BOSTON (CBS) — In like a lion? While typically we associate that phrase with snow to start the month of March, this year it is taking on a whole new meaning.
As we wrap up one of the warmest Februaries on record, not just in Boston but across a good deal of the country, it looks as though March will begin much the same, with record warmth and potentially some severe weather.
ANOTHER RECORD SETTER
This is almost a lock. For the 4th time in the last 7 days, temperatures across southern New England will once again soar past 60 degrees on Wednesday setting off numerous records.
Boston’s March 1st record of 63 degrees set back in 1991 will almost certainly fall as will Worcester’s (also 63 set back in 1972). Other nearby high temperature records also in serious jeopardy include Concord, NH (65), Providence, RI (66), and Hartford, CT (60).
SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL
Clearly it isn’t too early in the season to be concerned about severe weather.
Just look back to this past Saturday when an EF-1 tornado formed along a squall line in Goshen and Conway MA. Yes, this is rare and quite unlikely in late February and early March, but clearly we are entering uncharted weather territory.
The threat for Wednesday comes in a few separate waves.
First, there could some showers or heavy downpours pre-dawn. These are very unlikely to be severe.
Next, around midday, another burst of scattered showers and some potential for a few thunderstorms. These storms would not be forming in the most unstable atmosphere, so again, severe threat is low during this time period.
Finally, it appears the greatest threat of severe weather will come late in the day and into the overnight. If storms were to form during this time frame in our area, they would have the potential to become severe.
The greatest threat would be damaging wind gusts from these storms, but we couldn’t rule out the chance of a weak and brief tornado.
At this time, it appears the area at greatest risk for this late day action would be in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts with the threat diminishing farther east. This needs to be closely monitored and we will do just that and update you as new information rolls in.