Rainy Mix This Time..But A Wintry Week Ahead

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

Well, it turns out this week was a whole lot of talk for nothing. Much of the public is expecting snow this weekend and will be suprised to find only rain. What once looked like a deepening low over Cape Cod for tonight with a change to snow.. ..has trended further west and now a warmer and wetter solution can be expected through the evening hours.

Still a winter weather advisory is up for Northern, Central, and Western New England through 5 AM tomorrow for pockets of freezing rain, sleet and light accumulating snow…which will likely not amount to much this evening.

A light mix of snow/sleet/frz rain is already pushing towards CT and West MA this morning. A few icy spots are possible in this light mix with temps cold in the teens in the western valleys. A few snow showers push towards the coast. Plenty of clouds in place with brighter skies to the north. Highs will be in the 30’s to near 40 degrees both weekend days.

Deepening low pressure will lifting towards Pennsylvania southern New England later this afternoon and evening. This further inland and westward track will yield mostly rain for most of us…from eastern MA, SE NH, RI. Pockets of freezing rain will be found in CT, Western MA in the Pioneer Valley, Northern Worcester  to SNH this afternoon. This ice line will shift north into southern VT and SW NH during the evening hours with most changing to rain tonight in the south.

A solid .50″-1″ of rain is likely and this water will easily be absorbed by the snow pack to only become heavier and add more stress to the rooftops.  As the storm deepens over us tonight and pulls away, a change over to snow will occur mainly after midnight..with northern New England having the best chance of any substantial snowfall. SNH could see 1-2″ with N. MA a coating to an 1″ at best as the storm departs.  North of the Lakes region will remain all snow. Northern ski areas will wake tomorrow morning with 6-12″ of new snow on the ground! Sunshine returns tomorrow to save the weekned with temps remaining comfortable into Monday with fair weather and highs 35-40.

A cold active week of weather lies ahead. We are tracking two different disturbances ..as colder air from Canada will once again invade a good portion of the nation. Tuesday’s low is a clipper in the Northern plains which tries to phase with moisture/energy coming out of the Gulf. It may develop just a bit too late and beyond our latitude to give us anything major…some light snow is likely on Tuesday. We will have to watch this one…as the Euro is showing a bit more phasing and strengthening just close enough for heavier snowfall…especially in Northen and Central New England as the low tracks right over us again. Should it develop a bit earlier, this could mean a heavier snowfall. It is a real close call. There is the potential for a few inches of snow for now with a mix likely at the coast.

Behind  this,   another massive arctic air mass is going to plunge  out of Western Canada down the east side of the Rockies and the Plains and once again  move into the Deep South by February 9 – 10.

In doing so both the European and the  GFS are taking a piece of energy in the jet stream and trying to develop some sort of coastal storm by the 10th. Earlier runs were showing a bigger storm with a chance for a significant storm on the east coast.  The threat still exists as there should be more phasing and moisture to work with.  That low will dig south, come out of the Rockies, to the Gulf..and then head to the east coast…where it eventually tracks is still up in the air. Once to the coast, this will deepen to a stronger storm. Some models are taking this just far enough to the south for a glancing blow of accumulating snow, but any correction to the west…which is likely…will mean a bigger storm for us in the Thursday to Friday timeframe. I think this will come closer eventually to us as a stronger storm…but you have to be skeptical on storm development now  as overall pattern Eastern Canada and Greenland do not support this sort of storm development. …so again…we will be keeping an eye on that one as well. Still very early in the game for any certainty. 

Cold High pressue follows in behind these storms for a significant cold shot of air which will stick around through next weekend. Then the change! As I have been advertising…the pattern is about to break…it may already be broken judging by the rainy mix we are seeing tonight! The pattern we have now is definitely different from what we have seen in the past 6 weeks. + NAO in place through mid month which could start trending neutral there after. If these next storms miss..just more evidence that the extremes have been put to rest for now.

Valentines Week looks quite a bit warmer for the nation with warmer pacific air flooding the country with a flatter milder zonal flow to the jetstream. This milder pattern should last to end out the month and may even last into March. Check out the March 2011 outlook from the CFS! Warm, warm, warm! If this is the case…then we have definitely seen the worst of winter! Eventually winter will run out of time. I am not saying we are not going to see another snow storm, just that it is going to start to become a whole lot easier around here when it comes to weathering the winter…compared to what we have been through.


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