In the midst of a dry weather pattern, the ocean plays a big role in our daily forecast, from rip currents to daytime temperature. Tropical Storm Arthur has become non-tropical well south of New England but the waves churned by Arthur continue to spread north, with Wednesday morning buoy reports south of New England indicating 8 to 13 foot seas. On our New England waters, seas will be three to six feet in swell, creating rip currents along south facing coasts Wednesday, easing to three to five feet Thursday. Of course, with cool ocean water temperatures either side of 50 degrees, any time the wind blows off the ocean, our coastal communities will be noticeably cooler than inland counterparts, and Wednesday is a great example of this phenomenon with a prevailing light easterly wind – the result being high temperatures near 60 at the coast versus 65 to 70 degrees inland Wednesday afternoon. Clear sky and a light wind will allow temperatures to cool to either side of 40 degrees Wednesday night, but a wind shift to blow from the south Thursday will allow even eastern coastal locales to warm into the 70s, with 80s by Friday – the only exceptions being those communities where a south wind blows across ocean water, particularly near the South Coast. All the while, a very high pollen count – likely peaking for the season over the coming week or so – continues, and the sun angle has increased enough for the UV index to reach very high levels, meaning sunscreen is increasingly important for kids and adults. The dry stretch of weather will continue to nudge the brush fire danger higher, as well, usually lowering this time of year as leaves blossom, but without rain, the ground and brush continue to dry out. There’s a slight chance of showers Saturday – only about 15-20% with the more likely result being just increased clouds for the Southern half of New England – as a piece of energy ejects northeast from the storm that’s been stalled well southwest of us most of this week, creating flooding rain from the Great Lakes to the Appalachian Mountains. Any Saturday showers, if they even materialize, would be fairly light and affecting only Southern New England…gone by Sunday. Again, with wind direction the key, an onshore wind Saturday and Sunday will mean Friday’s 80s take a break through Memorial Day, but 80s return to the forecast for a summery, several day stretch starting Tuesday and lasting through the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Daily Weather Discussion
New England is entering an epic spring stretch in one of the best looking 10-day forecasts in recent memory. There are a few major weather features near the Eastern United States: a storm over the Great Lakes responsible for Monday tornadoes in Ohio, Tropical Storm Arthur moving east-northeast after brushing North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and a large high pressure – fair weather – dome over Atlantic Canada. The biggest player of these in New England’s weather forecast is, far and away, the high pressure dome of dry air, firmly anchored just to the northeast of New England and keeping the two nearby storms at bay. Just because we see no direct impact of the nearby storms doesn’t mean we won’t see any impact at all: Tuesday midday through Wednesday, for instance, waves in New England’s coastal waters will build to three to six feet with strong rip currents along the South Coast in swell emanating from the north side of Tropical Storm Arthur as the storm prepares to turn south toward Bermuda. Sandwiched between Arthur and the Canadian fair weather cell, high-altitude, wispy cirrus clouds will mix with sun while our wind will gust up to 30 mph at times Tuesday from the northeast, keeping coastal communities cooler than the interior, owing to ocean water temperatures only around 50 degrees, and most New England communities will only feel like the 50s at the warmest time of Tuesday thanks to the breeze. Tuesday night temperatures will drop into the 30s north and 40s south under partly cloudy skies with a quieting wind as high pressure expands, delivering a lighter onshore wind Wednesday under ample sunshine. Thursday and Friday the wind begins to change direction as the center of high pressure drifts from Atlantic Canada to a position southeast of New England, with the clockwise flow of air around its center delivering a southerly wind for high temperatures in the 70s Thursday and a southwest wind with highs in the 80s Friday! Meanwhile, the second storm mentioned over the Ohio Valley will send a piece of upper atmospheric energy east into New England on Saturday, likely to increase our clouds and possibly touching off a few showers, though right now showers seem unlikely given the abundance of dry air, then Sunday returns to more sunshine with both weekend days featuring highs from 60 at the coast to 70 inland as an onshore wind returns. Memorial Day once again features a shifting wind to blow from the south, bumping temperatures into the 70s under sunshine, and a warm, southwest wind returns through the middle of next week in the last three days of our exclusive First Alert 10-day, with high temperatures expected to soar well into the 80s.
While the weather world turned attention to the development of Tropical Storm Arthur this weekend, developing before the official start of hurricane season and brushing along the Outer Banks of North Carolina on this Monday, here in New England the forecast hasn’t changed with regard to Arthur: no direct impact for most of us. “Most of us” excludes mariners, where swell moving north of Arthur’s path from North Carolina to Bermuda will arrive to our coastal waters Tuesday, building seas three to six feet. Otherwise, the big feature for New England is a large and strengthening dome of high pressure – fair weather – over Atlantic Canada, flexing its muscle and ensuring not only Arthur but also a separate storm over the Great Lakes will stay away from New England. Instead, New England sees a dry stretch of weather after Monday morning sprinkles associated with a passing disturbance aloft come to a close by mid-morning, though clouds will remain stubborn through most of Monday. With the abundance of clouds, black flies – now hatched and biting in most of New England – will be especially aggressive, so bug spray isn’t a bad idea. From Tuesday onward, we’ll swap bug spray for sunscreen – or perhaps combine the two in some spots – as sunshine makes a comeback, dry weather continues, and a continuing onshore wind will mean coolest daytime temperatures near the coast in the 50s while inland spots rise into the 60s each day. The stretch of dry weather will ensure pollen count remains high through the week, with pine pollen ready to burst in the days ahead and join birch, oak and lingering maple that have all been driving allergy sufferers to the tissues, and will lead New England gardeners and those trying to grow grass seen to set up sprinklers to keep the tender plants and sprouts from drying out. As the wind shifts direction later Thursday, temperatures rise a bit, and a continuing shift in wind to blow from the southwest by Friday likely means we’ll end the week around 80 degrees, even in Boston and along the coast, before an onshore wind takes hold again for Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, with Memorial Day itself brining a southerly wind to bump temperatures into the 70s Monday, en route to 80 again by the middle of next week. Along the way, our First Alert Team will monitor showers expected to be over Pennsylvania this Friday, with a low chance of about 20% those showers may slide into New England on Saturday or Sunday of the holiday weekend, though right now chances are better those showers dry up on approach, leaving us with variable clouds but mostly dry conditions in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
The same cold air aloft that sparked showers and thunderstorms with hailstones Monday is still in New England Tuesday, but there’s a big difference: the air is drier, and this will preclude thunderstorm development. Fair weather clouds will still probably bubble in the sky Tuesday afternoon, and some showers of rain, graupel (soft snow pellets) and snow are possible in the North Country – particularly the mountains – Tuesday afternoon, while the remainder of the six-state region stays dry. Dry air doesn’t mean warm air, however, with high temperatures cooler-than-normal at just shy of 60 degrees and 40s across the far North Country, with a steady west-northwest wind at 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts creating wind chill values that never top 50 degrees at the warmest time of the day. The wind keeps up overnight Tuesday night, which may preclude frost from developing but doesn’t stop the temperatures from falling to near-record cold, including in Downtown Boston. Wednesday brings sunshine from start to finish for all of New England – another bright day, but another cool one with similar high temperatures near 60 and a continuing breeze. Thursday marks a big change in our weather pattern – not just because daytime high temperatures jump well into the 60s, but because the forecast is devoid of significantly colder-than-normal air from Thursday onward. For this reason, Thursday looks like it should be “safe planting day” in Southern New England from which point forward frost is unlikely…we’re watching the possibility of one cooler night this weekend, then again late in the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but right now neither looks frosty for the southern half of New England. In fact, after warm and humid air fuels showers and thunderstorms for at least part of Friday, slightly cooler and drier air arrives for most of the weekend, though some showers are possible by later Sunday. In fact, the chance of showers will continue into the start of next week, along with some uncertainty in the forecast owing to New England’s proximity to the jet stream winds aloft – the fast river of air, high in the sky, the steers disturbances and separates cool from warm air. As long as the jet stream is flowing overhead, we remain on the edge of cool versus warm air and our chance of showers is elevated…and this is essentially the case from late Sunday through Tuesday. By Wednesday, the jet stream starts shifting north, opening the door to more bona fide warmth with daytime high temperatures forecast by our First Alert Team to reach 75 to 80 degrees in our exclusive 10-day forecast.
Our First Alert Weather Team has declared a First Alert – a heads-up for potentially impactful weather – from 1 PM to 8 PM Monday. Although the day began with cool air and sunshine, a powerful upper level disturbance moving east out of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley will carry a pool of cold air high in the sky over New England, producing blossoming clouds that will drop showers and thunderstorms on New England Monday afternoon and evening. Although damaging or strong thunderstorms are not expected to be widespread, the abundance of cold air and energy aloft will mean at least some storms will have the potential to produce hailstones, frequent lightning and the possibility of some locally damaging wind. In addition, the storms developing in a wind that will be shifting to blow first from the southeast, then from the southwest, means some rotation of the air within these storms is possible, which further heightens our awareness of conditions that need to be monitored closely in these storms. Limiting storm strength will be relatively cool temperatures, though much of Southern New England should still rise into the 60s. After 8 PM, the strength of showers and thunderstorms will wane considerably, and after 11 PM most of the showers will diminish, giving way to clearing sky overnight except in Northern Maine where the rain will end as two to four inches of wet snow by Tuesday morning! Tuesday and Wednesday should be delightful days – some clouds will billow Tuesday afternoon with another upper level disturbance and a few showers are possible by day’s end, particularly in Northern New England, but those should not be widespread. Wednesday looks dry through a deep layer of the atmosphere, meaning lots of sunshine and pleasant air with a busy breeze from the west-northwest both Tuesday and Wednesday. Our next chance of showers after Monday afternoon won’t be until Thursday evening or night, continuing into Friday but coming coincident with a southerly wind that will boost high temperatures into the 70s Friday afternoon, also increasing the risk for thunderstorms. This weekend New England sits on a line between cool Canadian air and the warmer air of Friday, still sitting just to our south – this is never a comfortable location from a forecast standpoint, as being near a sharp temperature difference lowers the confidence in forecasts for cloud cover, wind direction and temperature – all key to nice spring days. For now, we believe Saturday will turn out well for New England, and a chance of showers may mount again Sunday…with temperatures in the 60s into next week. This is warmer than we’ve been, implying the end of this week – particularly Thursday – marks a turn to a warmer spring pattern and a good opportunity to plant for most New Englanders.
Our weather broadcasts on NECN, NBC10 Boston and Telemundo New England are loaded with information today, as New England spring lives up to its reputation of a cornucopia of weather. We started Friday with sunshine and a busy breeze, making temperatures in the 40s feel like the 30s, but blowing out of the west-southwest, promising to couple with the bright morning sun to boost temperatures to 60 degrees for most by Friday afternoon. In the dry air, our leftover dry leaves and dead brush from last year – known as “dry fuel” in the fire world – will combine with the busy breeze to bring high to very high brush fire danger, so any fires that develop (mostly owing to cigarettes and brush burning here in New England) could spread quickly. Nonetheless, a storm center poised to intensify as it moves northeast from the Ohio Valley to New England late Friday and cross through New England Friday night, will deliver clouds Friday afternoon, initial scattered showers expanding from the southwest across New England Friday late day and evening, then rain Friday night…for most. Not all of New England will see only rain Friday night, as the storm center is rippling along a cold front that represents the leading edge of a meaningful shot of chilly weekend air, and where that new air arrives first, rain will change to snow in Northern and Western New England, even into the hilly terrain of Northern and Western Worcester County. On the southern edge of the snow, only a coating on the grass is expected overnight with wet roads…but the farther into Northern New England one is, the greater the impact from snow with a heavy dependence on elevation – generally one to three inches of snow in Northern and Western New England with deep valleys seeing less, high terrain seeing more and roads impacted only where two inches or more falls. Most of the rain and snow kicks out by dawn Saturday except for Northern NH into ME, where snow still falls Saturday morning, while a blustery blend of sun and clouds takes over elsewhere in New England with wind gusts to 45 mph late in the day for an isolated tree or limb down, a wind chill factor that never rises out of the 30s, actual highs in the 40s and a few sprinkles and flurries cropping up from time to time. The cold air will feel chilly - more typical of the final days of March - but for most, probably won't quite be record cold. Saturday's coldest high temperature in Boston, for instance, is 45°, but we are forecasting 49°. Similarly, the overnight low temperature record in Boston is 34° and while we are predicting near-record cold at 36° and the temperature may dip just enough to tie the old record, most spots probably will fall just shy of record cold. Still, Saturday night reinforces the old school New England thought of waiting to plant until later in May – we’ll drop into the 20s and 30s and the wind will continue to whip. The wind continues to gust as high as 35 to 40 mph on Sunday, but the chill relaxes as highs climb to 55-60 degrees by Mother’s Day afternoon under a fair sky. An approaching disturbance Monday may deliver some scattered showers, should leave a quick shot of cool air in its wake Tuesday and Tuesday night, and a warming trend is still indicated for the end of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast, though the chance of showers is likely to rise with that warmer air.
With Wednesday night’s showers gone, sunshine and clouds see-saw back and forth in the sky over New England Thursday, with afternoon clouds bubbling up just enough for a sprinkle here and there, but overall a fair and pleasant day. Inland high temperatures Thursday will reach and exceed 60 degrees, while the coast sees a sea breeze cap the high temperature closer to 60°, then falling back a bit in the afternoon. A strong energetic disturbance diving southeast from Michigan crosses New England overnight Thursday night, but there’s not much moisture to work with – the result, therefore, won’t be all that impressive: some scattered rain showers, most focused in Northern New England where the mountains will see some snowflakes mixed in. An increasing breeze through Thursday night will continue from the west-southwest on Friday, teaming with sun that fades behind increasing clouds to bump temperatures back to 60 degrees before an approaching cold front directs a developing storm center into New England Friday night. The cold front has been well advertised: cold air that dislodged from the North Pole early this week has made the trip south across Canada and is roaring into New England Friday night. The storm center developing along the cold front will start with warm air coming off daytime highs around 60, so rain is expected at first. As the new cold air pours in overnight Friday night, rain will change to snow from northwest to southeast across New England, with the change unlikely to make it all the way to Eastern New England, but grassy and colder surfaces in Central and Western New England conceivably could pick up an inch or two of snow in the latter half of Friday night…though roads would likely remain wet coming off a couple of warm days. Saturday will be chilly: temperatures will struggle to break out of the 40s and a blustery wind from the west, gusting to 40 mph at times, will create a wind chill value in the 30s during the middle of the day while a few snow showers meander across Northern New England! This leads to a widespread frost Saturday night ahead of a quieter wind, fair sky but cool temperatures for Mother’s Day. If Monday’s forecast showers come to fruition, the pollen count may take a much needed dip before dry midweek weather and an anticipated warming trend by the end of next week, which will probably be accompanied by an increasing chance of showers at the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
While we await rain showers on the northern side of a storm center passing over the waters south of New England, sunshine that started the day for New England gives way to increasing and thickening clouds from southwest to northeast through the day, giving way to develop showers in far Southern New England and in the mountainous terrain of the north late day and evening. Before those showers develop, an onshore wind keeps high temperatures in the lower 50s near the coast, but about ten to 15 miles inland, high temperatures will rise closer to 60 degrees. Evening showers will morph into a shield of rain that falls overnight Wednesday night for most of New England except the North Country, with very light rainfall amounts for most, but as much as a quarter inch around Boston and closer to half an inch on Cape Cod. A brief mix with some wet snowflakes overnight Wednesday night can’t be ruled out in parts of Southeastern MA, but with temperatures well above freezing, no impact is expected. By early Thursday morning, rain will taper to leftover showers and sprinkles, with a few sprinkles still possible during the day Thursday even as sunshine breaks through the clouds. Cooler than normal daytime highs in the 50s are expected to continue Thursday before another quick-moving disturbance brings the chance of a brief overnight scattered shower Thursday night before an increasing breeze Friday pushes high temperatures closer to 60 degrees. The busy breeze Friday precedes a strong cold front moving out of Canada, poised first to produce a strengthening storm center along it’s leading edge of changing air that will deliver rain and mountain snow to New England Friday night, then a shot of chilly air Saturday. Saturday’s high temperatures will fail to launch out of the 40s for the vast majority of New England and a busy wind from the west and northwest will mean wind chill values in the 30s for a truly chilly start to the weekend! As the wind quiets Saturday night, a widespread frost is possible – frankly, that’s something many saw on this Wednesday morning, but it reinforces the idea that planting right now is not advised outside in New England. Although the cool air lingers on Mother’s Day, the wind will be lighter and the sky will be fair – a great day for moms after a chilly start – then cooler-than-normal air dominates through midweek. At the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast we see a true bonus of being your only 10-day forecast in Boston: warmth at the end of the stretch. Our team believes high temperatures will rebound into the 60s and 70s by week’s end, and that may be a better time to put plants in the ground, particularly in Southern New England, but we’ll continue to evaluate and keep you posted.
Fresh, spring air has taken hold of New England – dry enough in most spots for ample sunshine, though cold air aloft is still making for enough clash between warm surface air and upper level colder air to create clouds that will produce a few showers in Maine and the Great North Woods of New Hampshire Tuesday, particularly during the afternoon. Otherwise, a brisk morning breeze from the west-northwest creating a wind chill in the upper 30s Tuesday morning relaxes as Tuesday wears on, allowing high temperatures near 60 to feel like it. With the dry air and busy breeze, brush fire danger rises to high for eastern New England, owing to the not-yet-full-grown leaves on the trees unable to provide enough shade to lock recent moisture into the ground, meaning last year’s leaves and brush on the ground dry quickly. The other result of a dry and breezy spring day is a very high pollen count, with birch, oak and maple continuing to lead the way and pollen expected to remain high to very high for much of the week. Expect a cool and mostly clear overnight Tuesday night ahead of another dry day Wednesday as a round of wet weather first misses us to the south, then consolidates around a second storm center south of New England that will pass close enough to raise our chance of showers Wednesday night into Thursday, though significant rainfall amounts are not forecast. A breeze may increase Friday ahead of the next weather system, arriving with rain by Friday night ahead of a substantial blast of chilly air. This air, dislodged from the North Pole and migrating south, arrives to New England immediately behind Friday night’s rain and may not only result in an early morning snow shower for some of Central and Southern New England Saturday, but also the potential for a period of accumulating snow in Northern New England Saturday morning! Regardless of how the storm developing on the leading edge of the chilly air evolves, we’re sure to see a burst of unusual cold for this late in the spring season Saturday, with highs barely touching 50 in warmer spots and many of us not even making it out of the 40s, adding a wind chill to boot! As the wind quiets Saturday night, the chance for frost is high deep into Southern New England, excepting the urban areas, leading to a cool but dry Mother’s Day with sunshine. Next week, much of the week will continue cooler than normal, but temperatures slowly moderate and starting at the very last day of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast next Thursday, we see signals the pattern may turn around with a warmer than normal trend beginning.
Early morning Monday showers in Southern New England represented a flow of atmospheric energy caught in the jet stream winds aloft – the fast river of air, high in the sky, that steers disturbances – that is the first in a series of a few disturbances set to ripple through New England’s sky in the days ahead. Behind those showers, ample sunshine combined with a strengthening west wind to push temperatures near 70 degrees for many by Monday midday, but a follow-up disturbance Monday afternoon will build increasing clouds and yield scattered showers between midday and early evening, with a few embedded downpours and rumbles of thunder a possibility. The showers truly will be scattered, though, with breaks of sun between them, and as the sun sinks lower in the evening sky, showers will start weakening and clearing takes hold overnight Monday night with a busy breeze continuing from the west. Another disturbance will race through our New England sky Tuesday, but the air will simply be too dry for any showers to develop, so a blend of sun and increasing clouds is expected with high temperatures about ten degrees cooler – closer to 60 than 70. Not only will the air be dry enough to preclude showers Tuesday, but likely Wednesday, as well, which looks like a very similar day to Tuesday. Nonetheless, with a busy jet stream wind nearby, it won’t be long before the chance of showers rises again by Wednesday night into Thursday, as a larger change prepares to unfold in the atmosphere. Cold air near the North Pole is set to dislodge over the next couple of days, and that cold air will migrate south across Hudson Bay in Canada at midweek, arriving to the Northeast Friday into Saturday. Exactly how the arrival of this chilly air plays out is still to be determined – that is, some rain showers are likely, but snow showers are a strong possibility, too, especially in Northern New England, and we’ll watch to see just how organized these become. What we are sure of, however, is the air that arrives for the start of the weekend is much colder than normal, likely to hold daily high temperatures in the 40s north and lower 50s south, but more importantly, setting the stage for frost, particularly by Saturday night, deep into Southern New England, including the suburbs of Boston, Providence and Hartford. So…folks who have planted will need to protect and folks thinking of planting may want to wait until this shot of cold air has passed. Mother’s Day has been in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast for the last several days and continues to look fair and cool coming off that Saturday night frost, with temperatures likely to moderate slowly heading into the start of next week.