Close Call Coming… High Stakes
March 22, 2014 9:14 PM
It actually turned out quite mild today with high temperatures generally between 52 and 62 degrees. Boston’s high of 57 was 9 degrees above the average high for this date but not even close to the record-smashing 83 degrees of 2 years ago today. The gusty wind of 25-45 mph added some shill to the air as a brief burst of showers passed through associated with the first cold front. You can expect temperatures 15-20 degrees lower tomorrow as another cold front passes through accompanied by varying amounts of cloudiness. The wind will be brisk but not as gusty as today. As a zone of high pressure approaches from the Great Lakes, there will be a cold breeze on Monday with bright sunshine. The bubble of high pressure passes across the area early Tuesday so the wind will be light that day as cloudiness increases.
There is a storm in the works and it has the potential to be major perhaps even historic IF it is steered closer to New England Tuesday night into Wednesday. The various atmospheric mathematical models have been indicating a monstrous storm out over the ocean for the last several days. One of the runs a few days ago placed the center of the storm between Nova Scotia and Cape Cod with the lowest air pressure of 28.25″ which is a bomb of a storm. Under those conditions, we would easily receive 2-3 feet of snow with hurricane force wind gusts! I am not currently predicting such extreme weather. As always, the key is locked into the precise path of this potential nor’easter.
The evolution of this extraordinary late March weather commences with a disturbance in the upper level wind field streaming southeastward from the western Great Lakes on Monday. As this impulse digs toward the Southeastern States, it will blossom a shield of moisture shifting across the Gulf Coast States. A surface low pressure system will begin to develop off the Georgia Coast on Tuesday. The steering currents will boot this storm offshore but as additional energy dives in and phases with the initial upper level disturbance, a closed upper level storm will result well southeast of Nantucket and the surface storm will undergo “bombogenesis”. This means rapid intensification will ensue and the storm may become caught underneath the erratic upper level whirlpool of wind. Consequently, the storm may shift more northward or even briefly loop around out over the ocean. This movement should force heavier snowfall back closer to southeastern New England. I would be much more concerned if there was some blocking in eastern Canada but there is none and this storm should be very progressive and nail the Canadian Maritimes and probably spare New England of a major major blow!
My gut feeling at this time leads me to forecast a very close call. Most of the action and there will be a ton of it SHOULD be just offshore but it appears that the region will be sideswiped by its snow and wind. The best bet right now is to project just a few inches inland to several inches over southeastern MA with Cape Cod being more vulnerable with a potential of up to a foot or more! High winds over 50 mph on Cape Cod and 25-50 mph elsewhere in eastern New England are possible. Expect very rough seas and beach erosion. The high tide of most concern will occur at 7-8 am on Wednesday. Its scheduled height of almost 10 feet will be enhanced by at least a couple of feet so some coastal flooding is likely.
It is too premature to be highly confident of the exact outcome so I only advise you to follow subsequent forecasts on WBZ News and on CBSBoston.com. The WBZ Weather team will post information and graphics on FaceBook and Twitter. You can follow me @BarryWBZ. Danielle Niles will post her thoughts tomorrow morning and I shall return later in the day.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.