New England resembles a snow globe with a lot of light snow falling but a very gradual accumulation. At times, snow picks up in intensity and that will happen more often and in more spots Friday afternoon and evening as a light onshore wind increases and another energetic disturbance rides through the sky over New England. When all is said and done, Friday and Friday night will have added about one to three fresh inches of snow to much of New England except the North Country, and some locally higher amounts of four or five inches are possible from the NH Seacoast through Eastern MA where ocean influence is more pronounced. With high temperatures Friday either side of the melting point, road treatments will be increasingly effective over the course of the day, but losing the daytime sun (even hiding through clouds it has an impact) will mean roads will slicken again Friday evening and with temperatures dropping into the 20s and teens north Friday night, roads will ice up as snow breaks into lingering snow showers. Saturday may dawn with a few snow showers but certainly brings a drier day with breaks of sun between plenty of clouds and cool air holding temperatures at 30 to 35 degrees, with enough of a breeze to keep wind chill values in the 20s. Sunshine prevails Sunday with a lighter breeze as a large dome of high pressure crests over the Northeast U.S., but cool air will be locked in with highs once again near or just over 30 degrees for many and cooler in Northern New England. As the big dome of high pressure – fair weather – drifts east Sunday night into Monday, a storm center in Southern Canada moves east and is poised to pass north of New England, but the squeeze of wind flow on the backside of the clockwise spinning fair weather dome departing to our east and the counterclockwise flow of air around the Canadian storm, will blow from the south and bump temperatures to near 40 degrees for many as the next round of showers approaches Monday afternoon to night, meaning a mix of snow and rain showers is expected, with light accumulation limited to Northern and Western New England. Behind that storm, the weather pattern changes: the jet stream winds aloft that steer storms and separate cold and warm air start to relax and drift north, allowing for milder air to take hold of much of the country except the Northern Tier…which certainly can mean some shots of cold here in New England but generally a milder pattern is expected next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Over the course of the last few days we’ve heard about more snow and ice from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic, and snow with cold air from the Midwest to the Great Lakes. Over the next two days, pieces of those disturbances – strung out and stretched across the Eastern United States – will make their way across New England, resulting in piecemeal snow Thursday all the way through Friday night. How much snow accumulates probably will end up like patchwork across Southern New England, varying with snow intensity (fueled by varying wind direction and temperature, as well as specific track of disturbances aloft) and also with when heavier bursts of snow occur in any given community, with temperatures near the melting point and a sun angle commensurate with autumn meaning some warming of the roads and ground where snow isn’t already on the surface. In the end, we believe most communities in Southern New England will total around three to six inches of new snow on top of the old snow and somewhere between a coating to two inches in much of Northern New England but higher amounts up to half a foot in the Green Mountains of Vermont. As for the timing, our best estimate is this: steady snow for awhile Thursday afternoon into early evening from CT to RI and Southeast MA will make a push as far north as either side of the MA Turnpike, then put the brakes on. Most of that snow should fall apart to flurries from dinnertime Thursday to midnight Thursday night, then start to fill in again and expand much farther north, into Northern New England. From that point forward, pockets of snow, varying in intensity, will fall Friday into Friday night. Most of the snow will be light Friday morning, but gradually as an onshore wind increases, more moisture will become available, and bursts of heavier snow will come into play, particularly in Eastern MA during the afternoon into the evening. With temperatures near the melting point and a sun angle – even if through the clouds – equivalent to October, treated roads will probably stay mostly wet, though where heavier bursts of snow develop they will, at times, overwhelm treatments. Of course, slick spots are more likely whenever the sun is not up, so both early Friday morning and then again Friday evening and night stand out. Snow wraps up gradually overnight Friday night, leaving more clouds than sun Saturday but sunshine Sunday as New England dries out for the weekend with chilly air holding high temperatures in the 30s and 20s north. One more disturbance is slated for Monday – a combination of rain and snow showers with the greatest chance for some accumulation in Northern New England – and that storm opens the door to a more moderate air, not only for New England but for much of the nation, with next week featuring a comeback of milder temperatures. Here at home, this means a few days with daytime highs in the 40s in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast before cooling with a returning chance of rain and snow showers for the end of next week.
A quiet Wednesday across New England with much-needed sunshine comes courtesy of a slug of dry – but chilly – air from Canada. Melting will be slow, but not absent in Southern and Central New England as temperatures near the melting point, though that won’t be felt by New England residents thanks to a persistent northwest breeze through the day, holding the wind chill values in the teens until the wind finally eases during Wednesday evening. In Texas, more snow, sleet and freezing rain is falling on an already suffering population, many left without power, heat or clean drinking water from the recent spate of winter storms. Like its predecessor, the midweek Texas storm will head for New England – unlike the last storm, it’s unlikely to carry enough warmth for much sleet or rain, except perhaps on Cape Cod, so most of New England should see mostly snow from this event. Clouds thicken overnight Wednesday night and a swath of light snow is possible as soon as predawn Thursday into Thursday morning across CT, RI and Southeast MA…not a guarantee but the setup is favorable for a light band of snow well ahead of the actual storm as the first surge of moisture arrives aloft. Regardless, by midday Thursday the snow is filling in across CT, by early afternoon through much of the remainder of RI and Southeast MA, and from 2-5 PM we should see a northward expansion of snow to Southern NH, continuing to expand north overnight Thursday night. Heaviest snowfall rates are expected to expand from CT/RI/Southeast MA Thursday afternoon to the remainder of Southern New England Thursday evening and the first part of Thursday night, then lighter snow may fall into Friday until another stronger burst is possible midday Friday and perhaps into Friday afternoon. It’s that second burst of snow – farther out in time from this forecast – that is the most uncertain, and would be pivotal to adding a couple of final inches to the snow to achieve predicted snowfall totals. If, as we draw closer, that final burst of snow appears it will fail to materialize, snow amounts may end up slightly lower north of the MA Turnpike and especially in Southern NH. Regardless, while the wind will gust over 20 mph Friday – and perhaps as high as 35 mph near the coast – significant wind or power outages are not expected before the snow ends Friday evening or night, giving way to breaks of sun Saturday, more sun Sunday and cool air both days. Another disturbance is forecast to cross New England Monday with a chance of snow and rain, then we’ll see fair weather and some melting for the middle of next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Tuesday’s messy start of snow and sleet north, freezing rain and rain south, caused a rash of morning vehicle crashes before temperatures warmed in Southern New England and precipitation ended from west to east, regionwide. Last to see the wintry mix exit is Central and Eastern Maine Tuesday afternoon and while New England sees only a few isolated showers in the second half of the day Tuesday, we may be hard-pressed to find quick drying on the region’s roadways and that becomes important Tuesday night. A cold front will cross New England late Tuesday evening, between 9 PM and midnight, opening the door to west and northwest wind gusts to 35 mph and a flow of cold air that will send overnight temperatures into the 20s east and 10s west. Any moisture that remains on roadways will freeze into areas of black ice, particularly after midnight into early Wednesday morning. A fair sky Wednesday will take care of any slick spots on treated roads but temperatures won’t exceed 30 degrees in Southern New England or twenty in the North County, with a steady northwest breeze holding wind chill values in the teens and single digits, respectively, at the warmest time of day. This cold air becomes an important player by Thursday, as a strengthening storm out of the Southern Plains reaches the Eastern Seaboard and draws north. Capturing both Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic moisture, the storm center will spread its moisture northward into New England on Thursday, colliding with the cold air in place and creating a broad swath of snow developing from south to north, Thursday late morning to late day, respectively. With enough cold air to keep at least the start of the storm snow for all of New England – and perhaps most of the storm as snow for the interior – even spots like the South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands may see enough snow to plow at the onset. Our exclusive, built-in-house NBC Forecast System is predicting a broad 6-12” for much of New England by the time the storm exits Friday, and our First Alert Team of meteorologists sees no reason to doubt that estimate. We do think the storm will pull away Friday – perhaps after the morning hours – and give way to a cool but fair weekend for New Englanders to, yet again, push around and clean up snow. Another disturbance is forecast by our team to cross New England on Monday, and while it doesn’t look to be quite as potent or quite as moisture-laden, it still brings a chance for rain and accumulating snow to New England before a few quiet days around the middle of next week.
A slow-moving frontal system with multiple storm centers rippling along it over the past several days has left a path of destruction behind: multi-vehicle crashes in Fort Worth, TX, Friday, Nashville, TN, Saturday, Oklahoma City Sunday and from Alabama to Pennsylvania Monday morning. New England finds ourselves in the cross-hairs of this system Monday evening into Tuesday. Most of Monday brings just passing light snow showers from time to time…light rain showers at the South Coast…but a shot of steadier light snow is expected from west to east in Northern New England Monday afternoon. After dinner our First Alert Team expects snow – light at first – to increase in coverage across New England, then from 10 PM to 3 AM, the intensity ramps up as steady snow falls in the Northern half of New England and any brief snow in Southern New England changes to sleet and freezing rain. Above-freezing temperatures will very slowly migrate inland from the Atlantic Ocean in the latter half of Monday night into Tuesday morning, affording a change from freezing rain to plain rain near the coast first, then gradually farther inland Tuesday morning. The problem is many interior areas – particularly from the Interstate 95 corridor points north and west – will see at least some ice accretion from freezing rain, meaning icy travel conditions. Farther inland, particularly near and outside Route 495, enough freezing rain falls Monday night into Tuesday morning to wash away road treatments and cause recurring glazing that will require frequent re-treatments, while a stretch from Northern CT to Central and Western MA into Southern VT, Southern NH and the Maine Coast to the Maine Turnpike will see continued icing into Tuesday morning sufficient not only for dangerous travel but also for potential power outages as branches, limbs and power lines themselves are weighed down by ice. By midday Tuesday, most spots either will have warmed above freezing – Cape Cod will jump to 50 degrees with a gusty south wind – or at least will see the intensity of precipitation wane, leaving only light showers behind for the afternoon, then clearing Tuesday night. As the clearing moves in Tuesday evening and night, temperatures will drop below freezing which means a re-freeze is likely for many communities with areas of black ice where moisture lingers on roads. Wednesday brings chilly sunshine and a busy breeze while our next storm organizes over the Southern Plains, headed east and predicted to arrive to New England Thursday sometime around midday or early afternoon. With cold air in place ahead of the storm, accumulating snow is expected to bring the plows out across most of New England Thursday before another change to a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain is expected Thursday night into Friday morning, likely leaving tapering showers Friday. Perhaps the brightest news of the weather forecast for those looking for quieter weather is the weekend continues to look promising with fair sky and cool temperatures before another, weaker round of rain and snow is possible to start next week in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Our advice to New Englanders (and our own meteorology team!): enjoy the relatively quiet weather this weekend, things could change dramatically next week. We are expecting some snow showers Sunday morning, but these aren’t expected to be a big deal…though they do indicate the start of a new weather pattern that brings multiple potential storms next week. In the immediate term, we focus on the chilly air squarely in place across New England to start the weekend, dry enough to preclude many snowflakes with an incoming disturbance Friday afternoon that will deliver increasing and thickening clouds, but no more precipitation than an evening mountain flurry in Vermont. The light but tangible morning breeze that drove wind chill values below zero early Friday eases even more later in the day, and remains light through the weekend with little change in air expected. With dry air remaining in place through Saturday, clouds are expected to build Saturday but the only flurries will be on Outer Cape Cod. As the jet stream winds aloft – the fast river of air, high in the sky, that steers storm systems – slowly migrate north, the storm track this weekend into next week starts shifting north with it. The first disturbance in what will be a long series arrives predawn Sunday with snow showers from west to east, lasting through the morning before sagging southeast over Cape Cod and mixing with raindrops by midday before changing to very light rain showers on Cape during the afternoon. Snow accumulation for most of us Sunday morning looks to be a coating to an inch, with the best chance of a solid inch or perhaps slightly more being in the higher terrain of Western New England and Southwest New Hampshire. One the weekend is over, our chance of messy weather soars. A disturbance Monday may not be moisture-loaded, but will encounter an onshore wind from the northeast at ground level, raising the chance of either freezing drizzle or some light wintry mix to start the week on the President’s Day Holiday. A strong, follow-up disturbance Tuesday comes loaded with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, as a pattern featuring a big jet stream trough – or dip - in the Central U.S. steers disturbances past the Gulf before rounding the bend and sailing north up Interstate 95. With a storm track that incorporates southern moisture and warmth comes the potential not only for heavy precipitation amounts, but also an increased likelihood of larger areas of mixed precipitation – from snow to sleet, freezing rain and, perhaps for some far enough south and southeast, some rain. We’ve issued a First Alert for Tuesday owing to the impact of this likely heavy wintry mix. After a one day break Wednesday, another storm may follow for later Thursday into Friday. Although we’ve issued a First Alert for Thursday, our forecast isn’t calling for this next wintry mix to move in until afternoon or evening, with the bulk of the storm unfolding Friday. Of course, at seven days out, the potential impact of this system is inherently in question, depending on whether the storm forms, where it tracks and what the temperature setup will be. Regardless, the early call from our team is we should get another break in the action next weekend – a breather on Saturday and Sunday would be nicely timed. Our team will keep you posted on updated details and changes.
Light morning snow Thursday fell near the South Coast of New England, well north of the storm center that crossed the Mid-Atlantic, dropping anywhere from a coating on the Islands of Massachusetts to over two inches in far Southwest Connecticut! There will be a couple more waves of low pressure – storm centers – traveling from the Tennessee River Valley to the Mid-Atlantic Thursday and Friday, but those will miss New England entirely, leaving breaks of sun to come out between clouds Thursday, sun and clouds Friday and sun fading behind increasing clouds Saturday. A freshening breeze Thursday evening around sundown marks the arrival of a fresh push of cold air, dropping overnight temperatures into the single digits above and below zero Central and North, and around ten south, combining with a steady northwest breeze to produce wind chill values below zero across New England by Friday morning. The wind will slowly ease Friday but cold air holds daytime high temperatures in the 20s both Friday and Saturday, and sets the stage for the next round of precipitation Saturday night into Sunday to fall as snow for New England. The strengthening storm center that will become the primary area of focus Sunday will be located southeast of New England, over the water, but energy driving this storm will be moving through the sky above New England, meaning a lobe of snow is still expected to extend northwest of the ocean storm center. Snow should develop across New England overnight Saturday night, particularly after midnight, and continue into Sunday, though just how long into the day snow falls is yet to be determined. Regardless – and with the understanding that snow amount forecasts tend to drop dramatically in accuracy outside 24-36 hours before the event – early thinking from our First Alert Team is somewhere around a two to four inch snow possible for much of the area and particularly Central and Southern New England. With this snow spread over the course of several hours, the impact may not be all that hard-hitting, but some of that will hinge on exact storm track and timing. Regardless, we see another storm chance Monday night through Tuesday that we expect to be a more significant storm: a track close to New England, more abundant moisture feeding into the storm and the potential for snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the jet stream winds aloft that steer storms continue to flow near New England all of next week, so multiple disturbances bear watching, and out First Alert Team has another chance of snow or mix in the forecast Thursday or Thursday into Friday of next week in our exclusive 10-day forecast.
New England is in for a break from storm threats for a few days, though that’s not because the weather pattern itself has quieted: the jet stream – the fast river of air, high in the sky, that steers storm systems – has deflected to our south as cold, dry air spills into New England. The active jet stream to the south of New England means winter storms to the south, as well, with an ice storm unfolding from Arkansas to Kansas Wednesday and a couple of rounds of snow expected with two separate storm systems crossing the Mid-Atlantic between now and Friday. Although the weather stays dry through Saturday in New England, chilly air continues and there’s no expectation the sky will be sunny throughout: sun and clouds Wednesday give way to increasing clouds Wednesday night, cloudy skies with some early flurries possible in Southern New England Thursday, variable clouds Friday and a mostly cloudy but dry day Saturday. The mildest of these dry days will be today, with high temperatures near the melting point and sunshine helping to encourage gradual melting of exposed pavement and stone on streets and walkways, which should refreeze Wednesday night as temperatures drop into the teens. Thursday through Saturday won’t reach out of the 20s for most communities, with overnight low temperatures either side of zero in Northern New England and in the teens in Southern New England. The wind is never expected to be exceptionally strong through Saturday, but even a breeze – busiest Thursday night, but lightly blowing noticeably on Thursday and Friday – will be enough for a bit of bite from the wind chill factor at times. New England’s next storm chance is Sunday, but the jet stream winds will be flowing very quickly – perhaps too quickly for a substantial storm to develop in New England, so while the mere presence of an energetic disturbance traveling those jet stream winds nearby means our First Alert Team is keeping close watch, the forecast has been trending more toward a batch of lighter snow either Saturday night into early Sunday or perhaps Sunday itself. Thereafter, the jet stream returns to its orientation very close to New England, meaning we’ll be back on the storm watch next week, particularly with a moisture-laden system Tuesday that holds strong potential and then again next Thursday in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.
Tuesday’s storm is quick-hitting and not very well organized. Even as of Tuesday morning, the pockets off snow moving toward New England from Pennsylvania were ill-defined as energy aloft attempts to develop snow into dry air. By late morning onward, our First Alert Team expects incoming warmth and moisture to collide with pre-existing cold and dry air, affording for an expansion and intensification of the incoming snow and producing a relatively quick, fluffy accumulation that will fall on cold roads and result in quick snow accumulation even without much moisture actually falling from the sky – fluffy snow can add up quickly. The heaviest snow rates, thanks to the fluffy nature of the snow, may reach one inch per hour at times during the afternoon, particularly between 2 PM and 6 PM, then for most communities snow will either stop or let up significantly around 7 PM. Although temperatures below freezing will mean scraping of roads will need to continue into the night and both snow-covered and slick spots will remain, those who can scrape the driveway down to patches of pavement will get some help from nature on Wednesday, as sunshine and temperatures near the melting point will help to expand those patches of pavement over the course of the day. With two storms passing to our south at the end of the week – one Thursday, another Friday – our First Alert Team is carefully watching their track but it appears as though both of those systems will stay far enough south to spare New England from significant impact, meaning sun north and some clouds south with a South Coast flurry Thursday, then a chance of some light snow in Southern New England Friday, depending on the exact storm track. Again, at this point it would appear whatever falls in New England Friday, if anything at all, won’t be too substantial, but we’ll keep you posted. Saturday should be fair and cool ahead of a more likely, more organized and closer storm Sunday…though even that storm is, thus far, trending south and may be one we mostly miss. Nonetheless, our antenna will remain up throughout the 10-day forecast with temperatures remaining cold enough for winter storms and the jet stream winds aloft – the fast river of air that steers storm systems – remaining nearby to steer disturbances close, there will be additional chances for storms close to us, particularly again around the middle of next week.
Monday brings a one-day respite from snow, but more accumulating snow is in the forecast for Tuesday. Monday’s break in the action comes courtesy of a slug of dry air that’s delivered sunshine, reflecting off the freshly fallen 6-12” snow in the Boston Metro for plenty of solar glare…but very little melting with temperatures stuck in the 20s at the warmest time of the day. Add to the cold air a steady northwest breeze and wind chill values won’t exceed the teens Monday afternoon. Temperatures will drop the first half of Monday night under a clear sky to start, then clouds will increase with flurries and light snow arriving during the mid-morning, continuing to fall lightly through the day into the early evening before ending. With cold air in place for most of New England, the snow will be relatively light in consistency, allowing it to add up fairly easily between three and five inches for most of Southern and Central New England, with a bit less near the South Coast where warmer air provides a mix with and brief change to raindrops during the afternoon…and in Northern New England where less moisture arrives. Wednesday brings another respite with fair sky and cold winter air, then our First Alert Team will start watching a parade of storms to our south. With each one that passes by to our south, the question will be how close these come, and whether snow can sneak into Southern New England on Thursday (low chance), more of New England Friday (low to moderate chance), then a more likely storm swipe is in the forecast for Sunday and perhaps again the middle of next week. Although it’s unlikely that all of these storms come to fruition, even just some of them is enough for us to encourage New Englanders to push snow back, open up driveways and walkways to allow for pushing more snow back in the days ahead.