Tracking A Pre-Season Nor’easter

By Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

This is a storm which may catch some by surprise. It is going to come with strong winds at the coast, battering waves at the beaches, rain and wet snow for the Monday morning commute…It’s effects will be slow to leave.

This is not a major Nor’easter by any means and will be more of an annoyance than anything…but this will  come with a punch..especially at the coast ..and even deliver our first snowfall of the season in some spots..No need to panic.  Just a little warm up for the long season ahead!

Clouds are rolling in and thickening despite a few break of early morning sunshine in the interior. A steady flow of clouds and moisture is being directed up the east coast thanks to a deep trough in place on the eastern seaboard. Energy digging into the trough will allow low pressure to deepen off our coast and back into New England late tonight-tomorrow. As this low begins to deepen winds will be increasing at the coast this afternoon where we could see gusts over 30 mph.

Showers are possible along the coast tonight…mainly late tonight after midnight. Steady onshore winds will provide a moist feed into the region with the best lift in the atmosphere occurring through tomorrow morning.

Temps will be cooling overnight with the freezing level dropping down to 500 feet by dawn in SW NH and the Worcester hills and NE Connecticut. Expect a rain/wet snow mix just in time for the morning commute tomorrow. A slushy inch is possible in the hills of Worcester County…but wet flakes/sleet could even mix in Monday morning in Metrowest and Boston. This will be short lived as the column will begin to warm with the rising sun.

Here are the average first measurable  snow dates for a few cities.  The season’s first measurable snow usually holds off until around Thanksgiving in Boston, Hartford, and Providence on average…but it certainly can snow earlier than this!

Boston November 28th
Hartford November 23rd
Providence November 28th
Worcester November 16th

Monday will be a raw cool windy day with rain of varying intensity. A general .50-1″ of rain is likely with a few heavier spots possible. Strong winds will be mostly confined to the coastlines where winds out of the northeast will gust between 35 -50 mph Late-tonight into Monday. Winds will diminish with the low moving over the Cape..only to pick up again Tuesday & Wednesday out of the northeast as the low slowly pulls away.

Rough surf with seas 8-12 feet will persist through Wednesday. High astronomical tides is combination with persistant onshore winds means there will several high tide cycles where exposed eastern facing beaches will see beach erosion and minor coastal flooding from Portland to Nantucket.

The surface low will eventually become vertically stacked with the upper low and begin to weaken Tuesday. Plenty of lingering light rain and drizzle into Tuesday. The upper low is not going to move fast…in fact it will remain close enough to our coast to keep the Northeast winds going through the rest of the week…despite increasing sunshine and a return to seasonal temperatures. The warmth in the midwest will remain there as long as we have this trough nearby..

Something we will have to watch is Tropical Storm Tomas down in the Carribean.  Some of our models show the energy from this storm becoming entrained into the trough. The energy would be directed up into Nova Scotia then into the upper low to help to strengthen this storm by the midweek…Anytime a tropical system merges with a cold low…it makes you think of the Perfect Storm. Our models are not the best at picking up the transfer of heat and energy. This could get interesting and certainly bares watching! Still leaning to a sunny end to the week.

  • rainshine

    After the big storm a week or so ago that affected a good part of the country – and then the possibility of a major storm later this week – I am wondering if the climate is really changing drastically. Greenhouse effect – whatever you want to call it. Time will tell.

  • rainshine

    Just saw the floater satellite loop of east coast of USA – fascinating. The trough(I think that is it) or stream of clouds stretch from Canada all the way to the tropics. And to the east of that are more clouds actually moving to the west. I am no met. but it is probably part of the whole system. Whole thing is very interesting.

  • weatherman1212

    Snow on the Cape? Anyone know???

  • philip

    Weaherman…highly unlikely the Cape will see any snow with this next system, but Hartford, Boston and maybe even Providence could see snowflakes for the Monday a.m. commute. I do believe that most locations around sne will see its first dusting of snow before month’s end.

  • philip

    On a side note, this website is still on DST…

  • philip

    If I don’t have to go to work on Sunday I usually get up at 7:00 am and this morning when my alarm went off at 7, it was absolutely wonderful to see full daylight for the first time outside my window for the first time in over a month. I was really getting sick of these pitch black mornings. I for one don’t care about dark afternoons all that much one way or the other.

  • shotime

    ‘BZ really needs to work on their new website, especially this blog. More than once I’ve lost my comment while typing. The page appears to be refreshing itself??? Anyone else having the same problem?

  • shotime

    OK… it did it again. I think I might be taking too long to post my comment. That’s what I get for sleeping during typing class :)
    So guys, what’s the thinking out there regarding a doozy of storm midweek. I see Barry alluded to The Perfect Storm.

  • philip

    Shotime, this new website refreshes itself every 6 minutes. The other option is to use MS Word then cut & paste your comments. I for one, just try to think quickly about what I want to say, then type…fast.

  • JimmyJames

    Going to post quick…. MINOR snowfall for the elevated areas of Southern New England. MINOR snowfall means snowfall ranging from a coating to 4 inches.

  • JimmyJames

    Finally able to post. Check Melissa’s Friday blog for the ice and snowfall index.

  • philip

    Thanks for the update Jimmy…keep us posted as always! :-)

  • JimmyJames

    Your welcome Philip and I hope this problem gets corrected and I have more time to post to go into why I am giving an impact for an area whether it be for snow or ice during winter weather events.

  • philip

    Jimmy, I found your snow & ice impact scale in Melissa’s blog. It would be helpful if you would post it periodically throughout the winter especially just prior to impending storms.

  • JimmyJames

    Good Idea. For snowfall MINOR is a coating to 4 inches MODERATE is 4-10 inches MAJOR is 10-20 inches and 20 plus is extreme. For Ice 1/4 or less is LIGHT 1/4-3/4 MODERATE 3/4 or higher is MAJOR

  • southshoretom

    54F in International Falls, 71F in Miami…quite an anomolous pattern sending mild air far to the north and cool air far to the south. Also may be contributing to Patriots awful first half performance in Cleveland. :)

  • philip

    Southshoretom, I am counting on that warm air to eventually head this way for late this week into next weekend and at least the early part of the following week. That airmass has to come eastward sooner or later.

  • manowx

    but if you average the temps it’s near to above the mean. Global warming refuses to relent

  • manowx

    but if you average the temps it’s near to above the mean. Global warming refuses to relent ( Duplicate comment )

  • coastal

    Jimmy james, are you serious? 1/4 of ice is light? 1/4 of ice on the trees, streets and sidewalks is devastating! Do you know how many lives that would be loss in accidents, Your scales are very misleading and would be people in harms way if they check this blog and make arrangements based on your scale. Don’t kill my family!

  • JimmyJames

    Coastal thanks for your opinion and as I said the other day adjustments will be made as needed but I don’t blow things out of proportion.

  • Ryan

    I had a whole response typed out…but BAM the page refreshed! Ahhh!

    I’d agree that I’d consider minor icing less than 1/4″… perhaps 1/10″. Even the NWS will issue Ice Storm Warnings for over 1/4″ of ice I believe.

    I also have a question about the JimmyJ winter scale… is timing taken into account? For example, 4-10″ falling during a morning commute over the course of a few hours. could be a major impact. However, if 4-10″ fell over the course of 12 or 18 hours… impact would be significantly less. I feel as though an impact scale for wintertime activity can be misleading in general.

  • JimmyJames

    Ryan I think a seperate impact scale should be done for the commute which hopefully someone will come up with here on the blog. The numbers are for snowfall amounts

  • windycity

    You all need to get a life.

  • Longshot

    Actually ice in the NHL is usually 3/4″ though it can be thicker. Interestingly the thicker the ice the slower the skating. I am not sure whether thicker ice deserves a more “dangerous rating” than thinner ice. Thinner ice may be more problematic.

    In fact, so called “black ice” might be much more dangerous since it takes on the color of the surface it covers. From one viewpoint, the thinner the ice the greater the impact.

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