Arctic Air On The Move

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

High pressure parked over the Ohio Valley is steering in cold dry weather from Canada. Plenty of Sunshine today with highs in the Upper 20’s and Lwr 30’s. An Arctic front pushes through tonight and the real cold air gets on the move. Arctic air will settle in after midnight with clear skies and calm winds. Lows will drop below zero in interior valleys while hover near 10 degrees at the coast.

A frigid start Monday will only moderate slightly by afternoon with highs only able to climb into the teens and Lwr 20’s with sunny skies. Canadian air with low sun angle reflecting off the snow is not the best ingredients for a warm up.

But a shift in the wind can make a dramatic difference! As the high pulls off the coast, winds will start to shift to the ESE wind direction. This will start to bring warmer air in off the water by Tuesday…  Just in time for our next storm system!

A trough in place up the eastern seaboard will steer in warming SW winds aloft and direct moisture up the coast towards New England. Warm air will over ride the cold air down at the ground. It is a perfect set up for a wintry mix to form. We will likely see quick burst of snow in southern New England during Tuesday morning with plenty of cold air around in the low levels of the atmosphere. As easterly winds shift in…these will provide a warming influence to the boundary layer ad allow a change over to rain at the coast as early as 11 AM.

The cold will hold on longer in the valleys and NW hills. There is the potential for a few inches of snow before a transition to sleet and freezing rain by the midday and afternoon. These icy conditions could last for a few hours before the warmth takes over in all levels and we change over completely to rain in all areas by night. 

Winter weather advisories may be needed in places like the Berkshires and Monadnocks, who may see 3-4″ of snow, then Ice before a change to rain. Worcester Hills will likely see 1-3 before a change to ice then rain. Northern New England will hold on to the cold the longest and has the best chance of seeing the most snow…especially Vermont and New Hampshire… Snow will be changing to an icy mix here and could make for some pretty treacherous driving Tuesday afternoon and night….but even here a change over to rain at night as mild air will pump temps to near 40 degrees by night.

Lingering showers with areas of dense fog Wednesday morning with drier weather moving in by afternoon. Very Mild to start with falling temps late in the day as cooler dry weather will move back in to end the week…but there are questions the farther out you look.

Friday’s storm appears up for grabs right now. The GFS has a storm Friday, while the Canadian and Euro slow everything down and have a first wave missing south and a stronger more organized low gathering steam and heading up the coast from Sunday. Favoring this for now…Very low confidence on how this will all shake out this far out…Whenever that storm finally does push through, much colder air will follow in behind it to drop our temps into the teens. 

So  Needless to say we are tracking two storms…both will have considerable moisture and Ptype issues to deal with. As the NAO becomes less negative, and the blocking pattern begins breaking down…these ptype issue storms are becoming frequent as warmer air can be drawn in. This could be the case for the next few storms…until the next time the NAO decides to go back in the tank….in February?  This could be one of those winters which last well into spring. Unlike last winter which was mostly over by February. This one looks like it has plenty of more life to it.


One Comment

  1. JimmyJames says:

    Snowfall I am giving a 1 for the next storm system right now since the totals don’t look to go past 4 inches anywhere.
    The interior I am paying close attention to because there could be some icing issues before a change to plain rain. I don’t expect anythinlg like December 2008 though but anytime you are dealing with ice that causes problems.

  2. WeatherWizard says:

    Thanks Joe.

  3. bigfoot says:

    anyone know total snow for medford on the last storm? Thanks!

  4. leo says:

    12z GFS lost the storm completely for next Friday. No meaningful snow for a while .

  5. philip says:

    Jimmy, it may be time to get out your Ice Inex Scale for this next storm as well…and for future storms more often according to Joe.

    1. philip says:

      that should be Ice “Index” Scale.

      1. JimmyJames says:

        Phillip it may indeed be time for the Ice Index so now it looks like we are getting into the pattern that Henry Margusity was predicting for us back in the fall of a lot mix events for us.
        I am not surprised the 12z GFS lost the storm for Friday and as I said yesterday there is POTENTIAL late week and lets leave it at that.

  6. Ronnie t 67 says:

    Hi Mr Joyce, now that your calling for a snowy march what find of storms do you expect,i know barry said that there will be no more blockbusters,are you buying that? have a nice day and enjoy the game joe.

  7. Kent says:

    Hi JImmy THanks for the info,it fun to stay on top of things with you,do you agree with barry that there wont be anymore blockbuster storms this year? and how can he be sure of that?

  8. Michael says:

    My winter outlook ithat I told friends was for the temps to be slightly above normal and with a good number of mix/change over storms. So far that has not happened but I think that changes starting this week.

    With all the snow on the ground and some real cold air moving in for tonight and tomorrow I feel the stage is set for Tuesday.

    The Cape and south shore sees a couple inches of snow then rain. Areas north of the Mass Pike I do feel with have a real problem with icing.

  9. Kent says:

    Michael are you calling for a parlyzing ice event north of the pike?

    1. JimmyJames says:

      Kent I would not go as far as saying we are not going to have another blockbuster this winter. I think that was a bold statement to make considering we have the rest of January, February, and March to go through. As I alwas say when you have a low on the east coast it needs to be watched because if it tracks to the benchmark aka sweet spot you could get a big dumping of snow.

  10. KENT says:

    jimmy did both the past two blizzards hit that sweet spot?

  11. Mazza says:

    the 12Z GFS run was bad im throwing that one in the trash

  12. philip says:

    I predicted earlier in my Winter Outlook that we would see more ice storms and that the city of Boston would see its first in many years. If Joe’s analysis is correct, that could very well happen. We will see.

  13. philip says:

    KENT…I believe that the post-Christmas storm did come near the “sweet spot” benchmark but the second tracked over Martha’s Vineyard, further westward than expected which resulted in more mixing for the South Shore areas.

    1. philip says:

      …not to mention a close call for Boston which resulted in temps a few degrees above freezing and much ‘wetter” snow.

    2. JimmyJames says:

      Philip I believe your right about both of the big storms we have had this winter.

  14. southshoretom says:

    one time only……………weather balloons released from Foxboro this morning…….resulting model runs predict :

    NAM : Pats 41-14

    GFS : Jets 20-14

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      You forgot about this one..

      NOGAPS: Football game? Huh?

      1. southshoretom says:

        LOL !!

  15. GoPats says:

    Yikes! An icing event maybe on Tuesday! How many days without power will I have to go through again?!

  16. JimmyJames says:

    GoPats as I said earlier I don’t see a repeat of December 2008 for the interior but there will some icing issues but it eventually goes to plain rain but it is going to take a while.
    As for the football game Pats 38 Jets 10 and if the Pats don’t win I will be SURPRISED like I would if this Tuesday storm system turned out to be a snowstorm!

  17. shotime says:

    My recommendation to anyone who does not have a good amount of ice melt on hand might want to consider purchasing some before Thursday’s tempature drop! That is if you can find a store that has any left!!!

  18. Dr D David SHultz 1984 says:

    no question there may be a breif transition to grauepl tuesday afternoon, stay safe out there. I’ve reduced my Graupel Advisory to a 5. If you recall it was a7 earlier this week

  19. Kent says:

    For all you gamblers out there do you think today weather will have any effect on the total points for the game?

  20. Longshot says:

    Bears looking tough right now. Playing in their type of weather.

    Does anyone remember where& when Barry said no more blockbusters this year?

    1. JimmyJames says:

      Longshot I believe someone said Friday at noon he said that. As I said earlier I think that was a bold statement to make considering we have the rest of January, February, and March to get through.
      Your right the Bears are looking tough right now as the snow falls over Soldier Field.

      1. Longshot says:

        Just can’t see him making that comment. Sounds unlikely.

  21. Kent says:

    topklatt what do you think about the probability of more big storms this winter?

  22. philip says:

    Longshot, my bet is Barry did not say anything like that. I can’t picture him announcing something like that at this point in the season…in which we still have a loooong way to go.

  23. kent says:

    phllip barry said this on air at the end of the last blizzard go back and watch the footage before you acuse someone of lying

  24. kent says:

    people need to watch and read the blogs and forecasts,all the info is seems many of you are not reading closley or is causing alot of friction between bloggers and mets

    1. jack says:

      Couldn’t agree more!!!

    2. ed says:

      kent, i thought you were here just to get a date.

    1. JimmyJames says:

      Mazza is that the 12zEuro for the Tuesday storm or the late week storm?

  25. NOGAPS says:

    Question: What’s the definition of a blockbuster?
    Answer – whatever definition one makes up!
    My point being this is very arbitrary and perhaps, if you were to look at the video, the implication of any statement by Barry Burbank is that we would not likely see another storm of the magnitude of the previous two storms we had this winter. Even that’s a stretch because I don’t have the exact statement of what was said and I would not want to interpret anyone’s statement for them.
    Kent – no one knows what the probablility of there being more big storms for the remainder of the winter – TopKatt is not Nostradamus!

    1. jack says:

      Thank you! We could have a 36″ Blizzard next week, or we may not see one for ten years.

    2. Topkatt88 says:

      Thank goodness. I don’t like Nostradamus’s wardrobe anyway. :-)

  26. WeatherWizard says:

    The 12z Euro shows a major east coast storm next weekend; I think this time period definitely favors an elevated risk for a winter storm.

    Right now this is a threat and something to watch next weekend. So, the long range models do show the threat of a major winter storm; the Euro shows it better.

    No doubt most of this week will be very interesting and of course we will all be watching the model runs for this event.

  27. manowx says:


    !In the annals of weather, it appears an important winter storm could blast the east coast before this month is out.. It appears that the change in the PDO has the current winter similar to 1965-66.

    To bolster this – Jan 11 1966 the heaviest rains recorded in Brazil. This inundated Rio and surrounding areas. Hundreds perished.
    It was just a few days ago that this smae region was inundated with deadly floods. Subsequent to the 1966 Brazil floods, a severe winter storm lashed the east coast of the U.S. killing 166, Jan 31, 1966.

  28. leo says:

    Does anyone see Tuesdays storm as ending with some wintry precip. It seems when the storm is in the gulf of Maine it could wrap around some cold air and change it back to some type of wintry precip before it ends

    1. philip says:

      Leo…I doubt any wintry precip on Wednesday. It is going to start off mild near 40 and by the time temps fall late, all storm precip will be long gone.

  29. manowx says:

    So while our winters may become colder and stormier than recent, the ever mounting co2 will tend to moderate the extremes. I saw a cluster fly this morning on the sunny side of the house. This has me thinking February will be an above average temperature month. I cant recall the last cold February. It has been a while

    1. JimmyJames says:

      I believe February 2007 was colder than normal but I could be wrong.

  30. leo says:

    I saw a fly that had a winter coat and scarf on so I think it will be a colder than avg February

  31. Mazza says:

    JimmyJames it is for the late week storm

  32. Topkatt88 says:

    Blogs are the twilight zone of the internet.

    Get ready for an Arctic Monday. Probably not reaching 20 in most of the area. Pouring over maps while I wait for the Pats game to start. The results of my analysis follow in a while.

    And to answer an earlier question about the probability of big storms the rest of the winter? We’re not done.

  33. Mazza says:

    Check that it is on the Tuesday storm

  34. rainshine says:

    I think it is going to be a long, cold and snowy winter – right into March. Then it will be a dry and relatively cool spring and summer will start off cooler than normal. I certainly don’t see a repeat of last summer’s lengthy heat.

    I have no experience to back me up – just a feeling. I hope I am wrong – I would like to see an early spring. Apologies to all of you winter lovers.

    1. philip says:

      Rainshine…I like your forecast. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works out. I like snow and hate heat.

      1. rainshine says:

        Philip – thanks. I like some snow – just not so much snow and I don’t like the bitter cold.
        I forgot the Pats are playing – they just scored and it is Pats 3 -Jets 0.

        I predict the Pats will win! :)

    2. Topkatt88 says:

      I have not been very accurate with my winter fcst thanks to blocking, but it won’t stop me from looking ahead. :-)

      Readjusted winter outlook keeps January on the cold, somewhat stormy side. February should be La Nina minus blocking, which is somewhat milder for storms yet still some good cold shots between. Cold & snowy March with front-end-loaded snowstorms. Cool & dry April thru July (brief hot spells June & July). Tropical August. Don’t worry, I wrote it all down so I can verify how badly it goes. ;-)

  35. Ed Logiudice says:

    Any update for Tuesday’s storm – especially in North Central MA???

  36. Scott says:

    wow, 18z GFS brings in 2 inches worth of QPF for tuesdays storm, while the 18z NAM has about .5 inches.
    looking forward to the storm next weekend, the EURO has been consistantly showing a decent storm for us, lets hope the GFS jumps on the snow train for that storm.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      The Euro hasn’t really been consistent on timing with that threat later next week. I think at first it couldn’t figure out whether to produce a solution based on 1 main area of energy or a couple.

      1. Scott says:

        i did notice it has a storm for sunday instead of friday. hopefully it keeps it for sunday! next sunday is a long way off, so who knows.

  37. philip says:

    Topkatt, what do you mean by “front-end” loaded snowstorms??

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      I didn’t quite word that very well. I meant that most of the significant storm threats regarding snow would come early in the month.

  38. Longshot says:

    Patriots driving me crazy!!

    1. southshoretom says:

      me too !!! fake punt….on your half of the field, less than a minute to halftime, when you’d just be down 7-3 ??????? I’d trade no more snowstorms this winter for a second half comeback. :)

  39. Kent says:

    he means you need a front end loader to move them

  40. Kent says:

    pats are all done ,they look the same as last years loss to the ravens

    1. Longshot says:

      They need a score pretty quickly.

  41. BaileyMan says:

    Good evening everyone.
    Sorry about the Patriots being on the losing side of things at half. But, being a Cleveland sports fan its rather hard for me to feel too badly for New England sports fans. Besides the patriots could easily come back and pull that game out.
    As for the weather, could it get more complex? Actually it seems that we always say this about winter weather in New England. Not very often it’s clear cut.
    The next storm system to approach early Tuesday am and into Early Wednesday looks rather diverse for sure in terms of precipitation type and impact on SNE.

    1. BaileyMan says:

      The precipitation from that storm should approach SNE around rush hour in most of Massachusetts but, early to the south. As a low pressure area tries to track far to our west towards the eastern great lakes a new low pressure area should form along the mid Atlantic and track north northeast up the coast on Tuesday. Looks likely to intensify but not to become explosive. An explosive storm would allow for more cold air to remain intact across SNE promoting more snow.

      1. BaileyMan says:

        However, despite a lot of mid level warming heading in our direction in response to the initial low pressure system tracking to our west, I feel the secondary coastal storm will intensify significantly enough to allow cold air to hang tough in northern NE, as well as, in portions of SNE.

  42. BaileyMan says:

    Expect a burst of snow to develop across all of SNE early Tuesday. The snow should transition to mix precipitation and eventually rain across south coastal NE including Cape Cod and the islands first. This should take place by late Tuesday am in those locations as temps rise from the lower 20s to the mid and upper 30s Tuesday. The south shore , Boston, and areas east and south of rte 128 should see snow turning to mix and then rain by no later than mid afternoon Tuesday the way things look now.

  43. plowguys123 says:

    will i need to plow in the foxboro area on tuesday baileyman? we go out with an inch

  44. BaileyMan says:

    Communities along the south coast of SNE as well as Cape Cod and the islands may pick up 1, 2 or 3 inches of snow before changing to mix and then rain. Boston and areas east of 128 may see 2 to perhaps up to 4 inches of snow especially northern portions of 128 prior to mixing and a changeover to rain.

    1. BaileyMan says:

      Boston and areas east of 128 may see 2 to perhaps up to 4 inches of snow especially northern portions of 128 prior to mixing and a changeover to rain. Areas west of there, especially west and north of rte 495 should see Snow perhaps as much as 3 to 5 or 6 inches, before a changeover to sleet and freezing rain towards the late afternoon.

      1. BaileyMan says:

        Boston and areas east of 128 may see 2 to perhaps up to 4 inches of snow especially northern portions of 128 prior to mixing and a changeover to rain. Areas west of there, especially west and north of rte 495 should see Snow perhaps as much as 3 to 5 or 6 inches, before a changeover to sleet and freezing rain towards the late afternoon. Expect rain to be falling by evening in much of east ern, southern and southeastern portions of SNE.

  45. BaileyMan says:

    In portions of northern Connecticut, Worcester County, as well as areas north and west of there into southern New Hampshire, sleet and mostly freezing rain might still be occurring into the evening. Temps should rise to near 40 or better in extreme southeastern New England and into the mid and upper 30s closer to Boston. Inland temps will struggle to reach 32 degrees in much of Worcester County into the evening.

    1. BaileyMan says:

      AS the storm intensifies and tracks towards the Cape enough warm air may penetrate inland so that in some communities west of 495 the freezing rain may change to rain by late Tuesday Night. Fog will be an issue in much of SNE until late Tuesday night or early Wednesday am when the winds should start to pick up out of the Northeast. By the way, I would not be surprised if some communities across Worcester County and areas north of there into southern New Hampshire never actually switch to plain rain. Just something to watch.

  46. BaileyMan says:

    A concern with this storm is the potential for significant ice build up on trees and power lines. Up to 1/4 in is possible in areas of central and north central massachusetts

  47. BaileyMan says:

    I’m taking 1 storm threat at a time. But, I must say, that there is the potential for another significant coastal storm to develop in the time period of Friday through Monday of Next week! And I know that is quite a range of days and not a precise prognostication. I am sorry for not given specifics but, I will say that at that time the atmosphere will be undergoing a lot of changes and reconfiguration and the dynamics are not being handled well by any of the models at this time.

    1. BaileyMan says:

      But I do see a lot of potential for storm development during that time period. And I also note the possibility of another storm even late the following week or during that weekend! SO STAY TUNED BECAUSE SOMETHING IS GOING TO GIVE I JUST SENSE IT!! Have a nice night all.

      1. Topkatt88 says:

        Completely agree with your excellent lay-out of what you expect, BM. Have a great night!

    1. Longshot says:

      I’m sick!!

      1. Topkatt88 says:

        I get over that stuff REAL fast. After 3 Superbowls in 4 years, the Sox winning in ’04 & ’07, and all those great Celtics teams, the ONLY thing I need to see one more time is the Bruins skating around with the Cup, because I was 5 years old last time that happened and I really don’t remember it!

  48. feldman says:

    The Pats played like losers. The Jets wanted it more and played far better. The Pats were over confident as was the entire media. Too bad they didn’t play like they have all year.

    1. Tsal says:

      Feldman. They have a history of not playing in playoffs like they do all year. Ever wonder why?

  49. kent says:

    bruins will never win the cup as long as people keep going to the games,they are a real joke.and jermy jacobs doesnt care about the fans

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Well I agree about Jacobs but not sure I get the people going to the games part…

  50. JimmyJames says:

    The snowfall is going to be MINOR with this next storm system but its the interior and the icing issue I am concerned with because it looks like that cold air is going to be stubborn and not want to leave as quickly as we would like it to.

    1. Tsal says:

      JimmyJames how far inland will the ice be a factor. I’m in Framingham. Rain doesn’t make me happy with so much snow on the roofs but ice is just not a good option

  51. kent says:

    where is barry there was no news tonight whats going on,there should be a blog by now with the storms coming

    1. JimmyJames says:

      Kent there was no news because of the football game. You will get a full newcast at 11 tonight.
      TSAL I don’t like the rain either with all the snowpack out there and why I have been saying all weekend if you could clear sewers around your home along with trying to get some of the snow off the roof that would help and also clear snow around fire hygrents. As far as ice I am looking at areas in around Worcester for the most in the way of ice but I think you will get some where you are. The bottom line is the further you are inland the longer it will take for a change to plain rain.

  52. RMB says:

    JJ, i would have to think that even areas along the I95 corridor may get some icing for reasons of.. The long stretch of cold, and being that the tonight and Tom we are getting to be very cold, lows NEAR ZERO.. Also this deep snow pack will have to play a small factor, and if we get more of ENE wind thatmay keep colder air in.. Topkatt is my thinking correct that we may see some icing due to colder air hanging on longer..

    1. JimmyJames says:

      Hey RMB this could turn into another nowcasting situation so will see what happens. I think the 95 corridor sees some snow but I am not as concerned with the icing as I am in the interior because the wind direction should pump the milder air into the coast and across the interior it will take longer.

    2. Topkatt88 says:

      Yes you are correct. The cold air in the lower elevations will be hard to erode away. It will warm up easily aloft, however.

      That said, I’m starting to think that the bulk of the precip may remain offshore, preventing both heavier rain being a major problem on snowcovered roofs, and limiting the amount of icing that occurs over inland locations.

  53. kent says:

    topkatt why do people still support the bruins? i have no clue its the same thing every year and last year was the icing on the cake,they wont spend any money on players and dont have to as long as people keep going to the games.send them a message and dont go.its like why do people in this state keep supporting the deval patricks? they dont get it

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      I guess you’ll have to take a poll on the net. I can’t completely disagree with your comments on the owners. But I’ll always be a fan of my black & gold hockey team.

  54. NOGAPS says:

    One note about the cold temps and how quickly we might warm up on Tuesday.
    We have a retreating area of high pressure over us that will be heading east. This position of the high does not favor cold air damming as much if the high were to our north and retreating. Even though we will be quite cold tomorrow night it will be quite striking how quickly the coastal plain (out to about 495) warms up – it will be a pretty rapid warm up given the cold temps. Beyond 495 I do believe we might have some prolonged icing issues – we will just have to see if that devleops.

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