A March Meltdown

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Meteorologist Barry Burbank gives the forecast on his first day at WBZ-TV in 1978.

Meteorologist Barry Burbank gives the forecast on his first day at WBZ-TV in 1978.

A March meltdown has begun and you can watch the snow cover shrink in front of your eyes this week. In most places, I predict that it will completely disappear except for the bigger snow mounds lining shopping malls, etc. long before the first day of spring on the 20th. That’s why I always wish for snow from late November through late February. The sun is just too powerful this time of the year to maintain the snow pack even if was going to be colder. Instead, the first half of this week will be running up to 5-10 degrees or so above the average for this time of the year. It will not be as warm as one year ago this week when the temperatures reached the 70s on a couple of days. Boston’s max on both March 12 and 13 last year was 71 degrees!

While much of eastern MA started out with a layer of low clouds this morning, it turned sunny from inland locations to the coast as the day progressed except for most of Cape Cod where it stayed cloudy all day. Those low clouds will likely return to parts of the region tonight as temperatures fall to the upper 20s to middle 30s. A ridge of high pressure is shifting off the coast overnight and the return air flow around the system will escort higher temperatures into the Northeast. A southerly wind of 10-15 mph will keep south-facing coastal areas in the cooler lower to middle 40s tomorrow while locations farther west-northwest of Boston will warm into the 50s to near 60 as much of the low clouds break up and the sun shines through varying amounts of mid and high level cloudiness above. If it becomes quite sunny for a longer period of time, it could surpass 60 in north central MA.  After lows in the lower 40s tomorrow night, it will easily spike well into the 50s on Tuesday despite the arrival of thick cloudiness early in the day. That will be followed by a ribbon of showery rains shifting eastward across the region. A frontal boundary with perhaps a weak wave of low pressure will create the rain amounting to a half-inch to perhaps an inch. The rain exits Tuesday night with breezy, drier and slightly cooler air in place for Wednesday. A secondary cold front is slated to pass through later that day resulting in a periods of lots of clouds with perhaps a brief light shower in spots.

Looking ahead, it will be partly cloudy, breezy and colder Thursday through Saturday with a mix of clouds and sunshine and highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s. I’ll be watching a couple upper level disturbances riding in the jet stream toward the Northeast from the Great Lakes. It appears that neither one of them has the potential for intensifying so I would only expect a brief spell of spotty flurries sometime over the weekend. Presently, there are no signs of sufficient energy to ignite storm development. All in all, it will be a tranquil week except for the rain Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Joe Joyce delivers his latest WBZ AccuWeather Forecast tomorrow morning for Melissa Mack and I will follow later in the day for Todd Gutner.

Make it a great week!

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