Incredible weather is shaping up for New England’s return to work and school coming off our return to Daylight Saving Time, so the combination of daylight into the evening with incredibly comfortable air after work and school will draw kids and adults, alike, to area playgrounds, parks and streets. Monday high temperatures will reach the 60s for the vast majority of New England with warmer spots, including Boston and surrounding suburbs, reaching or just barely exceeding 70 degrees Monday afternoon and still hanging in the 60s into the evening. In a twist of classic New England weather, a sharp front – or divider of air – will be found over Northern Maine, keeping enough cold air in place for the Crown of Maine in Northern Aroostook County to see periodic snow both Monday morning and again Monday evening with three to five inches of accumulation by Tuesday morning. Elsewhere, Monday night temperatures won’t drop below the 40s for most, allowing temperatures to rise well into the 60s Tuesday, even under a sky of increasing and thickening clouds ahead of an approaching cold front. The cold front moving from west to east crosses New England Tuesday evening and night, dragging rain showers with it and leaving cooler and dry air behind for Wednesday, with sunshine and high temperatures still above normal in the 50s. Even cooler air is anticipated Thursday with clouds increasing ahead of an approaching strong upper level atmospheric disturbance that will bring showers Thursday night through Friday, then another shot of relatively cool and dry air for the weekend, though the relative nature of that cooling means we still will probably be near or above normal for daytime high temperatures this weekend. This bodes well for the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston on Sunday, set to be broadcast on NECN, and although our First Alert Weather Team expects an increased chance of showers heading into the first half of next week including Saint Patrick’s Day, itself, temperatures should continue to run warmer than normal in our exclusive 10-day forecast.
Daily Weather Discussion
Limited Friday morning sunshine will yield to advancing clouds during the afternoon as a spiraling upper level disturbance with strong atmospheric energy drops southeast out of the Central Great Lakes. Poised to drop south of New England as it moves over the Western Atlantic Ocean, this disturbance will spawn development of a new storm center at the surface, east of the Mid-Atlantic coast and far enough away from New England to spare most of us of direct impacts, but close enough to produce an onshore wind to thicken clouds Friday afternoon, and close enough to drag snow showers and a shield of snow over the South Coast and especially Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts overnight Friday night. With daytime temperatures in the 40s, it’ll be a slow drop in temperature even in the areas that see steadiest precipitation, with Cape Cod snowing longest and strongest, accumulating one or two inches overnight, with highest amounts on grassy surfaces. On the Island of Nantucket, some of our guidance is cranking out half a foot of snow! Our First Alert team is calling for closer to three inches, but willing to contend the forecast for the Island is very difficult with ocean temperatures just above 40°, daytime air temperatures in the 40s and only a slow feed of colder air overnight. As for roads, they’re likely to start wet on the Cape, but after enough snow falls, roads may cool enough on the Mid and Outer Cape for some slick spots after 1 or 2 AM. Farther northwest, only a coating to 1” of snow is expected in Southeast MA and RI, with almost nothing from the southern suburbs of Boston points north, save for a coating to 1” in the Northern Mountains with a separate Friday evening disturbance. The more widespread impact of the strengthening ocean storm will be an increasing wind, blowing from the north with gusts over 40 mph in Southeast MA Friday night and widespread gusts over 40 mph in New England Saturday, coupling with highs around 40 to create a wind chill near 30° at the warmest time of day, making for a blustery day even as morning clouds give way to sun. Moderation arrives Sunday – into the 50s for most of us – with temperatures pushing into the 60s Monday and Tuesday. Eventually, the chance of showers returns to the forecast for the middle and end of next week, possibly lingering into the start of next weekend at the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast after several dry weekends.
Image: The snow forecast through Saturday morning from our NBCUniversal Forecast System, built in-house here in Boston, as shown on my NBC10 Boston weather broadcast Wednesday morning. A statement certainly is made when a cold front surges through New England, sending wind gusts over 40 mph throughout our Wednesday, yet the wind chill at midday will be in the middle and upper 40s with temperatures in the 50s. Though certainly a step down from the near-record 60s of Tuesday, it’s plenty mild in our spring pattern, even with the new, cooler air, and this spring pattern – here to stay, per our forecasts earlier this week – already is raising the pollen count and brush fire danger. Tuesday saw pollen counts in the moderate range – Wednesday will be lower after recent showers – and brush fire danger here at midweek has risen to high for some of Eastern New England, meaning exceptional caution needs to be taken with any brush burning. After building, puffy, cumulus clouds yield a few sprinkles regionwide Wednesday and some scattered rain and snow showers in Northern New England with perhaps isolated wind damage, an upper level atmospheric disturbance may be just strong enough to prompt a shower at the South Coast overnight Wednesday night as most of Southern New England stays above freezing, while flurries continue in the mountains. The wind subsides significantly Wednesday night and Thursday, though a breeze will still be perceptible, with enough dry air Thursday for bright sun south and just some North Country flurries, otherwise sun, in Northern New England. The next disturbance to impact New England is slated for Friday, but our First Alert Weather Team is not overly impressed – the first half of the day may have very little action, and the latter half of the day will likely be mild enough for a mix of rain and snow showers that will trend toward snow Friday evening and night, but fall lightly on warm ground unlikely to favor anything more than a coating on the grass in some communities, except maybe an inch or two in the mountains. Saturday sees a shot of quick cold air with highs in the 30s for many before Sunday delivers a fast rebound in temperature, both days with enough dry air to preclude any rain or snow showers, before another spell of milder air starts next week. The second half of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast puts New England right along a storm track, meaning an increased chance of showers but also a fairly large difference in temperature possible from north to south, depending on where the storm tracks.
If you caught our morning show on NBC10 Boston or NECN you heard me say it: winter is over. Some hear that and translate it to mean: “not a single snowflake more,” but, of course, as New Englanders we know spring snow is part of the equation. In every sense, however, I see no way any type of bona fide winter weather can make a comeback considering the factors: we have a 10-day forecast that runs through March 12 and features highs in the 40s and 50s with only Saturday as an exception; the only chance of snow is Friday evening and night, if that; our March monthly forecast I aired Monday shows above normal temperatures through the month; and the sun angle is increasing so quickly whatever snow does fall would melt within days. Put all of this together and the translation is a clear “welcome to spring.” Spring surely is in the air today as our Tuesday high temperatures around 60 for many may fall short of records for most, but will challenge the record high of 61 in Boston, set in 1945. A piece of energy breaking north from the deadly storms that spawned a tornado on Downtown Nashville, TN, overnight Monday night will deliver showers to New England, spreading from west to east during the late day and evening, creating patchy overnight fog and departing before dawn. Wednesday brings wind - gusts to 45 mph as drier air moves in with some mountain snow showers but otherwise fair sky and temperatures in the 40s to around 50. A breezy Thursday won’t be quite as warm but still will feel like spring before a quick shot of cool air Friday through Saturday brings the possibility for cool rain showers during the day Friday, mixed with snow in the mountains, and perhaps some Friday night snow. Even if snow falls, warm roads would limit travel impact in the southern half of New England and total snow accumulation on the grass would probably be no more than a coating to two inches...if the system comes together. Thereafter, a cool and dry weekend yields to another shot of spring with highs back into the 50s and 60s next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast looks a lot like spring as we dive into the month of March and, therefore, the start of meteorological spring, with most of our forecast high temperatures in the 50s. The warmth began with a round of flurries and snow showers predawn Monday that left an isolated slick spot with a light dusting of snow north and west of Boston, but those flurries developed on the leading edge of incoming warmth. Monday will feature variable clouds with limited breaks of sun between them – all continued evidence of the new warmth arriving – and when another disturbance aloft crosses the New England sky Monday evening and night, a new round of showers will blossom. With warmth continuing to stream in on an increasing southerly breeze Monday and Monday night, temperatures will stay mild overnight, in the 40s south and 30s north, setting a launch pad for Tuesday high temperatures after predawn showers depart. With breaks of sun and continuing southerly wind, high temperatures Tuesday should reach 60 degrees in some of Southern New England before yet another disturbance moves in – poised to re-ignite rain showers Tuesday evening through Tuesday night. By Wednesday, not only do rain showers shift east of New England, but new, cooler air streams in on a busy westerly wind, making Southern New England high temperatures in the 50s feel like the 40s, but also delivering enough cooler air to Northern New England for some mountain snow showers from time to time through the day. A cooler Thursday sets the stage for a weather setup we’ll watch carefully Friday: although right now it doesn’t look like a very large threat, a dual-barreled disturbance Friday will bring cold air and moisture from the north and warmth with moisture from the south, eventually coalescing into a coastal storm south of New England. If the two disturbances come close enough for a significant interaction a shield of snow and rain would come together and impact New England Friday – more likely is for the disturbances to be close, but not too close, resulting in scattered rain showers south and snow showers north. Cooler and dry air arrives for the weekend, as it has for the past few weekends, before 50s return to the forecast next week, taking us through the first week and a half of March!
The rain that made for a very slow morning commute across most of New England continues to shift north as a combination of valley rain and higher terrain snow in Northern New England, with the snow line slowly dropping from the mountains Thursday morning but the back edge of the moisture concurrently moving north. This creates heaviest snowfall amounts in the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine, where your favorite ski resort will probably end up with no less than 6”-12” on the slopes, though the base lodge may end up with far less. Similarly, snow amounts will be paltry in places like the Upper Valley and Lakes Region compared to the Green Mountains and White Mountains, and even there, elevation will be key in determining snow amounts. Farther south, the unfortunately timed morning rain departs for quickly emerging breaks of sun and a shifting wind that changes from blowing out of the east early, to out of the southwest for most of the day, starting the influx of drier and cooler air. Temperatures in Central and Southern New England will briefly peak around 50° before the new, cooler air is felt this afternoon, and seen in the sky as its arrival, clashing with warmer near-ground temperatures, creates bubbling fair weather clouds that may produce a sprinkle or, by evening, flurry. Gusts of 40 to 45 mph Thursday afternoon, then around 30 to 40 mph Thursday night, won’t cause much damage but will add a wind chill component to already cool overnight temperatures in the 20s and make it feel like the teens. The new, cool air is also dry air, meaning a fair sky prevails Friday, save for some mountain flurries and snow showers, and the weekend looks cool and bright: delightful for winter sports and snowmobiling in Northern New England, and chilly but great for traveling or outdoor, bundled up events in Southern New England. As the next storm center intensifies to our west next week, a broad counter-clockwise flow of air around the storm center will push a strengthening southerly wind into New England with temperatures rebounding more each day, from 40s Monday to 50s Tuesday to 60s possible Wednesday! This increasing warmth comes with an increased chance of rain showers as the storm system approaches, but as has repeatedly been the case in Northern New England the last few weeks, enough cold air very well may be stubborn to allow for snow showers rather that raindrops for at least some of the unsettled midweek period next week. The end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast shows cooler and drier air returning by next weekend, similar to our recent weather pattern.
New England is on the precipice of another storm with snow north and rain south – just the way many New Englanders say you prefer your winter storms. The only affects of the changing weather pattern Wednesday are lots of clouds and areas of sprinkles, flurries, drizzle and fog – temperatures remain milder than normal, though the abundance of clouds is keeping us all noticeably cooler than the last couple of days. The energetic disturbance ejecting out of the Midwest and Ohio Valley, carried by the jet stream winds aloft – the fast, storm steering winds – will focus an area of blossoming rain through Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic Wednesday evening and night, arriving to New England just in time for the morning commute Thursday, prompting the issuance of a First Alert from our Weather Team. In Northern New England, enough cold air is holding on for snow, not rain, and our First Alert team is predicting over a foot of snow in some of the higher terrain of New Hampshire and Maine, with a widespread four to eight inches fairly commonplace throughout mountain communities. Wind will gust from the east across the Green Mountains overnight Wednesday night, along the Eastern Massachusetts coast Thursday morning and along the Maine coast Thursday late morning and midday, reaching 40 to 50 mph in higher gusts and ensuring any snow changes to rain along the coast of Maine Thursday, though snow will continue farther inland. For Southern New England, the inch of rain that falls Thursday morning will exit as soon as mid-morning, leaving emerging sunshine and a busy, drying wind from the southwest gusting to 40 mph. By late Thursday, most of Northern New England will also be drying out though mountain flurries and snow showers will persist from time to time into Friday. The weekend features fair sky and – at least on Friday – a cool breeze that will ease Saturday and Sunday, but chilly air more typical of winter will be in place Friday through Monday, ensuring fantastic skiing and snowmobiling conditions yet again across Northern and Central New England. The next significant storm for our nation winds up next week, but it will develop well to our west, encouraging a deep southerly wind flow through the atmosphere, meaning temperatures are likely to rise back into at least the 50s and probably even 60s for at least a time next week around midweek in this winter that fails to deliver lasting cold to most of the nation.
Tuesday clouds don’t entirely ruin the high New Englanders are still riding from highs into the 50s and 60s Monday – in fact, thin spots and holes in the clouds allow for splashes of sun to bump temperatures into the 50s again for Southern and Central New England. In Northern New England, a northerly wind has begun, very slowly draining cold air across the Canada border and starting a slow but steady flow of colder air that will be a key ingredient in making significant mountain snow Wednesday night through Thursday. For now, enough mild air lingers in New England for any stray raindrops to be just that – raindrops. That said, raindrops will be few and far between Tuesday, at least until sprinkles and light showers return to the South Coast Tuesday middle to late afternoon, after early morning showers had departed Cape Cod. The sprinkles and light showers will slowly expand north through Southern New England Tuesday night, and into Vermont and New Hampshire as scattered snow showers overnight Tuesday night, dropping a scattered coating of snow, for these northern communities by dawn Wednesday. Sprinkles, drizzle and northern flurries will keep Wednesday a dank day with a raw feeling, then the more organized area of precipitation treks northeast into New England Wednesday night into Thursday. In Southern New England, we’ve hoisted a First Alert for early Thursday morning because we expect overnight rain to linger until 7 or 8 AM Thursday, slowing the morning commute before departing for emerging sunshine. In the Northern half of New England, snow will fall steadily Wednesday night into Thursday, gradually decreasing in intensity Thursday but dropping six to nine inches for many, and over a foot of snow in the White Mountains. This bounty of additional snow for skiers and snowmobilers will be followed by chilly and dry air Friday through Monday, making for another exceptional weekend for winter sports. The difference this weekend from last will be the absence of late weekend warming – Sunday will be just as cool as Saturday, with more moderate temperatures not returning until next week, when another run at 60 degrees shows up in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Exceptional! Stunning! Incredible! There are plenty of superlatives we could choose to describe Monday’s high temperatures around 60 degrees in Southern New England and 50° north, but our First Alert Team is fairly certain the vast majority of New Englanders will have few complaints. Abundant sunshine comes courtesy of dry air – dry enough to result in some static electric shocks as you work around the house, car or office, but also dry enough to hold off our next chance of showers until Tuesday morning. As clouds increase ahead of the next storm system overnight Monday night, these clouds will thicken by Tuesday morning and the increase of moisture aloft eventually will likely produce some Tuesday morning sprinkles south and flurries north – with more organized showers quite possible in far Southern New England. As multiple upper level disturbances cross the sky of New England in the coming days, all in advance of a well-defined surface storm that runs into the Great Lakes and then spawns a second storm center directly over Southern New England, the chance of showers remains in the forecast from Tuesday through very early Thursday morning, with the most focus of these showers found Tuesday evening and night and again Wednesday evening and night. Along the way, the temperature stays marginal in Northern New England for either rain or snow – or more likely a combination of both dependent upon elevation and northward extent – but by Wednesday night into Thursday, though Southern New England is likely to rain, Northern New England is more likely to see accumulating snow. Yet again, Wednesday night into Thursday New England will see a storm with rain south and snow north, just like so many New Englanders seem to ask for in their “perfect setup” for New England winter storms, adding more snow to ski slopes and snowmobile trails. The snow won’t melt quickly: by Friday, cold air is back into New England with temperatures in the 20s and 30s and a chilly shot of more typical winter air – actually just a bit colder than normal for the end of February and start of March – lingers through next Monday, before a quick rebound to mild air seems likely again by midweek next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Not only was the air Friday morning cold enough for ocean-effect and ocean-enhanced snow showers – clouds and snow showers that develop when the wind blows cold air across relatively warm ocean waters and those snow showers follow the wind flow – but New England this morning took the title as coldest location in the nation. With a morning low temperature of -34°F, Big Black River, Maine, bested not only every other New England community, but as best our First Alert Weather Team can tell, every location in the nation, including Alaska. Not far behind was Island Pond, Vermont, with a low of -32°, followed by Pittsburg, New Hampshire at -28°. When we consider forecast highs Friday afternoon in these communities of 15 to 25 degrees above zero, that’s a pretty remarkable recovery! Farther south, the cold air made for plenty of single digit morning temperatures and the ocean-enhanced snow showers from the South Shore of MA onto Cape Cod haven’t accumulated more than a dusting but have slightly reduced visibility, put snowflakes in the air, and will disintegrate by early afternoon. Clear sky is expected for one and all Friday night with low temperatures not as cold as Friday morning, but still dipping into the single digits north and teens to twenties south as a weak warm front moves from west to east, turning the wind to blow from the southwest. The southwest wind couples with sun Saturday to bump temperatures above the melting point for nearly everyone and 40s in Southern New England, though that same wind will contribute to at least a slight wind chill in the 30s. Ski, snowmobile and ice fishing conditions in the Lakes and Mountains of Northern New England will all be terrific this weekend with goggles or sunglasses a necessary accessory and sunscreen not a bad idea, while most of Southern New England is snow-free or pretty close to it, making temperatures around 50° perfect for taking the kids to the playground, driving golf balls or exercising outside, with snow melted off the side of the roads even favorable for bicyclists! The weather stays mild early next week but finally, after several days, a new storm approaches from the west. This should mean clouds increasing later Monday and showers setting in Tuesday and Wednesday. Right now, we’re uncertain just how quickly colder air returns next Wednesday or Thursday to New England, but that timing will be important to determine both when the showers come to an end, and how much if any snow they would end as. Right now, there’s not much evidence this will be a lot different from recent storms – perhaps an unceremonious smattering of snow showers south with the chance for something more meaningful north, where cold air will be so stubborn that even some of the Tuesday or Wednesday showers may fall as snowflakes. Next weekend looks chilly and dry in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.