A chilly start to New England’s Thanksgiving morning meant cold road races and football games, and while clouds have been variable today, meaning the sun has played a bit of hide-and-seek in some communities, the absence of wind has meant an absence of wind chill – and that helps. Afternoon high temperatures in the 40s will actually feel like it without a biting wind, making afternoon weather great for tossing around the football or walking off some calories after the Thanksgiving meal. High tides around midday Thanksgiving, Friday and Saturday will all be extra-high with the New Moon, so some pockets of minor coastal flooding in typically vulnerable spots are possible. After sundown, temperatures drop to the 30s fairly quickly as many New Englanders will huddle around the television, watching the New England Patriots take on the Vikings on NBC10 Boston – that game will be played in a dome as U.S. Bank Stadium, but even the weather outside the dome will be mild by Minnesota standards, around 40° as a quiet weather pattern continues for much of the nation. The one spot with more active weather has been from Dallas to Little Rock, where blossoming rain will continue expanding northeast overnight Thursday night and arrive as showers to New England Friday. Given the distance those showers have to travel to get here, they won’t arrive by early morning for those dashing out early to grab some Black Friday discounts under a cloudy sky with temperatures in the 30s, but from mid-morning west to late morning east, showers expand – encountering cold enough air for mixed snow and rain showers in the North Country of New England dropping just a coating of snow to perhaps an inch in highest mountain terrain, with some pockets of light freezing rain in valleys around the Northern Lakes Region of NH, Eastern Slopes of the Green Mountains and Western ME. Elsewhere, showers develop from west to east, mid-morning to late afternoon, with an increasing southwest wind carrying milder air along with the showers for high temperatures around and over 50 degrees for many of us, with wind gusts to 30 mph by late day near the South coast. Drier air returns Friday evening and night for a fabulous, albeit breezy, Saturday with sunshine. The next storm system tracks to New England Sunday, yet again bringing warmth with it – so much that even the North Country is likely to find rain showers when precipitation moves in, though that likely won’t be until late morning or midday south and afternoon or early evening north. Rain continues Sunday night, perhaps ending as snow showers in the Northern Mountains, with drier air following for Monday and Tuesday ahead of the next system – yet again warm enough for raindrops – Wednesday through Wednesday night. The cold front that crosses New England with that system, however, will be the first shot in a weather pattern change that will take days to complete, but tips New England back to a colder air that first will deliver highs in the 40s with a brisk wind at the end of next week, but raises the chance of some cold rain and snow with following disturbances at the end of next weekend into the following week.
The great weather for travel extends through Thanksgiving Day as an abundance of dry air across the country has prohibited storm development for most of this week. We're gearing up for some high tidal levels at the coast from Texas to Maine Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the midday high tide cycles as the New Moon is at perigee (closer to the earth than normal) and this "perigean spring tide" (unscientifically referred to as a "king tide") may deliver pockets of very minor coastal flooding to typically vulnerable spots. Meanwhile, the otherwise quiet weather setup changes on Thanksgiving, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico plumes northward ahead of an energetic jet stream disturbance diving southeast from the Rocky Mountains and that will result in a blossoming shield of rain from Texas to Georgia, north to the Great Lakes by later Thanksgiving Day. Eventually, that moisture will be ours to contend with in New England, but until then, cool and dry weather continues to be the theme. Of course, cool is a relative term, particularly in late November: our normal high temperature today is 49° in Boston, for instance, and our forecast high is…49°! So, by this point in the season, cool is expected. With a light wind from the northwest, Wednesday won’t feature much meaningful wind chill, and the combination of a quiet wind and partly cloudy sky overnight Wednesday night will allow for widespread lows in the 20s, ensuring chilly Thanksgiving morning road races. By middle to late morning football games, temperatures will rise through the 30s and by midday and afternoon, high temperatures top out in the middle to upper 40s. Those cheering on our local athletes at least won’t have a wind chill to contend with beyond the cool air – the wind will be light and variable most of Thanksgiving Day. Sunshine won’t be quite as abundant Thanksgiving Day as it has been leading up to the holiday with clouds that built over Northern New England each afternoon this week finally building farther south for variable clouds that, at times, will outweigh the sun, particularly in the morning and midday and especially in Eastern and Southeastern MA. New clouds arrive Thursday night, this time in advance of the aforementioned storm developing to our west, and while Black Friday should dawn cloudy, it should also dawn dry. Showers arrive from west to east Friday midday and last into the evening, falling as raindrops with a mild, gusty southwest breeze for most boosting temperatures to around or over 50°, but cool enough for snow showers to drop a coating to an elevation-dependent two inches in the far North Country. Saturday looks incredible – highs in the 50s, 40s north, with sunshine and not much wind – a great day for outdoor tasks from hanging the holiday lights to checking the snowblower. Of course, it doesn’t look like we’ll need that snowblower anytime in the immediate future: our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast delivers mild rain for all of New England Sunday from late morning onward, likely to snarl end-of-holiday travel traffic, then temperatures reach the 40s and 50s all the way through the end of next week, with a more meaningful change to colder air not expected until a few days into December.
The remarkably quiet Thanksgiving week weather here in New England is playing out across the country through Wednesday, making for a problem-free string of travel days leading up to Thanksgiving. Here at home, clouds build in the North Country Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons with mountain flurries, but most of New England sees a string of fair and rather seasonable days, with the wind of early week subsiding. Overnight low temperatures dip below freezing Tuesday and Wednesday night for most of New England, then again Thanksgiving night for Northern New England, continuing the ongoing string of excellent weather for snowmaking at ski resorts. That said, snowmaking will likely take a brief pause for most Friday into Saturday as the next storm arrives and carries mild air with it. That mild air, ushered northward on a southerly wind developing ahead of the storm that originates in the Lower Mississippi River Valley before tracking northeast, will ensure precipitation from the incoming system will be all rain for Southern and Central New England, starting in the second half of Black Friday and continuing through Friday night. In the mountains of Northern New England, enough cool air will be in place ahead of the storm to produce a burst of snow late Friday and Friday night – likely to the tune of a coating to two inches, depending on elevation and northward extent – but even those snowflakes likely switch to rain showers before ending overnight Friday night. The jet stream winds aloft – our fast, storm steering winds – are blowing quickly and will usher this precipitation producer out by Saturday morning after dropping only a tenth to a quarter inch of rain and leaving behind sunshine and a relatively mild Saturday with highs in the 50s for many, 40s in the North Country. The same fast steering winds that improve our Saturday, however, also bring the next disturbance racing in for Sunday, meaning return of rain showers that will likely end as snow showers in the North Country mountains after high temperatures in the 40s with Sunday highs in the 50s south where no snow showers are expected to end the event. Next week, our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast shows a milder-than-normal week for the final days of November, with rain chances climbing again by Wednesday and Thursday, but mild air very likely to accompany those showers, yet again, bumping daytime temperatures into the 50s in Southern New England by Thursday, some 5-10 degrees above normal for the date. That said, our First Alert Team does see a possible change back to a colder pattern starting somewhere around the 3rd or 4th of December.
A quick burst of overnight snow totaled as much as two and a half inches for some parts of Central Massachusetts with a coating more commonplace before a change to rain that delivered a wet and slow morning commute. Meanwhile, Northern New England continues to see snow – both in the North Country and with elevation, where highest snow amounts of six to twelve inches will be recorded, bringing a great boon for ski resorts in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine while sparing most of the higher population centers at lower elevation. Regardless of wet or white, precipitation tapers Wednesday afternoon as a drying west wind takes hold, sweeping away the briefly mild air over Eastern New England and dropping temperatures from an afternoon high in the 50s and 60s, through the 40s by late day and either side of 30 degrees overnight Wednesday night. While Southern New England roads will dry before dropping below freezing, some Northern New England roads will likely see patchy black ice Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Although the stretch from Thursday through Saturday brings fair and cool weather, overall, there is an energetic disturbance riding overhead Thursday that will result in building clouds blotting out morning sun, and some of those clouds will yield snow flurries and rain sprinkles here and there during the afternoon. Friday and Saturday are less likely to deliver any flakes or drops with enough dry air to keep skies fair and enough cool air to hold high temperatures in the lower to middle 40s south and 30s north. Another disturbance nearby on Sunday increases clouds and raises the chance of scattered rain and snow showers briefly, before another installment of fair, cool and dry weather in the busy travel days leading up to Thanksgiving. Not everyone in the country will have quiet pre-holiday weather, however, with Wednesday rain and snow in the Pacific Northwest expected, and another storm taking shape from the Central and Southern Plains through the Lower Mississippi River Valley into the Southeast. It’s this storm that will pull north on Thanksgiving Day, likely arriving to New England with rain by day’s end or nightfall, lasting into Black Friday. It’s early to say whether any of that rain could fall as snow in the Northern Mountains, but regardless, most ski areas will be able to blast lots of manmade snow with cold nights ahead after the boost in natural snow.
Without question, New England has turned the corner to quintessential November: few leaves left on the trees, cool temperatures, a nippy wind and talk of cold rain…and snow. It doesn’t come all at once, but the transition is abrupt enough, coming off record warm temperatures in the 70s Saturday, cool showers Sunday and now a blustery wind chill in the 30s Monday, even with abundant sunshine. The dry and cool air in place extends far south, into the Southeast U.S., and far to the west – all the way to the West Coast! This expanse of chilly air over North America assures the new weather regime won’t be short-lived for New England, with high temperatures generally in the 40s for the duration of the 10-day forecast, with a few notable exceptions. Overnight low temperatures will regularly dip below freezing, regionwide, and Monday night starts that trend with widespread 20s and 10s outside urban centers under a partly cloudy sky. Tuesday’s morning sun will fade as clouds gradually increase and thicken for an overcast afternoon – the first sign of increasing moisture aloft ahead of a storm center developing out of the Gulf of Mexico and Lower Mississippi River Valley Monday night and reaching a position near Cape Cod by Wednesday. As moisture increases, clouds will be followed by rain and snow – with an easterly wind and a relatively warm ocean, snowflakes will be reserved for the deep interior, and while they may only briefly make an appearance in Northern CT or Southern Worcester County MA, they will last longer the farther north one is. In fact, our First Alert Team is predicting a widespread 6”-12” of snow in Northern New England with amounts decreasing to the south, but likely a couple of inches in the Monadnock Region and Berkshires, and even an elevation-dependent coating to 2” in the Worcester Hills to Southern NH, with higher terrain seeing the higher amounts. While roads will remain wet near and inside Route 495 and in much of Southern New England, the high terrain locations will see slick conditions developing predawn Wednesday into Wednesday morning, and snowier spots of Northern New England will contend with full-on winter storm conditions Wednesday. As quickly as the storm rolls in overnight Tuesday night, it rolls out Wednesday evening, leaving a return to cool, dry and quiet weather for the end of the week and start of the weekend, with the next disturbance close enough for snow and rain showers arriving for another quick hit – and likely less substantial impact – Sunday.
Hurricane Nicole made landfall as a Category One Hurricane Thursday morning near Vero Beach, Florida, and has begun a slow weakening process with the storm’s eye now over land. Power outages and heavy rain will lash Central and Northern Florida Thursday and eventually Nicole’s northward motion will accelerate as she feels the influence of a strengthening and deep southwest flow around the jet stream – the fast river of air, high in the sky, that steers storms and is steering a big winter storm through the West-Central United States today. The southwest to northeast oriented jet stream wind ahead of that winter storm will pick up Nicole and carry her north and northeast, over the Appalachian Mountains Friday and into New England Friday night into Saturday morning. As Nicole loses tropical characteristics, she will instead resemble a large swath of rain and gusty wind. Coming off another beautiful Thursday in New England with sun and temperatures in the 60s with a southwest breeze gusting to 30 mph, Friday’s clouds ahead of Nicole will mark a noticeable change in the weather, though these clouds should only drop a few, isolated showers for most of the day with a continued southerly wind bumping temperatures to around 70 degrees by afternoon. Nicole’s rain arrives to southwest New England Friday afternoon, and for more of New England during the late day and evening, continuing overnight Friday night and Saturday morning with embedded downpours at times. Though total rainfall amounts of half an inch to an inch of rain in the Boston area won’t be enough for anything more than isolated urban street flooding or pockets of highway hydroplaning, amounts of 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the North Country may cause some streams to rise above their banks briefly. As for wind, widespread damage is most certainly not expected, but some isolated damage to weakened trees and particularly limbs is possible predawn Saturday until mid-morning Saturday as the south and southwest wind just ahead of the remnant storm center gusts to 40 mph for many and as high as 50 mph near south-facing coasts – sufficient for isolated power outages and to build offshore waves 15 to 25 feet with breakers of six to nine feet at beaches Saturday. By midday Saturday, the storm center will be racing into Central Maine with rain ending quickly behind it and sun emerging for most Saturday afternoon with mild temperatures around 70! The new, west-northwest wind later Saturday carries in colder air – enough for Sunday to feature highs only in the 40s north and barely into the 50s south with bubbling clouds producing a few pop-up showers during the afternoon, particularly in the mountains though we all may see a passing shower. The new weather theme for next week is: chilly! With passing disturbances raising the chance of showers next Wednesday and again Friday, most days are likely to see high temperatures only in the 40s in our First Alert 10-day forecast.
For a straight-forward forecast of mild air, there are some subtleties that will play into the finer details of the weekend forecast. First, the straight-forward part: high temperatures will reach or exceed 70 degrees in a number of New England communities Friday through Monday. One of the subtleties to the forecast was evident early Friday morning: pockets of dense fog. Our First Alert Team expects these pockets of fog to develop again Saturday and perhaps Sunday morning, particularly south of the MA Turnpike, but also possible from the ME Turnpike to the coast, as a persistent wind slowly but surely increases the amount of moisture in the air. That increase in moisture also will mean each day this weekend brings a bit more in the way of clouds – another subtle forecast feature that can have a visible impact. In fact, after ample sunshine Friday, clouds will drift in late Friday night in addition to the development of fog, and these clouds are likely to persist through Saturday morning in spots, as another push of warm and slightly more moist air arrives just a few thousand feet off the ground. In fact, Saturday morning may even see a few sprinkles or light showers in Central and Western New England, including Central MA into Central NH, as that renewed push of warmth arrives. By afternoon Saturday, breaks of sun will be commonplace for another afternoon of exceptional warmth into the 70s. A recent solar flare will exciting upper atmospheric particles Saturday night for what would be a potential Northern Lights viewing opportunity in Northern New England, but we think clouds will probably fill much if not all of the sky Saturday night – nonetheless, if there are breaks it’s certainly worth glancing skyward in the North Country. While most record temperatures in Southern New England during this stretch were set in the 1930s or 50s and are close to 80° - probably a bit outside our reach this time around – Sunday’s record highs are more vulnerable in the middle 70s and will be broken if our forecast holds. Further, Northern New England records are more vulnerable during this stretch and more may fall, including some warm overnight low temperature records. Much like Saturday, Sunday isn’t guaranteed to be entirely raindrop-free for all: a slow-moving, approaching cold front should focus some afternoon scattered showers in Northern and Western New England, and the rest of us will find limited sun through clouds with the potential for a sprinkle from time to time. Monday brings the final day of warmth – returning to the 70s – with the chance of a few showers as a sharp cold front moves through, opening the door to sharply cooler air more typical of November for Tuesday through midweek next week. By next Friday and Saturday, the chance of showers rises for New England before a reinforcing shot of cool and dry air likely improves the second half of the weekend but leaves this weekend’s warmth as a distant memory – enjoy it while it lasts!
A cool start for most of New England Thursday morning – in the 20s and 30s – wasn’t matched in the higher terrain: the Worcester Regional Airport, sitting at 1000 feet above sea level, started just shy of 50 degrees and Mount Washington started at 37°, each some 10 to 20 degrees warmer than towns surrounding them! This phenomenon occurs when warmer air is streaming in aloft rides over the top of sinking cool air and often indicates the air is poised to warm quickly, as long as a light breeze can develop and cloud cover isn’t too thick – we meet both criteria Thursday with ample sun and a light breeze. Temperatures rapidly climbing to the middle 60s will fall shy of Wednesday’s highs but still reach nearly 10 degrees warmer than normal for this time of the year. Overnight Thursday night, a gentle southwest wind continues and starts slowly moving increasing moisture into the air of New England. Running over the ocean and then into overnight temperatures in the 40s, chances are good some areas of clouds and fog will develop south of the MA Turnpike by dawn Friday and may take a few hours to burn off Friday morning, but by afternoon sunshine and a steady southwest breeze will bump temperatures to around 70 degrees. Pockets of fog and clouds may develop in far Southern New England again predawn Saturday, but once again should burn off for an exceptional day with highs in the middle 70s! A slow-moving cold front pushing into New England from the north and west Monday will raise the chance of showers for Northern and Western New England Sunday afternoon and a light shower or sprinkle may nudge into the Boston area by day’s end – either way, Sunday is sure to bring many more clouds than Saturday but still reaches the lower to middle 70s, challenging or breaking the record of 73° set in 2015. The cold front weakens as it crosses New England Sunday night, so cool air really doesn’t arrive until a reinforcing push of new air from Canada on Tuesday, meaning Monday we still squeeze into the 70s with a decent amount of sun. Tuesday’s temperatures drop by nearly 20 degrees with highs only in the middle 50s – seasonable for November – and that air lasts a couple of days until a building chance of showers late Friday or Saturday, at the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast. It’s worth noting, while we’re warm and fairly quiet here at home, there’s plenty of storminess elsewhere! In the Western U.S., widespread accumulating snow will fall late this week into the weekend from the Pacific Northwest to the Desert Southwest as a parade of cold storms dive in from the Pacific. In Mexico, Tropical Storm Lisa weakens to a Depression while moving out of Belize and ending up in the southwest Gulf of Mexico this weekend, but delivers life-threatening flash flooding along the way. In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Martin charges northeast toward Greenland this week, then puts the brakes on and changes direction, ending up in the United Kingdom late this weekend with gusty wind and rain and 30-40 foot seas pounding the western coast of Ireland. So…there’s plenty of action in the weather world, it just – for now – is occurring away from our corner of the hemisphere.
The much-anticipated stretch of pleasant weather has begun in New England, though the headliner warmth won’t arrive until week’s end. For now, a weak cold front crossing New England from north to south will reinforce drying air, but some slick roads started the day after overnight showers and a northerly breeze brought quite a few wet leaves onto our back roads – particularly the large oak leaves – covering parts of the road and reducing traction. As the drier air arrives, the fallen leaves will dry out, too, and blow off our roads, while sunshine mixed only with a few clouds at times during the afternoon bumps temperatures into the 65 to 70 degree range for many and around 60° in the North Country. As the morning and midday breeze quiets later in the day, temperatures will cool quickly after sundown under a mostly clear sky, dropping to the 30s for many suburban areas of Southern New England points north, and even some 20s in Northern New England valleys, making for overnight frost in a number of spots. Plenty of sun will make for a noteworthy temperature recovery Thursday, though, with highs reaching the 60s for many, regionwide, as high pressure – a dome of fair weather – begins a slow migration east of New England over the North Atlantic. Eventually, this new position for the high pressure cell becomes noteworthy, as the clockwise flow of air around its center will induce a southerly wind flow to New England, further increasing the amount of mild air and moisture in the Northeast. The milder change will be evident first: high temperatures likely to surpass 70 degrees on Friday for some, then Saturday, Sunday and Monday for many. It’s worth noting there’s some historical context here: our Tevin Wooten dug back into the record books and it turns out we’ve only seen eight November stretches of three or more consecutive 70 degree days. Furthermore, if we hit or exceed 73 degrees those days in Boston, which is our First Alert Team’s forecast, this has only happened four times in recorded history! As for daily records, those will be tough to reach but not impossible, particularly Sunday when the record is 73, set in 2015. As for rainfall, there’s not much in the forecast, but the increasingly moist air Sunday coupled with a slowly approaching cold front from the west will increase the chance of showers Sunday afternoon in Northern and Western New England, and while it’s not likely these would sneak into Eastern New England, it’s not a far distance in the world of weather, so we have introduced a shower chance even to the Boston area by late Sunday into early Monday. As for a more meaningful pattern change, it still looks like much cooler air – closer to normal for this time of the year – returns for the middle and end of next week, toward the end of our exclusive, First Alert 10-day forecast.
It’s not uncommon for November showers in New England. What’s more uncommon is the combination of November showers with a humid feeling and high temperatures in the 60s, but that’s what Tuesday is delivering for Southern and Western New England. Central NH to much of ME remain northeast of the majority of the showers, though also will find temperatures reaching the 60s by Tuesday afternoon. This unseasonable warmth will stick around for days on end, as a jet stream ridge – or northward bump in the jet stream winds – establishes over the Eastern United States. Keep in mind the jet stream is the fast river of air, flowing at high altitudes, that steers storm systems and separates cold air to the north from warmth to the south…so a ridge building over the East means a large area of warmth building with it, and that includes New England. What’s exceptional is how long this jet stream ridge holds on, with an opposing jet stream “trough,” or southern dip, over the Western U.S. continually reloading with new and cold energy, dumping two to three feet of snow on the Rockies but ensuring the storm track remains well west of New England, which promises a continued flow of mild air throughout the east. The result for New England will be an extended stretch of fair and warmer-than-normal weather, from Wednesday all the way through the weekend into early next week! As a large dome of high pressure, or fair weather, shifts east over the North Atlantic, a deep southerly wind flow setting up into New England and the Northeast may eventually tap enough moisture for building clouds Sunday into Monday, and our exclusive NBC Forecast System shows a 20% chance of showers on either of those two days. That said, the warmth will be so well-established by that point, that temperature leaping into the 70s may challenge record warmth Sunday and Monday. Even as the weather pattern reconfigures to deliver substantially cooler air at the middle to end of next week, toward the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast, a 15-20 degree drop in high temperatures still puts New England very close to normal at the end of the forecast period.