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SATURDAY UPDATE: GORGEOUS SATURDAY BEFORE FIERCE AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC STORM SUNDAY INTO EARLY WEEK

Welcome to the weather blog - a regular Monday through Friday discussion of the weather!  While the discussions usually will only come on days I'm working, I'll issue special updates when the weather warrants.  I will always post to let you know when no discussion is expected if I'm away on vacation, etc. - if no update is here and no info is available, that likely means the server has temporarily gone on the fritz and I will update as soon as technically possible.  You'll find a quick weather synopsis linked to the daily forecast at the top of the page, a general non-technical weather summary below, and when available (most days) a detailed technical meteorological discussion will follow by mid-afternoon. My email is contact@mattnoyes.net.  This blog is for you, so I hope you enjoy it!  -Matt Noyes

General Weather Summary:

Saturday Update:

We enjoy a calm and pleasant day before the big storm on Saturday, with the forecast looking on track for a day in the 50s south, near 50 central and 40s north under plenty of sun and a few clouds.  Clouds should increase overnight Saturday night well in advance of the approaching storm that will be strengthening off the Mid-Atlantic coastline while pulling north toward New England on Sunday.  Today's discussion is meant only to build upon and supplement yesterday's mammoth discussion below, so if you're looking for a full setup, you'll want to read that one (included below) to get spun up.

The big question on this storm remains how far north it progresses before slowing/stalling/looping then migrating south and southeast and eventually departing.  That uncertainty continues to hold the cards for Monday's forecast, though the trend is toward a solution that would pull the storm far enough north to at least bring it over extreme Southern New England.  But before we delve into that, let's touch up what I know and what I believe to be the biggest and most immediate concerns, and that is the scenario for later Sunday through Sunday Night.

Rain:  Heavy rain is still expected to spread across New England from southwest to northeast Sunday, beginning in Connecticut early to mid morning, then Central New England around midday and Northern New England during the afternoon.  Rain will become torrential later Sunday through Sunday night, with total rainfall amounts indicated in the map from yesterday's discussion (below) but expected to AVERAGE near 4" in Eastern New England!  That means some spots may be lower, but others will be locally higher, and this is enough rain to prompt flooding of not only streets, streams and low lying areas, but also of rivers. Though you can always check for Watches/Warnings/Advisories from the National Weather Service through the links at left, latest river observations and forecasts can be found from the Northeast River Forecast Center by clicking here.  Do notice the tab at the top of their map, to be sure you're looking at either forecasted or observed conditions.

Snow:  With a deep southeast wind flow, it's unlikely that we'll find much snow in a lot of Central and Eastern New England, thanks to modified ocean air streaming in off of the Atlantic.  The farther west and north one is, however, the more likely snow becomes thanks to dry and cool air already in place, and a bubble of high pressure across Eastern Canada that will be able to supply more cool air as the storm center deepens to our south and draws air into its center, meaning that cool reinforcing air will be tugged southward across New England.  The result will be developing snow and rain mix on Sunday afternoon changing to mostly snow from Upstate New York through the Berkshires and into Vermont, Central and Northern New Hampshire and Central and Northern Maine.  In the Berkshires, Southern Vermont and Central New Hampshire, the snow should change to rain overnight Sunday night after four to eight inches of snow.  Farther north, however, through Northern Vermont, Northern New Hampshire and Central/Northern Maine, half a foot to a foot of heavy, wet, spring snow is likely, and coupled with increasing winds, this will once again mean power outages.  For some areas of the North Country, due to persistent winds for a few days that will make the job of repairing and restoring power service difficult, outages may last a few days.  Please note that my accumulations given here are through midday Monday.  Additional snow is possible Tuesday (when snow may fall into even parts of Southern New Engalnd) and perhaps Wednesday.

Wind:  The wind is, of course, the biggest threat to mariners, but will be a problem for us all.  A corridor of fierce winds will develop on the north side of the storm circulation, and that corridor of wind, blowing from the east and east-southeast, will lift from south to north late Sunday into Monday.  The first areas to see the increase in wind will be the South Coast of New England, where afternoon winds of 30-40 mph with gusts to 50 mph will arrive by later Sunday afternoon.  This will only be the beginning of the wind, as the wind corridor is expected to increase in intensity as it pushes northward, resulting in gusts to over 60 mph along the South Coast of Connecticut, and Sunday night gusts to hurricane force (74 mph or greater) on Cape Cod and the Islands in especially the first half of Sunday night.  These hurricane force gusts will move up the coast of Eastern Southern New England overnight Sunday night, with gusts to 60 or 65 mph possible through most of Eastern Massachusetts, and this will down some trees and power lines.  By Monday morning, the corridor of fiercest wind will shift to Southeastern New Hampshire and Southern/Coastal Maine, where gusts to hurricane force would still be a possibility early Monday.  Thereafter, much will depend upon where the center of this storm stalls or loops. At this point, if the storm were to stall over far Southern New England, winds would gradually come around to blow from the northeast on Monday and then last into Tuesday, with the most intense wind from Cape Ann northward along the Maine coastline.

Coastal Flooding:  Latest statements and warnings should be monitored from the National Weather Service (again, warnings/watches/advisories are linked to at left of this discussion) for Coastal Flooding, as this has the potential to be a ravaging event for some of us.  The National Weather Service office in Upton, New York, is comparing the magnitude of coastal flooding for Southern Connecticut at the west end of Long Island Sound Sunday night (and perhaps Monday if the storm stalls far enough south) to that witnessed during the Perfect Storm of 1991.  The biggest immediate concern will certainly be for the west end of Long Island Sound, where fierce winds will coincide with an astronomically high tide in the new moon cycle Sunday night, pushing water up against these western coastal locales and resulting in perhaps a major flooding event.  Farther up the coastline of Southern New England, vulnerability will center around the 10:20 PM Sunday high tide for especially east and east-southeast facing locales.  With an onshore wind and waves building to 25 feet offshore, the threat for coastal flooding continues through Monday and Tuesday, though magnitude will depend upon location of the storm, and therefore the resultant wind direction and speed.  This could end up being a ravaging series of high tide cycles from Monday morning through Tuesday evening for the Maine coastline and New Hampshire seacoast, and perhaps the far North Shore of MA near Newburyport and Salisbury, where winds may continue to gust to 50 or 55 mph even into Tuesday.  If the storm stalls a bit farther south, these effects will be felt farther south along the Eastern Massachusetts coastline as well.

That's all for the early Saturday update.  Yesterday's discussion here:

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The storm I'm watching for later Sunday through Tuesday - when considered with its intensity and duration, will rank as one of the post powerful nor'easters in several years.  Though this storm will not be as ferocious as the Halloween storm of 1991 (a.k.a. "The Perfect Storm"), it's likely to be located closer, and the duration will result in significant damage to New England's coastlines.  Over the course of this discussion, I will outline what is known and what has yet to be determined with this major storm.  Through the weekend, I will update this website as necessary if any information changes my view of how the storm will transpire. Sfx_matt_fronts

Check out Coast Guard preparations from their site:  http://www.uscgnewengland.com/go/site/778/

In the meantime, Friday morning dawned with heavy snow producing white out conditions at times across Northern Maine as the storm that swept across New England Thursday and Thursday night exits to our east.  The bands of heavy snow in Northern Maine will taper through Friday, with scattered snow showers continuing through the mountainous terrain, and a few sprinkles and flurries floating across the remainder of New England at times Friday afternoon.  Though plenty of lingering moisture in the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere is allowing a wide variety of clouds to linger over New England on Friday, winds blowing from the west are sloping down the mountains and hills, and in many downwind communities of Central and Eastern New England, this can assist in bringing breaks of sun through the clouds.  The storm responsible for up to a foot of heavy, wet spring snow and over 10,000 power outages in Maine continues to move out across Nova Scotia, but wraparound snow has been sluggish to depart from Northern Maine. Gradually, this snow will move across the Canadian border and out of the United States entirely.

Diminishing rain and snow showers and diminishing clouds will yield a partly cloudy and cool night Friday night with breezes slackening a bit, as well.  Saturday's sunny start will blend with a few puffy cumulus clouds during the afternoon, but will yield milder temperatures as a small wedge of high pressure, or fair weather, moves over New England.  Meanwhile, all eyes will turn to the approaching major storm, which will already have left a path of destruction in its wake.  After damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes through the Southern Plains, including the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Friday afternoon and evening, and another severe weather outbreak with numerous tornadoes in the Gulf Coast and Southeast states Saturday, a ball of intense energy will roll to the Mid-Atlantic coastline.  This energetic disturbance will be the driving force of our upcoming storm as it absorbs Gulf Moisture, Atlantic moisture, and encounters a clash of airmasses from warm and humid southern air with cooler and drier northern air.  These factors will combine to produce what's referred to as a "bomb" in the world of meteorology - a storm that will strengthen rapidly off the Mid-Atlantic coastline.  Caught in a volatile jet stream pattern flowing quickly from Georgia to Vermont, this storm will be pushed northward by this corridor of storm-steering wind, drawing closer to New England as we head into Sunday.

The first evidence of the impending storm will be quickly increasing and lowering clouds Sunday morning, after a cool Saturday night thanks to dry air still in place for most of New England.  In fact, an important player in the upcoming forecast is the center of cold and dry air over Eastern Canada this weekend, that will be available to bleed cold air southward across New England, and will do so through Saturday night.  It won't take long after the increasing Sunday morning clouds for rain to follow suit, as it races up the Eastern Seaboard, with heavy precipitation developing in Southern New England perhaps as early as Sunday morning, then spreading north into the Northern half of New England Sunday afternoon.  Precipitation type will be mostly rain in Southern New England, though the presence of cool and dry air may allow for a brief burst of snow in many Southern New England communities, but especially in higher terrain.  Meanwhile, most of Northern New England and even North-Central New England should be cold enough to start as a period of snow, and perhaps accumulating snow through the interior. Within about 50 miles of the coastline, any chance for accumulating snow would be brief, given a deep developing southeast flow off the milder ocean water.

It's at this point that all of the ingredients begin coming together to rapidly strengthen the coastal beast, with its minimum central barometric pressure dropping to around 29.10" and still falling overnight Sunday night.  This rapid strengthening will allow a fast corridor of wind to begin feeding into the storm, and pushing through the counter-clockwise flow around the storm center.  On the north side of the circulation, this will mean an east-southeast wind approaching the South Coast of New England Sunday afternoon, blowing at as much as 30-40 mph by the end of the day from the South Coast of Connecticut to Cape Cod, with gusts to 50 mph possible.  Across the remainder of New England, winds will also increase sharply as the wind field associated with the storm expands markedly, with Sunday afternoon and evening winds of 15-30 mph reaching through most of the six-state region.  But that's not the whole story for winds - they will continue to increase Sunday night.

All the while, tropical Gulf moisture will be feeding north, and the approaching storm will team with favorable jet stream winds aloft to churn out plenty of precipitation.  In Sotuhern and coastal areas where a change to rain happens fairly quickly, rain will fall in torrents, and the development of a weak coastal front - the difference between ocean air and land air - may develop Sunday night, cranking out even higher amounts near the front.  In most of eastern Central and Southern New England, in excess of 3 inches of rain is expected Sunday evening and night, though near the coastal front, even higher amounts are likely.  Meanwhile, there's a good chance this will crank out as heavy snow from Upstate New York east across Northern New England.  At this juncture, just how much snow would fall is still up for grabs, largely because the path and timing of the storm is still uncertain...more on this below.  Sfx_precip_fcst

The heavy precipitation that falls Sunday night is sure to be windswept, as the corridor of wind moving north continues to crank, bringing winds of 45-60 mph from the east-southeast to coastal Southern New England, with gusts to hurricane force possible.  The question regarding wind is how quickly these damaging winds march northward up the coast of Southern New England.  Both this question, and the question of precipitation, revolve around the interaction of the surface storm with its energetic upper level counterpart.  That is, while the storm is propelled northward by the jet stream winds Sunday, at some point it will strengthen so much that the jet stream winds will bend to flow around the storm, and while this will allow it to maximize its strength, it also will result in a stall of the storm.  At this point, the question is where the storm stalls, and that's a matter of fine tuning that will come as we near the event a bit more.  For example, a storm that continues moving north until stalling over Southern New England on Monday would deliver the strong winds and hurricane force gusts in a progressive blow to the coastline, progressing up the coast from south to north overnight Sunday night, and stalling as continuous damaging wind from the New Hampshire Seacost to the southern coast of Maine.  A stall just south of New England would mean continuous battering of Southern New England with both heavy rain and damaging wind.  This detail is obviously an important one, but it seems that either way - progressive or slower - all of New England is in for gusty wind and heavy precipitation, and Southern New England will be hit hard with wind Sunday late afternoon through Sunday night. At this point, I actually favor a solution closer to the southern scenario, with the low pressure center still south of the Islands of Massachusetts as late as Monday evening after stalling south of us.  If my hunch on this is right, we're going to be looking at a very dangerous and prolonged storm for Central and Southern New England, especially, where the coastlines would be hit extremely hard.

This storm progression also will make a big difference on precipitation amounts by Monday morning, as a faster progression will spread more snow across Northern New England quicker, dropping a foot to a foot and a half of snow on Northern New England by Monday morning while a slower progression would shave about half a foot off of those amounts, and bring little to the immediate Canadian border by Monday morning!  Again, at this point, a slower progression seems most probable to me, though we still would see heavy precipitation spreading across New England during the day Monday.

Regardless, this storm should not be underestimated for its effects on the marine community.  Storm force winds and hurricane force gusts mean all mariners must be in port by Sunday afternoon to avoid life-threatening conditions.  Waves will build to over 20 feet Sunday night into Monday.  Coastal residents couldn't have worse timing, as we enter some of our highest tides of the year with a New Moon Spring Tide cycle producing 11 to 12 foot tides.  This, coupled with persistent onshore flow through Tuesday, makes coastal flooding a virtual certainty at almost every high tide cycle from Sunday evening through Tuesday night.  Exactly what communities get hit, and whether this is a moderate or major coastal flooding event, will depend heavily upon wind direction, and that, as alluded to above, depends heavily on where this storm stalls out.  For now, coastal residents who are prone to coastal flooding, even if only during significant events, should prepare for flooding.  If a major event shapes up, and especially if the slower solution verifies, evacuations may be needed on Monday.  Mariners in particular may wonder why I'm calling this a northeaster if winds are east-southeast.  Though winds begin with a great blow from the east-southeast Sunday night, if the storm center stays south of us, winds will shift to blow from the northeast during the day Monday, and remain from the northeast Tuesday.  Two of the three days are spent with northeast winds - and truly the winds will probably remain northeast through most of the week - and that's the reason for the nomenclature.

Marathon Monday depends heavily upon where this storm stalls, too. A stall south of New England, as mentioned above, would keep heavy rain and heavy wind across the entire race course.  A stall overhead would allow winds to relax in Southern New England and rains to shift north as rain and snow to Northern and Central New England.  I suppose optimists should hope for this farther north progression to verify, though that would mean south coastal Maine and New Hampshire would be under the gun for heavy precipitation and coastal flooding.

The effects of this major and slow moving storm will linger through most of the week.  Tuesday will bring heavy bands of precipitation to New England again, focused especially across Northern and Central New England, with colder air gradually draining south from the Eastern Canada high pressure cell, changing many areas to snow, though accumulating snow would likely be contained to Northern and Central areas thanks to above-freezing temperatures in Southern New England Tuesday afternoon.  I wouldn't expect nice weather to return in any big way at all next week, as the big storm leaves behind a very big "trough," or dip in the jet stream, that will favor new energy and cool air continuing to drop over the Eastern Seaboard.  In fact, another much weaker storm will develop in this trough later in the week (Thursday into Friday) though will probably stay south of us. Nonetheless, with energetic disturbances still dropping in aloft, the chance for precipitation remains, along with plenty of clouds, through the end of the week.

I will issue updates as needed this weekend for this storm, but I hope I've conveyed clearly above that we're dealing with a major storm with major negative effects.  The combination of its duration and intensity, precipitation types and prolonged onshore flow with propensity for coastal flooding and the impact on the marine community - keeping many in port through a good part of the week - along with beach erosion that may compromise houses if the slower, southern solution verifies, all are my reasoning for saying this storm has the potential to rank among the top 5 storms in the past several decades.

Technical Discussion:  I plan on updating the technical discussion in snippets over the weekend to give an idea of my thoughts.

Matt

Matt's Technical Meteorological Discussion: Updated Saturday, April 14 at 11:30 AM

12Z Sat NMM just coming in and now shifting much farther south than previous runs.  This is a significant trend toward the ECMWF/GGEM/Canadian Ensemble Guidance and tho the 12Z GFS is not in yet, I expect it will likely follow suit.  If you've read the General Wx Summary yesterday or this AM you know my preference is to keep this storm farther south, which keeps east coastal MA under the gun - at least the NShore - thru the NH Seacoast and Srn ME thru Monday.  This also will have huge implications on closing the window of optimism for a dry slot in Ern MA for the Marathon.  Wouldn't rule out that possibility yet, but if the Srn solution does indeed verify - even with the low as far north as the SCoast of NewEng we'd still find well developed onshore flow to saturate the lowest several thousand feet of the atmosphere with bands of ocean enhanced rainfall.   Will be interested to see how the 12Z GFS comes in, but to find such a shift in the NMM to the very consistent foreign models certainly is a huge sign that should not be ignored.  Those following a northern solution for the low need to reopen the southern solution window and allow room in forecasts for the implications of such a track.  Those believing in a more southern stall of the storm (myself included) this is a step in the right direction for the forecast (the wrong direction for the public) but of course there is a lot of time to go.

Matt

Monday's Discussion

1:10 PM: After two days of plenty of diurnal Cu and cool temps, sunshine is more abundant than expected early this AM and temps responding, so had to bump numbers up a few degrees for this afternoon.  Winds slacken a bit overnight but even 5-15 mph sufficient to produce chills in the teens with dry air allowing falling temps into the 20s most areas. Tuesday's llvl temps are actually progged to be colder than Mon, so may see numbers coming back just a shade cooler, tho less wind shud produce a comparable feel.  Sfc rdige axis crests overhead on Wednesday, and this brings nearly neutral horizontal thermal advection along with a light wind.  Aloft, the persistent upper low over extreme Eastern Canada pulls northeast and well east of Newfoundland.

The shift in this pattern aloft allows for a more progressive upper air pattern.  This effectively cuts off our protective northwest flow, and with a pinched off ridge over Central Canada as part of a highly amplified omega block, troffing locks over Nrn NewEng and Ern Quebec, meaning cold air keeps coming south in the lower several thousand feet of the atmosphere, locked in by confluent flow east of ME.  Warmer air will try to spread NE out of the Ohio Valley later Wed, resulting in increasing clouds.  Of more importance, of course, is the strong Pacific energy coming into the NW US early this week, traversing the country quickly in fast westerlies midweek, and amplifying as it approaches the NE US trof by later Wed and Thu.  This system comes not only with moderate vorticity, but also carries a moist and warmer airmass owing to its Pacific origins.  Additionally, an active subtropical jet will offer at least modest input to this storm on its southern flank.  This additional warm and moist advection will aid in shifting focus from primary low in Great Lakes to new developing secondary low off Mid-Atlantic coastline.  With cold air wedged in NewEng, sfc low is likely to favor a track S of NewEng, and the airmass will be dry enuf to stay cold upon saturation, and most certainly looks cold enuf for snow.  Of course, one critical component is storm track in this scenario.  With such dramatically conflicting airmasses, there's likely to be a rather sharp rain/snow line on the NW side of the circulation, tho the NE side may have a small mix area where midlvl warmth rides farther north but northeast wind holds in ageostrophic wind component.  Still, for the interior of even Southern NewEng this has the potential to be a 6"+ snowstorm of heavy wet snow, that may produce power outages this time in Srn NewEng.  Tough to accept that possibility logically, knowing we're a week deeper into spring and yet contemplating a storm producing a swath of heavy snow farther SOUTH than the last one, but the cold in place now is deep and thanks to the combination of the persistent upper low aloft, and the building anticylcone at the surface, is stubborn.  Also of importance will be the timing of the onset of precip.  While last week proved full well that this was not important for areas deep enuf into the cold air, diurnal effects certainly did make a difference in Srn NewEng last week, and will again this week, tho perhaps more of Srn NewEng will be more squarely into the cold air this time around, making it more of a factor farther S.  What I mean by this is that a strong April sun angle can have a big effect on temps - especially in lower elevations - and this would influence ptype right from the start.  An early start means less diurnal effects before dynamic and evaporational cooling takes over, while a delayed start increases boundary layer temp and makes pure snow at least a bit more of an effort, creating elevation AND north/south dimensions to the rain/snow line.  Again, deeper into the cold air - which may even simply mean interior Srn NewEng this time around - this will be less of a factor.

The storm should be out by later Thu ngt, and Fri looks like a windy and cool day.  But for the weekend comes a very impressive upper level low, barrelling E in the jet stream flow with a well amplified trof that has shown very strong indications of being an efficient precip producer in the Ensemble guidance for two weeks!  This disturbance will amplify sufficiently to tap the gulf of mexico full bore, meaning inches of rain will be possible Sat Ngt/Sun, and on top of snow, this would result in flooding for Srn NewEng on Sunday.  Of course, that comes just a day before the Boston Marathon, meaning conditions could be sloppy, especially in the fields of Hopkinton where preparation for the race takes place.

Farther down the road, troffing persists into the last week of April!  This will keep temps below to much below normal for the week of the 16th to 20th of April, then near or slightly below normal on average (a day or two may exceed normal) the final week of April.

Plenty to watch carefully - an amazing winter pattern continues in the middle of spring!

Matt


FIERCE AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC NOR'EASTER LATE SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY...MARINERS SHOULD BE IN PORT BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH THE APPROACH OF POTENTIAL HURRICANE FORCE GUSTS...COASTAL RESIDENTS PREPARE FOR COASTAL FLOODING

Welcome to the weather blog - a regular Monday through Friday discussion of the weather!  While the discussions usually will only come on days I'm working, I'll issue special updates when the weather warrants.  I will always post to let you know when no discussion is expected if I'm away on vacation, etc. - if no update is here and no info is available, that likely means the server has temporarily gone on the fritz and I will update as soon as technically possible.  You'll find a quick weather synopsis linked to the daily forecast at the top of the page, a general non-technical weather summary below, and when available (most days) a detailed technical meteorological discussion will follow by mid-afternoon. My email is contact@mattnoyes.net.  This blog is for you, so I hope you enjoy it!  -Matt Noyes

General Weather Summary:

The storm I'm watching for later Sunday through Tuesday - when considered with its intensity and duration, will rank as one of the post powerful nor'easters in several years.  Though this storm will not be as ferocious as the Halloween storm of 1991 (a.k.a. "The Perfect Storm"), it's likely to be located closer, and the duration will result in significant damage to New England's coastlines.  Over the course of this discussion, I will outline what is known and what has yet to be determined with this major storm.  Through the weekend, I will update this website as necessary if any information changes my view of how the storm will transpire. Sfx_matt_fronts

Check out Coast Guard preparations from their site:  http://www.uscgnewengland.com/go/site/778/

In the meantime, Friday morning dawned with heavy snow producing white out conditions at times across Northern Maine as the storm that swept across New England Thursday and Thursday night exits to our east.  The bands of heavy snow in Northern Maine will taper through Friday, with scattered snow showers continuing through the mountainous terrain, and a few sprinkles and flurries floating across the remainder of New England at times Friday afternoon.  Though plenty of lingering moisture in the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere is allowing a wide variety of clouds to linger over New England on Friday, winds blowing from the west are sloping down the mountains and hills, and in many downwind communities of Central and Eastern New England, this can assist in bringing breaks of sun through the clouds.  The storm responsible for up to a foot of heavy, wet spring snow and over 10,000 power outages in Maine continues to move out across Nova Scotia, but wraparound snow has been sluggish to depart from Northern Maine.  Gradually, this snow will move across the Canadian border and out of the United States entirely.

Diminishing rain and snow showers and diminishing clouds will yield a partly cloudy and cool night Friday night with breezes slackening a bit, as well.  Saturday's sunny start will blend with a few puffy cumulus clouds during the afternoon, but will yield milder temperatures as a small wedge of high pressure, or fair weather, moves over New England.  Meanwhile, all eyes will turn to the approaching major storm, which will already have left a path of destruction in its wake.  After damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes through the Southern Plains, including the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Friday afternoon and evening, and another severe weather outbreak with numerous tornadoes in the Gulf Coast and Southeast states Saturday, a ball of intense energy will roll to the Mid-Atlantic coastline.  This energetic disturbance will be the driving force of our upcoming storm as it absorbs Gulf Moisture, Atlantic moisture, and encounters a clash of airmasses from warm and humid southern air with cooler and drier northern air.  These factors will combine to produce what's referred to as a "bomb" in the world of meteorology - a storm that will strengthen rapidly off the Mid-Atlantic coastline.  Caught in a volatile jet stream pattern flowing quickly from Georgia to Vermont, this storm will be pushed northward by this corridor of storm-steering wind, drawing closer to New England as we head into Sunday.

The first evidence of the impending storm will be quickly increasing and lowering clouds Sunday morning, after a cool Saturday night thanks to dry air still in place for most of New England.  In fact, an important player in the upcoming forecast is the center of cold and dry air over Eastern Canada this weekend, that will be available to bleed cold air southward across New England, and will do so through Saturday night.  It won't take long after the increasing Sunday morning clouds for rain to follow suit, as it races up the Eastern Seaboard, with heavy precipitation developing in Southern New England perhaps as early as Sunday morning, then spreading north into the Northern half of New England Sunday afternoon.  Precipitation type will be mostly rain in Southern New England, though the presence of cool and dry air may allow for a brief burst of snow in many Southern New England communities, but especially in higher terrain.  Meanwhile, most of Northern New England and even North-Central New England should be cold enough to start as a period of snow, and perhaps accumulating snow through the interior.  Within about 50 miles of the coastline, any chance for accumulating snow would be brief, given a deep developing southeast flow off the milder ocean water.

It's at this point that all of the ingredients begin coming together to rapidly strengthen the coastal beast, with its minimum central barometric pressure dropping to around 29.10" and still falling overnight Sunday night.  This rapid strengthening will allow a fast corridor of wind to begin feeding into the storm, and pushing through the counter-clockwise flow around the storm center.  On the north side of the circulation, this will mean an east-southeast wind approaching the South Coast of New England Sunday afternoon, blowing at as much as 30-40 mph by the end of the day from the South Coast of Connecticut to Cape Cod, with gusts to 50 mph possible.  Across the remainder of New England, winds will also increase sharply as the wind field associated with the storm expands markedly, with Sunday afternoon and evening winds of 15-30 mph reaching through most of the six-state region.  But that's not the whole story for winds - they will continue to increase Sunday night.

All the while, tropical Gulf moisture will be feeding north, and the approaching storm will team with favorable jet stream winds aloft to churn out plenty of precipitation.  In Sotuhern and coastal areas where a change to rain happens fairly quickly, rain will fall in torrents, and the development of a weak coastal front - the difference between ocean air and land air - may develop Sunday night, cranking out even higher amounts near the front.  In most of eastern Central and Southern New England, in excess of 3 inches of rain is expected Sunday evening and night, though near the coastal front, even higher amounts are likely.  Meanwhile, there's a good chance this will crank out as heavy snow from Upstate New York east across Northern New England.  At this juncture, just how much snow would fall is still up for grabs, largely because the path and timing of the storm is still uncertain...more on this below.  Sfx_precip_fcst

The heavy precipitation that falls Sunday night is sure to be windswept, as the corridor of wind moving north continues to crank, bringing winds of 45-60 mph from the east-southeast to coastal Southern New England, with gusts to hurricane force possible.  The question regarding wind is how quickly these damaging winds march northward up the coast of Southern New England.  Both this question, and the question of precipitation, revolve around the interaction of the surface storm with its energetic upper level counterpart.  That is, while the storm is propelled northward by the jet stream winds Sunday, at some point it will strengthen so much that the jet stream winds will bend to flow around the storm, and while this will allow it to maximize its strength, it also will result in a stall of the storm.  At this point, the question is where the storm stalls, and that's a matter of fine tuning that will come as we near the event a bit more.  For example, a storm that continues moving north until stalling over Southern New England on Monday would deliver the strong winds and hurricane force gusts in a progressive blow to the coastline, progressing up the coast from south to north overnight Sunday night, and stalling as continuous damaging wind from the New Hampshire Seacost to the southern coast of Maine.  A stall just south of New England would mean continuous battering of Southern New England with both heavy rain and damaging wind.  This detail is obviously an important one, but it seems that either way - progressive or slower - all of New England is in for gusty wind and heavy precipitation, and Southern New England will be hit hard with wind Sunday late afternoon through Sunday night.  At this point, I actually favor a solution closer to the southern scenario, with the low pressure center still south of the Islands of Massachusetts as late as Monday evening after stalling south of us.  If my hunch on this is right, we're going to be looking at a very dangerous and prolonged storm for Central and Southern New England, especially, where the coastlines would be hit extremely hard.

This storm progression also will make a big difference on precipitation amounts by Monday morning, as a faster progression will spread more snow across Northern New England quicker, dropping a foot to a foot and a half of snow on Northern New England by Monday morning while a slower progression would shave about half a foot off of those amounts, and bring little to the immediate Canadian border by Monday morning!  Again, at this point, a slower progression seems most probable to me, though we still would see heavy precipitation spreading across New England during the day Monday.

Regardless, this storm should not be underestimated for its effects on the marine community.  Storm force winds and hurricane force gusts mean all mariners must be in port by Sunday afternoon to avoid life-threatening conditions.  Waves will build to over 20 feet Sunday night into Monday.  Coastal residents couldn't have worse timing, as we enter some of our highest tides of the year with a New Moon Spring Tide cycle producing 11 to 12 foot tides.  This, coupled with persistent onshore flow through Tuesday, makes coastal flooding a virtual certainty at almost every high tide cycle from Sunday evening through Tuesday night.  Exactly what communities get hit, and whether this is a moderate or major coastal flooding event, will depend heavily upon wind direction, and that, as alluded to above, depends heavily on where this storm stalls out.  For now, coastal residents who are prone to coastal flooding, even if only during significant events, should prepare for flooding.  If a major event shapes up, and especially if the slower solution verifies, evacuations may be needed on Monday.  Mariners in particular may wonder why I'm calling this a northeaster if winds are east-southeast.  Though winds begin with a great blow from the east-southeast Sunday night, if the storm center stays south of us, winds will shift to blow from the northeast during the day Monday, and remain from the northeast Tuesday.  Two of the three days are spent with northeast winds - and truly the winds will probably remain northeast through most of the week - and that's the reason for the nomenclature.

Marathon Monday depends heavily upon where this storm stalls, too.  A stall south of New England, as mentioned above, would keep heavy rain and heavy wind across the entire race course.  A stall overhead would allow winds to relax in Southern New England and rains to shift north as rain and snow to Northern and Central New England.  I suppose optimists should hope for this farther north progression to verify, though that would mean south coastal Maine and New Hampshire would be under the gun for heavy precipitation and coastal flooding.

The effects of this major and slow moving storm will linger through most of the week.  Tuesday will bring heavy bands of precipitation to New England again, focused especially across Northern and Central New England, with colder air gradually draining south from the Eastern Canada high pressure cell, changing many areas to snow, though accumulating snow would likely be contained to Northern and Central areas thanks to above-freezing temperatures in Southern New England Tuesday afternoon.  I wouldn't expect nice weather to return in any big way at all next week, as the big storm leaves behind a very big "trough," or dip in the jet stream, that will favor new energy and cool air continuing to drop over the Eastern Seaboard.  In fact, another much weaker storm will develop in this trough later in the week (Thursday into Friday) though will probably stay south of us.  Nonetheless, with energetic disturbances still dropping in aloft, the chance for precipitation remains, along with plenty of clouds, through the end of the week.

I will issue updates as needed this weekend for this storm, but I hope I've conveyed clearly above that we're dealing with a major storm with major negative effects.  The combination of its duration and intensity, precipitation types and prolonged onshore flow with propensity for coastal flooding and the impact on the marine community - keeping many in port through a good part of the week - along with beach erosion that may compromise houses if the slower, southern solution verifies, all are my reasoning for saying this storm has the potential to rank among the top 5 storms in the past several decades.

Technical Discussion:  I plan on updating the technical discussion in snippets over the weekend to give an idea of my thoughts.

Matt

Matt's Technical Meteorological Discussion: Updated Monday, April 9 at 1:10 PM

After two days of plenty of diurnal Cu and cool temps, sunshine is more abundant than expected early this AM and temps responding, so had to bump numbers up a few degrees for this afternoon.  Winds slacken a bit overnight but even 5-15 mph sufficient to produce chills in the teens with dry air allowing falling temps into the 20s most areas. Tuesday's llvl temps are actually progged to be colder than Mon, so may see numbers coming back just a shade cooler, tho less wind shud produce a comparable feel.  Sfc rdige axis crests overhead on Wednesday, and this brings nearly neutral horizontal thermal advection along with a light wind.  Aloft, the persistent upper low over extreme Eastern Canada pulls northeast and well east of Newfoundland.

The shift in this pattern aloft allows for a more progressive upper air pattern.  This effectively cuts off our protective northwest flow, and with a pinched off ridge over Central Canada as part of a highly amplified omega block, troffing locks over Nrn NewEng and Ern Quebec, meaning cold air keeps coming south in the lower several thousand feet of the atmosphere, locked in by confluent flow east of ME.  Warmer air will try to spread NE out of the Ohio Valley later Wed, resulting in increasing clouds.  Of more importance, of course, is the strong Pacific energy coming into the NW US early this week, traversing the country quickly in fast westerlies midweek, and amplifying as it approaches the NE US trof by later Wed and Thu.  This system comes not only with moderate vorticity, but also carries a moist and warmer airmass owing to its Pacific origins.  Additionally, an active subtropical jet will offer at least modest input to this storm on its southern flank.  This additional warm and moist advection will aid in shifting focus from primary low in Great Lakes to new developing secondary low off Mid-Atlantic coastline.  With cold air wedged in NewEng, sfc low is likely to favor a track S of NewEng, and the airmass will be dry enuf to stay cold upon saturation, and most certainly looks cold enuf for snow.  Of course, one critical component is storm track in this scenario.  With such dramatically conflicting airmasses, there's likely to be a rather sharp rain/snow line on the NW side of the circulation, tho the NE side may have a small mix area where midlvl warmth rides farther north but northeast wind holds in ageostrophic wind component.  Still, for the interior of even Southern NewEng this has the potential to be a 6"+ snowstorm of heavy wet snow, that may produce power outages this time in Srn NewEng.  Tough to accept that possibility logically, knowing we're a week deeper into spring and yet contemplating a storm producing a swath of heavy snow farther SOUTH than the last one, but the cold in place now is deep and thanks to the combination of the persistent upper low aloft, and the building anticylcone at the surface, is stubborn.  Also of importance will be the timing of the onset of precip.  While last week proved full well that this was not important for areas deep enuf into the cold air, diurnal effects certainly did make a difference in Srn NewEng last week, and will again this week, tho perhaps more of Srn NewEng will be more squarely into the cold air this time around, making it more of a factor farther S.  What I mean by this is that a strong April sun angle can have a big effect on temps - especially in lower elevations - and this would influence ptype right from the start.  An early start means less diurnal effects before dynamic and evaporational cooling takes over, while a delayed start increases boundary layer temp and makes pure snow at least a bit more of an effort, creating elevation AND north/south dimensions to the rain/snow line.  Again, deeper into the cold air - which may even simply mean interior Srn NewEng this time around - this will be less of a factor.

The storm should be out by later Thu ngt, and Fri looks like a windy and cool day.  But for the weekend comes a very impressive upper level low, barrelling E in the jet stream flow with a well amplified trof that has shown very strong indications of being an efficient precip producer in the Ensemble guidance for two weeks!  This disturbance will amplify sufficiently to tap the gulf of mexico full bore, meaning inches of rain will be possible Sat Ngt/Sun, and on top of snow, this would result in flooding for Srn NewEng on Sunday.  Of course, that comes just a day before the Boston Marathon, meaning conditions could be sloppy, especially in the fields of Hopkinton where preparation for the race takes place.

Farther down the road, troffing persists into the last week of April!  This will keep temps below to much below normal for the week of the 16th to 20th of April, then near or slightly below normal on average (a day or two may exceed normal) the final week of April.

Plenty to watch carefully - an amazing winter pattern continues in the middle of spring!

Matt


CORRECTED FRIDAY PODCAST: FIERCE AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC NOR'EASTER LATE SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY...MARINERS SHOULD BE IN PORT BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH THE APPROACH OF POTENTIAL HURRICANE FORCE GUSTS...COASTAL RESIDENTS PREPARE FOR COASTAL FLOODING

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HEAVY SNOW NORTH, FLIP-FLOPPING PRECIPITATION CENTRAL, RAIN SOUTH...BUT PATRIOTS DAY STORM TO BE A DOOZIE

Welcome to the weather blog - a regular Monday through Friday discussion of the weather!  While the discussions usually will only come on days I'm working, I'll issue special updates when the weather warrants.  I will always post to let you know when no discussion is expected if I'm away on vacation, etc. - if no update is here and no info is available, that likely means the server has temporarily gone on the fritz and I will update as soon as technically possible.  You'll find a quick weather synopsis linked to the daily forecast at the top of the page, a general non-technical weather summary below, and when available (most days) a detailed technical meteorological discussion will follow by mid-afternoon. My email is contact@mattnoyes.net.  This blog is for you, so I hope you enjoy it!  -Matt Noyes

General Weather Summary:

There is no sinking feeling quite like that of expecting a forecast to pan out as a meteorlogist and facing the harsh reality that it will not.  For parts of Central New England, this has been the undeniable reality.  For Southern New England, the expected rain has been heavy, and across Northern New England, heavy snow has fallen, but the rain/snow line has charged much farther north that I would have anticipated.  There's that sinking feeling again...

But the rundown on the storm is this - Heavy snow to overspread most of Maine Thursday afternoon and evening can be followed through radar links at right.  White out conditions have been observed at times through Central and Northern Vermont and New Hampshire, and that's the stuff heading for the Pine Tree State, so back into the winter mess we go.  In Central and Northern Vermont, Central and Northern New Hampshire, and most of Maine, the snow will pile up to around or over 6" and this will be sufficient for scattered power outages.  Farther south, the marginal temperatures have remained just a degree or two too warm for a flip to snow, and the result has been continuing heavy rain.  There have still been - and will continue to be - pockets of snow and sleet mixed in with the rain.  I'd like to say there's been some elevation dependency - and there has - but even lower elevations including Logan Airport have seen ice pellets mixing in during heavier precipitation.  It was this cold air that I thought would be enough to bring snow to far Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts, and even as I write this it's not an impossibility that we see the switch for a time, though a great deal of precipitation has been expended and amounts in these locales will only come up to a couple of inches at most.  As the storm passes over Cape Cod, isolated thunder is possible in extreme Southern New England Thursday late afternoon and evening, and heavy rain will result in pockets of street flooding and of low lying areas.

As the storm center pulls into the Gulf of Maine late Thursday night, winds will shift to blow from the northwest and west, then increase in intensity as the storm strengthens near Nova Scotia.  This early increase in wind on Thursday may down some weighted and stressed trees and power lines across Northern New England.  Elsewhere, the wind will slope down off the mountains and hills, helping to break sunshine out across Central and Southern New England through an early cloud deck.

After a decent Saturday that brings rebounding temperatures under mixed clouds and sun, all eyes will undoubtedly be on the next, well-advertised, intense disturbance that will dig deep through the Ohio Valley, picking up copious amounts of Gulf of Mexico moisture and warmth and thrust it northward.  This time around, the antecedent cold air will be less formidable, and therefore warmth will be able to spread much farther north.  My initial thoughts on this storm were that this would mean mostly rain on Sunday across Southern New England, with a mix perhaps still in the cards for Central and Northern areas, and that still appears to be the case, though with cold air in Eastern Canada, we'll watch the possibility of more wintry precipitation for at least some of New England if this air could be tapped.  More importantly, indications continue that this storm will be a true powerhouse off the Eastern Seaboard.  In fact, the storm will already be well organized as it ingests Gulf of Mexico warmth and moisture, and will be ready to bomb off the East Coast with an expanding wind and precipitation field Sunday into Monday, and perhaps stalling over the Western Atlantic until Tuesday.  The result will be a very large wind field capable of producing large and persistent swell across all New England waters, and mariners should be back in port by Sunday evening as seas build, also likely resulting in coastal erosion and possible coastal flooding. As for precipitation and precipitation type - and frankly, the intensity of the aforementioned wind and surf - this will depend heavily upon where the storm bombs and stalls.  That is, a bombing storm off the Virginia coast will still create a still northeast wind for New England, but will be far less intense than a bombing storm just south of us that could have extreme and damaging impacts on New England.  This would be especially true regarding the effects for Marathon Monday/Patriots Day, given that the storm is expected to stall.  Nonetheless, a stiff quartering headwind can be expected for runners.

Indications are that a below to much below normal temperature regime will once again take hold for most of next week, and no major pattern reversal is in sight all the way into the third week of April, when temperatures should return to near or perhaps even slightly above normal for a few days, but the overall average temperature regime will remain near or slightly below normal, as the Northeast U.S. trough remains in place.

Matt

Matt's Technical Meteorological Discussion: Updated Monday, April 9 at 1:10 PM

After two days of plenty of diurnal Cu and cool temps, sunshine is more abundant than expected early this AM and temps responding, so had to bump numbers up a few degrees for this afternoon.  Winds slacken a bit overnight but even 5-15 mph sufficient to produce chills in the teens with dry air allowing falling temps into the 20s most areas. Tuesday's llvl temps are actually progged to be colder than Mon, so may see numbers coming back just a shade cooler, tho less wind shud produce a comparable feel.  Sfc rdige axis crests overhead on Wednesday, and this brings nearly neutral horizontal thermal advection along with a light wind.  Aloft, the persistent upper low over extreme Eastern Canada pulls northeast and well east of Newfoundland.

The shift in this pattern aloft allows for a more progressive upper air pattern.  This effectively cuts off our protective northwest flow, and with a pinched off ridge over Central Canada as part of a highly amplified omega block, troffing locks over Nrn NewEng and Ern Quebec, meaning cold air keeps coming south in the lower several thousand feet of the atmosphere, locked in by confluent flow east of ME.  Warmer air will try to spread NE out of the Ohio Valley later Wed, resulting in increasing clouds.  Of more importance, of course, is the strong Pacific energy coming into the NW US early this week, traversing the country quickly in fast westerlies midweek, and amplifying as it approaches the NE US trof by later Wed and Thu.  This system comes not only with moderate vorticity, but also carries a moist and warmer airmass owing to its Pacific origins.  Additionally, an active subtropical jet will offer at least modest input to this storm on its southern flank.  This additional warm and moist advection will aid in shifting focus from primary low in Great Lakes to new developing secondary low off Mid-Atlantic coastline.  With cold air wedged in NewEng, sfc low is likely to favor a track S of NewEng, and the airmass will be dry enuf to stay cold upon saturation, and most certainly looks cold enuf for snow.  Of course, one critical component is storm track in this scenario.  With such dramatically conflicting airmasses, there's likely to be a rather sharp rain/snow line on the NW side of the circulation, tho the NE side may have a small mix area where midlvl warmth rides farther north but northeast wind holds in ageostrophic wind component.  Still, for the interior of even Southern NewEng this has the potential to be a 6"+ snowstorm of heavy wet snow, that may produce power outages this time in Srn NewEng.  Tough to accept that possibility logically, knowing we're a week deeper into spring and yet contemplating a storm producing a swath of heavy snow farther SOUTH than the last one, but the cold in place now is deep and thanks to the combination of the persistent upper low aloft, and the building anticylcone at the surface, is stubborn.  Also of importance will be the timing of the onset of precip.  While last week proved full well that this was not important for areas deep enuf into the cold air, diurnal effects certainly did make a difference in Srn NewEng last week, and will again this week, tho perhaps more of Srn NewEng will be more squarely into the cold air this time around, making it more of a factor farther S.  What I mean by this is that a strong April sun angle can have a big effect on temps - especially in lower elevations - and this would influence ptype right from the start.  An early start means less diurnal effects before dynamic and evaporational cooling takes over, while a delayed start increases boundary layer temp and makes pure snow at least a bit more of an effort, creating elevation AND north/south dimensions to the rain/snow line.  Again, deeper into the cold air - which may even simply mean interior Srn NewEng this time around - this will be less of a factor.

The storm should be out by later Thu ngt, and Fri looks like a windy and cool day.  But for the weekend comes a very impressive upper level low, barrelling E in the jet stream flow with a well amplified trof that has shown very strong indications of being an efficient precip producer in the Ensemble guidance for two weeks!  This disturbance will amplify sufficiently to tap the gulf of mexico full bore, meaning inches of rain will be possible Sat Ngt/Sun, and on top of snow, this would result in flooding for Srn NewEng on Sunday.  Of course, that comes just a day before the Boston Marathon, meaning conditions could be sloppy, especially in the fields of Hopkinton where preparation for the race takes place.

Farther down the road, troffing persists into the last week of April!  This will keep temps below to much below normal for the week of the 16th to 20th of April, then near or slightly below normal on average (a day or two may exceed normal) the final week of April.

Plenty to watch carefully - an amazing winter pattern continues in the middle of spring!

Matt

 


PODCAST: HEAVY SNOW NORTH, FLIP-FLOPPING PRECIPITATION CENTRAL, RAIN SOUTH...BUT PATRIOTS DAY STORM TO BE A DOOZIE

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COMPLEX SPRING STORM TO BRING VERY TIGHT RAIN/SNOW LINE, BUT HEAVY SNOW AND POWER OUTAGES TO SOME

Welcome to the weather blog - a regular Monday through Friday discussion of the weather!  While the discussions usually will only come on days I'm working, I'll issue special updates when the weather warrants.  I will always post to let you know when no discussion is expected if I'm away on vacation, etc. - if no update is here and no info is available, that likely means the server has temporarily gone on the fritz and I will update as soon as technically possible.  You'll find a quick weather synopsis linked to the daily forecast at the top of the page, a general non-technical weather summary below, and when available (most days) a detailed technical meteorological discussion will follow by mid-afternoon. My email is contact@mattnoyes.net.  This blog is for you, so I hope you enjoy it!  -Matt Noyes

General Weather Summary:

So have I seen any more consensus in the meteorological guidance today than was present yesterday?  Have I figured out exactly how things are going to transpire?  This storm isn't a cut and dry storm, and the honest answer is that I believe there will be a surprise for at least some of us with how this storm behaves on Thursday.  Over the course of this discussion, I'll outline not only what the surprises may be, but also what has gained more clarity in the past 24 hours of analysis.

First, we'll start with the obvious, and that's a quiet Wednesday.  Over the past few days, together you and I have been watching a stalled weather pattern that's kept a large storm churning over Eastern Canada, parking cool and breezy conditions over New England.  As that expansive storm pulled away yesterday, it allowed a fair weather cell of high pressure to move east, extending all the way from Central Canada to the Southeastern United States, and now moving over New England.  This high pressure cell brings mostly clear skies and light winds around its center, and those conditions will be observed throughout New England on Wednesday, with high temperatures climbing into the 40s for most, and near 50 south.  This is still below normal for the date by some 8 to 10 degrees, but at least the wind chill factor of the past few days will be reduced.

Meanwhile, a combination of snow and rain has been falling across the Midwest early Wednesday as part of a strong upper level energetic disturbance that has wound a storm up at the surface, as well.  This storm has been dropping heavy rain and snow very close to one another - in other words, an extremely tight transition from rain to snow as one moves from south to north, in many cases on the order of only 10 miles or so!  Immediately on the cold side of that boundary is where the heaviest snow has been falling, and I'm expecting a very similar scenario to play out across New England on Thursday.  Though a piece of this energetic disturbance and its associated surface storm will march into the Central Great Lakes, another piece of energy will head toward the Appalachian Mountains, spawning a new storm along the Mid-Atlantic coastline.  The approach of this disturbance, and the moisture associated with it, will mean increasing clouds later Wednesday across most of New England.

What will be of more concern for New Englanders will be the development of that new storm center to our south. From the south will come a surge of warmth and moisture caught in the counter-clockwise flow around this storm, pushing northward in the south winds to the east of the storm center.  The trick is, with cold air still in place, it's unlikely that this warmth will make it all the way through New England.  Instead, we're likely to see this secondary storm riding northward up the coast toward Connecticut, then transferring energy to a third storm that will develop near Long Island, jogging east and northeast across Cape Cod by late Thursday evening.  The trick to the forecast is determining at what point and in what manner each of these storm centers becomes the dominant storm circulation.  Remember...a low pressure system in the Northern Hemisphere turns counter-clockwise, so a longer survival of the storm pushing into Connecticut means more of a surge of warmth northward.  A quicker and stronger development of a storm center moving over Cape Cod, on the other hand, means a very different effect of a north wind dragging cold air southward.  So where does this leave us?

Regardless of the exact nature of the handoff, we know that a new storm center developing south of New England Wednesday night into Thursday will hasten northward transport of moisture.  We also know that the tropical nature of this storm will carry an envelope of warm air with it, assuring communities either side of the storm track will find mostly rain.  But farther north, squarely in cold air, a shield of accumulating snow will resutl for most of Northern and Central New England for most of the storm.  And Southern New England will not be excluded from a burst of significant snow, either!  Though exact storm track is still subject to slight changes based on the evolution of the multiple storm centers, this morning's adjustment was to bring my forecast from yesterday northward a bit, passing over Cape Cod rather than southeast of Nantucket.  A change to the forecast track to this regard implies a change is needed to the placement of heaviest snowfall, and rain/snow line, as well, with the most concern for heavy snow falling across Central and Southern Vermont, Southern New Hampshire and Northern/Northwest Massachusetts.  Sfx_ptype_overview

Sfx_ptype_overview2 The first round of precipitation will come with a surge of warmth and moisture from the south, colliding with cold air still in place and creating a swath of snow expanding east out of Eastern New York and across New England.  For most, this precipitation will begin in the early hours of Thursday morning, falling as snow and falling heavily at times, though we'll likely see rain changing to snow in Hartford and Providence, and mostly rain within 30 miles of the South Coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island.  The farther north one is through Southern and Central New England, the harder the snow will come down Thursday morning, with quickly accumulating snowflakes resulting in bands of 1" per hour snow for some of us, especially within 20 miles south of the Massachusetts Turnpike, points north!  This surge of snow would drop a widespread 3"-4" near the Pike, but amounts will be higher where snow lasts longer from Northern Essex County to Northern Worcester County to the Pioneer Valley points northward.  In fact, it's this stretch that will remain in a battle zone for much of the storm, sandwiched between warm air to the south and cold to the north.  A battle zone like this can mean snow changing to rain for some, but also means temperatures are marginal for an all snow event, especially on the northern fringe of the zone in the areas described above, which could create significantly higher amounts in these areas.  Afterall, spring storms often end up with sharp cutoffs of heavy snow amounts on the southern edge of the persistent snow shield.  Sfx_accums
 

Much like we saw in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine for the last spring storm just last week, this wet snow will stick to everything, weighing down trees and power lines.  In the map below, you'll see the accumulation forecast, and I would say anyone near the 6" line (remember it may surprise us and drop a few miles farther south than anticipated) or greater should be prepared for power outages.  Also keep in mind that in New Hampshire and Maine the last storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of folks for awhile, with some in the dark for a couple of days, and that same scenario will play out in much of Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as Northern and Western Massachusetts.  Winds will be much lighter inland than they will be at the coastline, but coastal locales of Southern New England will gust to 40 mph, and 50 mph gusts are certainly possible on the Cape and Islands from the east Thursday evening, though remember that a change to rain is forecasted there.

Regardless, the storm should be gone by later Thursday night, leaving behind cool and breezy conditions again for Friday - why not pick up where we left off, right?  Heading into the upcoming weekend, however, it appears as though another intense disturbance will dig deep through the Ohio Valley, picking up copious amounts of Gulf of Mexico moisture and warmth and thrusting it northward.  This time around, the antecedent cold air will be less formidable, and therefore warmth will be able to spread much farther north.  My initial thoughts on this storm were that this would mean mostly rain on Sunday across Southern New England, with a mix perhaps still in the cards for Central and Northern areas.  In the past 24 hours, however, strong indications have emerged that this storm may be a true powerhouse off the Eastern Seaboard.  In fact, the storm is already well organized as it ingests Gulf of Mexico warmth and moisture, and will be ready to bomb off the East Coast with an expanding wind and precipitation field Sunday into Monday, and perhaps stalling over the Western Atlantic until Tuesday.  If this storm grows as large as it appears it may, the result would be a very large wind field capable of producing large and persistent swell across all New England waters, keeping mariners in port as seas build, and likely resulting in coastal erosion and possible coastal flooding.  As for precipitation and precipitation type - and frankly, the intensity of the aforementioned wind and surf - this will depend heavily upon where the storm bombs and stalls.  That is, a bombing storm off the Virginia coast will still create a still northeast wind for New England, but will be far less intense than a bombing storm just south of us that could have extreme and damaging impacts on New England.  This would be especially true regarding the effects for Marathon Monday/Patriots Day, given that the storm is expected to stall.  Nonetheless, a stiff quartering headwind can be expected for runners.

Indications are that a below to much below normal temperature regime will once again take hold for most of next week, and no major pattern reversal is in sight all the way into the third week of April, when temperatures should return to near or perhaps even slightly above normal for a few days, but the overall average temperature regime will remain near or slightly below normal, as the Northeast U.S. trough remains in place.

Technical Discussion:  I have a public appearance today, but would like to get something out.  Will try for this eve.

Matt

Matt's Technical Meteorological Discussion: Updated Monday, April 9 at 1:10 PM

After two days of plenty of diurnal Cu and cool temps, sunshine is more abundant than expected early this AM and temps responding, so had to bump numbers up a few degrees for this afternoon.  Winds slacken a bit overnight but even 5-15 mph sufficient to produce chills in the teens with dry air allowing falling temps into the 20s most areas. Tuesday's llvl temps are actually progged to be colder than Mon, so may see numbers coming back just a shade cooler, tho less wind shud produce a comparable feel.  Sfc rdige axis crests overhead on Wednesday, and this brings nearly neutral horizontal thermal advection along with a light wind.  Aloft, the persistent upper low over extreme Eastern Canada pulls northeast and well east of Newfoundland.

The shift in this pattern aloft allows for a more progressive upper air pattern.  This effectively cuts off our protective northwest flow, and with a pinched off ridge over Central Canada as part of a highly amplified omega block, troffing locks over Nrn NewEng and Ern Quebec, meaning cold air keeps coming south in the lower several thousand feet of the atmosphere, locked in by confluent flow east of ME.  Warmer air will try to spread NE out of the Ohio Valley later Wed, resulting in increasing clouds.  Of more importance, of course, is the strong Pacific energy coming into the NW US early this week, traversing the country quickly in fast westerlies midweek, and amplifying as it approaches the NE US trof by later Wed and Thu.  This system comes not only with moderate vorticity, but also carries a moist and warmer airmass owing to its Pacific origins.  Additionally, an active subtropical jet will offer at least modest input to this storm on its southern flank.  This additional warm and moist advection will aid in shifting focus from primary low in Great Lakes to new developing secondary low off Mid-Atlantic coastline.  With cold air wedged in NewEng, sfc low is likely to favor a track S of NewEng, and the airmass will be dry enuf to stay cold upon saturation, and most certainly looks cold enuf for snow.  Of course, one critical component is storm track in this scenario.  With such dramatically conflicting airmasses, there's likely to be a rather sharp rain/snow line on the NW side of the circulation, tho the NE side may have a small mix area where midlvl warmth rides farther north but northeast wind holds in ageostrophic wind component.  Still, for the interior of even Southern NewEng this has the potential to be a 6"+ snowstorm of heavy wet snow, that may produce power outages this time in Srn NewEng.  Tough to accept that possibility logically, knowing we're a week deeper into spring and yet contemplating a storm producing a swath of heavy snow farther SOUTH than the last one, but the cold in place now is deep and thanks to the combination of the persistent upper low aloft, and the building anticylcone at the surface, is stubborn.  Also of importance will be the timing of the onset of precip.  While last week proved full well that this was not important for areas deep enuf into the cold air, diurnal effects certainly did make a difference in Srn NewEng last week, and will again this week, tho perhaps more of Srn NewEng will be more squarely into the cold air this time around, making it more of a factor farther S.  What I mean by this is that a strong April sun angle can have a big effect on temps - especially in lower elevations - and this would influence ptype right from the start.  An early start means less diurnal effects before dynamic and evaporational cooling takes over, while a delayed start increases boundary layer temp and makes pure snow at least a bit more of an effort, creating elevation AND north/south dimensions to the rain/snow line.  Again, deeper into the cold air - which may even simply mean interior Srn NewEng this time around - this will be less of a factor.

The storm should be out by later Thu ngt, and Fri looks like a windy and cool day.  But for the weekend comes a very impressive upper level low, barrelling E in the jet stream flow with a well amplified trof that has shown very strong indications of being an efficient precip producer in the Ensemble guidance for two weeks!  This disturbance will amplify sufficiently to tap the gulf of mexico full bore, meaning inches of rain will be possible Sat Ngt/Sun, and on top of snow, this would result in flooding for Srn NewEng on Sunday.  Of course, that comes just a day before the Boston Marathon, meaning conditions could be sloppy, especially in the fields of Hopkinton where preparation for the race takes place.

Farther down the road, troffing persists into the last week of April!  This will keep temps below to much below normal for the week of the 16th to 20th of April, then near or slightly below normal on average (a day or two may exceed normal) the final week of April.

Plenty to watch carefully - an amazing winter pattern continues in the middle of spring!

Matt

 


PODCAST: COMPLEX SPRING STORM TO BRING VERY TIGHT RAIN/SNOW LINE, BUT HEAVY SNOW AND POWER OUTAGES TO SOME

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PODCAST AFTERNOON UPDATE: WEATHER QUIETS AS IMPENDING MAJOR SPRING STORM SEES INCREASED UNCERTAINTY AS TO FINAL RESULT FOR NEW ENGLANDERS

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AFTERNOON UPDATE: WEATHER QUIETS AS IMPENDING MAJOR SPRING STORM SEES INCREASED UNCERTAINTY AS TO FINAL RESULT FOR NEW ENGLANDERS

Welcome to the weather blog - a regular Monday through Friday discussion of the weather!  While the discussions usually will only come on days I'm working, I'll issue special updates when the weather warrants.  I will always post to let you know when no discussion is expected if I'm away on vacation, etc. - if no update is here and no info is available, that likely means the server has temporarily gone on the fritz and I will update as soon as technically possible.  You'll find a quick weather synopsis linked to the daily forecast at the top of the page, a general non-technical weather summary below, and when available (most days) a detailed technical meteorological discussion will follow by mid-afternoon. My email is contact@mattnoyes.net.  This blog is for you, so I hope you enjoy it!  -Matt Noyes

General Weather Summary:

Afternoon Update:  Tremendous uncertainty has been introduced into the forecast for Thursday this afternoon as the morning meteorological guidance products begin to come in, and are looking very different from the products up to this point.  The major difference is a complete change to the evolution of the jet stream pattern leading into storm development - holding the intense energy associated with storm development far enough west to keep secondary storm development closer to the coast Wednesday night into Thursday.  This results in less of an Atlantic moisture tap, and a more impressive surge of warmth and moisture up the coastline.  The end result to my forecast would be dramatic - to shift wintry precipitation much farther north than currently indicated in the map below, and to dramatically reduce the threat for power outages in Southern New England.  Could it be that many New Englanders will dodge a major bullet here?  It's not impossible, but I'm hesitant to flip-flop on any forecast, and would like to see the data come in more completely, then re-analyze for tomorrow's forecast.  There's still plenty of time to do that, so a) hopefully there will be more consensus on the evolution of this storm tomorrow, and b) I wanted to get this updated information to you quickly, because I value that you check in with me for the latest. We'll see how this trend plays out, and whether it continues in the next 24 hours.

Previous Discussion:

Though the wind has become a bit weaker on Tuesday, there's little change to the cool nature of this weather pattern in sight, as a huge, deep Canadian storm continues to spin to our northeast. This storm, moving over Newfoundland, has a counter-clockwise flow of air around it, as all storms in the Northern Hemisphere do.  What's different about this storm, however, is that it's stacked deep in the sky, built several thousand feet tall and therefore carrying a very deep slug of cold air southward into New England.  This deep cold air has carved out a "trough" or dip in the jet stream winds aloft, meaning that more cold air and energy will continue to coverge over New England through the week.

For the time being, each energetic disturbance dropping into our trough has been enough to produce new clouds and occasionally, mountain snow showers.  These disturbances are such effective cloud producers thanks to a big temperature difference between the land, warmed by the strength of April sunshine, and the much colder air several thousand feet above our heads.  This difference in temperature is perfect for "convection" - the same process that creates a head of steam when removing the top off of a pot of boiling water, and these clouds will once again rise to blot out the sunshine from time to time, especially during the afternoon.  These clouds are traveling in patches for our Tuesday, and the most accurate wording for a forecast is likely "intervals of sun and clouds" as communities will come in and out of clouds through the day.  There's also little change from yesterday in the mountainous terrain, where a west and northwest wind will push up against the mountain faces and this extra upward push of air will allow snow showers to continue in scattered form.  Monday's winds have quieted a bit, gusting to 20 mph in a few spots rather than the 35 mph gusts observed yesterday.

Aloft, the persistent, expansive, and intense Eastern Canadian storm will pull out to the east.  Still, in its wake the jet stream trough will remain, favoring cool air continuing to dump into Eastern Canada and New England, even as the storm's departure means the weather pattern begins to turn a bit more progressive.  A change to a more progressive weather pattern implies that weather systems will start to move more steadily across the nation, and this means our relative status quo across New England for the first half of the week will also be subject to change.  The first step is to look "upstream," where the weather is coming from, and Tuesday analysis of satellite imagery and surface observations shows a dome of mostly clear skies and light wind.  This dome of fair weather is associated with a high pressure cell that's stretched from the Tennessee River Valley north-northwest all the way to Central Canada. This ridge of high pressure and fair weather will be allowed to dislodge and move east in a new, more progressive pattern, and will bring clearing skies Tuesday night with slackening winds and a resultant temperature drop into the 20s for many spots, with a few colder valleys falling into the teens.  Obviously, this will yield a cold start to our Hump Day, though dry air will allow for plenty of morning sunshine, and a light wind will prevail through the day.

In addition to opening the door for a fair weather cell, the new progressive weather pattern will also mean the door opens to new disturbances, and a moderate to strong energetic disturbance will be racing east.  This disturbance is already evident across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest Tuesday morning as clusters of snow and rain, and carries its own moisture, as it was recently ushered in by the fast jet stream flow off the Pacific Ocean. This disturbance, as it nears the Northeast trough, will begin to amplify, or strengthen, sending one surface storm into the Great Lakes while another develops south of New England.  The approach of this disturbance will mean increasing clouds later Wednesday across most of New England.

What will be of more concern for New Englanders will be the development of that new storm center over the waters to our south. From the south will come a surge of warmth and moisture caught in the counter-clockwise flow around this storm, pushing northward in the south winds to the east of the storm center.  The trick is, with cold air still spilling into the jet stream trough from Canada, it's unlikely that this warmth will make it all the way to New England.  In fact, if we see the new storm center developing south of New England Wednesday night into Thursday, the concern is that we'd have a catalyst for northward transport of moisture, but still be squarely in cold air, resulting in a shield of accumulating snow for most of New England - including Southern New England - on Thursday!  In Monday's discussion, I discussed some important uncertainties that still needed to be worked out, but gave my opinion on each of them, and the likelihood that significant accumulating spring snow is in the cards for even Southern New England - I have no changes to that thinking, and can further expand on my thoughts now that we draw closer to the storm.  First of all, the setup is one that truly does favor a storm passing south of New England, largely due to the well-established cold air in place and an upper level wind flow that favors keeping that surface cold air locked in place as we head into Thursday.  Second, our meteorological guidance products have by and large come around to agree on a solution in this vein, taking the storm center southeast of Nantucket later Thursday.  Such a scenario, given the time of year and availability of southern warmth streaming into this storm, would favor a change to rain on Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts, and perhaps a mostly rain scenario for Southern Connecticut.  A storm track southeast of Nantucket would also strongly favor mostly snow for many interior and even north-coastal locales of Southern New England, however, with a heavy, wet, sloppy spring snow that will carry significant weight.  Precipitation is likely to begin in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning from southwest to northeast, becoming heavier by early to mid-morning.  Though we'll likely see rain from the start in Southern Connecticut, farther north and east a period of snow will fall Thursday morning.  In most of these areas, surface temperatures will be either side of freezing, or even slightly above freezing, but subfreezing temperatures will be found just above ground level, favoring snow.  On Cape Cod, warmer air streaming in a few thousand feet aloft will change the snow to rain after a few hours and limited accumultion of up to a couple of sloppy inches, if that, but farther north and west, cold air will be better entrenched and precipitation will continue to fall as snow.  Even in areas where the temperatures are a couple of degrees above freezing, snow should fall heavily enough to coat roadways and make travel treacherous during the day Thursday. Additionally, much like we saw in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine for the last spring storm just last week, this wet snow will stick to everything, weighing down trees and power lines.  In the map below, you'll see the areas I've highlighted for heaviest snow and most likely location for power outages.  Remember that in New Hampshire and Maine the last storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of folks for awhile, with some in the dark for a couple of days, and that same scenario will play out in Southern New Hampshire, Southern Vermont, and most of interior Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut if the storm shapes up as it's currently looking.  Though you won't see me issuing a map of accumulation amounts today (I like to be within 24-30 hours in the interest of inherent uncertainty associated with the world of weather in a complex storm outside of that time frame) - I firmly believe that the heavy snow area indicated on the map below will see in excess of 6" of heavy, wet snow, and some areas will near a foot. Winds will be much lighter inland than they will be at the coastline, but coastal locales of Southern New England will gust to 40 mph, and 50 mph gusts are certainly possible on the Cape and Islands from the east Thursday evening, though remember that a change to rain is forecasted there.  The farther north one travels, the less I foresee the threat from power outages to be as the snow becomes a bit lighter in consistency, and the amounts will be less, as well. What could still change with this storm?  Track is critical to placement of heaviest precipitation and placement of rain/snow line, and while I'm not expecting any major deviations from what I'm laying out today, those of you from the immediate North Shore of Massachusetts into the City of Boston may squeak into a mix if the storm jogs a bit farther north.  Sfx_ptype_overview

Regardless, the storm should be gone by later Thursday night, leaving behind cool and breezy conditions again for Friday - why not pick up where we left off, right?  Heading into the upcoming weekend, however, it appears as though another intense disturbance will dig deep through the Ohio Valley, picking up copious amounts of Gulf of Mexico moisture and warmth and thrusting it northward.  This time around, the antecedent cold air will be less formidable, and therefore warmth will be able to spread much farther north, meaning mostly just rain that's expected to fall later Saturday night and especially Sunday in Southern New England, though we may hold onto enough cold air in Northern New England for another wintry mix, especially as snow to start. Of course, even "just rain" shouldn't be underestimated for its sloppy nature in Southern New England where a couple of inches of rain may fall on top of the new several inches of snow, resulting in huge puddles, street flooding, and the potential for stream and river flooding later Sunday depending on how much rain falls.

Indications are that a below to much below normal temperature regime will once again take hold for most of next week, and no major pattern reversal is in sight all the way into the third week of April, when temperatures should return to near or perhaps even slightly above normal for a few days, but the overall average temperature regime will remain near or slightly below normal, as the Northeast U.S. trough remains in place.

Matt

Matt's Technical Meteorological Discussion: Updated Monday, April 9 at 1:10 PM

After two days of plenty of diurnal Cu and cool temps, sunshine is more abundant than expected early this AM and temps responding, so had to bump numbers up a few degrees for this afternoon.  Winds slacken a bit overnight but even 5-15 mph sufficient to produce chills in the teens with dry air allowing falling temps into the 20s most areas. Tuesday's llvl temps are actually progged to be colder than Mon, so may see numbers coming back just a shade cooler, tho less wind shud produce a comparable feel.  Sfc rdige axis crests overhead on Wednesday, and this brings nearly neutral horizontal thermal advection along with a light wind.  Aloft, the persistent upper low over extreme Eastern Canada pulls northeast and well east of Newfoundland.

The shift in this pattern aloft allows for a more progressive upper air pattern.  This effectively cuts off our protective northwest flow, and with a pinched off ridge over Central Canada as part of a highly amplified omega block, troffing locks over Nrn NewEng and Ern Quebec, meaning cold air keeps coming south in the lower several thousand feet of the atmosphere, locked in by confluent flow east of ME.  Warmer air will try to spread NE out of the Ohio Valley later Wed, resulting in increasing clouds.  Of more importance, of course, is the strong Pacific energy coming into the NW US early this week, traversing the country quickly in fast westerlies midweek, and amplifying as it approaches the NE US trof by later Wed and Thu.  This system comes not only with moderate vorticity, but also carries a moist and warmer airmass owing to its Pacific origins.  Additionally, an active subtropical jet will offer at least modest input to this storm on its southern flank.  This additional warm and moist advection will aid in shifting focus from primary low in Great Lakes to new developing secondary low off Mid-Atlantic coastline.  With cold air wedged in NewEng, sfc low is likely to favor a track S of NewEng, and the airmass will be dry enuf to stay cold upon saturation, and most certainly looks cold enuf for snow.  Of course, one critical component is storm track in this scenario.  With such dramatically conflicting airmasses, there's likely to be a rather sharp rain/snow line on the NW side of the circulation, tho the NE side may have a small mix area where midlvl warmth rides farther north but northeast wind holds in ageostrophic wind component.  Still, for the interior of even Southern NewEng this has the potential to be a 6"+ snowstorm of heavy wet snow, that may produce power outages this time in Srn NewEng.  Tough to accept that possibility logically, knowing we're a week deeper into spring and yet contemplating a storm producing a swath of heavy snow farther SOUTH than the last one, but the cold in place now is deep and thanks to the combination of the persistent upper low aloft, and the building anticylcone at the surface, is stubborn.  Also of importance will be the timing of the onset of precip.  While last week proved full well that this was not important for areas deep enuf into the cold air, diurnal effects certainly did make a difference in Srn NewEng last week, and will again this week, tho perhaps more of Srn NewEng will be more squarely into the cold air this time around, making it more of a factor farther S.  What I mean by this is that a strong April sun angle can have a big effect on temps - especially in lower elevations - and this would influence ptype right from the start.  An early start means less diurnal effects before dynamic and evaporational cooling takes over, while a delayed start increases boundary layer temp and makes pure snow at least a bit more of an effort, creating elevation AND north/south dimensions to the rain/snow line.  Again, deeper into the cold air - which may even simply mean interior Srn NewEng this time around - this will be less of a factor.

The storm should be out by later Thu ngt, and Fri looks like a windy and cool day.  But for the weekend comes a very impressive upper level low, barrelling E in the jet stream flow with a well amplified trof that has shown very strong indications of being an efficient precip producer in the Ensemble guidance for two weeks!  This disturbance will amplify sufficiently to tap the gulf of mexico full bore, meaning inches of rain will be possible Sat Ngt/Sun, and on top of snow, this would result in flooding for Srn NewEng on Sunday.  Of course, that comes just a day before the Boston Marathon, meaning conditions could be sloppy, especially in the fields of Hopkinton where preparation for the race takes place.

Farther down the road, troffing persists into the last week of April!  This will keep temps below to much below normal for the week of the 16th to 20th of April, then near or slightly below normal on average (a day or two may exceed normal) the final week of April.

Plenty to watch carefully - an amazing winter pattern continues in the middle of spring!

Matt

 


PODCAST: WEATHER QUIETS AHEAD OF IMPENDING MAJOR SPRING STORM

The Quick Weather Synopsis is now a Podcast!  You can either click on the audio controls above the forecast on the main homepage, or to subscribe to the Monday-Friday podcast (updated on all days I'm working):

Easiest way is to subscribe by clicking here!

Or, you can open ITunes.  Under "Advanced," select "Subscribe to Podcast." For the URL, copy and paste this: http://www.mattnoyes.net/matt_noyes_weather_blog/rss.xml

You can also use the "Subscribe to Podcast" link in the upper left corner of the main page.

The daily file you will receive is Daily_Weather_Synopsis.mp3