Friday brings a break between Thursday’s weak system that delivered light rain and snow to some and what remains of the once-powerful storm that’s crossed the Northern Tier of our nation and passes through New England Saturday. Breaks in the clouds for partial sunshine Friday morning to midday will eventually close as clouds increase both from the east in lower levels of the atmosphere, and from the west aloft. These different clouds are a product of changes in the atmosphere ahead of the approaching storm – an east wind off the ocean near the ground, and the energetic disturbance approaching from the west, aloft. As clouds thicken Friday evening, a few sprinkles of rain, flurries of snow and pockets of light freezing rain sprinkles will develop across New England, but steadier and heavier precipitation won’t arrive until predawn Saturday from southwest to northeast. Saturday morning sees snow falling in Northern, Western and much of Central New England, but a rain line in Central MA to Southern NH will quickly progress north, stopping shy of the mountains where mostly snow continues until over half a foot of snow accumulates in the mountains of VT, NH and ME. For most of the remainder of New England, any sloppy start Saturday gives way to rain showers by middle to late morning, then rain breaks into showers for most of the southern half of New England by afternoon…and some breaks in the clouds are possible by day’s end. A shifting wind Saturday evening will mean a transition from temperatures in the 40s Saturday to falling temperatures Saturday night and mountain snow showers Sunday with a brisk wind, cool air and variable clouds for the rest of New England Sunday. Mostly dry weather is expected to start next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast, though our team is watching a potential nearby storm Wednesday that may be able to graze some of southeast New England if it passes close enough. A better chance of snow exists next Thursday night into Friday, but that’s a long way out so we’ll keep you posted and the early call on next weekend is fair weather, but chilly air.
Lots of clouds are in the forecast for a few days, though rain and snow falling from those clouds will be limited. Thursday finds a strung-out disturbance aloft moving east out of the Twin Tiers of Southern NY and Northern PA, migrating over Southern New England with some scattered light snow and rain showers from mid-morning to mid-afternoon for most, gone by late day and evening. High temperatures sneak above 40° in Southern New England and likely fall shy in Central and Northern New England, but certainly run above normal values for this time of the year. A bit of drier air moving in on a north wind overnight Thursday night should clear skies for a time Friday morning for some limited sun, but clouds will fill back in from the Atlantic by late morning and midday, making for a cloudy afternoon and temperatures a bit cooler than Thursday, with most communities nearing 40 at the warmest time. The storm slated for this weekend dropped heavy rain and snow with gusty wind in the Pacific Northwest Tuesday, brought wind gusts to 125 mph to the Rockies Wednesday…but will deliver only a burst of Saturday morning rain and snow to New England. First showers arrive to extreme Western New England Friday evening and may fall as some light freezing rain showers in the Berkshires, then are expected to turn to a period of snow overnight Friday night to early Saturday morning in the Berkshires, Green Mountains and White Mountains into the mountains of ME, where one to three inches of snow are expected for many and three to six inches are expected in the Northern Greens, Whites and Maine Mountains. For the rest of New England, there may be a bit of snow predawn and early Saturday from Southwest NH to the Lakes Region, but even there we’re likely to see a change to rain after little snow, with around three-quarters of an inch of rain around Boston and around an inch inland. Rain breaks into showers Saturday afternoon and ends for most Saturday evening, leaving a brisk wind with drier air Sunday with some sun, building clouds and some northern mountain snow showers. Although most of next week looks like it will probably be storm-free, there’s higher than usual uncertainty on wind direction each day – so important in determining sky cover and temperature – so we may see the forecast on some of the 10-day forecast needing tweaks as we draw closer, but right now it looks like the highest chance of some snow would be at the end of the week, with the early call on next weekend starting fair and cool.
A major storm of wind, snow and rain has just blasted the Pacific Northwest, knocking out power to half a million in Western Washington State, alone, and prompting high wind warnings for damaging wind gusts throughout the Rockies and Plains States Wednesday. This major storm, chock full of atmospheric energy and carrying Pacific moisture, will cross the country in the coming days and comprises our forecast unsettled weather to start the weekend. We have time and distance between now and then, though a steady feed of atmospheric disturbances aloft will ensure sunshine will be at a premium after Wednesday, when a fair sky and light wind will make high temperatures around 40 degrees feel rather nice for this time of the year, regionwide in New England. Although clouds start drifting in noticeably later Wednesday, they won’t really take over the sky until late Wednesday night, keeping the sky gray through the first half of the weekend. As the air starts changing aloft – milder air begins an arrival ahead of the strong storm slowly moving east into the Great Lakes – the collision of outgoing cool and dry air with incoming warmth and moisture aloft will mean not only clouds Thursday, but also occasional light showers of snow and rain. For some spots – particularly in Northern MA and Southern VT/NH – a dusting of snow is possible on the grass at times during the day. Although the next surge of moist air will touch off rain and snow, that surge won’t arrive until late Friday night and Saturday, meaning most of Thursday night and Friday brings lots of clouds but little more than an occasional flurry or sprinkle. While high temperatures still reach 40 degrees both Thursday and Friday afternoons, the lack of sun surely will mean a cooler feeling than midweek. As precipitation arrives late Friday night and Saturday, the east and south wind ahead of the approaching storm will have eroded the cold air enough for rain to fall in Southern New England. From the Berkshires to the Monadnock Region and Lakes Region of NH, enough cold air may linger Saturday morning for a start as snow before changing to rain, while much of Northern New England is expected to see a burst of one to three inches of snow before areas outside of the mountains turn to a mix and rain. In the mountains of New Hampshire to Maine, holding onto cold air the longest of anyone in New England, snow of three to six inches is possible Saturday, while around three-quarters of an inch of rain is expected in Southern New England. Sunday is sure to be the better of the weekend days: brighter and drier, though a busy breeze and cool air will return a bit of January chill with high temperatures near 40° but a wind chill closer to 30°. Next week, we reset to a cool and dry pattern for at least the start of the week, with a storm chance showing up in the second half of the week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
The dry and cool weather continues in New England with a persistent dome of high pressure, or fair weather, parked over the Northeast. The dry air continues to have a subtly dehydrating effect on the body but also continues to keep raindrops and snowflakes at bay, save for some mountain flurries, even as clouds build for hours at a time with disturbances rippling through the sky above. Clearing Tuesday night gives way to morning sun Wednesday before another wave of clouds rolls through later Wednesday in response to another energetic but dry disturbance aloft. Eventually, a strengthening southerly wind at the surface and aloft delivers somewhat more moist and mild air Wednesday night into Thursday, with a chance of Thursday snow showers in Northern New England and a snow or rain shower in Southern New England – not impressive, but symbolic in that the thicker and slightly more productive clouds herald the onset of milder air ahead of our next more organized storm. Although it will take time for moisture to overwhelm our recent dry pattern, after thickening clouds Friday we’ll see rain showers develop from south to north overnight Friday night – rain showers for most, though enough cool and dry air probably will linger in the mountains for a start as snow…though eventually a strengthening southeast wind will probably change even the mountains to raindrops by Saturday, with rain expected to start the weekend. Although precise timing is always a bit flexible from days in advance, meaning it’s possible from an optimistic standpoint the rain exits by Saturday afternoon, at this point our First Alert Team wouldn’t suggest holding our breath for that, and instead we’re touting a dry and brighter Sunday, with both days breezy – a mild breeze pushing temperatures to 50 degrees in Southern New England Saturday, and a west wind cooling us off Sunday. This likely resets the weather pattern as cool and dry into the start of next week, with another chance of being grazed by a storm to the south somewhere around the middle of next week…but that’s a long way out and we’ll keep you posted.
A relatively quiet and dry weather pattern continues for New England, but that doesn’t mean we’re devoid of impacts from the weather: dry air and a light wind both play a role in our Monday routine. First, the light wind comes courtesy of a dome of high pressure – dry air and fair weather – cresting over New England…and while a nearly calm wind Monday means no wind chill factor to worry about, the lack of wind combined with sinking air associated with high barometric pressure will help to lock chimney and smokestack smoke, as well as exhaust and other pollutants, in the air close to the ground. Increasing pollutants will lead to decreasing air quality Monday, so the earlier the better for exercise and for those who are sensitive to changes in air quality. Meanwhile, though clouds are spilling over the top of our fair weather dome and blotting out the sun for much of the day, the air is simply too dry to allow any raindrops or snowflakes to fall, save for a flurry in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The dry air also takes a toll on the body – dehydrating without sweating – and New Englanders will be best served to stay hydrated and keep the skin moisturizer and lip balm handy for the first half of the week, particularly coming off dry air of the weekend. After variable clouds, seasonable temperatures and dry weather through midweek, a disturbance aloft may touch off a round of snow showers in the mountains later Wednesday, then a few northern snow showers and a Southern New England flurry Thursday morning as a shot of warmer air moves into New England. Temperatures should rise into the 40s Thursday and even push 50 for some Friday as the next storm system strengthens over the Great Lakes, once again putting New England on the warm side of the storm in the counter-clockwise flow of air with a developing southeast wind. Rain showers should fall Saturday, though the northern mountains may be cold enough for some snow before a new shot of cool and dry air settles in Sunday into early next week, with the next possible more significant snow event not until the middle of next week…which, of course, is ten days out so we’ll see where that ends up as we keep you updated with our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.