Latest Boston Barry Burbank
The evolving weather pattern is going to keep us on the edge of our seats for at least the next week. The cast of characters is growing larger and the plot may thicken at any time. The presence of arctic air building in Canada way back in late October and November caught my eye and we subsequently have seen several attacks of harsh winter temperatures into the nation.
In sharp contrast to the past two Decembers which had mean temperatures at 5.3 degrees above the average in 2011 and 3.7 degrees above the average in 2012, this December will be close to 2 degrees below the average which is similar to 2010. With a reservoir of super frigid air across much of Canada, it appears that we are in for some arctic outbreaks unless the upper air steering currents pattern shifts abruptly.
Tis the night before Christmas and all through the region, not much is stirring except for a few flurries on Cape Cod. An upper level disturbance is tracking across the area and following its passage, another chunk of chilly air will arrive from the northwest. The sky will clear before dawn and the temperatures will drop into the teens to lower 20s.
It was an astonishing study of contrast in New England this morning. The temperature gradient was gargantuan- close to 35 degrees ranging from the lower 50s on Cape Cod to the upper to middle teens in central MA into northern New England!
The cold arctic air has been entrenched all day with temperatures barely reaching 20 in many locations after starting in the single numbers to lower teens this morning. Boston checked in with 11 degrees for a morning low and the record is 0 set in 1898. With all the cold air in place supplied by a strong high pressure system in eastern Canada north of New England, it seems that the stage is set for a significant snowfall and indeed it is going to be a plowable event.
There has been a series of low impact storms over the past week or so. Today’s system released a coating up to 2″ of snow followed by sleet, freezing rain then rain then mist and fog. The damp conditions will give way to some drying overnight as temperatures coast back below 32 degrees north and west of Boston. Keep in mind that some icy patches are probable later on. The
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.
After a pleasantly mild morning with temperatures about a dozen degrees above the average for this date in the range of 54-59 during the inbound commute, I am still predicting a winter wonderland unfolding tonight. The cold front shifted offshore by midday and colder air slowly seeped in during the afternoon but a faster decline is expected this evening as the precipitation from the next wave of low pressure arrives.
This first day of December also marks the first day of meteorological winter and it started off with a bang this morning over many areas north and west of Boston with glazed roads produced by freezing mist and light freezing rain.