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Boston weather: A Monday mix of snow and rain

The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 3, 2014.
The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 3, 2014.

Forecast discussion: Being Groundhog Day, Phil came out of his hole, and saw his shadow. According to the rules, if Phil sees his shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter. However, based on the 55 degree high temperature we received at Logan Airport, it felt more like early April. However, a series of low pressure systems will be coming through New England, returning us to winter very quickly.

High temperature forecast for February 3, 2014

Temperatures are actually falling into the lower 40’s at the moment, due to a cold front that has been moving over eastern Massachusetts the last few hours. This boundary actually produced some light rain showers over the airport for a few hours this afternoon. For this evening, our skies will remain overcast, with temperatures slowly falling into freezing. Starting Monday morning, a low pressure center will form along the front, and help bring some snow showers to the morning commute. The capital city will see snow showers, while the Cape and Islands will see a mix of rain and snow showers, especially by the late morning. I am not expecting any snowfall, with just a coating to an inch in the inland areas of eastern Massachusetts.

A weak high pressure center over the Central U.S. will bring partly to mostly sunny weather to begin Tuesday. By Tuesday night, a much stronger low pressure system over the Tennessee River Valley will have precipitation to the north of the low’s center. We will see light to moderate snow in the capital city a few hours before dawn. Despite the short time span, we could see 1-3 inches before the precipitation begins to mix and change over to sleet. By the late morning, temperatures will be warm enough to change the precipitation to all rain. However, rain may be heavy at times, and roads will be slick and slippery. As we head into the evening commute, colder air from behind the front will begin to move over the region. So, the precipitation will change back to sleet and then back to snow showers. All precipitation will end by midnight, with clearing skies. Any precipitation on the ground will become black ice, so please take precaution if you have to drive early Thursday morning.

The rest of the week looks dry, thanks to a very strong high pressure center. The high will sit over the Mid-Atlantic for a few days, before moving slowly to the southeast. Temperatures will be cold during the overnight hours on Thursday, thanks in part to any new snowfall on the ground. By Sunday night, there is the chance of another low pressure system in the Mid-Atlantic coast to bring another mix of wintry precipitation. However, at this time, the computer models are not agreeing on the low’s track or the center of the low’s location. Also, one model shows a secondary low forming well east of the primary low and it is this low which will bring the precipitation to our area. At this time, my confidence in the models after Sunday afternoon is very low.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Cloudy skies with a low of 31.
Monday: Snow showers start by 8 a.m. The Cape and Islands will see a mix of rain and snow showers through the day. A coating to an inch is possible in Boston. We will see a high of 36 with northeast winds of 8-11 mph.
Monday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 24. Winds will come from the north-northwest at 6-9 mph.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with a high of 35.
Tuesday night: Moderate snow by 2 a.m. with 1-3 inches possible by the morning commute. We will see a low of 28.
Wednesday: Snow changes to sleet by the late morning, then changing to rain by the early afternoon. Rain could be heavy at times. Rain changes to a wintry mix by the early evening. We will see a high of 35.
Wednesday night: Sleet/freezing rain changes back to snow showers by 8 p.m. before ending by midnight. We will see a low of 20.

Extended Forecast:
Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 27-30, lows 11-14.
Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs 28-31, lows 16-19.
Saturday: Partly sunny. Highs 30-33, lows 19-22.
Sunday: Cloudy in the morning, with light snow in the late morning, with a wintry mix possible by the late evening. Highs 31-34, lows 29-32.

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