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Fifties Flee

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After a hat trick of 50s over the past three days, there is not going to be the feel of spring over the next several days probably taking us through all of next week. Temperatures will be below average in sharp contrast to the 74, 74, 78,83 and 76 degrees that we enjoyed last March 18, 19, 21, 22 and 23. That was an extremely fickle month while this March is much more realistic. Expect high temperatures in the range of 37-43 except upper 20s to middle 30s way up north and in the mountains through the weekend. The colder air arrives tonight with lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Following today’s supply of sunshine, it will be cloudier from time to time tomorrow as the next cold front moves through the region. A few spotty flurries cannot be ruled out with some heavier snow showers mainly confined to the hills and mountains of western and northern New England. As an upper level trough of low pressure exits tomorrow night, it should be sunny Friday morning then partly cloudy in the afternoon as yet another impulse spreads some clouds across the region from the northwest.

The jet stream will deliver another perturbation late Friday night into Saturday. A weak surface wave of low pressure will move out of the Ohio Valley and its center will cross just south of New England. The northern fringe of the precipitation shield will scoot across southern New England and it looks sufficiently cold to support at least some light snow in the air and probably not much more than a coating to an inch or so on some surfaces Saturday morning before mixing with or changing to some light rain before ending toward midday. There is no potential for this system to suddenly intensify. Once it exits, it may become partly sunny before sunset Saturday with high pressure building in to provide a good supply of sunshine for St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday.

Looking ahead, the next weather maker approaches Monday resulting in increasing cloudiness during the day with a parcel of light to occasionally moderate snow transiting across PA toward southwestern New England. Most signs point to this area weakening and only a coating to a couple of inches over southern New England Monday night before switching to a mix inland and light rain along the coast and over southeastern MA and Cape Cod Tuesday morning. This initial precipitation will be caused by some overrunning as moist air rides up over the top of colder air at low levels provided by high pressure in eastern ME and the Canadian Maritimes. An increase in tempo will happen Tuesday morning as some support rolls in from the west. In fact, a secondary storm will form over Delmarva and track to Cape Cod as the primary storm swirls from the Great Lakes into Ontario. Rain will occur along and east of the I-95 corridor from Providence up to Boston while a few to perhaps several inches of wet snow are possible farther northwest of Boston before a change to rain by midday Tuesday. Preliminary projections of 5-8″ of snow across much of northern New England seems plausible at this time. Precipitation will taper off to some drizzle Tuesday afternoon. Keep in mind that this prognosis is subject to revision because the event is still 5-6 days away!

For the skiers and riders, trail conditions have deteriorated with yesterday’s rain and the recent warm weather. Many areas were reporting 50-75% of the terrain open with just a few spots still at 100%. However, colder weather ahead and the prospect of at least some snow showers will help stabilize and improve things. More terrain will reopen as the weekend approaches. Grooming will spruce up the slopes for your pleasure. Expect mainly loose granular and some packed powder surfaces eventually. It appears the northern mountains will miss the possible light snow over the southern areas on Saturday but are in line to receive several inches of snow next Tuesday. Temperatures up there this weekend will be mainly in the 20s to lower 30s with not much wind Saturday and a brisk breeze developing Sunday. Be ready for changing conditions on the trails. Watch out for thin and icy spots especially on the natural trails. Be cautious, courteous and safe on the mountains.

Melissa Mack updates the forecast in the morning and Todd Gutner returns later in the day.

Make it a great Thursday!

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