Warmest Day Since November!
I couldn’t believe my ears, but several people via Twitter/FB and email complained that it was too hot on Tuesday. TOO HOT! You can just never win in the weather department, can ya? Well it certainly was a lot warmer than what we’ve been used to for months now. In fact, the high of 65º in Boston was the warmest high temperature (taken at Logan) since November 18th when the thermometer reading peaked at 67º. We rose above (not just to) the 60º mark in the city for the first time in 132 days. Think about all that’s happened in those nearly 5 months. Mostly a lot of shoveling and grumbling. It’s been a remarkable stretch of futility when it comes to warm weather.
A honeybee looking for a meal amongst a group of crocus in West Newbury. Courtesy: Paulina Schwartz
Not only were temperatures fairly impressive, but I actually dusted off the dew point map and showed it during the evening broadcast. Tuesday could have been deemed the first muggy day of the year so far with dew points into the 50s. Spring in the air, flowers in bloom, and we even received a photo with bees getting busy. Just need to throw some steaks on the grill and we’re good to go.
The party ended with a cold front in the evening, and now we’re waking up to a much chillier and crisp air mass. Today will make for the coolest day of the week, although not too tough to take. With good mixing on a northwesterly breeze, highs should reach the 50-56º range, coolest across the higher terrain. Compared to Tuesday it should feel quite a bit chillier due to the drier air and highs 10 degrees lower, plus wind. Some fair weather cumulus may develop but otherwise a decent amount of sunshine.
Cold air won’t be sticking around too long as the atmosphere stays in flux and temperature swings dominate the 7-Day. At 850mb, we’ll go from +10C on Tuesday afternoon to -5C by Wednesday evening and right back to +7C by Thursday evening. Pretty classic April weather! What that means for us on the ground is that return flow around high pressure should help pump the warmer air into New England and get us into the low 60s by Thursday afternoon. Lots of sunshine too, so Thursday may end up being the best day of the week to be outdoors. The gusty southwest breeze may put a slight edge on the air.
A weak cold front settles southward on Thursday night, and brings a few light showers around late at night and into Friday morning. There are still a few differences regarding timing of this front, and how much moisture may pool along it on Friday. Most models are pretty sparse on rain, and I think this looks pretty likely. If it can push just off our coast by the afternoon we should manage some sun, and either way it doesn’t look very chilly with highs near 60º. If we work in the sun, low to mid 60s. If not it’ll be closer to the upper 50s/60.
The next troublemaker in this active pattern is a wave of low pressure along this stalled front. Again, models are not in great agreement on the exact specifics yet for Saturday. But a wet morning is looking like a good bet, with improving weather during the afternoon. I don’t think any sort of flooding would be a concern with this one…maybe talking 0.25 to 0.65″ of rain. Just more April showers. Evening plans are looking safe for now.
Sunday is no peach of a forecast yet either. What we know is that there will be a strong trough starting to drop down into southern Canada and ‘drop off’ a lobe of cold air into the central U.S.., and that a lot of cold air will be coming down with it (yes, again). A storm will develop along that boundary between cold/warm air and stretch a warm front toward New England. The main question for us at the moment is – will the warm front get north of us on Sunday, or will it hang up and stick south of us? These two scenarios yield very different results. The former gives us morning clouds, giving way to some sunshine and a very mild afternoon. The latter brings us clouds all day, highs in the 50s, and some areas of showers. So this is a part of the forecast we’ll be updating as we get closer to the actual date. I’m leaning toward having the warm front pass north of us and getting us into the warmer temps (60s) and brighter skies Sunday afternoon.
Then we really get into the weeds next week. There are some major differences between possible outcomes, and of course we’re talking many days out still. But the next event bears watching. The ECMWF blasts us into the warm sector with sharper jet features and a bigger trough/ridge setup in the eastern U.S. The GFS leaves a warm front through the region on Monday, and really soaks us Tuesday/Wednesday and even into Thursday. Both models have been hinting at a very sharp temperature contrast, with very cold air west of the system and very warm air east of it.
Big contrast between below average/above average surface temperatures developing by Monday. Where there’s a boundary, there’s bound to be a storm! Source: WeatherBell
Also of note – there have been many hints that it’s going to snow, perhaps significantly, somewhere in the Northeast/Great Lakes with this next storm. I don’t think we’ll get into that mess here around Boston, but it’s not completely out of the question for parts of our area. Again I have to stress that forecasts 7-8 days out, especially in APRIL of all months, are not often terribly high confidence. This is especially true with this setup. But it’s something we’ll be keeping an eye on for sure.
Of course rain is just as much of a concern. If we get a good soaking, we could be talking about some significant flooding in the region with snow melt and runoff. All just hypothetical for now, but the probability of a significant weather event in the eastern U.S. next week, Monday-Thursday, is looking like the most likely scenario. Stay tuned, and enjoy some of the warmth in the meantime!