ROLLER COASTER RIDE:
It’s been quite a roller coaster ride over the past week with some locations experiencing a temperature range of more than 80 degrees from the 15-20 degrees below zero early last Sunday morning to the 60-65 degrees early Saturday! Remarkable reversals in the jet stream triggered the wild swing from numbing cold to an amazing meltdown followed by a temperature free-fall Saturday. The 24-hour temperature change from Saturday to Sunday was an astonishing 45-50 degrees! For us winter sports enthusiasts and snow lovers, it has been a depressing spell. The rapid disappearance of snow was record-breaking as warm, humid and windy weather devoured the white gold.
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LaNina winters often produce variability and this one is obviously no exception. Due to certain global factors and analog years, in November, our weather team predicted a front-end loaded winter including some interesting swings.
Well, it appears that we’re in for another trip through variable temperatures this week without the extreme drama of last week. It starts out chilly with lots of low-level cold air seeping in from a sprawling high-pressure system building across southern Canada.
The steering currents will eventually shift to transfer another area of high pressure off the East Coast later in the week and the resultant southwesterly wind will transport milder air into the Northeast next weekend.
I am expecting a return to above average temperatures but no crazy record highs are anticipated. The timing will be perfect for our New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium next Sunday afternoon when the temperature could be in the lower to middle 50s!
While the cold air is in place, we have a couple of snow chances the first half of this week. The initial risk arises Monday as the cold high-pressure system to the north produces more of a component of wind in from the ocean. With the cold air passage over the relatively mild ocean, ocean-effect clouds and snow showers are likely.
In fact, a coastal front may develop separating temperatures in the 30s over Cape Cod to the lower 20s near and northwest of Boston. The extra convergence and lift along this boundary could enhance the snowfall resulting in a dusting to an inch being widespread and isolated pockets of 2-3″ are possible primarily on parts of the South Shore and perhaps parts of Cape Ann.
A more important, more widespread snowfall seems to be in the works for Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon as atmospheric energy arrives from the Ohio Valley. Two waves of low pressure will evolve from this approaching trough. The initial wave is projected to release most of the snow over southern New England to the tune of a few to possibly several inches.
Presently, plowable amounts of 3-6″ is the most reasonable projection based on current trends. It starts late afternoon or more likely the evening on Tuesday. There are no indications that this will intensify into a major storm. It is progressive so it should be winding down Wednesday afternoon. The second wave could sideswipe southeastern MA with a bit of snow Wednesday night but it may just miss out to sea.
In any event, the first wave may not be all snow on Cape Cod. Marginally mild air may support a mix or change to rain yielding little or no accumulation there.
Subsequent computer runs late Sunday and Monday should increase forecast confidence and more specific details.
Check for our updates on WBZ-TV4 and CBSBoston.com