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Messy Monday Morning

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WBZ-TV's Barry Burbank

WBZ-TV’s Barry Burbank

Last night’s storm was certainly a low impact event with snowfall ranging from a coating up to 1.5″+mainly north of the MA Pike. It fell just short of the projected coating to 3″+ as it shut down rather abruptly after 1 am. In any event, it produced some ice and snow-covered roads over much of northern MA into southern NH. With the periodic sunshine and temperatures topping 40 in many areas today, most of the snow has vanished except in shadow areas. As a zone of high pressure builds into the Northeast tonight, it will get colder with lows near 20 farther north and west of Boston to the lower to middle 20s elsewhere under a clear sky. Sunshine will yield to increasing cloudiness tomorrow with early afternoon high temperatures near 35 with a gentle breeze. That’s what it will be at Gillette Stadium as the Pats host the Browns at the 1 pm game.

A weak storm will be developing in the Midwest tomorrow as a weak secondary system forms on the North Carolina coast. The Midwest wave of low pressure will transit into the Great Lakes while the secondary shifts northeastward to be centered near Nantucket by the middle of Monday afternoon. There is little energy for this feature to feast on so it appears that we’ll be dealing with mostly light precipitation of various types. It should be cold enough at all levels of the atmosphere to create snow at the onset after midnight tomorrow night. As milder air arrives at lower levels along the coastal plain starting first on Cape Cod then progressing west and northwestward to more interior locations, the snow will switch to rain but deeper inland mainly west of the I-95 corridor, there will be an interim period of sleet and farther inland from there, sleet may be followed by freezing rain as temperatures struggle to rise above 32 until midday or so. Consequently, road crews and travelers will be dealing with changing conditions with the most tricky and prolonged difficult driving well north and west of Boston. The volume of precipitation and the intensity will be low with nothing excessive anywhere but a coating up to 1-2″ of snow followed by sleet and freezing rain farther northwest of the city will be a problem. Overall, on the WBZ AccuWeather I-Scale, I place much of the region in #1 or low impact. However, due to the fact that the variety of precipitation will be falling during the morning commute and beyond, areas farther northwest of Boston could slip into #2 or a moderate impact. I am not anticipating power outages in the icy zone. Furthermore, the wind will be light most locations and there will not be any coastal flooding with no snow plowing necessary in most places over southern New England.

Once the system departs late Monday, cold air and storm-free conditions should be the rule for the rest of the week. A weak wave of low pressure will likely slip out to sea on Tuesday but there could be a few afternoon flurries as an upper level impulse zips through. A weak cold front could also trigger a few spotty flurries on Wednesday with the coldest air of the week over us on Thursday. Expect high temperatures in the upper 30s to near 40 on Tuesday followed by 30 degrees on Wednesday and only lower to middle 20s on Thursday then upper 20s to near 30 on Friday. It will be near or more than a dozen degrees below the average on all of those days.

BTW, the earliest sunset of the year occurs tomorrow but the shortest day of the year doesn’t happen until December 21 when the solstice occurs at 12:11pm. That’s the official astronomical start to winter!

Danielle Niles will be posting her thought tomorrow and I shall return for Eric Fisher later Monday.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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