and cold, though clouds may linger along the east coast with a few more snow showers possible. High 18-25.

Saturday: Mostly sunny and cold. High 19-26.

Sunday: Becoming mostly cloudy with a chance for snow at night. High 28-35.

Weekly Outlook: January 18-24, 2021

We’ve had an extended stretch of relatively mild weather for January, but that’s about to change.

Temperatures have been well above normal across the Northeast for most of January thus far. Image provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Temperatures will remain mild compared to normal today, but we’ll have plenty of clouds once again as a weak upper-level disturbance moves across the region. It may produce a sprinkle or flurry in spots, but for the most part, we’ll remain dry. We’ll clear out tonight, then Tuesday will feature some sunshine and cooler temperatures as high pressure builds in. Some clouds will likely develop, because that’s just the way things have been this winter – we can’t seem to get a completely clear day, even when it looks like we should.

Even with high pressure building in, we’ll still have some clouds around Tuesday afternoon. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Another weak disturbances moves through Tuesday night and early Wednesday with more clouds and possibly a few snow showers, but even colder air will start to filter in behind this system. Some clearing is possible Wednesday afternoon as the system moves away, but another quickly system follows for Thursday into Friday. This may produce some snow showers, but right now, we’re only expecting light accumulations, if that. That system will strengthen as it moves into Atlantic Canada, producing gusty northwest winds around here over the weekend as high pressure builds in, which will result in much cooler weather moving in. It does look like the colder weather will hang around through much of next week, so it will start to feel like winter once again.

Temperatures are expected to below normal across a large portion of the Northeast next week. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Some morning sun, then becoming mostly cloudy, chance for a sprinkle or a flurry, breezy. High 39-46.

Monday night: Clearing. Low 20-27.

Tuesday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 33-40.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a few flurries possible. Low 22-29.

Wednesday: Plenty of clouds, maybe a few flurries in the morning and a few afternoon sunny breaks, breezy. High 29-36.

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. High 28-35.

Friday: More clouds than sun. High 35-42.

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny, windy, and colder. High 29-36.

Sunday: Sunshine and a few clouds, breezy. High 27-34.

Weekly Outlook: January 11-17, 2021

Another fairly quiet week is coming up across the region, but don’t expect the dry spell to last too much longer.

We start the week on a chilly note with high pressure sliding offshore. A weak disturbance will spread some clouds in, but little precipitation will accompany it. The middle of the week will feature high pressure at the surface, but with some additional upper-level disturbances swinging through, we’ll have periods of clouds at times, but little to no precipitation, and temperatures that are near to above normal for the middle of January.

Average high temperatures for mid-January are in the middle to upper 30s. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

By Friday, we’ll start to see some changes as a fairly strong low pressure system moves into the Great Lakes. That will keep us on the mild side of it, with some rain possible during Friday and Saturday before a cold front finally pushes through. It won’t be raining the entire time, but it does appear as though our extended stretch of dry weather will finally end. How much rain we’ll get is still up for debate, as the models aren’t all on the same page at the moment. Cooler air settles in behind that front on Sunday.

Some models bring a decent amount of rain in for Friday and Saturday, some have very little. We’ll see which way they trend over the next few days. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy. High 34-41.

Monday night: Clearing. Low 20-27.

Tuesday: A mix of sun and clouds. High 35-42.

Tuesday night: Variably cloudy. Low 20-27.

Wednesday: Partly sunny. High 36-43.

Thursday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 40-47.

Friday: Mostly cloudy with some showers possible late in the day and at night. High 43-50.

Saturday: More clouds than sun, chance for a few showers, mainly in the morning. High 40-47.

Sunday: Becoming partly to mostly sunny, breezy, and cooler. High 33-40.

Weekly Outlook: January 4-10, 2021

We’ve got a fairly quiet week coming up, but that doesn’t mean sunshine and mild weather the entire time.

The storm system that brought us some rain and snow yesterday and last night will slowly pull away from the region today, but we’ll still have plenty of clouds, and maybe a few more showers, mainly across southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. By Tuesday, the storm will stall out near Atlantic Canada, but the flow around it may help produce a few ocean-effect rain or snow showers, especially across eastern parts of the region. By Wednesday, the system pulls away and high pressure builds in with dry and seasonably cool conditions into Friday.

Normal high temperatures for early January are in the middle to upper 30s around here. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

By Friday night, low pressure will be moving off the North Carolina coastline and headed off toward the northeast. Right now, it looks like this system will pass too far to the south and east to have any impact on us, except possibly Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts, but it’s still 5 days away and things can change, so we’ll keep an eye on it. Once that system pulls away on Saturday, high pressure builds back in for next weekend.

For now, the models are in agreement that a storm stays well to our south Friday night. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Plenty of clouds, some showers are possible across southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, mainly in the morning, a few sunny breaks are possible well inland during the afternoon. High 35-42.

Monday night: Partly to mostly cloudy, a few rain or snow showers are possible in eastern areas. Low 24-31.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, chance for a few more rain or snow showers in eastern areas. High 32-39.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 25-32.

Wednesday: Becoming partly to mostly sunny. High 33-40.

Thursday: Lots of sunshine. High 36-43.

Friday: Sunshine dimmed by increasing afternoon high clouds. High 33-40.

Saturday: Clouds early, skies start to clear out in the afternoon. High 31-38.

Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 32-39.

Weekly Outlook: December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021

We’ve reached the final days of 2020, but there may still be a little mayhem on the horizon.

We start the week out on a rather mild note. Low pressure will head up the St. Lawrence Valley today, bringing in some clouds but also milder weather. There could be a shower or two, but the bulk of the precipitation associated with this storm will stay to our north and west. The storm drags a cold front across the region at night, putting an end to our brief mild spell. Breezy and colder conditions settle in for Tuesday as high pressure starts to build back in. Wednesday also looks to be on the cold side, but should be less windy, so it won’t feel as cold.

Temperatures could reach 50 in parts of the region this afternoon. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

This brings us to the final day of a year that most of us are all too happy to see end. Another low pressure area passes to our north and west, with milder conditions once again and some rain showers, though it does look like it should be dry for midnight if you are planning to be out and about. However, the cold front trailing that system will likely stall out near or just south of the region while high pressure tries to build in from the north early on New Year’s Day. Another low pressure area will start heading toward the Midwest that day as well. The front to our south will try to head back northward as a warm front, but with high pressure to the north, cold air may remain in place at the surface, especially across the interior. As the precipitation starts to move in, we may have warm air aloft and cold air at the surface, which would be a recipe for freezing rain. Obviously, being this far out, things will likely change, but we could be looking at icing, possibly some significant icing, across the interior. This system will take it’s time moving toward the region, so even though the warmer air should eventually win out and change everything to plain rain, the rain may continue into Saturday before winding down. High pressure builds in on Sunday with drier and cooler weather. We should have some additional clarity on this situation later this week in our Weekend Outlook, which may be published on Wednesday again.

The models don’t agree on what type of precipitation we’ll have on Friday, or whether we’ll have any at all. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Monday: Plenty of clouds, breezy, just a slight chance for a shower. High 43-50.

Monday night: Clearing. Low 24-31.

Tuesday: Sunny in the morning, some clouds around during the afternoon, breezy. High 29-36.

Tuesday night: Clear and chilly. Low 14-21, though some of the normally colder locations could drop into the single digits.

Wednesday: More clouds than sunshine. High 33-40.

New Year’s Eve: Cloudy and breezy with showers likely during the afternoon and evening. High 44-51.

New Year’s Day: Cloudy with a chance for rain near the coast, but a wintry mix of snow, sleet, or freezing rain is possible inland. Precipitation should gradually change to rain inland as we head through the overnight hours. High 38-45.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy with more showers possible. High 43-50.

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

Weekly Outlook: December 14-20, 2020

Hope you enjoyed the 60-degree temperatures on Sunday, because changes are coming. It’s going to snow this week, likely more than once for many of us.

Sunday was a mild day across most of the region. Image provided by NOAA.

A cold front moved across the region overnight and is now south of us. Low pressure will move off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and ride along that frontal system today. Precipitation will move in towards midday and continue through the afternoon, ending in the evening. Temperatures will be near or above freezing, so we’ll see a mix of rain and snow, likely changing over to snow before ending in many areas as colder air filters in behind the system. We’re not expecting much accumulation, mainly an inch or so, and mainly south of the Mass Pike. A few places could see up to 2 inches in heavier bursts, but overall this isn’t a big deal. However, since it will fall during the afternoon, it could make a mess of the afternoon commute, so keep that in mind if you are not working from home. North of the Mass Pike, we’re only looking at some flurries, if that, with the ground getting coated in some locations.

Not much snow is expected today, but the timing will make it a bit more impactful. Image provided by WeatherBell.

That storm will move into Atlantic Canada on Tuesday, and strengthen into a powerful storm system. Gusty northwest winds behind the storm will usher much cooler air in for Tuesday and Wednesday as high pressure moves into southeastern Canada. This will become important as we head into later Wednesday and Thursday as the next storm system moves towards the area.

Wednesday morning could be rather chilly across the region. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, a rather strong storm system will impact the East Coast later Wednesday into Thursday. With high pressure to the north, we’ll have plenty of cold air in place, so anything that does fall will almost certainly fall in the form of snow. As the storm strengthens, it will produce gusty winds in some areas, which combined with the high astronomical tides, could result in some coastal flooding, especially east and northeast-facing locations. Beyond that, there’s a lot of uncertainty. That storm that moved into Atlantic Canada will not move too much, and it will have an impact on the track our mid-week storm takes. Another factor will be the high pressure area to our north. It will try to send cool and dry air southward into the region. This will likely result in a sharp cutoff of the precipitation, going from heavy snow to virtually no snow over a relatively small area. Where that cutoff sets up is also still in question. The models, while in general agreement that a powerful storm will move off the Atlantic Coast and south of New England, differ on some of the finer details, which have an enormous impact on the forecast. It’s still WAY too early to pin down any specifics, so we won’t bother to attempt it. We’ll just say that the potential exists for a significant snowstorm across the region from late Wednesday into Thursday. Beyond that, we’ll offer more details in a special blog post on Tuesday.

Differences among the models can have a big impact on the forecast for the storm around here. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Behind the storm, high pressure builds back in for Friday and Saturday with dry and chilly conditions. If there’s fresh snow on the ground, some places could get quite chilly at night, especially Thursday night and Friday night. By Sunday, the high moves offshore and temperatures will start to moderate. However, another system may bring in some rain or snow. We’ll worry about that one after we get through the first two.

Monday: Cloudy with rain or mixed precipitation developing around midday, eventually changing to light snow by late afternoon. High 32-39.

Monday night: Light snow ends in the evening, then skies clear out overnight. Low 23-30.

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

Tuesday night: Clear during the evening, clouds move in late at night. Low 12-19.

Wednesday: Cloudy and becoming breezy with snow possible late in the day and at night. High 24-31.

Thursday: Cloudy and windy with snow likely, ending during the afternoon. High 24-31.

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 27-34.

Saturday: Sunny in the morning, clouds return in the afternoon. High 30-37.

Sunday: Cloudy with a chance of rain or snow. High 37-44.

Weekly Outlook: December 7-13, 2020

We’ve got a fairly quiet week coming up across the region with a moderating trend as well.

We start the week off with high pressure in control, providing us with dry and cool conditions. We’ll start off sunny, but high clouds will start to stream in during the afternoon ahead of low pressure moving off the Carolina coast. That system will pass well to our south and east on Tuesday, but the flow around it, moving over the still relatively mild ocean, could help generate a few ocean-effect rain or snow showers, mainly across Cape Cod and east-coastal Massachusetts, especially coastal Plymouth County and Cape Ann. That system pulls away Tuesday night, but another weak upper-level disturbance swings through on Wednesday. Moisture will be limited with this system, but again, a few rain or snow showers can’t be ruled out, mainly well north and west of Boston. High pressure builds in again for Thursday and Friday with generally dry weather and moderating temperatures.

Temperatures should start to moderate by Thursday. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Things start to get active again next weekend. Most of the models show a low pressure area heading into the Great Lakes and then southeastern Canada. This would result in a warmup around here with some rain likely as the storm drags a frontal system toward the region. However, most of these same models showed a similar scenario for the storm we just had on Saturday. Also, some of the members of the various ensembles show the potential for a secondary area of low pressure to develop south of New England, a common occurrence with low pressure areas that pass well to our west. If this were to happen, it would result in the warm air never making it in here. Now, this doesn’t mean we’ll be in for another snowstorm. It also doesn’t mean that we won’t get well into the 50s with more rain. Obviously, things can and will change as we head through the week. Consider our forecast for next weekend to be “low confidence” right now.

Several members of the GFS Ensemble show a secondary area of low pressure near or south of Southern New England next Sunday. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Sunshine fades behind thickening afternoon clouds. High 32-39.

Monday night: Partly to mostly cloudy, a few flurries may develop late at night near the east coast. Low 19-26.

Tuesday: More clouds than sun, a few rain or snow showers possible near the coast. High 29-36.

Tuesday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 17-24.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, slight chance for a rain or snow shower, favoring areas north and west of Boston. High 34-41.

Thursday: Plenty of sunshine. High 40-47.

Friday: Sunshine dimmed by some afternoon high clouds. High 40-40.

Saturday: Plenty of clouds with showers possible, mainly late in the day and at night. High 47-54.

Sunday: Cloudy with a chance for more showers, mainly early. High 49-56.

Saturday Storm Update

Our storm is well underway, and we’ve got some changes to the forecast.

Low pressure is taking shape off the Mid-Atlantic coast this morning. Image provided by the Weather Prediction Center.

In the big picture, not a lot has changed this morning. Low pressure is just east of the Delmarva Peninsula this morning, and it will head northeastward today, intensifying rapidly as it passes close to or over Nantucket this afternoon, before heading into the Gulf of Maine tonight. Rain has overspread the region this morning, and has been heavy at times, while temperatures have dropped into the middle 30s to lower 40s. Across the higher elevations of Worcester County, the Monadnocks of southwestern New Hampshire, and the Berkshires, the rain has changed over to snow already.

Heavy rain is falling in many areas with a change to snow across the higher elevations of the interior. Loop provided by Weathertap.

Most of this is in line with the forecast we posted yesterday, the timing is just a little quicker. There still isn’t a lot of cold air to work with at the surface, but the storm is quite intense, and the heavier precipitation is dragging the cold air down from aloft. This will allow the rain to change to snow as the day goes on across much of the remainder of the region from west to east. Temperatures likely will stay in the lower 30s, so it will be a heavy, wet snow, and if the intensity lightens up, it could flip back to rain in spots. This could mean the difference between several inches of snow in one spot, and much less in a nearby location. Along the coast, where water temperatures are still in the 40s, it will take a little longer to flip to snow, thanks to the moderating influence of the marine air.

We’ll also have some strong winds to deal with later today, especially along the coastline. High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories have been posted for parts of the region. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph and gusts to 50 mph or more are expected, mainly this afternoon and evening as the storm center passes near and just east of the region. Some gusts to 60 mph or more can’t be ruled out, especially across coastal Plymouth County along with Cape Cod and the Islands.

Strong winds are likely this afternoon and evening, especially near the coast. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Here’s where there is still some unknowns. There are likely to be bands of very heavy snow that develop as the system really gets cranked up. These could produce snowfall totals of 1-3 inches per hour. Where they set up is extremely difficult to predict in advance, and these bands could be as little as 5-10 miles wide. We’ve already had one band of very heavy rain setup from Worcester northeastward to the Merrimack Valley this morning. The western edge of this band changed to snow in the higher elevations in Worcester County. Similar bands are likely to form later today. Places just outside these bands could see significantly less snow these spots just a few miles down the road that get stuck under the bands. This obviously complicates the snowfall forecast.

Here’s our updated thoughts on the changeover timing:

Mid/Late morning: The higher terrain from central Massachusetts into southwestern New Hampshire
Late Morning/Midday: Southern New Hampshire
Midday/Early Afternoon: Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire Seacoast
Early/Mid Afternoon: MetroWest and the North Shore as well as Northern Rhode Island
Late Afternoon/Early Evening: I-95 corridor from Boston to Providence and Southeastern Massachusetts.

Everything should wind down and end by midnight as the storm moves into the Gulf of Maine and pulls away from the area. As for snowfall, there is still a wide range among many of the models, so forecast confidence is still below average.

Having said all of that, here’s our best estimate right now for snowfall:

Dusting (if that): Cape Cod and the Islands
1-3″: Southeastern Massachusetts and Southern Rhode Island
3-5″: I-95 corridor from Boston to Providence
4-7″: North Shore/New Hampshire Seacoast (heaviest inland)
5-9″: Merrimack Valley/Southern New Hampshire/MetroWest/Northern Rhode Island
6-12″: Worcester County/Southwestern New Hampshire

Some of the hills in Central Massachusetts and Southwestern New Hampshire, especially above 1000 feet, will likely see more than a foot.

The storm is already underway, but there is still a wide range in snowfall forecasts among the model. Images provided by Pivotal Weather.

Once the system passes by, we’ll have drier and cooler weather for the next several days. The only possible fly in the ointment is another system that is expected to pass well south and east of the region on Tuesday. Right now, it should be too far offshore to have much, if any, impact on our area, but we’ll keep an eye on it.