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Boston weather: A February thaw on the way this weekend

The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 1, 2014. Cloudy skies are expected.
The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 1, 2014. Cloudy skies are expected.

Forecast discussion: Mostly cloudy skies ruled Boston today, thanks to a frontal boundary that is coming down from Northern New England. We did see some peeks of sunshine from the late morning to early afternoon, which helped raise temperatures. According to the observations at Logan Airport, the high temperature reached 42 degrees.

High temperature forecast for February 1, 2014

As we head into this evening, the cloud cover will actually keep the sun’s energy from escaping, allowing overnight temperatures to remain in the lower 30’s. This weak frontal boundary will remain near Southern New England, so we will remain under cloudy skies on Saturday. As the winds turn to the south-southeast, this will help high temperatures return to the lower 40’s.

By Saturday night, a cold front extending from the Ohio River Valley into eastern Texas will move towards the east coast. We will see some isolated showers reach eastern Massachusetts early Sunday morning. On Sunday, a low pressure system will race towards the Northeast U.S., and we will see scattered showers by the afternoon. High temperatures will rise into the upper 40’s. However, once the cold front passes Sunday night, colder air will move back in, as lows fall into the upper 20’s.

On Monday, a weak disturbance over North Carolina will bring moisture up into Southern New England. We will see some light snow reach the state, but it appears the coastline will see the highest snowfall totals. Inland areas will see light snow from the mid-morning into the late afternoon. The precipitation shield moves into the Atlantic Monday night, with clearing skies.

The computer models agree that high pressure will bring dry weather on Tuesday, while they also agree a developing area of low pressure will bring some heavy precipitation to New England on Wednesday. However, the models disagree on the low’s track, and whether a secondary low forms, and becomes the main low by Wednesday afternoon. At this time, it appears we will start off as light snow, before changing to sleet or freezing rain a few hours later. The Cape and Islands may see a changeover to sleet and rain faster than the inland areas. By the early afternoon, we will see the precipitation change over to all rain everywhere. The precipitation will end as some snow showers in the late evening, before all precipitation ends before midnight Thursday morning. I will continue to monitor this situation, and keep you updated on any changes to the forecast.

By Thursday, some colder air behind the storm system will move back into New England. We will see dry weather into next Friday, but it will be cold once again during the overnight hours. The long range models are predicting low temperatures will fall back into the lower to middle teens.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy and not as cold with a low of 31.
Saturday: Partly sunny skies with a high of 42. Winds will shift to the south-southeast at 5-8 mph by the afternoon.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy skies with a low of 36. Winds will come from the south-southwest at 9-12 mph.
Sunday: Isolated showers by dawn become scattered by the afternoon. Precipitation will end by 5 p.m. We will see a high of 48.
Sunday night: Partly to mostly cloudy skies and colder with the low falling to 28.
Monday: Cloudy with a chance for light snow, especially along the Cape and Islands, by mid-morning. We will see a high of 34.
Monday night: Snow showers end by 6 p.m. along the Cape and Islands. Partly cloudy skies before midnight expected. We will see a low of 23.

Extended Forecast:
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 35-38, lows 26-29.
Wednesday: Moderate snow by 5 a.m. changing to a wintry mix by mid-morning. A complete changeover to rain is expected by the early afternoon. Precipitation could change back to snow showers before all precipitation ends before midnight. Highs 38-41, lows 21-24.
Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 27-30, lows 11-14.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 24-27, lows 12-15.

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