Welcome to the weather blog - a regular Monday through Friday discussion of the weather! You'll find a general non-technical weather summary below, and when available (most days) a detailed technical meteorological discussion will follow. If no technical discussion is available when you check in during the morning, check back later as it often comes after the Weather Summary - I try to indicate at the end of the general weather summary when/if a technical discussion is coming. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. While the discussions usually will only come on days I'm working, I'll occasionally issue special updates when the weather warrants. This blog is for you, so I hope you enjoy it! -Matt Noyes
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Matt's Quick Weather Synopsis (New!): A powerful storm center will strengthen steadily as it passes south of New England on Tuesday. Moisture extending north from this storm will continue to spread a mix of wintry precipitation across the region, with most areas changing to snow by afternoon and evening with accumulation either side of 2" most areas - higher amounts in the mountains of Western New England. Caution should be exercised for areas of freezing drizzle, freezing rain and snow. Expect winds to gust over 35 mph at coastlines where minor to moderate coastal flooding is a concern at midday high tide and two hours either side. Mostly cloudy overnight Tuesday night as snow showers end, then breaks of sun give way to thickening clouds again on Wednesday. A series of weak disturbances keep plenty of clouds around until a stronger storm moves in on Friday with rain and snow. A parade of storms marches through New England for the next couple of weeks as we likely transition to much colder air by mid-month.
General Weather Summary: A storm center moving off the North Carolina coast Tuesday morning will intensify rapidly as it moves over the Atlantic and south of New England. Tapping deep moisture spilling northward out of the Gulf of Mexico, this strong, energetic disturbance has already been producing deep thunderstorm activity offshore, and will continue to pinwheel packets of moisture and precipitation northward into New England. This will result in greatly varying results from the storm across New England, with a slowly southward settling rain/snow line, localized bands of precipitation and topography all playing a role in this storm.
The obvious result from this storm is coastal wind, and a lot of it along the coastlines. This raises a concern for coastal flooding for all east and northeast facing shorelines from the Central coast of Maine southward all the way to Nantucket, where a stiff northeast wind at 20-35 mph with gusts over 40 mph will combine with some of the highest astronomical tides of the season to produce problems at the time of a midday high tide cycle.
Moisture wrapping around the northern periphery of the storm center will clash with cold and dry air in place through the interior, and the broken band of snow that developed Tuesday morning through interior New England will pulse with regard to intensity and areal coverage, and will gradually fill in with areas of precipitation moving northward off the Atlantic into the remainder of New England. Under these areas of precipitation, locally heavy bands of snow and rain will fall, while outside of the localized bands of precipitation, drizzle and freezing drizzle will continue. As the storm strengthens and gradually pulls east later Tuesday, expect the cold air across Central, Northern and Western New England to bleed southward with a changeover to snow around mid-afternoon working southeast from the Interstate 495 belt of interior MA to the coastline through Boston, and by Tuesday evening, to Cape Cod. A quick burst of a couple of inches of snow would be possible after this changeover late Tuesday into Tuesday night north of the MA Turnpike, with a coating up to an inch south (see maps). IT'S CRUCIAL to understanding today's forecast to realize that variability will be the rule across New England on Tuesday - the banded nature of precipitation, combined with effects of elevation - will mean large variability in snowfall amounts by midnight Tuesday night.
Overnight Tuesday night, as the storm pulls slowly away from New England, winds will remain active from the northwest, and cold air will infiltrate all of New England, keeping ice and snowcover on the roads in many spots. Once this storm pulls east of Nova Scotia, faster flow in the atmosphere can take hold and a fast-moving, weak disturbance will race east into New England later Wednesday. The result will be an increase in clouds after only limited morning sunshine Wednesday morning, with a few flurries possible Wednesday night into Thursday morning, especially across the mountains. Again, in this fast flow with the jet stream winds roaring well above our heads, expect partially clearing skies later Thursday.
By Friday, yet another disturbance will be racing eastward, but this time the jet stream winds aloft that steer our storm systems will begin to buckle southward, allowing the new storm to track southward as it crosses the Lower Mississippi River Valley early Friday. This storm will tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, though its final storm track has yet to be determined - the most likely scenario would be a snow north/rain south result to start the upcoming weekend, but with plenty of storms marching across the Pacific, there's a line of storms waiting to move into the Northeast later this weekend and again early next week.
As for the remainder of February, remember what we've reviewed together in these discussions in the past - the abnormal warmth of January and the end of December has resulted in a large amount of available atmospheric energy across the United States. And this warmth hasn't been confined only to New England - most of the nation has been abnormally warm, and therefore most of the nation houses a higher amount of available energy than would normally be present this time of the year. Strong indications are that by the second weekend of February, a significant pattern shift will have occurred across the nation, allowing much colder air that's been locked on the opposite side of the globe and near the North Pole to spill southward into the United States. In this transition, the available atmospheric energy will have to be expended, and large storms are likely to be the result. The question for these will of course be storm timing and track - though with warmth bubbling up from the southeastern U.S., this does favor a track that would put New England on the snowy northern side of storms over the next couple of weeks. Time periods that look to feature potential big bangs to usher in this new weather pattern include this coming Tuesday, then again approximately one week later, on the following Tuesday which may be a larger storm that really marks the change to a new cold and wintry pattern. There are no guarantees and the world of the atmosphere, of course, but certainly the atmospheric signs are that February may begin with a bang, before significant cold may move in for the middle of the month. Time will tell....
Have a great day!
Matt's Technical Meteorological Discussion: Turns out just too much going on today (Tuesday). Looking forward to quieter weather for the opportunity to include a techie discussion Wednesday. See you then.