Battle of the Changing Seasons

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

It is suddenly summer in the midwest where record warmth is surging into the Plains today. Temperatures will be in the 80’s from Kansas all the way to the Gulf states. No chance of us seeing that warmth today with a breezy NW wind out of Canada. Winds will be shifting to the SW overnight…and this will be the beginning of a brief warm up of small proportions…which will be accompanied with showers. Exciting stuff I know.

surface temp Battle of the Changing Seasons

Cold air is pushing down the Rocky Mountains bring 6-12″ of snow to area mountains. Cooler dry air will clash with the warmer more humid air coming out of the Gulf to form severe weather today. The map below shows the Severe Storms Prediction center’s outlook for the probability of sever weather developing.

sspc sunday outlook Battle of the Changing Seasons

We will be tracking that ribbon of rain and snow currently pushing into the Great Lakes. That is the warm front or the leading edge of the warm air mass that is beginning to spread eastward. By dawn tomorrow, the precipitation will be arriving at the coldest point of the day around sunrise.

This will allow for a brief burst of wet snow or sleet in the Berkshires and Worcester before quickly changing to rain. The cold air will likely hold on a bit longer in potions of NH and SW ME Monday morning where there is the potential for 1-3″ of snow before mixing to rain by midday.

nam 15 z monday morning Battle of the Changing Seasons

The warm front will be slow to advance north with the cold ocean water helping to keep it cooler at the ground. With SW winds aloft, overrunning precip in the form of showers will likely continue into the early afternoon.

Below is a map of what it will look like around noon Monday.  CT and RI will likely get into the warm and dry sector behind the warm front which could move temps to the 50’s…any breaks of sun will mean 60’s. While Northern New England will be on the cooler wetter side of the front struggle to reach 40 degrees. Showers will taper off from South to north during the afternoon. Still S wind and clouds…scattered showers, sprinkles, drizzle and fog are possible into Monday night as temps remain steady and start to climb overnight.

mm5 18 z mon Battle of the Changing Seasons

Tuesday will be the day of the cold front. Temperatures are always warmest the day of the frontal passage. Strong WSW aloft will continue to transport warm air into the Northeast… But nothing like what will be occurring from Virginia south where temps will be in the 70’s and 80’s. Nope. Our warm up on Tuesday will come with showers quickly advancing from west to east during the morning and could last into the afternoon. These raindrops will keep it cooler in the 50’s…despite the mild breezy SW winds at the ground.

gfs 500 mb vort tuesday am midday Battle of the Changing Seasons

Below is the SUNY MM5 showing the rain moving from west to east as early as 7 AM Tuesday morning. Hard to bust into the 60’s looking at that timing. Still any balmy air will be welcome…even it has to come with rain.

mm5 12 z tues1 Battle of the Changing Seasons

The combination of the passing warm front Monday with the cold front on Tuesday will deposit about .50-2″ of rain…with the heaviest likely to fall in central and western new england, with lighter amounts at the coast. Briefly heavy downpours will be possible Tuesday with a warmer more humid airmass.

total precip tues Battle of the Changing Seasons

A weak shortwave will move through Wed night-Thurs AM which could come with a few light rain or snow showers…no biggie. The bigger news will be the turning of the wind to the Northeast for Friday opening day which could make it awfully chilly and raw at the coast and keep temps in the 40’s.

Just enough ridging in place to stay optimistic about dry conditions…but questions are starting to emerge on how dry we will be. An unsettled look heading into the weekend persists. Some of the showers could spread into New England as early as Friday night.

euro 500 vt 12z saturday apr 9 Battle of the Changing Seasons

Another shortwave will be tracking through the Great lakes and north of New England. This appears to bring with it some light overrunning showers for Friday night into Saturday and enough to keep some cool cloudy damp conditions around to start off the weekend. The confidence on how all this plays out is still low right now.

euro 18 z saturday april 9 Battle of the Changing Seasons

 Check out after next weekend….a big Upper low comes spiraling through the midwest, slows, deepens and will impact our weather sometime in the 11-13th time frame.  More ridging ahead of the low could allow for another brief warm spell barring any more onshore winds…which can be so typical this time of year.

euro 500 vt 12 z tues apr 12 Battle of the Changing Seasons

This low will likely track west of us and bring rain, then much cooler air behind it as it pulls away into the Northeast. This setup has plenty of room to change in the coming days…but I am pretty sure we will have another shot of cool heading our way around this time once any sort of storm passes.

euro 12z tues april 12 Battle of the Changing Seasons

WSI is onto the incredible warmth shifting east and mostly staying away and south of the Northeast. A real nice summer pattern for those down south this weekend. Gorgeous weather for the Masters.  

6 10 day Battle of the Changing Seasons

Oddly enough…after forecasting April feature above normal across the east for the month of April. The forecast has changed. Not the first time this has happened. The outlook for April has now shifted towards temperatures running below normal in the northeast for the month of April. hard to argue with that. Despite brief surges of warmth active fronts will be sweeping across the nation creating severe weather. We will likely never get warm or humid enough to see the big storms…but south of us…I think it is safe to say the Thunderstorm season is beginning as Spring warmth becomes more pronounced against stubborn, yet retreating winter cold. 

cpc april 2011 Battle of the Changing Seasons

  • JimmyJames

    Great in depth blog Joe

  • southshoretom

    Thanks Joe………. So far, based on the title of your blog, I’d say cold and leftover winter gets a TKO over warmth and early spring/summer…..Beautiful day going on outside today.

  • Joshua

    Great blog, Joe. You’re very informative. I learn a lot from your perspective. I must say those long-range forecasts (one-month outlooks) usually don’t fare very well. They’ve been particularly abysmal the last 3 months. I think that beyond 2 weeks we have almost no idea what will happen. And, quite frankly, I don’t think that will change much with new technology. Weather is subject to extreme variability and endogenous as well as exogenous shocks that confound models all the time. I do think that 3-5 day forecasts will improve over time, and have done so in recent years. And, 5-15 day forecasts do give us some indications of what lies ahead, though their precision is always lacking.

  • matt

    Joshua…… i agree with you i think us weather forcasters/hobbiests will countinue having difficuties forcasting weather. But it is half the fun ,if you know what is going to happen it would not be as much fun. mother nature will continue to surprise us.

  • leo

    Discouraging to see no real warmups at all in the next few weeks. I was hoping last April would last forever! Not!

    • Italo

      Personally, I agree. :-( But then at least we are now into a typical Boston spring weather pattern of changing weather chaos: I got spoiled by last year, when we had an abnormally nice spring with lots of warmth and sunny weather. Stuff is beginning to bloom, the sun’s getting higher and stronger, and dusk comes later and later — gotta love it! I could just live with almost every Monday morning and Friday evening commutes being gloomy, rainy, cloudy and damp, though.

  • JimmyJames

    This April will be much different than last year. I don’t see 90 degree temps on Aril 7th this year.

  • matt

    nice day today with temps in the 50s the begining of the work week will be wet with some rain it could have some snow mixed in with it in the higher terrain monday morning.. the atmosphere will become unstable monday night for the possibility of non severe thunderstorms.showers will continue on tuesday with thunderstorms being also possible. the 2 part of the week looks it will be sunny with temps in the 50s and low 60s. enjoy the spring weather as long range models are hinting at a possible more winery week 17-22 which is mass schools SPRING vacation. i believe.

  • JimmyJames

    Matt I am only giving a 1 for that thunderstorm chance since as you pointed out should they develop they will fall below severe levels. The midwest and southern states is a different story with MODERATE to SEVERE level activity there with the approaching cold front.

  • manowx

    If this pattern holds it could be a relatively active summer thu8nderstorm sesaon. That would be a big change from recent years I hope so.

  • JimmyJames

    This has the Potential to be the first big outbreak of severe weather if everything comes togehter but I don’t see any severe weather with this cold front as there will be over the Midwest and Southern states. If you are a believer in The Farmers’ Almanac which I am not it is calling for thunderstorm activity towards the end of April.

  • bombersns

    Been away this weekend do any of the mets have an explanations as to what happened to the 1 to 2 inches of rain that was forecasted friday.

    • smitty

      a couple of the mets that blog here were calling for less rain and more snow and they were right, maybe you can get an explanation from one of them

  • rainshine

    Thanks, Joe for your informative blog and the maps. I wonder if we will get any severe weather on Tues. Frankly, I don’t see anything that severe – but then, we had some thunderstorms with snow just a few months ago.

  • rainshine

    JimmyJames – I don’t think we will get any severe weather either. Thank you for your thunderstorm indexes!

  • Snow Time

    I was watching a clear blue sky when a cloud started to form. It got bigger for awhile then the front part started to disappear until the cloud was gone. Why?

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