A Chilly Weekend is Coming, a Little Snow too?

By now, you’ve heard the TV meteorologists talking about how it’s going to snow, or you’ve read the headlines about an “historic May snowstorm” that’s coming. As usual, we at Storm HQ will avoid the hype and just give you the facts. Yes, there will be some snowflakes around here and no, it won’t be a big deal at all.

A cold front is moving across the Great Lakes this afternoon, and it move across our area tonight, with plenty of clouds and possibly a few showers. Behind that front, much colder air will start to move into the region. This is an anomalously cold airmass for early May, and in fact, is more representative of early March. That front is expected to stall out near the South Coast, and then a wave of low pressure will develop along the front and ride along it, crossing southern New England Friday night and early Saturday.

The ECMWF model shows the progression of the system for Friday into Saturday. Loop provided by Pivotal Weather.

We’ll have some rain moving in Friday afternoon and evening, but as the sun sets and temperatures drop, some wet snow will start to mix in. The most likely spots for snow are in the hilly terrain from northern Rhode Island across Worcester County and into the Monadnocks of southwestern New Hampshire, as well as out in the Berkshires. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if there was some wet snow mixed in with the rain even into the suburbs of Boston.

As we mentioned with the last few storms, it’s awfully tough to get accumulating snow into early May for a variety of reasons. For one, the ground is fairly mild. Any accumulations will be mainly on grassy surfaces, as pavement temperatures are much too warm now. Secondly, temperatures may not even drop to freezing, but could stay in the middle to upper 30s. Third, the intensity of the precipitation will be key. Heavier precipitation will bring down colder air from aloft, resulting in the change to snow, whereas light precipitation will tend towards more rain.

As far as accumulations, as we said, we’re not expecting this to be a big deal for most of us. You may wake up Saturday morning, if you’re up early enough, to see a little bit of a coating on grassy surfaces, decks, and car roofs/windshields. As we mentioned, most of the accumulations will be confined to the hilly terrain, where a few inches could fall.

Snow is fairly rare once you get into May. Using data for Lowell, snow has been recorded 5 times during the month of May over the past 92 years, and measurable snow only twice.

5/11/1945 – Trace
5/1/1953 – Trace
5/10/1977 – 2.6″
5/6/1996 – Trace
5/18/2002 – 1.0″

The ECMWF model is closest to our thinking for snowfall with this storm. Image provided by WeatherBell.

The snow is only part of the story though, and in fact, a minor part. As the storm intensifies while pulling away on Saturday, gusty winds are expected across the area. West winds of 15-25 mph with gusts of 40-50 mph are expected, especially along the coast. At the same time, an upper-level low pressure area will be moving into the region, bringing in very cold weather. That upper low may trigger a few rain or snow showers in the afternoon, but the cold temperatures will be the story. High temperatures likely will stay in the 40s, which may set records for the lowest high temperatures for the date in many locations.

Record low high temperatures are possible across parts of the region on Saturday. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

The really cold weather will be short-lived, as we will start to moderate on Mother’s Day as high pressure builds in. However, if you’re hoping for some sustained warmth, it’s not coming anytime soon. There are some hints that we may get out of the pattern that’s kept us quite chilly for most of April and early May in another 10 days or so, but a “warm” pattern is still a ways off.

Temperature forecast for the next 45 days for Bedford, Massachusetts based on the 51 members of the ECMWF Ensemble forecast. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

The image above is the high and low temperature forecast for Bedford for the next 45 days, based on the ECMWF Ensemble, which has 51 separate members. The solid red and blue lines in the middle of each graph are the “normal” highs/lows for each day. The green dot is the average of the 51 members for each day (which is also represented numerically in the middle of the 2 charts), and the shaded gray area is the area that between 1/4 and 3/4 of the members fall. The horizontal blue lines above and below that are the extreme on each day. As you can see, this model is forecasting temperatures to remain well below normal through May 14-15. After that, temperatures generally average near or a little below normal until June 9. Granted, “normal” for those dates is upper 60s to near 70 for high temperatures, so it’ll be milder, but still a little cooler than we should be. Finally, we get to near or a little above normal for a sustained period around June 10. Now this is just one model, so take it with a grain of salt, but it’s done fairly well diagnosing the general details of our weather pattern for several weeks now. There is hope that you can finally take your summer clothes out of storage, perhaps as early as next weekend.

Snowy Saturday Morning

Yes, snow is still on the way, and this is an update to our forecast, but it really hasn’t changed that much.

Low pressure will move out of the Ohio Valley today, passing south of New England early on Saturday. We’ll have some cold air in place, so many of us will have some snow Saturday morning, but don’t worry, it won’t be a lot, and it won’t hang around for too long.

The precipitation will move in around midnight, and it will likely start as rain for most of us, with temperatures still in the upper 30s to lower 40s. However, it will quickly change over to snow as temperatures drop into the middle 30s. It looks like there may be a burst of moderate to heavy snow overnight, especially along and south of the Massachusetts Turnpike. A change back to rain is expected towards daybreak, except in the hills from northern Rhode Island into Worcester County and the Monadnocks in southwestern New Hampshire.

The GFS model shows the progression of snow and rain across the region. Loop provided by WeatherBell.

As we mentioned yesterday, it’s awfully tough to get accumulating snow in mid-April for a variety of reasons, but there are some things that will help this time. First of all, most of the snow will fall at night. Once the sun comes up, the sun angle is similar to late August, so once we get past about 7-8am, even if there are still flakes falling, there won’t be any more accumulation. Second of all, temperatures will be close to freezing. Third, the snow may come down at a decent clip, which will help bring down a little bit of colder air from aloft. Working against accumulating snow is the fact that the ground is warm. Any accumulations will be mainly confined to grassy surfaces, as the pavement is considerably warmer. There may be a little slush on paved surfaces, but not much. Also, we’re not going to have a large window of time for accumulating snow. As we said, the precipitation will start as rain around midnight before flipping to snow. Once it does start snowing, it will take a little time to start accumulating, due to the wet/warm ground. That will take until 1-2am, and by 7am, the daylight will help put an end to accumulations. So, we’ve really only got about 5-6 hours of accumulating snow out of this system.

Temperatures likely won’t drop below freezing across most of the region tonight. Image provided by WeatherBell.

So, how much do we expect now? Our thinking really hasn’t changed too much from yesterday. The jackpot is still going to be in the Worcester Hills and the Monadnocks, where 3-5″ is expected, possibly some heavier amounts. For the rest of us, a general 1-3″ from southern New Hampshire into the Merrimack Valley and Metro West, as well as the Seacoast of New Hampshire. The immediate Boston area will probably see around 1 inch. The biggest question mark for us is the area south of the Mass Pike into northern Connecticut, northern Rhode Island, and parts of southeastern Massachusetts. There will be some heavier precipitation here, but temperatures may also be a bit milder. Right now, we’re thinking 1-2″ for places like Woonsocket, Brockton, and Taunton, but it could end up a bit more if there is that heavier burst of snowfall. It also could end up less if temperatures stay in the upper 30s instead of dropping into the middle 30s.

The GFS model remains closest to our thinking for snowfall amounts. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

The rest of Saturday will feature rain showers and temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s, which will help melt away some of the snow from the morning. Skies will clear out at night, but clouds will come back in Sunday afternoon ahead of the next storm system. The good news is that Sunday will see temperatures well into the 50s and lower 60s, so that should take care of the rest of the snow. That next system? It’ll stay well offshore, but may produce a few rain showers on Monday. Is this the last time we’ll see snow until the fall/winter? Possibly. History says it can snow as late as mid-May here, so we can’t completely rule it out. In yesterday’s blog, we mentioned the possibility of flakes around April 28-29, based on the ECMWF Ensemble and its 51 members. Well, the newest run of that model no longer has that threat, but a significant portion of the ensemble members have at least a trace of snow for parts of the area around May 2, with a little bit of wet snow mixed in during a rainstorm. So, there’s a good chance tonight is our last accumulating snow for several months, but it might not be the last time we see some snowflakes. That same model also shows high temperatures near or above 70 on a regular basis starting around the middle of May.

Snow? Really?

After a winter where we didn’t really have much snow, it does look like there is some more coming, for at least part of the region.

Snowfall was well below normal across most of the region this winter. Image provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Some of you woke up to the ground being white this morning after a disturbance moved through with some snow and rain showers. Well, a similar occurrence is possible Saturday morning. A weak storm system will pass south of the region Friday night and Saturday. We’ll have some cold air (relative to mid-April) in place, with temperatures generally in the lower to middle 30s, especially north and west of Boston. As the system moves in, precipitation will develop late Friday night, and it will likely be in the form of snow north of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Light snow will fall through the early morning hours changing to rain across most of eastern Massachusetts, but possibly staying all snow from the Worcester Hills into the Monadnocks and maybe even southern New Hampshire before it ends during the afternoon.

A weak storm will bring in some light snow and rain Friday night and Saturday. Loop provided by Pivotal Weather.

It’s awfully tough to get accumulating snow in mid-April for a variety of reasons, but there are some things that will help this time. First of all, a lot of the snow will fall at night. Once the sun comes up, the sun angle is similar to late August, so it’s awfully tough to accumulate in the daytime. Second of all, temperatures will be close to freezing. Third, the snow may come down at a decent clip, which will help bring down a little bit of colder air from aloft. Working against accumulating snow is the fact that the ground is warm. There aren’t many sources for ground temperatures, and the nearest station is in Bennington County, Vermont, but even there, the latest reading shows a soil temperature of 37, which is 3 degrees above normal. On pavement, it will have an even tougher time accumulating, if it at all. Despite air temperatures in the 40s and lower 50s this afternoon, pavement temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, thanks to the sunshine. They’ll drop at night, but with air temperatures staying above freezing, the pavement temperatures will as well. Any snow that does accumulate should quickly melt Saturday afternoon and evening, as rain and milder temperatures eat away at it.

It’s also fairly rare to get accumulating snow in late April. The last time that Boston or Providence had 1″ or more in late April or May was on April 28, 1987! In Lowell, 1″ or more has been recorded after April 16 only 6 times in the past 92 years, and the last one was on May 18, 2002. This is why we never declare winter to be “over” in March or even early April. Having said that, we’re not convince this is the last time we’ll see any flakes this season either. Many members of the ECMWF Ensemble are signalling the potential for some flakes around April 28-29. Will it happen? We’ll see. For now, it’s something to keep in the back of our mind and pay attention to.

So, how much snow are we expecting? Not much. For those of you inside I-495, you’ll see some flakes, but there will be little to no accumulation. From the Merrimack Valley into Southern New Hampshire, a coating to an inch, mainly on grassy surfaces. As you get into the hills of Worcester County and the Monadnocks, some places could see 2-4 inches of accumulation.

The GFS model is probably closest to our thinking for snowfall. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

We’re aware that many models are forecasting more snow than this, and over a wider area. However, the models are just tools, and knowledge an experience are a big factor in our forecasts. We explained why it’s tough to get accumulating snow at this time of year, and many of the models don’t factor that in. This is why you should always follow a trusted source for your forecasts. There are plenty of “Facebook Forecasters” out there who will just regurgitate the models, and gleefully tell you that 2-4″ or more is expected. Sure, it’s possible, but in reality, it’s not likely.

Another storm will pass south and east of New England on Monday, likely too far offshore to have much of an impact on us, but we’ll keep an eye on it anways. After that, as we mentioned earlier, we’ll keeping an eye on the period around April 28-29. Hopefully that doesn’t pan out and winter is truly over. However, this is New England, so who knows. For now, stay safe, and watch the snow fall Saturday morning.

More Strong Winds and Rain for Monday

A rather strong storm system will wreak all sorts of havoc on a large swath of the nation through the weekend and into Monday.

Low pressure will move out of the Plains states today and into the Great Lakes later Sunday into early Monday. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Low pressure is moving into the Plains states today, producing some strong to severe thunderstorms from Texas into the Southern Plains. That’s just the start of what will be a busy few days. As the storm moves into the southern Plains tonight, showers and thunderstorms, some strong to severe, will spread from Texas into the Mississippi Valley. To the north, snow is expected across the Central Plains. Some locations could pick up 6-12 inches this weekend in a swath from Nebraska and South Dakota into parts of Iowa, southern Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

A severe weather outbreak is possible across a large portion of the South on Easter Sunday. Image provided by the Storm Prediction Center.

Easter Sunday is the day that will likely grab most of the headlines away from the pandemic for a day. As the system moves into the Ohio Valley, warm, moist air will be drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico, and as this clashes with the cold air advancing southward behind the storm, the ingredients will be in place for a severe weather outbreak. Severe weather may be ongoing as Easter Sunday dawns across the Lower Mississippi Valley, but activity will spread eastward during the day across the Deep South and the Tennessee Valley. Some of the stronger storms may produce damaging winds, large hail, torrential downpours, and likely numerous tornadoes. The risk will continue well into the overnight hours, especially in Georgia, eastern Tennessee and western portions of the Carolinas.

The severe weather threat shifts to the East Coast on Monday. Image provided by the Storm Prediction Center.

By Monday, the system will move into Ontario, dragging a strong cold front across the Eastern United States. Warm, humid air will continue to flow northward ahead of this front, triggering more showers and thunderstorms during the morning and early afternoon from northern Florida into the Mid-Atlantic states. Some of these storms could produce hail, strong winds, heavy downpours, and some tornadoes, especially from the Carolinas to the Delmarva Peninsula.

Heavy snow is likely from Wisconsin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Sunday into early Tuesday. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

To the north, heavy snow will continue behind the storm from northern Wisconsin into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Ontario. Snowfall totals of 10-20 inches or more are likely. Winds gusting to 40-50 mph will create significant blowing and drifting of the snow, with blizzard conditions at times.

Precipitation has been below normal across much of the Northeast during the first 100 days of 2020. Image provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Here in the Northeast, the big story will be the wind. Rain will be a secondary concern, with rainfall totals of 1-2 inches possible across much of the region. Some embedded thunderstorms may produce heavier downpours, especially in western New England and eastern New York, but flooding isn’t much of a concern. Precipitation has been below normal across much of the area through a good chunk of the winter and early Spring, so we need all the rain we can get, though maybe not quite this much at once. There will be some ponding on the roadways, and some of the smaller streams may overflow, but widespread flooding shouldn’t be a problem. The wind, on the other hand, will be a major problem.

High Wind Watches are in effect for parts of the Northeast, and these will likely expand over the next 12-24 hours. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

As the system gets cranked up in Ontario, strong southerly winds will develop across the region. These will bring milder air into the region. We won’t quite reach the 90s that will set records across Florida on Monday, but 50s and 60s are still a bit above normal for mid-April around here. Southerly winds will increase Monday morning, with sustained winds of 25-35 mph expected during the afternoon. Wind gusts of 60-70 mph or higher are expected as well. This will likely result in power outages as they take down trees that are starting to show their leaves, along with power lines. Winds should start to diminish during the evening as a cold front moves through, bringing an end to the rain and shifting the winds into the west.

Wind gusts of 60-70 mph or higher could be widespread Monday afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Conditions should improve on Tuesday as high pressure builds in with some sunshine developing, but it will still be breezy as the now-powerful storm moves into northern Quebec, where heavy snow will likely continue.

A Little Bit of Everything on Thursday

An approaching storm system will make for quite the interesting Thursday across New England.

The low pressure system that will generate severe weather across parts of the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys this afternoon and evening will head northeastward tonight, and pass right over New England on Thursday. It will produce a variety of weather across our six-state region, depending on where you’re located. Across southern New England, we’ll have heavy rain, possibly some thunderstorms, and strong winds. Across northern New England, this could turn out to be quite a snowstorm.

The High-Resolution NAM model shows the progression of the system over the next couple of days. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

Starting with southern New England, we’ll see showes developing during the morning, becoming a steady rain during the afternoon. With warmer air moving at the surface, thunderstorms may develop as the system moves in. Some of these storms may produce gusty winds, and hail, as there will be plenty of cold air aloft with an upper-level low pressure system moving into the Northeast.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of Southern New England under a marginal risk for severe weather on Thursday. Image provided by the Storm Prediction Center.

The rain and thunderstorms should come to an end by late afternoon, but that’s only half of the threat. A cold front will cross the region, with strong winds likely behind it. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph, with gusts of 40-50 mph or higher are likely. These winds may diminish a bit overnight, but will likely pick back up on Friday as the storm continues to intensify across eastern Canada. That upper-level low pressure area will also be overhead, so we’ll have plenty of clouds and a few showers popping up. With the cold air aloft, some of those showers could produce some small hail or graupel.

Wind gusts could exceed 50 mph in places Friday afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

While we are dealing with strong winds and thunderstorms, it’ll be a completely different story across northern New England. Temperatures will be much cooler across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, with much of the precipitation falling in the form of snow, especially in the mountains. Some of the snow will be quite heavy, with a foot or more possible, especially across Maine and northern New Hampshire. Winter Storm Watches are in effect for parts of the region. The snow will also be accompanied by strong winds, gusts to 40 mph or more, which may create blizzard conditions at times. There’s already little travel going on due to the pandemic, but there should be even less over the next few days.

Parts of northern New England, especially Maine and northern New Hampshire, could pick up more than a foot of snow Thursday into Friday. Image provided by WeatherBell.

The snow should wind down on Friday, but with the upper-level low in place, snow showers may continue. Some of those snow showers may spread into the Berkshires as colder air works its way in. Some wet snow is even possible into the Worcester Hills and Monadnocks.

High pressure will build in for the weekend with drier weather, but our next system looks to move in on Monday. That one looks like a rain-maker right now, and it might produce a decent amount of rainfall. We’ve been a bit dry this winter, so we need all the rain we can get right now to avoid slipping into a drought.

Messy Thursday Coming Up

A pair of storm systems are heading our way, but for most of us, snow will be the least of our concerns. Your Thursday morning commute will be a mess however.

Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for much of the Northeast away from the coast, with Winter Storm Watches up north. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Low pressure will ride along a frontal system that is stalled out south of New England tonight and Thursday. Meanwhile, high pressure is in place to the north, bringing some colder air into the area. As the precipitation shield ahead of the low moves in after midnight, it will fall in the form of snow across most of the area, except along the South Coast, where it will be mainly rain with some sleet mixed in. This snow won’t last too long though, as warmer air will be moving in aloft. This will change the snow to sleet and then freezing rain from south to north as the morning progresses. We’re not expecting much snow accumulation, but the combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain will make a mess out of the morning commute.

The first part of the storm could produce a decent amount of sleet from the Merrimack Valley into southern New Hampshire. Image provided by WeatherBell.

The warmer air eventually pushes in at the surface by early afternoon for most of us, changing everything to plain rain. Across southern New Hampshire, things could get tricky. Temperatures may not get much above freezing, or even above freezing at all, which would keep the freezing rain going, resulting in very slippery conditions. The precipitation should taper off by late afternoon, with only some drizzle or freezing drizzle through the evening and the first part of the overnight.

While we deal with a wintry mix, severe weather is expected across much of the Southeast on Thursday. Image provided by the Storm Prediction Center.

This brings us to the 2nd part of our double whammy. The storm that is producing severe weather across the Gulf Coast today will head towards Southern New England on Friday. Rain will redevelop after daybreak, and it could be heavy for a while during the morning. This will have some impact on the Friday morning commute, but not to the extent of the wintry mix on Thursday. Across southern New Hampshire, we may have some more significant problems though. We may still have cold air in place at the surface, which could lead to more freezing rain and sleet as the heavier precipitation moves back in. If the precipitation is heavier enough, it could drag some of the warmer air aloft down to the surface, changing everything to plain rain, but the Friday morning commute could be a mess along I-93 and US-3 north of the Massachusetts border.

Rainfall totals of 1-2 inches, maybe even heavier, are possible across the region between now and Friday evening. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

As the low moves across Southern New England, places south of the center of the low, mainly Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southeastern Massachusetts, will see temperatures jump into the 40s or even the 50s. However, as the low passes by, colder air will quickly move in both at the surface and aloft. This will allow the precipitation to change to snow from northwest to southeast. The cold air will be moving in as the precipitation comes to an end though, which will limit any accumulations.

The High-Resolution NAM model shows the progression of our double-barreled storm and the variety of precipitation it will produce. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

If you’re a skier, you’ll be happy, as this storm will be mainly snow and sleet up north, with significant accumulations possible in ski country.

Many locations up north could see 6-12 inches of snow or more between now and Saturday. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

The pattern we’re in will be active for a while, with storm systems coming in every 2-3 days for the next week or two. Some of these will contain wintry precipitation, it is February after all.

Snow Makes a Return

We’ve got a significant snowstorm on the way to the region for Saturday night. Hang on, we’re being told that even though the last week or so has felt like January in North Carolina, we’re still in Massachusetts, not North Carolina. So, let’s start over. We’ve got some snow on the way for Saturday night, but it shouldn’t be a big deal by New England standards.

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisoies are in effect for much of the Northeast. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

A cold and very dry airmass is in place across New England to start Saturday, thanks to a high pressure area moving across Northern New England. Temperatures are starting the day in the single numbers and teens, with dewpoints near or below zero. Meanwhile, a storm system will be moving out of the Great Lakes and heading for Northern New England later today. That will be out weather-maker for tonight and early Sunday.

Saturday is starting on a very chilly note across the region. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

We’ll see high clouds start streaming in by midday, and they’ll thcken up during the afternoon. It’ll take some time for the air to moisten up, but it will eventually, and snow will start falling right around dinnertime for most of us, a little earlier to the west. This will be a fast-moving storm, with the snow actually tapering off and ending around midnight. It looks like any rain/snow line will be confined to southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. After midnight, a little freezing drizzle or some flurries are possible as the system starts to pull away, but the accumulating snow should be all done.

Our storm quickly moves across the region this evening and tonight. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits.

The snow could fall at a decent clip during the evening hours, with some places possibly seeing an inch per hour. So, if you’tre going to be out and about, take it slow and drive carefully. How much snow are we expecting?

Cape Cod/South Coast: 1-3″
Southeastern Mass/I-95 corridor (Boston/Providence): 2-4″
MetroWest/Merrimack Valley/NH Seacoast: 3-5″
Southern NH/Southern Maine: 3-6″
Central NH: 4-8″

The High-Resolution NAM model is probably closest to our thinking on snowfall with this system. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Behind the storm, Sunday will be a nice day, with developing sunshine and temperatures in the 30s to near 40, which will help melt some of the new snow. You’d better get out and clean up the driveway though, because everything is going to freeze solid Sunday night as another arctic airmass settles into the region. Temperatures may not get back above freezing until Wednesday afternoon, possibly not until Thursday, but a warmup is expected for the end of the week.

Weekly Outlook: January 13-19, 2020

We hope you enjoyed the warm weekend, because in case you forgot, it’s January. Don’t worry, Mother Nature will remind you as the week goes on.

Record highs were smashed across the Northeast again on Sunday, but a cold front moved through during the afternoon, ending the warmth. Temperatures will still be near to above normal for the next few days, but the 60s and 70s are gone. High pressure builds into Quebec today, but there will be plenty of clouds around thanks to northeast winds off of the ocean. In fact, we could see a few flurries or snow showers, especially along the coast from Plymouth County up to the New Hampshire Seacoast. Temperatures will be mainly in the 30s, so yes, you’ll need to find your winter clothes again. As the high slides off to the east, temperatures will start to moderate again on Tuesday, but a weak system will also be moving in. This system will produce a little light rain Tuesday night, maybe mixed with some snow from the Merrimack Valley into Southern New Hampshire.

The High Resolution NAM model shows the potential for coastal snow showers today, and then the system for late Tuesday as well. Loop provided by Weathermodels.com

Behind that system we’ll have some clearing on Wednesday with mild temperatures, but clouds quickly come back late in the day ahead of yet another system. This system also doesn’t look like a big deal, but it could produce a little more in the way of precipitation late Wednesday night into Thursday, with a better chance for some light snow mainly north of the Mass Pike.

Once that system pulls away, gusty winds will usher much colder air into the region for Thursday night and Friday. You’ll be wishing for the 60s and 70s again, as temperatures will likely stay in the 20s on Friday, with wind chills in the single digits and teens.

Wind chils will start the day on Friday in the single numbers and won’t get that much higher in the afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

By Friday night, low pressure will be starting to move out of the Ohio Valley towards the East Coast, and it will likely impact us from Saturday into Sunday. Right now, most of the models have the system track very close to or right across southern New England, but the timing is still in question (along with many other aspects of this potential storm). It’s still 5-6 days away, so things can and will change, but obviously we’ll need to keep an eye on this. Right now, the models are showing the potential for snow, changing to rain at least south of the Mass Pike, possibly farther north. We’re not going to get into many more details than that at this point, but suffice to say, if you have plans on Saturday, keep an eye on the forecast, as the potential exists for a snowstorm, possibly a significant one. Behind the storm, windy and even colder weather settles in on Sunday, and remains in place for much of next week.

Temperatures look like they’ll be well below normal next week. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Monday: Partly to mostly cloudy with a chance for some snow showers or flurries along the coast. High 34-41.

Monday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 26-33.

Tuesday: More clouds than sunshine. High 37-44.

Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with some showers likely in the evening, possibly mixed with snow from the Merrimack Valley into Southern New Hampshire, some partial clearing possible late at night. Evening low 31-38, then temperatures hold steady or rise a bit overnight.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, but clouds start to return late in the day. High 42-49.

Thursday: Partly to mostly cloudy and windy with a chance for showers during the morning, possibly some snow showers from southern New Hampshire into northern Massachusetts. High 38-45.

Friday: Sunshine and a few clouds, breezy, and colder. High 21-28.

Saturday: Cloudy and windy with a chance of snow, possibly changing to rain, especially south of the Mass Pike. High 28-35 north of the Mass Pike, 36-43 south of the Mass Pike.

Sunday: Snow or snow showers ending early, then clouds give way to some afternoon sunny breaks, windy. High 27-34.

Weekly Outlook: December 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Another year has come and gone, but before we get to New Year’s Eve, we’ve got quite a mess to deal with today.

A variety of Advisories and Warnings are in effect across the Northeast today. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Low pressure will move into the Great Lakes today, with a frontal system extending eastward to the Mid-Atlantic coastline. This will keep us on the cold side, but warmer air will move in aloft. When you have warm air aloft, cold air below, and precipitation, you get sleet or freezing rain, depending on how thick the layers of warm and cold air are. For today, we’re looking at freezing rain across the higher elevations of Worcester County up into the Monadnocks, with a mix of sleet and some freezing rain from southern New Hampshire into the Merrimack Valley and interior portions of eastern Massachusetts. This will result in significant travel problems, not to mention the potential for tree and power line damage. For the rest of our area (mainly south and east of I-95), warmer air moving in off the ocean will keep temperatures above freezing, so it’ll be just another rainy, but chilly, Monday.

The potential still exists for some significant sleet accumulations from the Merrimack Valley into Southern New Hampshire today. Image provided by WeatherBell,

A secondary area of low pressure will move off the Mid-Atlantic coastline tonight, and pass across Cape Cod before moving into the Gulf of Maine on Tuesday. This should force the warmer air farther inland, with a change to plain rain for most of the area, though sleet and/or freezing rain will still be likely up into central New Hampshire. As that low moves into the Gulf of Maine on Tuesday, everything will start to wind down in the morning.

Freezing rain will likely cause problems from the Worcester Hills into the Monadnocks and also across the Berkshires today. Image provided by WeatherBell.

As for New Year’s Eve, the original low pressure area from the Great Lakes will pass north of the region, dragging a cold front through. Although it will likely remain dry, a few snow showers or flurries can’t be ruled out during the evening. Skies should be partly to mostly cloudy at night, with midnight temperatures generally in the 30s. An upper-level low will move across the region on New Year’s Day, so we’ll have some clouds, but probably not any flurries, though it will be seasonably chilly. High pressure then builds in for Thursday with sunshine and seasonable temperatures.

The next storm system moves into the Great Lakes Friday into Saturday. Oh great, another ice storm, right? Nope. This time, it looks milder (much milder on some models), so we’re looking at mainly rain, probably not a lot of it though. An early look at the weather for Foxborough Saturday evening (don’t get us started on the fact there will actually be a game this weekend), is for partly cloudy skies, light winds, and temperatures in the lower 40s. Drier and colder air settles in for Sunday.

Highs in the 50s on Saturday? The GFS thinks so, We’re not convinced yet. Image provided by Weathermodels.com

Monday: Breezy with sleet and freezing rain across the interior, rain along the coast. Sleet accumulations of an inch or two are possible across the Merrimack Valley and southern Hampshire, while up to 1/2″ of ice accretion is possible across the higher elevations of the Worcester Hills and the Monadnocks. High 30-37.

Monday night: Precipitation changing to all rain most areas, except sleet and freezing rain continue across central New Hampshire. Temperatures will slowly rise overnight.

Tuesday: Rain tapers off and ends in the morning, some sunny breaks may develop in the afternoon. High 39-46.

New Year’s Eve: Partly cloudy, chance for a snow shower or flurry during the evening. Low 25-32.

New Year’s Day: A mix of sun and clouds, breezy. High 34-41.

Thursday: Sunshine and just a few clouds. High 36-43.

Friday: Cloudy with some light rain or showers likely. High 40-47.

Saturday: A cloudy start, then becoming partly sunny. High 48-55.

Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 36-43.

Another Messy Monday

As we head into the home stretch of 2019, it looks like the year is going to end with a wintry mess.

Winter Storm Watches are in effect across interior portions of New England and eastern New York. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

The storm system that produced heavy snow in the Plains and strong to severe thunderstorms in the Mississippi Valley on Saturday will head into the Great Lakes on Sunday, then just mill around in the Midwest for Monday and early Tuesday. Clouds will stream into our area later Sunday ahead of the system, but as is usually the case with a storm that far west, the warmer air that we usually find on the east side of a storm system won’t make it in here, at least at the surface (that becomes important later on).

Sunday will be a mild day (by late December standards) as high pressure moves out, but temperatures should drop below freezing during the evening. We’ll see precipitation start to break out before midnight across much of the area. While there will still be cold air in place at the surface, warmer air will be starting to move in aloft. So, we should see sleet and some freezing rain developing, with some snowflakes, mainly from central and southern New Hampshire northward. Some accumulations are possible, especially from the Seacoast up into the Lakes Region, but only a few inches at most before a change to sleet occurs. Along the South Coast, this will be mainly rain with temperatures above freezing.

The NAM model shows the progression of the storm system and how the precipitation changes from sleet to freezing rain, to rain across the region. Loop provided by Tropical Tidbits,

With a frontal system stalled out south of New England, we’ll have generally east to northeast winds on Monday. This will allow parts of southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island (mainly south and east of Interstate 95), to warm above freezing as somewhat milder air moves in off the ocean. Across inland areas, it’ll be a much different story.

This graphic shows the difference in how you get snow vs sleet vs freezing rain. Image provided by NOAA.

Cold air will remain in place for most of the day on Monday and into Monday night. Meanwhile, a few thousand feet above the ground, warmer air will be moving in. This will mean sleet at first, but as that warmer air layer grows thicker, the sleet should transition over to freezing rain. When that transition occurs is still a bit of a question mark.

NAM model forecast for temperatures at 700mb (about 10000 feet) for midday Monday. Temperatures will be above freezing across most of our region that high up, melting any high-level snowflakes falling into that part of the atmosphere. Image provided by the College of DuPage.

Some models are showing the potential for significant amounts of sleet from interior eastern Massachusetts into southern New Hampshire, with significant ice accretion from freezing rain across the Worcester Hills, Monadnocks, and the Berkshires. No matter what happens, travel will be very slippery across the interior on Monday,

The High-Resolution NAM model is forecasting a LOT of skeet across the interior. Image provided by WeatherBell.

By Monday night, a secondary area of low pressure should develop south of Long Island, and it will head northeast, moving across Cape Cod early Tuesday, then into the Gulf of Maine. As it moves close to the area, it should help force the warm air farther inland, allowing temperatures to rise above freezing across most of the area. However, once it moves into the Gulf of Maine, colder air will settle in behind it, both at the surface and aloft, changing everything back to snow showers before the precipitation winds down Tuesday morning.

Significant ice accretion could result in major issues including tree and power line damage across the interior. Image provided by WeatherBell.

We’ll update this forecast as well as a look at New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in our Weekly Outlook early Monday morning.