Weekend Warm Up…Slow Moving Rain Tracks East

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

Plenty of clouds are locked in for the weekend…but southerly winds will be blowing in the feel of spring! High pressure cold off the coast help and early morning chill, but SW winds aloft are advecting warmer air into New England today. The inversion will likely help to prevent stronger winds from mixing down to the ground…but winds will start to pick up later today into tomorrow ahead of an approaching cold front.   Drier weather near New Jersey, Long Island and  just off the coast may help to punch a few holes through the overcast his afternoon, but the clouds will win the day this weekend…the dry weather will eventually be in retreat.

A boundary separating milder air surging up the Atlantic seaboard from the colder air diving down the Plains is the focus for heavy rain and thunderstorms today from the Ohio valley all the way down to the Gulf coast. High pressure off the coast is providing just enough stable sinking air to fight off most of the precipitation today…making for a pretty decent Saturday despite the clouds as temps will climb into the upper 40’s and lwr 50’s with a SSE wind at the surface. The dry weather will hold on into the evening…though a few showers may try to push into western New England. Some patchy fog or drizzle is possible overnight. Quiet night overall. Lows will bottom out near 40 around midnight and temps will start to rise towards dawn.

Though one batch of rain weakens tonight as it tries to push eastward…we have to watch energy coming out of the Gulf in the form of low pressure riding along a stationary front up into New England by the end of Sunday. I expect Sunday to start out dry in Eastern MA…but rain will begin to spread into western New England during the morning. By afternoon the heavier of the rain will be filling in across VT, Western MA, and CT. Showers will be spreading east towards the coast.  The weekend looks entirely dry on Cape Cod! By evening with the Low and slow moving cold front tracking across the region, heavy rain with a few embedded thunderstorms moving through early Monday morning will be likely.

About .50-2″ of rain is expected with the heaviest of the rain likely in Northern and western New England. Snow depth across the north is about 20-30″ of snow on the ground with Ice on the rivers 1-3 feet thick. The snow will absorb the rain…simply adding to the flood potential down the road. The ice is too thick right now to cause any ice jam flooding. In the South, significant snow melt will occur all weekend. There is still about 12-18″ of snow on the ground in Worcester county west. Part of this water will be released this weekend…along with a period of heavy rain…this could help to create some minor stream and small river flooding…as well as urban and poor drainage flooding…for a time Monday morning. 2-3″ of rain is needed in 6 hours to create flash flooding…we are likely going to fall just below that threshold…but still there could be some rapid rises with many area streams already running high.

As the low pulls away Monday afternoon, colder air will move in with NW winds. We will likely see a brief change over to a light wintry mix before it all ends. Best chance of light accumulating snow showers will be in the NW hills…may be a brief mix with sleet towards the coast. Colder more seasonal air will follow in with building high pressure from Canada for the midweek with temps in the Upper 30’s and Lwr 40’s.

A next storm system will track from the Plains through the Great lakes and well est of New England. This will bring warmer air up the coast again for any early mix Thursday to change to a plain steady rain for the afternoon. Drier weather will return for the weekend of march 12th. After another cool start, as temps will be warming again…before another front moves through Sunday to cool it down again for Monday the 14th.

So the trend is very typical March weather. Very Typical for  a La Nina pattern as numerous waves ride a boundary separating cold from Canada and the building warmth coming out of the Gulf. What is also typical of La Nina is some late season wintry weather which can last into April. I see a lot of quiet weather from the 14th and beyond. But what lies ahead towards the end of March is a bit more uncertain.

The NAO has been positive the past few weeks, and is starting to trend down…but does not show any signs of turning negative in the immediate future. In fact, it hovers in the neutral through the forseeable future…which should keep the pattern as is…with little snow for now.

Lately we have been seeing more ridging over the east and a trough out west. This pattern will likely change before the winter is all over. We have to watch for a trough building near Japan…for 10 days later, troughs tend to form over the northeast…If this along with a slightly negative NAO develop…we just may see a more wintry pattern to end the month with a trough over the northeast giving one more parting prize to this winter. It is possible…but hard to say right now…I am leaning towards that, but all signs are pointing to us slowly tip toeing through March with hopefully no major flooding problems for now. It is a fast active progressive pattern which will keep storms moving. The Problems are started when we find ourselves in a blocking pattern and storms stall…making for inches and inches of rain spring flooding. This could be April’s story.

  • philip

    Hey Joe…I liked your final sign-off at 8:00 am when you mentioned that there is no arctic air or snow “for now”. I still believe that there will be significant snow between now and April, either a couple moderate events or one final BIGGIE…we will see as always. Also I hope that no repeat of last years flooding this time around although perhaps NNE will be more vulnerable instead.

  • philip

    Southshoretom…I don’t know how old you are, but years ago when Daylight Savings Time didn’t start until late April, other than the one hour sleep loss, sunrises and sunsets were hardly noticeable. These days they are like “night and day” for about 3 weeks as you metioned in the previous blog.

  • JimmyJames

    Philip I am hoping for no flooding like last March and it looks like these storm systems are going to be progressive. I am hoping for that one last good snow event before we close the books on winter and then its on to tracking thunderstorms.

  • philip

    All of Boston’s top ten snowfall winters have had March with 8″+ of snow. Hopefully 2010-11 (#8) will join in as well…it would be a bit of a shame if it was the exception.

    • philip

      One final scary stat for snow lovers:

      March 2, 2010 = 0.2″ (final total)
      March 2, 2011 = 0.2″ (final total???)

  • Scott

    Thanks Joe for the update, was an interesting one seeing that winter may not be over just yet. usually winters that start late end late(i think!). we shall see.

  • leo

    In my opinion winter is pretty much over with just a small glopping of wet snow at the end of the month. 53.6f in east bridgewater with some nice mild sunshine. Just went for a jog it feels very nice

    • Charlie

      It is warm out, and sunny here too 52.1 deg :)

  • Charlie

    I am a huge snow lover like most of us, but I’m going to say it again, of course there’s always a chance for a snowstorm, but not this year, winter continues to be over, every storm from this point forward will be 99-100% rain, sure I can sit here and hope and say theres a possibility of this or a possibility of that, I’m telling all of u from the bottom of my heart winter is over and has been over snow wise for a month now, rain rain and more rain, March goes down again with 0 zilch nada etc etc, have a great day everyone and mid 40’s all week, even near 50!!

  • John

    I hope you are right with no more snow I would like that, But I have said it plenty we are due for March snow. I just don’t feel that winter will end this easy, not after this winter.

  • Leo

    Agreed charlie

  • Kent

    come on joe you know how it is in these parts, as soon as the clocks get bumped ahead winter is over,it is iresponisble for you to call for a big storm at months end.thats ridiculous

  • JimmyJames

    As I said earlier this winter did not disappoint me as a snow lover. I lived here all my life so I am not putting away my shovel and boots just yet.

  • David White

    Thanks Joe. How is the newest member of your family? I did not know there was that connection between a trough forming over Japan, and then one over the northeast ten days later. Most interesting.

  • Danny

    “The snow will absorb the rain…simply adding to the flood potential down the road.” You love to focus on the negative. That is one of many reasons I don’t like reading or watching anything you have to say. You love worst case scenarios.

    • smitty

      but yet you keep reading AND watching, and how is mentioning what is possible mean he loves worst case scenarios?? your comment has no basis in fact

  • JimmyJames

    Danny I love weather and enjoying tracking snowstorms, thunderstorms, etc but I don’t wish for loss of life or property. Weather has interested me ever since I was young and still does today.

  • Johnf

    JimmyJames, there is nothing wrong with that. I’ve always said one could have worse hobbies- It is ok and one does not have to defend themselves for it!!


    TopKatt, I do agree we shall see one more snow event, I think. But I also think it will come this mounth. I would say the third week is possible as we will be trending a tad bit cooler, but I think that may be even hard. I do not see snow in April in the cards this time. But I also must say I do think the spring will be just below in tempature, at least that is how I see it shaping now, but we both know that can easily change. As far as the next storm I may need to adjust my last comments. I am thinking we may get the rain just a tad bit sooner meaning more precipitation. I will try to post later tonight with a more detailed post as well as my thoughts on this pattern that we now are in. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Later.

  • coastal

    Confirmed fisher cat hit by car last week in Hanover, Ma.

  • matt

    This was the warmest and best day of the weekend. with temps soaring into the 50s for many. A south /southwest wind and sunshine lead to the spring like day.tomorrow increasing clouds will keep temps in the 40s Rain should begin in interior new englands first tomorrow morning. southern new england should see the steady rain arrive sometime in the afternoon. .75- 1.7 iinches of rain for most of southern new england. In the berkshires into southern vt and ny state 1.7 -3 inches of rain is possible the precipitaion will end form west to east monday afternoon with the rain possibly ending as some wet snow north of the pike and outside of 495. partly sunny with temps in the 40s and 50s through the week. The next storm for late week looks like snow to rain.After that storm I think we can be going into a cooler pattern possibly. Enjoy this spring like weather this week.

    • Topkatt88

      With the warm airmass already in place, and the wind out of the south right through the day tomorrow, I think the only place that will stay in the 40s is Cape Cod, the Islands, and the South Coast. Low to middle 50s for everyone else, even if there isn’t any sun. It will probably take until after sunset for the steady rain to reach Boston. This thing is almost all south to north movement with only a very slow eastward translation until we get the main low by us on Monday afternoon.

  • aqua

    Bruins,Bruins,Bruins WOW

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