One Last Frigid Night, Then A Break!
I had to chuckle today when so many people mentioned how ‘nice’ it was out and how much ‘better’ it felt. Shows what we’ve been going through here in recent weeks! Highs were mired in the 20s again, about 20 degrees below average for this time of year and the coldest we’ve seen in March for several years too. But hey, when the sun shines and the wind is calm, it’s not so bad. The clear skies that helped it feel a little more comfortable during the day will allow a lot of that ‘heat’ to head back into space tonight, though. It’s an ideal one for radiational cooling, with clear skies, calm winds, high pressure overhead, and plenty of snow on the ground. So I expect many towns to go subzero overnight, with many others in the single digits. Pretty nasty stuff for March.
HOWEVER, if you’re looking for a little break from all this, you’re in luck. Some more typical March weather is on the way. As an ocean storm (which will produce ice across the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Georgia again overnight) will slowly try to push northward toward our shore, but will mainly be held at bay by high pressure and dry air. High cirrus clouds will float in, and eventually an onshore easterly wind should bring moisture and low clouds in from the ocean. A temperature inversion may help to trap those low clouds, so thinking that it’ll be rather gray Friday evening through Saturday morning. As for any rain – most of it should stay offshore. But I think some rain showers should make their way into Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as the South Shore Friday night into early Saturday. Nothing major, but raw and damp conditions if you’re heading out.
As we head into Saturday drier air will start to flow in, and milder air at that! It should be a pretty pleasant start to the weekend with widespread 40s and a few towns may even hit 50. Compared to all the 20s recently, it should feel awful nice out, and great conditions for those heading out on a long Boston Marathon training run! There’s also the Cape Cod St. Pat’s Road Race on Saturday, which should brighten up after the early morning. This break is short-lived, as a cold front swings through Saturday evening with some clouds and perhaps a few sprinkles. Not much precip along this front though, more so a reinforcing shot of cool air. This isn’t the truly Arctic stuff, so highs on Sunday will be in the 30s to low 40s with a gusty northwest breeze. But a mainly dry and more seasonable weekend overall looks like a treat.
Daylight Saving Time also kicks in this weekend, which should lift spirits a bit! Remember to ‘Spring Forward’ before you go to bed Saturday night. Yes, it means we lose an hour of sleep. But you may not care about that too much when there’s still twilight at 7pm Sunday night. Actual sunset is at 6:44pm. Keep in mind the sunrises also turn later again, coming up at 7:06am on Sunday morning. Overall daylight will be up to 11hr 37 minutes on Sunday, and will be over 12 hours by the Vernal Equinox on the 20th.
Heading into next week, we’ve got a couple of quick-hitters to keep tabs on. One arrives on Monday and brings a batch of snow to the area. Still a little early to tell if it’ll just be some random snow showers, or a batch of light to moderate snow that zips through. Either way it’ll be chilly in the 30s with a chance of flakes to kick off the week. Another incoming front may drape some clouds and a few rain/snow showers nearby on Tuesday, but that’s still very much in question. Much of the model agreement goes out the window starting around Monday/Tuesday, so the overall confidence in the daily details goes down.
But Wednesday into Thursday is looking quite interesting. A pretty beefy storm should be getting underway across the middle of the country, and is expected to make a move toward us. The exact details, as is almost always the case with these winter storms 6-7 days out, are still going to need some time to work out. Looking at ensemble members and the operational runs though, you’d have to bet on some stormy weather moving in. It’ll be cold enough for snow in parts of the Northeast, and the exact track will dictate exactly where that happens. So one to keep tabs on for now…as we may be seeing a pre- St. Patrick’s Day snow (if not for us, then perhaps for the slopes!).
Not seeing much of any big warm-ups ahead. In fact, we’ve started an in-office pool guessing the first 70 degree day in MA. Most of the bets are in April :-) I would actually be surprised if anyone in MA reaches 60 during this March, but there’s still a lot of game left to play, so to speak. In any case we know that the sun angle is getting higher, the daylight is increasing, and the averages are going up. Even if we stay near/below average, we’ll be making progress. And we don’t want to rush the melt with so much snow still hanging around all of New England, especially if we add to that snow pack next week. A gradual melt would be most welcome in regard to any spring flooding.
Looking at the latest ECMWF EPS weeklies run, the picture looks rather bleak for warm weather lovers. The vast majority of the days between now and the first week of April are looking below-average in the temperature department. Yes of course there could be a couple mild days mixed in there! But any prolonged warmth seems pretty out of the question as western ridging stays persistent and cold air blasts continue to come down from Canada for us here in the Northeast.