In the wake of the storm that produced blizzard conditions along the Massachusetts coast we will be targeted by some of the coldest air seen in this region in years. After a cold day today with temperatures in the teens, local temperatures tomorrow morning could range from -5 to as cold as -15 degrees under clear skies and with light winds. In their morning discussion, the National Weather Service included the following comment: ( here is a link to their full comment)
“HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND WILL ALLOW WINDS TO GRADUALLY DIMINISH. UNDER MAINLY CLEAR SKIES…TEMPERATURES WILL REACH EXTRAORDINARILY LOW NUMBERS FOR THIS PART OF THE WORLD. WE THINK PORTIONS OF SOUTHWEST NH/NORTHWEST MA WILL BOTTOM OUT AROUND 25 BELOW ZERO AS WINDS DECOUPLE OVER A FRESH SNOWPACK! THE URBAN CENTERS OF BOSTON/PROVIDENCE WILL BE DOWN AROUND ZERO DEGREES.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WIND CHILL VALUES WILL BE ON THE ORDER OF 10 TO 25 BELOW ZERO ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. WIND CHILL ADVISORIES (are in place) FOR MOST LOCATIONS INTO SATURDAY MORNING FOR THE DANGEROUSLY COLD WEATHER.”
Temperatures will relax on Saturday, reaching the low 20s during the afternoon. Sunday will be even warmer, with afternoon temperatures rising into the upper 30s and lower 40s. It gets even better, but with a price to pay. Our next storm will track to our west and bring a flood of warm air to the region on Monday, and temperatures could briefly reach the mid 50s. If so, parts of the region could see a temperature swing of between 70 and 80 degrees in a 48 hour period! Only in New England.
Rain will move into the region late Sunday afternoon, possibly beginning as a brief period of snow or freezing rain, depending on how much cold air gets trapped in lower lying areas. Precipitation will change to all rain during Sunday night as temperatures rise, and rain will continue into Monday. Although we could see nearly an inch of rain coupled with warm conditions, I do not see any serious threat of flooding as the snowpack should absorb the rain and the shot of very warm air will not last all that long. Precipitation may end as a period of snow later on Monday, as the next arctic air mass poised to engulf our area begins to move in. Partly cloudy, very cold and breezy conditions will follow through midweek next week.
Our departing storm once again proved that no two storms are alike. The snowfall pattern that was left by banding that set up, the development and location of the coastal front and the explosive intensification of the storm when it was in the vicinity of the Benchmark all contributed to snowfall totals that were all over the lot. Normally there is some area wide consistency, but not this time. Here is a link to the NWS snowfall totals as reported so far :
James M. Arnold is a Weather Specialist working with Shrewsbury Emergency Management Agency; town of Princeton; Worcester Emergency Communications and Emergency Management Agency; Southborough Emergency Management Agency; town of Grafton and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
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