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Major Storm Brings Rain, Wind, and Warm..

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

A powerful winter storm is pounding Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa today.  With Blizzard warnings in 6 states this snowstorm will barrel through the Great lakes dumping well over a foot of snow on some. Green Bay to Minneapolis and the upper Peninsula of Michigan will see close to 15-18″ of snow. Chicago could see 3-6 of snow before the storm exits with strong NW winds on the backside. Dangerously cold air will follow in for the areas who are seeing the the worst of the snow. Cold night for the Patriots in Chicago. Game time temp 22. Winds NW 20-40+, Wind Chill near zero.

Luckily, nothing as severe or as extreme is going to happen here, but we are definitely in for some wild swings from Mother nature!  Roads started of a bit slick in some NW valleys this morning thanks to residue moisture left over from last nights snow showers and flurries. Temps in the Lwr-mid 20’s made untreated surfaces a bit tricky to navigate in the predawn hours.

The warm front which help to trigger that brief spell of wintry precip is now off the coast with weak high pressure providing enough subsidence and sinking air to provide ample sunshine in southern new England with a milder SW wind at the surface. This will return our temps to a more seasonal airmass of 40-45. A pleasant afternoon for most. There are more clouds in Northern New England with a cold front draped across the Canadian border. These clouds will remain in place for the rest of the day.

Clouds will be on the increase tonight. Upper level winds from the SW will transport the increasing moisture, warmth and lift so that the precipitation will be arriving in CT and RI shortly before dawn with the lowering clouds. With this estimated time of arrival, Ptype will be an issue, especially in areas where the cold will be slower to budge.  The precipitation could start as a mix of snow/sleet mainly in the northern Worcester Hills and Pioneer valley with cold air damming in place thanks to high pressure supplying the cold from the north.  The National Weather Service in Taunton has issues a Winter Weather Advisory for areas including Hartford, Springfield, Berkshires, Orange, Worcester, Fitchburg…among others. The further north you go…the longer the cold air will hold so places like the White mountains of New hampshire and the   Carrabasset Valley of Maine could see several inches of snow before any change over.

For most of us…Ptype will not be a factor at all as SE winds will push in too much warm air from aloft and off the any precipitation will fall as rain as the primary low will tracks through the Ohio Valley and Northwest of us. The rain fall will have varying intensity..sometime light, sometimes heavy..but a general 1-2″ of rain is likely in the steadier downpours which will likely occur during the afternoon and evening. Upslope areas like the Berks, Worcester Hills, SW NH, and RI could see pockets of 3″ rainfall.

Winds will be racing up to 70-100 mph just above our heads about 5,000 ft above in the low level jet. The set up is not ideal for these winds to mix down to the ground but by tomorrow afternoon some of these strong winds may start to mix with a few of the heavier downpours. Strongest winds will be along the coast and in the hills which are high enough to be effected by the howling steering winds. Scattered wind damage will be possible in any gusts upto 40-50 mph. The peak wind will occur Monday afternoon and night along with the heaviest rain. The National weather service has issued a Wind Advisory for SE MA for just this reason.

The deep upper level trough will continue to provide this feed of moisture up the coast through Sunday Night and Early Monday morning. Plenty of mild air will be in place with temps in the Lwr 50’s both Sunday late and Monday.  The cold front will finally push through Monday afternoon. Winds will shift to the cool NW wind direction, so any available moisture will turn from showers to snow showers and flurries. The best chance of accumulating snow Monday will be in the NW hills. Temps will start out near 50, but cool down to 30 degrees by the end of the day.

Strong NW winds on the back side of this departing low will funnel in more Arctic air from Canada from Monday Night Through Thursday with blustery NW winds adding to the chill. With the upper low cut off right over us in this high latitude blocking pattern, we can not rule the low spinning back a few snow showers or flurries. The trend will be for more clouds than sun but some increasing sun by the end of the week with the Arctic air running out of steam for slight moderation of temperature.

And finally…For whatever it is worth the Euro is cranking a snowstorm over New England next Sunday! Woo Hoo!


One Comment

  1. philip says:

    I have a bad feeling now that there might not be any significant snow between now and Christmas and that my outlook for cold & “snowy” might go down the tubes or in this case perhaps “drain”…we will see what happens the next 2 weeks.

    1. philip says:

      My bet is that also there will be no shotage of “rain” storms between now and the new year…unfortunately. Not giving up hope yet, but just saying…

      1. philip says:

        I misspelled “shortage”.

    2. southshoretom says:

      dont worry Philip…..I went for 65 to 70 inches at Logan, so my prediction will crash and burn even worse……….at least we both went for colder than normal, thats working out well.

  2. Scott says:

    this winter is still getting started, im not worried

  3. leo says:

    GFS calling for ten feet of snow tomorrow night in the Boston area with temps in the low twenties

  4. leo says:

    still not even meter winter yet! plenty of time.

  5. leo says:

    with no big snowstorms on the horizon I think I might drink more tonight

  6. dave51 says:

    Other then allan huffmans weather model and data page would someone please tell me another good website for free real time model information?! thanks

  7. JimmyJames says:

    Philip I said the other day for December I am going to wrong with the above normal snowfall but I think I will be right with below normal temperatures. One out of 2 to is not bad considering I am not a meteorologist.

  8. gocolonials says:

    It’s unfortunate that this storm will be rain tomorrow but I think there may be an ice storm overnight tonight for the 495 belt. The temps. are going to be hovering around the 30 degree mark near the surface. Any thoughts?

  9. philip says:

    Jimmy, don’t totally give up just yet. We still have 2 weeks to go until Christmas and 3 weeks until the end of the year. All we would need is for ONE good 8-12″ snowstorm which would get us above normal for the month and our outlooks still perfectly correct…albeit barely. ;-)

    1. philip says:

      I believe normal snowfall for Boston in December is about 6 or 7 inches.

  10. philip says:

    Topkatt, what do you see overall in the wx pattern between now and the rest of the year? I will take a New Year’s Eve or Day snowstorm at this point.

  11. philip says:

    gocolonials…I really don’t believe ice will be much of an issue at this point near the 495 belt. Perhaps just west of Worcester and beyond to the Berkshires briefly. Those southerly winds will really take over tomorrow with this next storm.

  12. spaniel says:

    I don’t know why Barry N Todd went with above normal snowfall either. I also read yesterday that a turn to a much milder pattern for January seems to be taking place between Christmas and New Years. Even JB has SNW in 75% of normal snowfall. Check out this guys winter outlook on he has us at 150-200% snowfall. What’s ge smokin???

  13. Scott says:

    its starting to irritate me when people are throwing this winter in the bag when the real start of winter hasnt arrived yet. just give it time…

  14. JimmyJames says:

    Scott I don’t know if its so much people are throwing in the towel but rather frustration to have the cold air only to have an inside runner. I always say when it comes to snowfall lets see where we are at the end of January.

  15. Scott says:

    hopeing its the last inside runner we see till spring, well atleast untill we get decent snows. January could very well be very snowy for New England

  16. JimmyJames says:

    Scott I hope you are right and I am wrong when I predicted the thaw would start the second week of January and last till the middle of February.

  17. Scott says:

    u wern’t 100% accurate with December, so we should have a chance that a thaw wont happen in January. although we still have 2 weeks to make December snowy

  18. JimmyJames says:

    No I am off in the snowfall department so far in December but if this prolonged thaw does not happen a lot of people will be wrong with that including me. I have been saying all along I hope I am wrong when it comes to the winter intermission I predicted but all signs were pointing toward a prolonged thaw which why I predicted that in my winter outloo

  19. Scott says:

    Alaska right now is very cold, and usually when they are cold, we warm up, which doesnt seem to be happening right now. and when that Alaska cold gets to us, who knows what will happen

  20. Longshot says:

    My non-met perspective is different than what most here believe. Everything is arriving later than anticipated since the middle of the year.

    The NOAA forecasted a busy hurricane season, but it was dismissed by many including bloggers here when nothing happened until mid to late August. It ended up as a very busy season with 20 events and 13 named storms. Then the fall arrived late and then the foliage season came late.

    I do not know if this is La Nina at work, but a late arrival of real wintry conditions seems in line. I think some forecasts I have seen here are actually correct, just 3-4 weeks early. The JimmyJames forecast may actually be correct if you take that forecast and start it on Jan 1st instead of Dec 1st.

    Again this is my non-pro perspective.

  21. Scott says:

    hope your right, January should be an interesting month.

  22. Scott says:

    this is a good read for the long range if anyone is interested

    1. philip says:

      Scott, thanks…we will see what happens in the coming weeks.

  23. JimmyJames says:

    Thanks for the link Scott.

  24. Topkatt88 says:

    Every month is an interesting month when you’re interested in the weather. ;-)

  25. Topkatt88 says:

    philip… Got your question and tried to post a lenghty comment last night and again today but for whatever reason the blog will not take it. I’ll rewrite it a bit later. But at the moment there are no radical changes in my meteorological opinion about current and upcoming weather, as well as performace of models.

    1. Longshot says:

      Topkatt, if too long, some blogs will not accept the word count.

      1. Topkatt88 says:

        I’ve had ones longer than this one. Not sure what was up. I’m going to post an editted version below.

  26. Mark Paquette says:

    In the medium range, blocking high pressure between Labrador and Greenland retrogrades and combines with another high pressure over north-central Canada causes this low pressure to become stacked and stationary over Quebec. In other words, dry, cold anti-cyclonic after this storm goes by. Storms will be forced south of New England and places like Virginia and North Carolina have more of a chance for snow this week than you do

  27. Scott says:

    Basicly last years pattern all over again…

  28. southshoretom says:

    I understand surface temps wont behave accordingly, but am I reading the 12z EURO’s 850 mb thicknesses correctly in that parts of Labrador and Greenland will have warmer temps at 850mb than most of……. Florida early next week?

  29. Gibson says:

    Hoping for a very non-white Xmas! Sorry, I know that is not the popular opinion so start finding fault with me now folks!

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Nobody should find fault with you. You can hope for a green Christmas just as anybody can hope for a white one. We should be able to have differing opinions without trashing each other. :-)

      I’d like a white Christmas but it doesn’t have to be a ton of snow, just some on the ground would be neat.

  30. Topkatt88 says:

    The Friday night event verified nicely per NAM forecast. There was too much dry air and minimal support for snow growth in eastern MA, hence just some very light snow is the dying area came through. Verified a few of the 1/2 inch amounts in the higher hills well to the west, and a spot dusting or 2 around eastern MA as my friend’s car on a hill in west Woburn MA recieved a dusting of snow around midnight.

    And a comment on the GFS. Compared all four runs from 06z FRI to 00z SAT, and it’s like somebody hit the random shuffle button on the model. NONE of them look alike. This itself should be enough to tell you the model cannot be trusted.
    Meanwhile we’re back to several consistently good runs of the ECMWF in a row after 1 standalone bad run. Guidance here continues to point to a mild rainstorm Sunday and may some front-edge and back-edge flakes as the cold air departs early in the storm and returns at its end.
    The expected mostly dry/cold pattern resumes through midweek with just a shot at some brief snow shower events Tuesday-Wednesday.

    1. philip says:

      Topkatt, Boston’s Logan officially received a trace very early today. I went to bed just after midnight and did see”some” flakes flying but very surprising to me that it added up to a trace.

  31. susan says:

    How can you call Friday night an event? It was a few flakes if that.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Susan… I use the term “event” just to mark the various systems that come through, regardless of what they produce. It’s being used in a climatological way. I’m an assistant to the State Climatologist so we use a set of terms on a regular basis. :-)

      In this case, “event” does not mean it was significant. Just a way to tell a weather system passed by and did not produce a whole lot of snow.

  32. philip says:

    The last time a trace of snow fell for the entire month of December was 1973.

  33. Scott says:

    hopefully that trace increases by the end of the month. do u know how much snow fell that winter?

  34. Longshot says:

    For the record;

    The ‘snow history’ of Boston, like any other thing about Boston, is interesting. Records since 1920 show that the earliest date of first snowfall (1″ in a day) was Nov. 10, 1976 while the latest was Jan. 29, 1928. The mean date is Dec. 12. The earliest date for the last snowfall (1″ in a day) was Nov. 24, 1936 and the latest was Apr. 28, 1987. The mean date is Mar. 20. The greatest seasonal snowfall was 107.6″ in 1995-96 while the least was 8.2″ in 1936-1937. The mean seasonal snowfall is 41.3″. The most snow in 24 hours was recorded as 27″ on Feb. 17-18, 2003. The average snow per month happens to be 12.8″ for Feb. and 12″ for Jan. The snowstorm climatology (1952 to 1992) for Boston shows that the average number of snowstorms (resulting in at least 1″ snow) per season is 10.33, out of which six have resulted in snow in the range of 1″ to 2.9″.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      I’ve never been able to figure out why so many people freak out if it has not snowed measurable amounts by the middle of December. There are many years it has not done that in Boston. It’s part of the climatology and driven by the pattern of that particular year.

  35. philip says:

    Scott…the total snowfall in Boston 1973-74 was around 37″. I suspect that low December snow totals usually result in low snowfall totals for the rest of the winter. I may do some research on that later to be sure.

  36. Scott says:

    not ever year is the same. i’ve said this earlier, the first big snowfall in Boston last year was on the 20th, not uncommon at all to not see see in the first half of December.

  37. Scott says:

    that second “see” should say snow

  38. Lester Eugene Prinsen says:

    @Topkatt88: Interested to hear what you have to say about the latest run of the EURO model. It shows a snow event on next Sunday. What do you think?

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      If you go back (and I don’t expect anyone to), I’ve been eyeing Dec 19 +/- a day or 2 for a few days for a POSSIBLE snow event. Targeting the Dec 18-23 time period overall for a weather pattern that can produce snow and something right around the 19th to be a bit more specific. The Euro has been hinting at this for several days. 8 days out, just something to watch at this point.

      Even with blocking, things are going to have to be set up just right to get anything.

      1. Longshot says:

        Topkatt, a few days ago I made a post saying that Bouchard had hinted at a couple of storms in the timeframe you are referring to.In response, I “think” you suggested he may have been looking at GFS. but I am not seeing it there. is the EURO the only model suggesting this possibility?

  39. philip says:

    Topkatt, that Dec.18-23 time period would be just right in time for Christmas. Keep us posted on those Euro runs! :-)

  40. Scott says:

    i can sort of read the EURO accurately, so i can chyme in if needed. wonder what the 00z EURO will show

  41. elnoral says:

    isnt it nice to see salt and sand free roads ,keep it going

    1. storm says:


  42. JimmyJames says:

    Good evening everyone… No changes in impacts for ice from yesterday so I am sticking with a 1 on the ice index but be careful with slick spots traveling in the far interior. This is going to be a RAINORAMA and still no big snows in sight next week:(

  43. smack says:

    Topkatt, I can remember some Decembers when we get barely any snow, then sometime around Jan 1 we seem to get the snow and then real winter cold sets in and we seem to have a snowy Jan and Feb. Is this a pattern? Hope we see the first snow just before the holidays. It makes it more festive.

  44. Scott says:

    jimmy, have you took notice at the EURO hinted at a storm next weekend? forget the GFS for awhile

  45. JimmyJames says:

    Scott I know there were signs of a potential wintry threat next weekend. I should have made it more clear when I posted my comment that I don’t see any big snows for the Monday-Friday timeframe of next week. I am really hoping that happens because that could set the stage for a White Christmas.

  46. Scott says:

    the EURO seems to have a several storms lined up for our general area, thats good news there

  47. JimmyJames says:

    Scott I’ll be happy if one produces a decent snowfall for us so lets keep our fingers crossed.

  48. Scott says:

    i wonder when Barry will make his blog, hopefully he gives a small opinion on what his thinking is for next weekend and beyond.

  49. Steve says:

    What do you guys think about the coastal low? If that stays of the coast it might hold the cold air in. Maybe, any thoughts?

  50. Steve says:

    Any updates on the models?

  51. snowman says:

    which model is the EURO?

  52. Fishman says:

    Let it snow let it snow let it snow

  53. Scott says:

    ECMWF is the EURO

  54. snowman says:

    link please to next sundays possible storm?

  55. snowman says:

    nice another storm to follow all week long!!!

  56. snowhater says:

    Guess what? Next week’s storm coincides with the arrival of …Warmer temperatures!!!!

  57. Topkatt88 says:

    I saw a few posts addressed to me and I will answer them below in the morning or on the next blog, it being 3am and me being half asleep having just gotten in from a very late night out.

    But as a blogger who loves to see this place run smoothly, even with differing opinions, I just want to ask people to be nice to each other, regarding the “snowlovers vs snowhaters” thing. It’s fine to have some fun with it, but please don’t get nasty. It takes away from what this place is meant for.

    I realize some people hate snow and don’t care about white Christmases and such things, and others, like myself, love to see it.

    Agree to disagree. And be civil. Thanks in advance. :-)

    I’ll talk about the pattern tomorrow (or later today) again. But one hint, the GFS & Euro were starting to agree on something early this Sunday morning…

  58. Mark Paquette says:

    00z Euro shows blocking to dominate…looks cold and dry for a while. At least if a storm decides to try and turn the corner up the East coast, there will be enough cold air in place. However, it looks like the storms should be steered first south and then east of southern New England as they continue to move into the Canadian Maritmes and northern Ne England

  59. JimmyJames says:

    A storm with a lot of dynamics impacting us with some wintry weather for the interior but mostly a lot of rain and wind. There could be some pretty good rain totals from this storm and some gusty winds that could mix down to the surface with the heavier downpours. I would not be surprised to see some power outages across Southern New England with this storm.

  60. philip says:

    I was surprised that there was ice not too far from Boston this morning and especially Rhode Island where I heard that there were some accidents in that state. I really thought earlier that most ice would be mostly from Worcester westward. I have a feeling it’s going to be a loooong day today weatherwise.

  61. JimmyJames says:

    Philip once the brief wintry mix ends this going to turn into as what I call a RAINORAMA with the potential for a good rainfall and windy conditions. There is a lot of energy with this storm and will see how things unfold throughtout the day and night.

  62. crashralph says:

    Is it me or has there been more of an easterly component with the primary low? Seems to me there could be some more back end snow then inticipated. Thoughts?

  63. weatherman1212 says:

    Nothing is going to happen next weekend just to let you know. And does anyone have a percentage chance probability of being able to see the lunar eclipse next monday night/tuesday morning?

  64. mazza says:

    The EURO does show a snowstorm for next Sunday and in the 19 to 23rd time frame as well

  65. LawrenceWX says:

    Icy road conditions still in he Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen area. Please be careful if you are traveling in the Merrimack Valley.

  66. burlington_bill says:

    If all these bloggers are so into the weather, then they need to realize that anything that is out there for a week away is just ridiculous to think it might actually happen. I recall this past summer people complaining when the weather didn’t pan out as forecast for the following weekend and the so-call “experts” kept pointing out to them that a long-range forecast cannot be trusted. My suggestion is take your own advice and stop speculating endlessly for the next week. It gets very old and makes these blogs too repetitive and boring.

  67. Topkatt88 says:

    I see it’s time for the winter crew to show up to tell people with interest in weather to stop talking about their interest in weather in a WEATHER BLOG.


    Some things never change.

  68. mazza says:

    snowhater i dont know if u knoticed but next sunday is going to be in the low 30s

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