Spring Signals Return in Late Winter Chill

Nature is giving cues that spring is efforting a comeback from our early week shot of snow - after a couple of quiet mornings, the peepers have started to sing again and the ducks and birds were much more vocal at sunrise Wednesday morning.  Even with these signs of spring abound, Wednesday feels more like a late winter day with the abundance of clouds suffocating any morning peeks of sun, largely the product of an onshore wind.  The combination of clouds and an easterly wind flow will hold temperatures in the 40s Wednesday with ambient or “feels like” temperatures in the upper 30s at the warmest time of day, with a few sprinkles from time to time during the afternoon.  To our south, a storm center mostly misses, strengthening as it makes its closest pass, growing into a sizable storm too little too late for significant impact to New England, though a period of showers is possible Wednesday evening on the Cape and Islands.  Drier air affords sunshine Thursday with temperatures either side of 50 degrees and a light wind, meaning the day will be a noticeable improvement over Wednesday.  Another quick-moving system Friday will deliver renewed clouds and the chance of a few sprinkles and showers, but departs in time for a pleasant Saturday.  One trend in the forecast has been to slow the arrival of rain Saturday, so while clouds will increase during the afternoon, rain should hold off until overnight Saturday night, falling squarely on Sunday and likely to last most of the day.  All of next week is showing up in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast and looks to do away - at least for now - with the volatile temperature swings of the last few weeks, stabilizing in the 50s and perhaps some 60s, with the greatest chance of showers around midweek.

Spring Snow Melts Quickly

LKN_FRONTS_BOSDMA (4)Many New Englanders woke up to fresh spring snow Tuesday morning, with two to four inches generally falling north and west of Boston, but as much as just over half a foot of heavy, wet snow in higher terrain of Central MA into Southern NH.  As is typical of spring snow, melting will come fast on the heels of a snow-covered morning, with breaks of sun bumping Tuesday afternoon temperatures to around and over 50 degrees, taking a perfect snowball and snowman consistency and turning it quickly to wet mush and, by day’s end, lots of puddles with lingering slop.  Sun glare and road spray will make sunglasses and windshield washer fluid helpful accessories Tuesday midday and afternoon, while winter shoes will protect against wet feet with so much melting. Some re-freezing is likely overnight Tuesday night north and west of Boston into much of Central New England, and though many main thoroughfares will have dried enough during the day to prevent widespread black ice, some icy patches are likely.  A storm center passing to the south of New England Wednesday mostly misses, though a shower may crop up during the afternoon and some rain may graze the South Coast including Cape Cod Wednesday evening and night into Thursday morning.  Thereafter, sun re-emerges for New England Thursday, and another nearby storm system Friday is likely to miss to the south, meaning variable clouds but little in the way of precipitation.  It’s been a string of great weekends for New England - at least with dry and bright weather, even if cool at times - and that string may come to an end this weekend with showers expected to arrive sometime later Saturday and last through Sunday, though temperatures stabilize with daytime highs generally in the 50s in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

A Shot of Snow Headed for Interior New England

948B0384-793A-48CB-B43A-2E505F35D9D5Clouds will stay with New England through the day Monday, coupling with a cold start in the 20s to keep temperatures from rising much beyond 40 degrees.  This means when precipitation moves in during the afternoon from west to east - for many of us between 3 PM and 5 PM - we’ll see not only rain but also snow breaking out.  With a southeast wind blowing in from ocean water in the lower 40s, it’s unlikely coastal locales will see much accumulation, and even spots within about 15 miles of the coast will have difficulty accumulating much more than a coating to an inch.  Farther inland, however, one to two inches of snow will accumulate in the suburbs north and west of Boston and through South-Central MA into Northern CT & the Pioneer Valley of MA.  Farther north, from Central and Western MA all the way into Central VT and NH and Southern ME three to five and even as much as five to eight inches of snow are expected, meaning road crews will be treating and scraping late this evening into the overnight, with rain and snow showers winding down around dawn Tuesday and giving way to some sunshine with highs in the 50s for melting to begin quickly.  Another disturbance brings a chance of rain or mixed rain and snow showers Wednesday, with the balance of the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast showing high temperatures mostly in the 50s, and several chances for showers along the way including, for a change in our recent weather pattern, on the weekend.

A Shot of Thursday Morning Snow Before Friday Warmth

S LKN_ACCUMS_NEWENG_NBCU_ACTIVE (9)unshine bathes New England Wednesday as dry air returns for a brief stand.  The dry air is also cool by nature, meaning morning temperatures in the 20s and 30s won’t exceed either side of 50 degrees by afternoon, with a light wind allowing for a sea breeze to develop during the afternoon.  With ocean water temperatures only in the lower 40s, a sea breeze has a noticeable impact this time of the year, so highs near 50 at the coast will probably be short-lived before turning around and cooling down considerably later in the day.  Gradually increasing and lowering clouds Wednesday evening through night with temperatures either side of the freezing mark will eventually yield some showers of snow and rain by predawn Thursday morning, filling in as a steady combination of wet and white as the morning wears on.  Road temperatures in most spots will be warm enough to preclude significant impact, though temperatures in the hilly terrain of Central and Western MA into Southern/Central VT and Western NH may cool enough for some film on the roads and a solid one to two inches of snow – with as much as three in the Berkshires and Southern Green Mountains – on the grass.  Inside of Route 495, Eastern MA will find some snow mixing in, but little more than a coating to perhaps an inch on the grass is expected. By Thursday afternoon, most areas will have changed to just a raw, chilly rain with patchy drizzle lingering all the way into the evening and likely through the overnight for some.  This makes Friday’s start a murky one with another round of passing showers possible as warmer air nudges into New England, eventually bringing a strengthening southwest wind, emerging sun and temperatures bumping around or over 70 degrees in some of Southern New England, with 60s north.  The exceptional late spring warmth won’t last long, though, with a storm center moving across Southern Canada dragging a cold front from west to east across New England Friday evening, sparking scattered showers and even some thunderstorms in the warm air, but heralding in a cool, brisk spring air for both weekend days.  Sunshine will be abundant in the crisp air Saturday and Sunday, but the next round of moisture arrives Monday with another chance of snow and rain showers, eventually giving way to gradually moderating temperatures for the middle and end of next week in the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Elevated Brush Fire Danger Ahead of Friday Showers

CaptureThursday’s air feels much cooler than most New Englanders have become accustomed to in the last couple of weeks, but we’ve been spoiled by much above normal temperatures – with highs in the 40s to lower 50s, we’re running near, or in some cases still slightly above, where we should be for today’s date.  Nonetheless, a light easterly wind off a 40 to 42 degree ocean water is keeping not only the coastline cool, but areas dozens of miles inland as well, though warmest spots Thursday afternoon will be farthest from the ocean in Southern New England, where high temperatures should rise well into the 50s.  With dry weather continuing, brush fire danger continues to be elevated, particularly inland, and burning brush is discouraged while caution needs to exercised with small potential ignition sources like cigarettes, as well – these are the two leading causes of brush fires in New England!  Showers moving swiftly east out of the Central Plains will arrive to New England as soon as late Thursday evening, spreading from west to east between 9 PM and 1 AM.  Friday morning’s commute will start with scattered, mostly light showers in Eastern New England, with steadier rain ramping up in Western New England and snow across the North Country, where it will take until midday to change to rain and two to four inches of accumulation are expected from the Great North Woods of NH to the mountains of Maine and Northern Maine.  Farther south, the heaviest and steadiest rain will fall between 9 AM and 3 PM, departing for all but Central and Eastern Maine before sunset, allowing for breaks of late day and evening sun.  As the showers swing through, a southerly wind will strengthen and gust to 40 mph at times, transporting warmer air into New England and boosting daytime high temperatures to near 60 – even into the 60s in some of Connecticut and Western MA after the rain ends.  The dry air taking over behind Friday’s showers will stick around all weekend, save for some mountain snow showers Saturday morning, making for fresh air and lots of outdoor options with so many indoor events canceled due to coronavirus concerns.  The air will gradually become cooler, so that Sunday’s highs will only be in the 40s and that air sticks around through Monday.  By St. Patrick’s Day, showers re-enter the forecast ahead of another gradual but steady warming anticipated for the middle to end of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

One Day of Showers in an Otherwise Great Setup for Yardwork

LKN_NBCU_POP_D2_NEWENGA brand new, spring air has moved into New England for midweek.  The showers preceding this new air along a cold front Tuesday evening were limited and the breeze that followed them already was quieting Tuesday morning, completing its job of transitioning New England from much warmer than normal air to less unusual, but still mild air with Wednesday high temperatures in the 50s.  The dry nature of the new air ensures plenty of sunshine for awhile, though clouds associated with a weakening disturbance moving east after producing snow in the Great Lakes will fill the sky later Wednesday into Wednesday evening, moving along and clearing the sky Wednesday night.  With a quieting wind, conditions will be ripe for quick cooling overnight Wednesday night with low temperatures forecast to hit the 20s in Central and Northern New England, and around 30 in much of Southern New England.  Nonetheless, with most of our upcoming days dry except for showers Friday that may mix with snow in the far North Country, we’re entering a pattern perfect for yardwork.  Poison Ivy has yet to leaf out, thorn bushes are only just starting to green up in spots and the ground is still soft, but not saturated for most – all great conditions for making progress in the yard and taking out the driveway snow stakes from the winter.  With Friday’s rain showers remaining transient, the weekend will be bright and dry for most of us, save for some Saturday mountain flurries, and temperatures will dip from highs in the 50s Saturday to 40s Sunday, making vests and spring jackets a commonplace accessory.  Though early next week starts cool and dry, the chance of showers increases around Saint Patrick’s Day as milder air makes inroads toward New England, eventually bumping temperatures back around 60 degrees by week’s end for the start of astronomical spring toward the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

As Cooler Air Closes in on New England, Mostly Dry Pattern Continues

LKN_NBCU_APCP_NEWENGA backdoor cold front – a push of cool air from the northeast and east, rather than the usual direction approaching from the west – sent the temperature dropping from the Maine coast to Southeast New Hampshire and Northeast Massachusetts through the Boston area Tuesday morning.  For some, this new, cool air will be insurmountable when it comes to warming up Tuesday – from the Seacoast of New Hampshire northeast up the coast, it’s unlikely we’ll warm beyond the 50s.  Elsewhere, it may be a slow start but even Boston should find a southwest wind eventually returning by Tuesday afternoon to bump temperatures into the 60s.  All the while, a more typical cold front will be approaching from the west and will arrive to New England from west to east with showers ahead of it Tuesday afternoon and evening.  Rain amounts won’t be significant, with about a quarter of an inch falling in Northern New England and only a few hundredths of an inch – enough for a few small puddles – in Southern New England, and giving way to returning dry weather Wednesday and Thursday.  In fact, when our First Alert Team looks at the next week, we don’t see more than about a third of an inch of rain all told for the Boston to Providence Corridor, and not much more than a half inch to three quarters of an inch in Northern and Western New England, meaning with no leaves on the trees to shade last year’s dead brush and leaves on forest and grassy floors, we’ll find brush fire danger continuing to rise quite high in the several days ahead.  The dry weather and relative warmth will also send the pollen count up across New England, with the exception of one day of returning showers Friday, which actually may end as a touch of snow in Northern New England Friday night to give a little bit of fresh snow for spring skiers headed to the mountains this weekend.  Otherwise, the weekend looks dry and bright for New England Saturday and Sunday, with cooler air in place particularly Sunday into Monday.  Our next chance of showers arrives Tuesday and heralds the arrival of warmer than normal air all over again, delivering showers on Saint Patrick’s Day and temperatures around 60° on Thursday, when the vernal equinox marks the start of astronomical spring, and spring on your calendar, just prior to midnight Thursday night.

As Boston Eclipses 70° Monday, Northern Maine Sees Snow

LKN_FCST_TODAYS_HIGHS_METRO_NEWENG_ACTIVEIncredible 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.

Friday Night Snow Southeast Precedes Saturday's Cold Wind For All

LKN_ACCUMS_BOSDMA_ACTIVE (3)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.

Windy Wednesday...Friday Snow Should Fail to Impress Most New Englanders

BLOG1 BLOG1Image: 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.