April Fool’s Storm Looking More Wintry

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

Well, this storm is certainly starting to look more wintry. A much colder look on a bunch of our models this morning. Could this change tomorrow? Absolutely…but more and more this is looking to have a look of a Nor’easter coming up the coast.  There are still plenty of questions regarding the overall track, the supply of cold air into the storm, and the seasonal effects of how hard it is to snow this time of year. But memories of the April fool’s storm of 1997 remind us how easy it can be to get a quick heavy snow depending on the timing and track of a storm.

So here we go again…Tuesday’s runs…likely to be different from Wednesday’s & Thursday’s run…but hopefully close enough that this early speculation rings true.

The Euro has an all out Nore’aster off the coast. Any Morning mix changing to snow for many..excluding the Cape. Gale force winds at the coast. Potential for a foot of snow inland away from the coast.

12 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

850 mb temps on the Euro and GFS are cold aloft to support snow. The O line barely makes it over the Canal. It’s a cold look. The question is the boundary layer warmth at the surface with a wind off the 40 degree water could allow for mixing at the coast…also the lack of a real cold high to supply the cold into the storm. It looks snowy to me.

 62 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

How about the O6Z GFS…very similar look to the Euro this morning. A low bombing out just southeast of Nantucket. Are you kidding me? Again the 850 line is down towards the Cape with the 540 line (Snow/rain) barely getting up to Boston. As this low pulls away any mixing changes to snow later friday and friday night…but lighter amounts. The precipitation looks heavy…so as this falls it will likely drag the cold air down with it and fight off any low level boundary warmth. Again..potential for a foot of snow inland.

21 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

The Canadian has a farther offshore track…which would be a lighter snowfall for Southeast MA. The UKMET this morning has a similar look to the Canadian with a low moving far enough south of New England for the Northen fringe to graze southern New England with a  Snow. The UKMET was far west yesterday…so it is all over the place trying to figure this out.

31 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

The Japanese is still holding onto to it’s inside running low up the Appalacians with a secondary up the Hudson river valley…bring a wamer solution and mostly a heavy rainfall.

41 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

The RPM this morning is intersting as they have the precipitation starting Thursday and continuing into Friday. The map below show total accumulation of snow on the ground by 12Z Friday…so it does not even include what falls on Friday. This has the greater Boston Metro area with 4-6″ of snow, with 6-8″ in the Wocester Hills by early Friday morning…with more to fall!  Bad news.

mgweb wrf 20110329 120000 ane econus f00720000 pwintersnow r12km April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

This SREF winter weather forecasting product BELOW shows the probabilty of snow. The Blue is a 90% probability, the Red is a 70% probability. Yikes. But this product is based on the Candadian which does take a lot of the moisture south and just grazes us…with an apparent mix.

I like the map below for a guidance for an early idea on who can expect snow. I think any where outside of 128…it is looking like a pretty good thumping of snow is possible…if not likely. Considering the amount of moisture which is in play with this system any sort of track south of New England could spell bad news for the winter/snow haters of New England. 

7 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

The 12z GFS prints out QPF totals in southern New England ranging from 1.25-1.5″. If some areas remain all snow…depending on the tracks…well, the potential for some areas to see a foot of snow is not out of the question…especially if the track of the EURO or GFS verify.  Though mixing remains a concern at the coast,  Any sort of elevation will almost gurantee all snow with ratios of at least 10-1. You can see heavy precip extending from Washington DC to Boston. Even the major metropolitain areas should be on the look out for snow…track dependent.

111 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

Below is the 12Z GFS 500 mb Vort for Thursday night. Check out the energy rounding the base of the trough heading towards  mid-Atlantic and New England.

10 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry

 Again…this can all change tomorrow. This is just a blog to show you what we are looking at TODAY and our current thinking. This storm has real potential and will likely have an area of heavy snow inland, rain at the coast…primarily southeastern MA…with strong winds too. If this heavy wet snow occurs the potential for power outages.

There is still plenty of uncertainty in how this will play out. More changes in the coming days are almost guranteed. The NAM has the storm completely missing us to the south. Not buying that solution when you look at everything else. I still believe this will be a significant storm, luckily quick moving. It does appear today to have an increased risk of an interior heavy snowfall. We will see.

For Curiosity’s sake…the 12Z Euro…midday Friday121 April Fools Storm Looking More Wintry


  • Jofus

    Looks like Henry M wasn’t alone.

    But this winter, fiorecast models have been unreliable more often than not.

    This is one situation where we might not know what happens until after it happens. It may be difficult to forecast even while it’s taking place. It’s THAT kind of situation.

    • thetruth

      They why come on here and post thousands of times if – once again – we are NOWcasting?????

      • Jofus

        The models to me look so confusing that this one may be very difficult to forecast even a few hours ahead.

        There’s still the chance this could fizzle out.

        Or Boston could get eighteen inches of snow.

  • JOHN

    Joe- what else could you ask for after reading that blog, you outdid yourself again. Awesome information. I hope your boss sees the blogs that you have been putting up. Top notch Joe, keep up the great work,

  • retrac

    What a nice post Joe.

  • Snowlover

    Hi Joe:
    Wow!! Excellent blog. Thank you for explaining all the scenario’s. Of course I would love to see one more big one before Spring,.

    • matt

      What makes it excellent? Because he’s predicting snow? If it were rain it would not be excellent, right?


      Yeah dud, just move to northern main or Alaska, I bet you get a snow day if it snow’s more than an inch.

  • retrac

    geez….is the GFS really going to come in…….it would put down well over a foot in Worcester Hills according to 12z run. Nuts.

    anyone have scoop on 12z Canadian?

  • retrac

    I mean 12z Euro….I already saw the Canadian

  • http://joejoycewbz.wordpress.com joejoycewbz

    It’s a 495 Mauler!

    • sam

      And that would mean what?

  • http://joejoycewbz.wordpress.com joejoycewbz

    12 Z Euro still has a major snowfall inland. GFS and EURO tracks still almost identical. East winds will allow lower accums at coast…piles up inland along a coastal front. This storm looks like it is going to bomb. Explosive pattern.

    • JimmyJames

      I like how you all say “BOMB.”: That was used religiously on here for the last two storms (aka dustings)…let’s not go overboard here. This only adds to the hype for a storm that is 3 days out, and the next model runs might show a miss.

    • SummerFool

      Now Joe….don’t get too giddy about this….as you stated this could all change tomorrow…also, it is April and the strong April sun will have something to say about this…I know you snow *lovers* want one more, but hey…take a reality check.

      “495 Mauler” ??? Easy big boy

  • retrac

    thanks Joe. I’ve been hesitant on GFS all winter becasue of how that NAM has performed but with Euro coming in too, I might bite on this now.


  • retrac


    I forget now but which model hinted at this first….Euro or GFS? I thought I remebered a blogger showing EURO map several days ago with this. A few people poked fun at the post but looks like a good long-range call at this point

  • JMA

    12z ECWMF delivers a ~1.5 QPF. 850mb all below 0c at BOS and ORH. However, 2M temps remain above 0c for duration at both locations. It is that lack of low level cold, that makes me worry about going all in on snow right now.

  • JMA

    Dynamic cooling can only do so much with a lack of strong cold to drain from the north if the winds are more east/northeast. There was much more cold air able to drain down from the north in 1997, and these comparisons to 1997 will blow this forecast up if people bite on it too much.

  • retrac

    I know JMA right….This thing is gonna have to make its own cold air as we all know. Think of how rare something like this is for this time of year….everything has to fall perfectly in line. I do remeber ’97 quite well however. I remember it pouring rain then came the thunder, lighting and 33″ of snow.

    • JMA

      But you had a north wind and a lot more cold air to the north, after the cold front blew through here the day before.

  • JMA

    I believe that it can and will snow north and west of 128, I just do not like the lack of cold air, the lack of -NAO/AO, the progressive 500mb flow, the amount of snow that would have to fall in the daytime with surface temps abvoe freezing with April Sun angle, a lot of things have to go right for major snowfall in SNE in April, and too many things here are not right for me to have confidence.

  • retrac

    I hear ya JMA….what do you wish for here… a stronger storm with more qpf to draw down cold but that might come back to haunt pulling more ocen air in. I’m at about 900′ elevation central Mass. so I do like my chances more than inside of 128 for sure

  • http://www.goedeckephotography.com massextra2

    Hey Joe….Craig G at Northeastweathereye.com in Hull… So what do you think regarding storm surge as the NWS indicated that it would be a concern for coastal communities?? and wow…1997 all over again per those maps!

  • JMA

    900′ you will do fine with snowfall under just about any scenario here….Problem is a lot of the forecast area is far below that, making the forecast far more difficult.

    • retrac

      I still have snow on the ground JMA. About 6″+ for 20% of my yard plus 2′ snow banks still.

      These mets are going to work especially hard on this one.

      • Charlie

        Dam, we haven’t had any snow on ground or piles for about 3-4 weeks now here in Wrentham, r u well north and west??

  • JimmyJames

    Great blog Joe as usual. As I have been saying this is going to be something to watch evolve and if you are in the interior especially up in elevation using the Snow Index I would say there is a shot at a MODERATE Snowfall. The coastal areas I think would have a MINOR Snowfall. I still think more wet than white for those areas. Those are my inital thoughts on impacts and as always this could change so stay tuned!

  • http://joejoycewbz.wordpress.com joejoycewbz

    The High tide is at 10:50 AM. The tidal height is about 9.5…which is not astronomically high for the month. Strongest winds will be from the northeast Friday morning and intensify midday into the early afternoon where gusts to 50 mph will be possible. Seas will be building to 10-15 feet off the coast during the afternoon…before winds shift to the NW late in the day. There will be big waves…but the tide will be going out with the peak wind and waves. Too small of a window to create any big coastal problems.

    • Kyle

      Joe, excellent blog! Pay no attention to the trolls’ remarks. There are 2-3 of them.

  • http://joejoycewbz.wordpress.com joejoycewbz

    ^^^^ I agree with the sentiment….of tempering our enthusiasm….because all this could easily change tomorrow with a slight change in track or temp and it all goes down the drain. BUT nothing is coming in terms of snow?? I guess it depends on where you live. The coast could end up with very little…But I am pretty sure there will be some snow involved with this storm.

  • matt

    The GFS model is showing that the storm will drag cold air in if i am not reading this wrong .http://weather.unisys.com/gfsx/gfsx.php?inv=0&plot=850&region=us&t=4d\
    I am still going with my earlier thoughts on this storm
    The next storm will not be all rain or all snow.
    south and east of boston will be mainly rain.
    north and west of boston will have a mix of snow and rain.. Snow thrusday night changing to rain friday noon time. then changing back before the precipitaion ends
    North of rt 2 it could remain as snow with several inches of snow being verry possible

  • foxylady

    Snow is not going to happen unless you live on a moutain.

  • Hadi

    Thanks Joe! Great blog as always.

  • Manny

    with respect to all u on here
    jma topkatt matt hadi jimmyjames joe joyce matt weatherwiz and others
    i want to hear from the baileyman on this one serious now
    call me a fanatic fan but i remember that dude hitting on just about every storm this winter
    tell me im wrong or not but did he not hit all of the big snowstorms to the inches?
    so what is up with that bm? where are you? i need to know for one cause i got big party plans friday dude and i do not want no dam snowstorm!! so please telll us whats up with this storm for friday if you there?
    tell us its rain or missin us please! baileyman come back and set this storm straight dude and tell us the trrue stuff on this .. saying prayin out to sea or rain here!!!

  • leo

    There was a ne wind for the first part of the storm(1997) went nne and then north after midnight. Temps dropped to the upper 20’s for several hrs. during the peak of the storm. The next day had some bands of mod snow in the morning with a steady light wetter snow into the afternoon. Snow stopped around 4 Pm. Does that sound about right anybody?

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