April Fool’s Storm Not A Joke

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.

  • Topkatt88

    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.

  • Scott

    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?

  • WeatherWizard

    Thanks Joe.

  • Charlie

    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 :)

  • notgonnasnow

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

  • John

    Thank’s Joe good information

  • JimmyJames

    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.

    • Charlie

      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 :)

      • mmewcqia

        le5rSt vflbxbovrvzo

      • mgimkx

        csz1kl ybgqmuxokppx

      • Latasha

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

  • leo

    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.

  • Scott

    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.

  • Hadi

    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.

  • philip

    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.

  • JimmyJames

    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.

  • chris72

    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.

  • leo

    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!

    • Topkatt88

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

  • TomFromActon


    • Scott

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

  • leo

    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.

  • Dave

    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!

    • Dave

      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

  • RMB


  • Topkatt88

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

    • JimmyJames

      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.

      • Topkatt88

        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.

    • aqua

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

  • manowx

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

    • matt

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

  • manowx

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

  • manowx

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

  • manowx

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

  • Snow Time

    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!


    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • smitty

      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

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