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Ms. G Says More Winter

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That Was The Week That Was is the name of a show that I used to watch way back in the middle 60! It’s got a catchy title and one I like to use periodically in weather “hindcasting” especially when some strange or wild conditions took place. Check out Boston’s high temperatures for the last six days starting last Sunday: 32, 31, 34, 60, 60, 34. You know how crazy it was with the spectacular spike on Wednesday then a dramatic drop on Thursday. There were many record high temperatures established across New England on those two days. The wind was cranking, howling and damaging through these transitions with the highest gusts up to 65-75 miles per hour on the hilltops. The barometric pressure plunged to near or just below 29″ as a strong storm and its attached frontal boundaries swept across the Northeast and southern Canada. The warmth gobbled up the scanty snow cover in southern New England and reduced the snowpack over the mountains up north. It certainly was an interesting conclusion to the month of January which enters the record books as being about 2.5 degrees above the average with well below average snowfall.

So much for the past and it’s time to look ahead. At Gobbler’s Knob, PA this morning, Punxutawney Phil, surprisingly, did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. A few hours later, Ms. G, Drumlin Farm’s resident groundhog saw her shadow and postulates six more weeks of winter. Which forecast do you believe? Choose the one that you want to happen. It’s as simple as that. Oh well, it’s all in fun and jest on this Groundhog Day. Based upon much more science, physics and mathematics, I can tell you that the next several days will be colder than average but not as bone-chilling as the previous cold spell that occurred before our brief taste of spring this week. There will be no bizarre bounces in temperatures with daily highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s through Wednesday. After that, it should moderate to the middle to upper 30s Thursday and Friday then pop to the lower 40s a week from today. Overnight lows will be near 20 the next couple of nights with some lower teens for a couple of nights after that.

There are no sizeable storms in sight to impact our region but we’ll continue to monitor a few hot spots. A few impulses will be riding through the jet stream over the next several days but none of them are projected to become productive for us. One weak perturbation will send its cloud shield and snow showers amounting up to 1-3″ across the northern mountains later this afternoon and evening. As this is happening, another slice of energy may enhance the ocean-effect snow showers destined to stream up into southern RI and southeastern MA this evening and part of tonight. I am anticipating nothing more than a dusting to under an inch in those locations. Thereafter, a somewhat beefier but still rather weak system will be tracking from the Ohio Valley today to just off Delmarva tomorrow. This bundle will eventually become more energized over the Atlantic Ocean but most of the fury of this deepening storm will be spent over the sea and up into the Canadian Maritimes. It appears that The developing storm will sideswipe southeastern MA late tomorrow afternoon and evening with a period of mostly light snow amounting to 1 up to 3 inches . The highest risk is placed over Cape Cod with the islands in line for the greatest totals of 2-3″. The rest of the region near and north and west of the I-95 corridor will have nothing more than a few flurries. In fact, there could even be some patchy sunshine in these places tomorrow. After the recent very blustery conditions, the lighter wind of today and tomorrow will be appreciated. As the storm blows up well northeast of this area, gusty winds of 15-30mph return Monday with docile conditions Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday will feature a changeable sky of sunshine and passing clouds with a few flurries most notable over the hills and mountains as a weakening cold front enters the area. Under a weak bubble of high pressure, sunshine rules Tuesday then the next weak clipper cuts loose only a few flakes or flurries on Wednesday.

For the skiers, riders and snowmobilers, the news could be better but there definitely is improvement from a couple of days ago. There is no denying that the balmy weather and rain did some damage. The deteriorating trail conditions changed from wet slop to crust and ice. The encouraging news is that the amazing snow making and grooming crews transformed many of the slopes into decent shape for your pleasure. Keep in mind that in the days ahead, the best conditions occur in the morning hours before traffic scrapes off the snow and exposes hardpack and icy patches especially on steeper pitches. Sadly, many of the trails without snow making and most the glades are closed. While you can find some great conditions in places, the reality is that all of the resorts are desperate for a blockbuster snowstorm but, unfortunately, there is none in sight. Thankfully, the cold weather will be conducive to efficient snow making in the days ahead which will spruce up the slopes. Just be cautious and courteous on the slopes and stay in control. Dress appropriately for daytime highs in the teens to middle 20s through the weekend into the first half of the week with the far northern mountains in the single numbers Monday and Tuesday.

If any new data warrants a change of this forecast scenario, I will post a fresh blog early this evening.

Have a happy and safe weekend.

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