Plenty To Look Forward To….

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

This is the time of year where it seems like every other day there is another benchmark which reminds you spring is around the corner. First there was the Groundhog saying and early spring, then a nice pile of girl scout cookies greeted me at my door on my return home yesterday. Now the talk of Pitchers and catchers meeting at Fort Meyers. In the coming weeks these will continue to pile up as the days continue to get longer and longer.

There is definitely a light at the end of this challenging winter. The explosive parade of storms has ended and we can enjoy a week , MAYBE two of fairly tranquil and enjoyable the weather which is perfect for slowly breaking down the snow cover which is critical to avoid any major spring flooding. Still with all the water heading into the rivers even by gradual melting….rivers will be filled to the brim this spring and it will not take much rain to create river flooding this season… 

But let’s focus on what we know…we are finally going to warm up! This will be another sign for the season which awaits us down the road. Clouds have moved in this morning ahead of a warm front. This front is the leading edge of some warmer air which will move in for Valentine’s day. Along this front is a vortmax which will slide through SNE during the midday and afternoon. A line of snow showers is pushing through eastern NY and and enter the Berkshires, CT, and S. VT later this morning and will move east during the afternoon. A light coating to 1″ is possible in the western hills…otherwise most of us have the chance of a passing flurry or snow shower this afternoon.

The warm front will lift north tonight. SW winds with clouds will keep temps steady overnight in the Lwr 30’s. Our next short wave will dig into the Great Lakes and reinforce the SW wind allowing warmer air to continue to spread into the region for Monday. Cloudy to partly sunny skies by the afternoon as we bask in the warm sector with temps in the Lwr-mid 40’s. The Low will track across NNew England where accumulating snow fall over 6″ will be possible for the northern mountains. We will track a cold front Monday night which will usher in a much colder airmass from Canada as building high pressure will provide gusty and brisk NW winds Tuesday. Highs will remain in the 20’s to near 30 despite  100% sunshine.

I think we are all aware now of the talk of the upper level ridge building to end out the week, with warming temps near 50 Thursday and getting above 50 by Friday. What is bugging me this morning is how long can the ridge fight off the cold charging back in from Canada?? Any slowing of a frontal Passage Saturday could mean one more day in the 50’s. The Euro ensembles were hinting at this earlier, while the GFS and Canadian are pretty quick with the front moving through Saturday with quickly falling temps and strong winds to cool things down by next weekend. It is something to watch. My confidence is good through Friday. But I am expecting the warmth to quickly end by Saturday with falling temps. Such is life at this latitude.

After the return of the cold next weekend, the upper level ridge should build again for the warmth to return back into the East &  Northeast, but this is where it will start to get tricky.  Colder air pushing south from Canada with warmer from the south will set up a boundary that will extend from the Midwest right through New England. With unseasonal warmth and still plenty of cold still in play in the northern hemisphere, the weather is bound to become more active with storm development and even the potential for severe weather for areas closer to the moisture supply in the Gulf.

As the ridge builds after the weekend cool down…on President’s day, we will be tracking a low riding this boundary heading towards New England. Temps will be cold at the ground so there is the potential for and icing issue that Monday night with an eventual change to rain depending on track. This wave obviously has plenty of room to evolve in the coming days.. so it is something to watch out for…this could be our first real ice event of the season.

As the warmth builds south, yet the cold holds north..the potential for ice storm at some point increases. That will likely become the next dish Mother nature serves on this never ending winter buffet. Check please!

Yesterday, it looked like the cold could push back a bit further into the US by the end of February. Today, it does not look as cold and we could actually see this flatter flow hold on a little bit longer to end the month! European ensembles show the North American Polar vortex linking up with the Asian polar vortex and up as one giant vortex…but in a position in Canada which would continue to allow some warmth to stay in the US..particularly the east!    This could mean more warmth heading into March?  This could get interesting…Could this mean a big rainstorm with flooding potential down the road?  It’s all on the table at this point.

Enjoy the quiet while it lasts. I know I will. The next two weeks I will not be blogging, forecasting or reporting. The reason: I will be welcoming to the world my 4th child on Tuesday! I have no idea if it’s a boy or a girl…but is so exciting to be adding another huge personality to the three ring circus I am already running. It is quite a show! My kids call themselves the Kung fu Hamsters and they are very excited to add another member to their team of Chaos! On this Valentine’s day, I am amazed at the strength and beauty of my wife and the mother she is to these kids. What and adventure this life has become.  There certainly is plenty to look forward to! I thank you all for sharing in it! See you all again on the 26th.


One Comment

  1. RSquared44 says:

    Congrats Joe! Thanks as always for the detailed updates and good luck with the growing family

  2. Cat966G says:

    Congrats joe, but i Bet you are hoping for a future meteorologist.

  3. shotime says:

    Congratulations!!! Joe, to you and your family on the upcoming birth of your newest family member. So exciting!!! Now go and enjoy the next two weeks with your family! Will be looking forward to the birth announcement on ‘BZ!

  4. retrac says:

    good for you Joe. I have four kids as well and it’s great fun!


    Alright, I have 23″ of snow on the ground in Holden. I’ll let you know what we have by noon next Saturday.

    anyone want to jump in on a little goofy competition? I’m going to say this will be cut in half by the end of the week let’s say to 12″ even. Name your town and amounts whoever is in.

  5. Hadi says:

    Thanks Joe!! Congrats on the upcoming birth.

  6. rainshine says:

    Thanks Joe for the great blog – informative and interesting as always. And best wishes to you and your family on the newest member.

  7. southshoretom says:

    Joe, best wishes to you and your family !!

  8. matt says:

    congrats on the new birth. joe

  9. Markij says:

    Great Joe i have four girls and man it can be hectic,so many issues to deal with.i dont worry about the small stuff anymore.

  10. JimmyJames says:

    Joe great blog as always and best wishes to you and your family.

  11. Devin hester says:

    Joe you bertter tie that thing into A KNOT man!!! thats crazy!!! good luck

  12. Hadi says:

    Btw anyone who gets the globe a good read on NAO on the front page!!

  13. Charlie says:

    Winter is over

    1. shotime says:

      Charlie… I think that’s wishful thinking :) It’s only the middle of February.

  14. Hadi says:

    You can read an article about the weather:))

  15. David White says:

    Congratulations Joe and thanks for your good work.

    I wonder where the boundary between cold and warmth will set up housekeeping next week? If along the Mass Pike, we could have some interesting weather around here. If along the Mass/NH border, then we might stay warmer than normal and northern New England can have the snow for the spring skiiing.

    Also I notice when a pattern changes, how the models try to very quickly shift us back to the previous pattern, but more often than not they don’t verify. Does it take awhile for them to catch onto the elements of a new pattern, and to shake out the dust of the previous one? How about trends: Like we have just come out of a six or seven week unusually cold and stormy pattern. Why not six or seven weeks of warmer than normal temps? Well into March therefore!

  16. joe says:

    Joe, great detailed blog as usual! More important, congrats on the upcoming new addition to your family! I’m working on my second, having four will definatley make for controlled chaos but a heck of a lot of good memories. I feel the same about my wife, watching a birth up front and personal definatley provides a new found admiration and respect for women! funny quick story, in birthing class they teach the father how to stand next to your wife and massage her neck and shoulders to try and relax her. So, of course when it was time I was up by her head trying to remember what I learned without expressing the complete panic and anxiety over taking my body. Well, I quickly learned the class left out one kinda very important detail. As I’m trying to keep her calm, the doctor says “ok dad, its time”. I said ok…… the female doctor and 3 female nurses looked at eachother and smiled. Then the doc said ” ok well come over here and grab a leg” I froze and kinda mumbled Huh?? She repeated “grab a leg dad”. I nervously walked over and a nurse showed me what to do as I said, “ahhhh, this wasn’t in the training manual”. The doc smiled and asked me if I was ok, I lied saying yes and she said ok its time. next thing I know I’m sitting right behind home plate when my ticket stub said I was supposed to be in the bleachers. Before I could think there was my daughters head and I soon witnessed the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life! Prior to that moment I’d thought I had seen it all, man was I wrong!! It was truly the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed in my life. Let’s just say at the end of the game, I was very thankful they upgraded my seat! Joe, enjoy your well deserved time off with your family!

    1. joe says:

      Ok sorry, I guess that wasn’t a quick story! Lol…

      1. joel says:

        and i thought this was about weather. silly me.

  17. manowx says:

    oops; woe rhymes with Joe; not wow

  18. Topkatt88 says:

    Congrats & best wishes Mr. Joyce!

    Very light snow falling in Woburn as of 150pm.

  19. Joe Joyce says:

    Lol! I can always count on you Manowx! you are very funny…too bad for you that you actually are serious. I do agree though…the overpopulation of the planet, the food shortage and lack of sanitary drinkable water for billions of people is MUCH more of a problem than the slight gradual rise of the global temperature. Too bad evironmentalists like yourself have their priorities misplaced. We have much bigger problems which need to be addressed in the immediate future…instead of spending billions and billions yearly in taxpayer dollars for research on ghost anthropogenic warming which has yet to be proven outside of the normal realm of natural cycle of warming! But of course…I am the hypocrite for having a forth child. Nice one. Stay classy!

    Thanks for all your support guys!

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      My neighbors have 10 kids. I wanna know what that makes them! ;-)

  20. Jonny says:

    cant understand how anybody could have voted for Al Gore ,or Obama while im on the subject.

  21. mike says:

    these idiots would rather recycles a milk carton than support our troops in harms way,what a country we have become,its a crying shame.if you can afford 10 kids than all the power to you,its the people who cant that shoudnt have them,we shouldnt have to pay for other peoples moments of passion

  22. manowx says:

    oops that you’re not your One of these days i will compose an errant-free, substantive post

  23. manowx says:

    I totally agree Mike now back to weather… winter is over!

  24. manowx says:

    two weeks without Joe Joyce on air is going to be depressing because the weather looks to be boring

  25. manowx says:

    If Feb comes in 2.5 degrees milder than average in Boston the winter as whole will be above average. That would mean Harvey Leonard and I half-vindicated.

  26. Topkatt88 says:


    The snow stopped here. Winter is over. NOT! :-)

  27. Charlie says:

    Yeah Massachusetts could of had almost 9 mil people in a powerful state instead look at the state, losing another seat, the nation doesn’t listen to us anymore, yeah the easiest now is to reduce the population, and later wonder what happen to our state, recycling is a crock

  28. Charlie says:

    Everyone has there opinions, I think winter is over, I will be watching from this point forward to see exactly how much snow we get, at this point cold doesn’t count, it’s all about how much snow we get, and I think around these parts sw of Boston we will get only additional 3-6 inches for the remainder of the year, we got 72 inches, we won’t make 80 inches, just my opinion, I’ll be watching :)

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      I respect your opinion but disagree in terms of cold not counting. We’ve had some pretty serious cold outbreaks late in the season, including a few in April. There was a day in April 1982 in which Boston failed to reach 20. That’s still winter, in Spring! Seasons overlap here. Last year, Spring was here before “Winter” was over. This year, probably not going to be the case. But as you said, it’s your opinion, and you’ll be watching. And so will we all. :-)

  29. weathernut2 says:

    Why dont you ask Japan how that reduced population theory is working out?

  30. TTSutton says:

    I’m sorry to get back to the weather…It looks to me like the next six weeks will be just like they “usually” are. Some cold, some snow, some ice, some rain, some warmth. ie…late February and March.

  31. rich cerasale says:

    congrats on your 4th child joe

  32. rainshine says:

    How can anyone say winter is over? We are still in the middle of February. We have had snow as late as May. We could get a few wks. of really mild weather and then a big snowstorm – even a few inches of snow is still a sign of winter. Looking out my window at the huge snowbanks – winter is hardly over.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      They can say it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. ;-)

    2. Charlie says:

      I just think winter is over, of course there will be a couple more snow events, but for most the snow piles will shrink a bunch over the next week or so,and for some in Bristol and Plymouth counties could just have snow piles with alot of
      bare ground esp in sunny areas, again IMO :)

  33. sam hates snow says:

    Congrats Joe. Will see you in 2 weeks.

    Nope the winter is not over, as a snow hater, I wish it was, but I bet we will get some good ones, maybe even next Mon-Tue time frame.

  34. southshoretom says:

    Hudson Bay frozen, harbor temp down to 38F, eastern Canada finally cold and snow covered…..tough to imagine those cold weather features wont chill New England’s weather a few or several more times over the next 2 to 3 months.

  35. Topkatt88 says:

    There are hints via Euro & GFS of a setup similar to the double-barrel storm of a few weeks ago occurring early next week (i.e., overrunning snow Mon Feb 21 & some kind of variety of precip. Tue Feb 22), of course timing subject to tweaking. I would not discount the possibility based on the memory pattern theory, or the idea that a pattern tends to repeat several times during the course of a season. That idea was taken into account often when doing forecasts out to 15 days for my agricultural areas worldwide and it was a successful practice. I’ve found no reason to abandon it.

    1. southshoretom says:

      Feb 21 & 22 potential = just in time for school winter break……..If this Thursday and Friday’s weather could be pushed back to next week.

    2. DS says:

      Yuck. I was hoping that type of messy storm would steer clear of us.

      Guess that was wishful thinking. Especially for this time of year.

    3. Charlie says:

      See I c snow and ice north and west, but here in my area Norfolk/Bristol cty, I c a rain event with temps in the mid and upper 30’s, the snow and ice should be confined north and west of 495, do u see it that way topkatt??

  36. rainshine says:

    Wow – ‘though I don’t know much about the computer models – I think that when the GFS and Euro are in agreement there is that chance that something could happen. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Memory Pattern Theory – sounds so interesting and logical! Well, we will see.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      It’s hard to see it on the 12z Euro, but it’s there. Just timing isn’t right yet. Take the 12z Euro and speed the timing up by 24 hours starting next weekend to get what will most likely occur. Seen this model do this countless times.

    2. Topkatt88 says:

      The support for the memory pattern theory lies in the fact that similar synoptic events often take place while medium-term and long-term climate indicies (PDO, PNA, AO, NAO, ENSO, QBO, etc.) are in certain phases and remain there over a period of time (say a month or 2).

  37. rainshine says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This came up on one of my posts – what does it mean??

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      It means somebody clicked “Report comment”. It may have been done by accident. I’ve done it myself when meaning to hit “Reply”.

      1. rainshine says:

        Thanks, Topkatt88.

  38. philip says:

    testing post.

  39. matt says:

    why is my post saying waiting for moderation.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Mr. Troll is probably sitting here clicking “Report comment” on every honest blogger because he can’t think of anything clever to write today. ;-)

  40. Hadi says:

    I really can’t believe people think winter is over? We are only at Feb 13th. Some of our biggest storms come from now throughout march. The worst is probably over but I can’t for 1 second believe that we are done with some cold and snow. Again only in IMO.

    1. David White says:

      In March and April, 1956, the heaviest snowfall of the winter came in five blizzard or blizzard type storms between March 16th and April 8th.

  41. Topkatt88 says:

    It has something there at 12z on 2-23. I think the timing on that run may be slow.

  42. philip says:

    Any chance of a “flash freeze” Monday night and Tuesday?

    1. matt says:

      probably do to the melting of the snow pack expect about 2 to as much as 8 or 9 inches gone from snow packs depending on where you live this will mean alot of water on road ways which would refreeze

      1. philip says:

        Yes, that is my concern due to Monday’s brief melting. My hope is that there is a gradual cooldown come Monday evening and streets/sidewalks get a chance to dry out some.

  43. Cat966G says:

    this winter still has plenty of life left. dont be fooled by this up coming warm air. i think boston still has another 10″-15″ or more left.

  44. Matt says:

    People laughed at the Groundhog…looks like he was right his year. Its over people. Get a grip. Come back next year. Winters over the past 3 years or so have followed this same pattern. Alot of snow in December/January…then once February starts…basically nothing. People always throw out the April Fools storm, but that was a fluke that happens once every 20 years. It usually doesn’t snow around here that much at all after March and we are two weeks away from March, and this week we are going to have nothing.

    1. matt says:

      look at models and see what what they are saying for next week.

  45. matt says:


    this week warm monday for those warm hearts :)
    cold tuesday for break ups
    wednesday friday warm with a mix of sun and clouds.
    chance of rain showers turning to snow showers friday night -saturday morning as a cold front brings in the cold that would supply a storm system with cold air that could effect us during next week. warm air will try to wrap up into the storm possibly causing a ice issue
    besides for the person that is useing my name

    1. David White says:

      Who remembers the snowstorm on May 9, 1977? A heavy wet snow for metro west, beautiful amidst the spring blossoms, but devastating for tree limbs and power lines. There were many power outages lasting up to two days..

  46. Topkatt88 says:

    philip… Gusty wind & rapidly lowering dewpoints Monday evening should help dry out wet areas to some extent before they freeze, but I suspect some spots will still become icy.

    1. philip says:

      Topkatt…thanks, I have just had about enough of walking these icy sidewalks. I get around mostly by public transit. Hopefully Joe’s prediction of ice storms does not come true.

      1. Topkatt88 says:

        There are an inordinate amount of sidewalks with that hard-packed, impossible to remove ice, and of course the lack of extended mild spells to this point have made the conditions persist. Alot of that should go by Friday or early Saturday.

  47. Charlie says:

    The temp went from 34.1 at 6pm, and is up to 35.8 as of now, not cold out at all

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Warm front went by a while ago…Should sit between 33 & 38 most of the night now.

      1. Charlie says:

        Ya know there already is a huge difference from 10 days ago, not nearly as much snow, I still stand by that most places will have little if any snow left by the weekend on ground, temps will stay above freezing now, and later in the week there will be a 60-70 hr period were we will stay above freezing along with fog, this is what I think will chew it up, and chew it up very very quick, have a great day :)

    2. Charlie says:

      I think by morning we could be 37-38 degrees and by 1pm 50 degrees is not outa the question before the front comes through

  48. philip says:

    My hope is that with upcoming snow events we get a couple days of warmth behind them instead of days on end of arctic cold. Keeping my fingers crossed that ice storms do not materialize but I also have a bad feeling that Joe’s thoughts may be correct.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      There is going to be alot of cold air in Canada available for tapping for cold shots behind warm-track storms, draining in redeveloping storms, and banking for cold-track storms, during the next 6 weeks.

      1. philip says:

        In other words…more of the same, more or less? ;-)

  49. Topkatt88 says:

    Barry… The dates are off by 1 on the 7-day forecast. Not sure if you caught that yet.

  50. southshoretom says:

    I will be interested to read Barry’s blog. I thought I heard him say at the end of his broadcast that no big storms were in sight. It did not seem like he wanted to hint at anything beyond next Sunday.

    1. philip says:

      Southshoretom…I noticed that too that Barry didn’t want to go beyond next Sunday which is probably just as well not to needlessly alert the general viewer for the time being and to save “the good stuff” for us on the blogs later.

      1. southshoretom says:

        Agreed. Your right, I’m sure he’ll have some info in there that is interesting.

  51. JimmyJames says:

    To people who winter is over just because of a thaw coming this week thing again. As I said yesterday we will get snow but I don’t see snowstorms that will produce widespread double digit snowfall totals for the rest of the winter like we had with the post Christmas blizzard.

    1. philip says:

      Jimmy, you are probably right that future snowstorms won’t be nearly as bad as the past ones…but I am not going to totally rule out at least one more double-digit snowfall at some point before winter’s end in some locations.

  52. JOHN says:

    Hey TK what went wrong with the bruins this weekend

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      The Bruins got taught a lesson by the best team in the NHL.

  53. Lisa Valente says:

    If this is strictly a “weather blog” then quit blowing so much hot air and criticizing other people’s happiness. As Joe said earlier…”Stay Classy!” I, in the other hand think you are an ass.

    1. Lisa Valente says:

      meant to say ON the other hand…

  54. Lisa Valente says:

    …ON the other hand…

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