By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

The weather is extremely quiet and boring through the midweek. Plenty has been discussed about it already. We are going to focus on a late week storm which is showing more and more that this could turn into a powerful storm for the Northeast by April Fool’s day bringing a heavy mix of rain and wind at the coast and heavy snow for the NW interiors of New England.

This storm is still several days away…so absolutely nothing is nailed down yet…but the purpose of this discussion is to show the pattern in place and the real potential for future development along the coast for the end of the week. There still likely be more changes ahead as we fine tune our thinking in the coming days.

For now, I am just focused on the upper level winds…the jetstream. In the past few days our models have been trying to figure out the copious amount of energy spilling into the blocking pattern. Timing the arrivals has been a bit back in forth. Yesterday, I thought Thursday was our day. Today I see that low will likely be riding south…only to be followed by a more powerful low up the coast for Friday. This could absolutely change in the coming days…but our models are starting to pick up and handle all of this scattered energy a bit better which is giving me a bit more confidence for this storm by week’s end.

The big difference in the models from yesterday to today is the amount of phasing they are starting to show with the northern and southern streams. This phasing is slowing the pattern and arrival of the storm. As these streams merge a major amplification could occur at the coast as the eastern trough takes on a slightly more negative tilt.

This is the 06Z run of the GFS Thursday night which is showing incredible good upper level divergence along the east coast for lift. Moisture is being directed out of the Gulf of Mexico. This points to a developing storm along the coast.

gfs 500 120l April Fools Storm Not A Joke

An upper level low will likely track just west of the Appalacian mountains into New England. This appears to have the signature of one low travelling up west of us…with a secondary developing low at the coast. Look at the strong vortmax rounding the base of the trough in bost the GFS and Euro models…which will provide abundant lift to the atmosphere as this low travels through New England.

gfs 500 144l1 April Fools Storm Not A Joke

500vty f132 bg us April Fools Storm Not A Joke

The map below is a mix of QPF and 850 mb temps. The O C line is right across the border of MA at 18 Z. If this is true…the ptype will start as snow Friday morning in Central New England…before the second low will wrap in warmer air and allow a change over to rain in the afternoon. Still northern mountains of New England have the potential for a significant heavy snow fall from this event.

gfs pcp 132l April Fools Storm Not A Jokegfs ten 138l April Fools Storm Not A Joke

The Euro is a bit different with it’s track and set up but still powerful with a 980 mb low tracking from New Jersey up through southern New England. The Euro has a rainy mix Friday which changes to snow by Friday night across a good portion of the region. The exact tracks remain uncertain, but I think it is pretty clear we could be dealing with a significant storm along the east coast which will come with Ptype Issues.

ecmwf apcp f138 ne April Fools Storm Not A Joke

ecmwf apcp f150 ne April Fools Storm Not A Joke

Some of the ensembles have this slowing down and waiting until Late Friday or even Saturday….so again…some wiggle room will be needed here in the next few days, but this storm will likely have a major impact across the northeast and will have the winter weather haters crying even louder than they already are. 

mslp f168 ussm1 April Fools Storm Not A Joke

This dry pattern with storms riding south of us can not and will not last forever. This late week event should shift things around just enough to get the weather bit more active  around here. Heading into April we will be fighting a boundary between a ridge which wants to assert itself and a trough which has no intention of leaving. New England will be along the thermal battle zone as usual. Enjoy the quiet when while it lasts.

PS….If you hear anyone complaining about the cold sunny weather…please remind them 16,000 people died in a Tsunami. Complaining about a little chilly airmass is so _____ . Please fill in the word. Have a great week.

Comments (66)
  1. Topkatt88 says:

    Thanks Joe. Excellent blog! A couple of my coworkers and I have been keeping this April 1 storm threat on our convo tropic for over a week now.

    And I completely agree with your “PS”. I’ve already been reminding them.

  2. Scott says:

    how well do models pick up on the fact that these types of storms are favorable of producing their own cold air? And are any of them showing this?

  3. WeatherWizard says:

    Thanks Joe.

  4. Charlie says:

    Still chilly for today and tommorrow, but towards end of week temps come close to 50 degrees, like I’ve been saying a minor flood threat is possible Fri/Sat, could be up to 3 inches for some, a little snow well north and west and NH, but a rain event for most :)

  5. notgonnasnow says:

    Give it a rest, Joe, will you? Just more of your wishful thinking.

  6. John says:

    Thank’s Joe good information

  7. JimmyJames says:

    Great blog Joe and we should be thankful we are not dealing with what the people in Japan are going through.
    As for the storm POTENTIAL late week I think it will be more wet than white and if there is any wintry precipitation it will be in the elevated areas of SNE. The Northern Mountains COULD get amount of snow.

    1. Charlie says:

      I agree jj, I think for the Boston to Providence corridor it’s mainly rain, could be a little snow Fitchburg to Worcester north, but I don’t live there, like u said mountains is were it’s gonna be :)

      1. Latasha says:

        I’m impressed by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knolwdeegable?

  8. leo says:

    Joe haven’t you complained before about a chilly day? Can we not complain about an unusually cold airmass for this time of year because of a catastrophic tsunami that happened on the other side of the world. Was it OK to complain before the event occurred? I understand your just putting things into perspective but maybe it should have been worded differently. That being said I still enjoy you your forecasting abilities and you seem like a pretty cool Guy.

  9. Scott says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how the NAM handles this storm, remember last storm with the GFS, the NAM blew it away from the start.

  10. Hadi says:

    Thanks Joe, great blog as always. You really break it down with the best of them.

    We should all appreciate the tame weather we have in NE compared to many others parts of the country.

  11. philip says:

    Regarding the potential April 1, 2011 (Friday) storm, remember that the April 1, 1997 storm was expected to be ALL rain as well. As long as this storm is projected to remain south of SNE, p-type of snow is very much on the table.

  12. JimmyJames says:

    Hey RMB…. Just try to ignore those people on the blog who cause trouble. There were some big thunderstorms last week an EF 2 in Greensburg, PA. It was good were on the cold side of that weak storm system that impacted us.

  13. chris72 says:

    I agree with the PS part. It is amazing to hear people complaining about chilly weather considering what is going on in other areas of the world. Early spring in New England usually is not that great anyhow. Even if we do get some snow late week it will be April so it won’t be a big deal. I have stopped watching local news because I am tired of hearing all the news anchors whining about the fact that it isn’t 70 degress yet. Get over it.

  14. leo says:

    Watched forecast from Barry several days before the 1997 april1 blizzard and he did predict a storm bombing out offshore and a heavy rain to heavy snow scenario. Didnt predict all rain. Im positive!

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      I believe I have that forecast on an old VHS tape.

  15. TomFromActon says:


    1. Scott says:

      lol, that GFS is having problems
      compare the 00z run to the 12z run of the GFS, i would toss the 12z model run.

  16. leo says:

    previous runs of GFS showed a hit but the very latest run of the 12ZZ GFS showed a miss. 12z gfs came out after their thoughts were posted.

  17. Dave says:

    that is the most recent gfs so i would think it would be more reliable which is why he may be asking? the 6z GFS did not show a big storm either so that is the last 2 So again if a big storm threat was there I dont think the last 2 GFS would have lost it that quickly. Bottom line I agree no need to hype. There will likely be no big snow threat at all!

    1. Dave says:

      I mean to say the oz & 6z GFS said rain only in SNE and the 12z run says a miss. So what is the big snow threat talk all about?????? even the EURO says mainly rain in Southern ne

  18. RMB says:


  19. Topkatt88 says:

    I don’t know about the weather today but… GO VCU!

    1. JimmyJames says:

      Topkatt my bracket is done so I am rooting for VCU to pull the upset. I got a feeling Kansas is going to make a run.

      1. Topkatt88 says:

        I’m sure they will make a run but it will fall short. My wife is a Kansas fan and they always find a way to disappoint her.

    2. aqua says:

      Tough loss yesterday Rask played awesome. What are your thoughts for the April fools storm.

  20. manowx says:

    Yesterday was a day that allayed my fears of global warming! I dont mind the cold I hate the snow! Global warming!

    1. matt says:

      what is the use of cold if you do not have snow. I think it is a waste of cold .

  21. manowx says:

    The gases are making it just warm enough that this will not be a repeat of fool’s day 1997

  22. manowx says:

    If you like fool’s day snow storms I suggest you stop exhaling Otherwise, it’s runaway global warming…eventually.

  23. manowx says:

    Joe has composed his best blog yet. An over-achieving one in my opinion. Very Burbankish.

  24. Snow Time says:

    Lots of cold air to the north lots of cold water to our east lots of energy from the south and west you never know what is going to happen next around here!

  25. STEWART says:

    As predicted by joe barry and others per usual the big talk and all that confidence about a big nor’easter late this week is now by the boards!!!! may i dare ask ? WHY ON GODS GREEN EARTH DO YOU GUYS DO THIS ALL THE TIME WHEN ALMOST EVERY TIME WITHIN HOURS LATER THE THREAT IS GONE!!?????
    To be honest it is really really sad and pathetic! Dont make a forecast and boast about how confident you are joe and others when there is no real evidence!!!! the models that came out today just hours after all you confident prognostications totally disprove their validity!!! Give it up and just stop with such boasting! I hope at long last joe j barry b and others can give up with all this nonsense and just admit……………..WINTER IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. smitty says:

      and just why do you feel the need to tell them what they can and can’t say? fine we know your opinion and that you are really good at making up multiple screen names including using mine which you did earlier today, but why do you keep coming here if it bothers you so much?? go start a blog and invite only people who promise not to mention winter or snow after feb 28 or whatever date you decide winter ends every year

  26. James says:

    And yes I must say the models are now off with any big storm threat and well the EURO does show a miss now. So I am inclined to agree that Joe Joyce went overboard saying he was confident when the models following his blog gave him no support. Wishful thinking sometimes will cloud ones better judgement stewart but there is no need to be so rude.

  27. leo says:

    Agreed Snow Time! Thats what makes each and every storm interesting around here and very hard to forecast. Ofcourse nobody can read into the future but it is interesting to see the possibilities of a big storm around here come Friday. We “probably” wont see much snow in Southern New England because of it being late in the season and by just pure chance is unlikely but once in a great while(April6, 1982 April1, 1997) it does happen. Ofcourse odds are against it but ya never know. Until then the speculation, hype, arguing and model watching begins.

  28. joejoycewbz says:

    Let’s not get it twisted people. I did not say this was going to be a snow storm…maybe for northern New England mountains..and higher elevations central new England…..but in no way did I mean a typical snow snowstorm for southern New England. Could there be a change over to snow as the storm pulls away? sure. This will should be more of a rain event for the viewing area…Northern and western New England have the better chance of seeing some snow…Being that the models will continue their fun and games the next few days….all pure speculation at this point.

    1. mark says:

      CYA, right Joe?

  29. Scott says:

    So both the GFS and EURO are showing a faster and less phasing pattern with their 12z runs.
    With the la nina weaking, and the fact that we just transitioned from +NAO to -NAO, could result in model mayhem.
    Should be an interesting week, especially when you throw the NAM into the equation.

  30. Concerned basement says:

    Rain or snow, how much precipitaton are the models predicting with this storm?

  31. Joshua says:

    We shall see. That’s the only sane thing that can be said now. Models do not do well 5 days prior to a storm, in terms of exact positioning. Nevertheless, I like the fact that Joe went out of his way to explain the various possible scenarios.

    To those of you who declare “winter is over.” Have you stepped outside at all in the past 3 days? Winter is hanging on. Granted, it is for dear life. But, I don’t see much “spring” in the forecast, or in the current conditions.

    1. Chris McD says:

      I stepped out this afternoon in 38 or degrees weather in the sun and it was beautiful! If only winter had as much of a strong sun.

    2. Charlie says:

      Cold wise I agree, snow wise we haven’t had significant snow in almost 8weeks, Here in Wrentham we’ve gotten 5.1 inches of snow since Feb 4th, brr it has been cold though :)

  32. matt says:

    This next storm…. Might give us snow ,rain or both. It is 4 days away so do not count on anything. All the models will be going in circles. Right now i am thinking a cool solution with a mix of snow and rain at the beginning with it changing to plain rain

  33. smack says:

    Remember the April Fool’s Day Blizzard?

  34. retrac says:

    remember everyone…..the gfs has been garbage all winter……just saying before you get all amped up over 18z

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Actually the GFS was garbage for the early part of the winter and then did reasonably well starting with the storm that Barry & I thought would miss but ended up nailing us with about a foot of snow in a few hours…

      More recently, it has not been as good.

  35. retrac says:

    Thank you for the correction TK. Speaking in absolutes is never (lol) a good thing. And I like to try and keep that in check.

    I’ll restate

    The GFS has been garbage for most of the winter so don’t get excited.


    1. Topkatt88 says:

      Heh! I wasn’t really trying to make you sound like you didn’t knowwhat you were saying, as I understood that you know that the model would have some decent fcsts among its ugly run. But as far as 18z runs go, I tend not to put alot of stock in them anyway. And given the difference between the 12z & 18z runs? Well… you know how that goes. :-)

      1. retrac says:


        I know you weren’t bud. We’re good!

  36. Charlie says:

    Good evening and hope everyone had a good weekend, chilly for sure but rain to end the week, when the suns out it’s not bad at all even when it’s 45, I’ll check back later :)

  37. Topkatt88 says:

    I saw a cluster of very large birds in the sky around 6pm, drifting slowly to the NW while circling. I’ve talked to a couple local birdwatchers and the jury is out as to whether these were hawks or turkey vultures. I couldn’t get a good enough look to see if they had red tails (hawks) or not, due to the angle and the lighting. There were a total of 13 in the group and whatever they were, it was impressive to watch.

  38. JOHN says:

    MikeW from ch5 said it looks to be a rain storm around these parts- but who knows. He also noted that the pattern will be changing and getting back to normal temps in the near future. Have a good night everybody. G0 bruins 1-0 Phi start of second.

  39. matt says:

    I hate the 7-day and the little comments (watching, windy, snow….) so stupid not to mention never right.

  40. matt says:

    does anyone use wikispace. It is a website which alows you to blog about different things and you can control who can join or not. So if you want to join make a wikispace account preferably your name that is on this blog so i know who you are . My name on this website is matt1

    1. matt says:

      whoops i meant to say msouza1

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