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Boston weather: A powerful storm hits on Wednesday

The wind speed (in knots) and direction for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 26, 2014.
The wind speed (in knots) and direction for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 26, 2014.

Forecast discussion: Right now, eastern Massachusetts awaits a rapidly intensifying low off the coast of North Carolina to bring a late Nor’Easter. At least we had a beautiful day of sunshine to prepare for the storm, although temperatures were still well below normal for this time of the year. However, we will begin to see the sure signs of spring by the end of the week.

Predicted snowfall totals from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. EDT on March 26, 2014

As the low moves to the north and east, the models have been very consistent with the track of the system the last couple of days. The low’s center will remain about 250 miles west of Chatham, MA. Although most of the state will not see a direct hit, the National Weather Service has a lot of advisories out for the area. At the moment, there are four advisories out for the area. First, a Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for Plymouth and Bristol Counties from midnight until noon. A Blizzard Warning is in effect for the Cape and Islands, as they will see the highest snowfall and the strongest winds. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for the coastline from Boston all the way to the Cape, as strong waves will create some coastal flooding and possible beach erosion. Finally, a High Wind Warning is in effect from Plymouth east, as strong winds will create power outages and cause tree limbs to come down.

Again, the Cape and Islands will see the worst of this system. Boston will see some strong winds, but will receive as much snowfall. I am only expecting 1-3 inches to fall in the capital city. For Bristol and Plymouth Counties, the southern part of the region will see 3-6 inches, while the northern part will only see 1-3. The highest snowfall will be 6-10 inches for the Cape and Islands. For the Cape, low visibility in moderate snow and strong winds will make driving treacherous. I am expecting the snow to begin around 2 a.m. and continue through the morning. The snowfall will end from west to east. So, the Cape and Islands may see some leftover snow showers into the early afternoon. But, by sunset, everyone will be receiving partly to mostly sunny skies. It will remain bitterly cold Wednesday night, thanks to the fresh snowfall on the ground. To obtain more weather information for eastern Massachusetts, along with a snowfall map, click here.

As we head into the end of the week, a warming trend will begin. An upper level ridge will move over the east coast, allowing for southwest winds in the atmosphere. This will bring more tropical air up into New England. We will see a huge difference on Friday, as temperatures soar into the middle 50’s. However, we have to take the good with the bad. A low pressure system will bring a cold front through, and we will see showers by Friday afternoon. The frontal boundary will push to our south by midnight. But, a second low pressure system will form along the boundary, and slowly move north and east. Once again, we will see showers arrive by noon on Saturday. The American model is showing some very heavy precipitation to fall throughout the afternoon and evening. The low will be slow moving, but eventually high pressure will help move the low east, and showers will end by early Sunday afternoon.

We will see dry weather to begin next week. This is pretty good for Boston Red Sox fans. The first game of the year is in Baltimore, and looks like the teams will see mostly sunny skies. A weak disturbance will pass through New England on Tuesday, and there is the slight chance for a shower. Temperatures will remain in the lower 50’s, while overnight lows will be in the middle to upper 30’s.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Cloudy skies with light snow developing after 3 a.m. Winds will be increasing to 20-25 mph during the overnight, with gusts of 35 mph. We will see a low of 27.
Wednesday: Windy with light to moderate snow. Snow ends by 11 a.m. We will see 1-3 inches through most of eastern Massachusetts. I’m expecting 3-6 inches in the southern parts of Bristol and Plymouth Counties. Finally, I am expecting 6-10 inches for the Cape and Islands. We will see a high of 36 with winds increasing to 30-35 mph with gusts of 55 mph. Mostly sunny skies is expected before sunset.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a low of 18. Winds will diminish to 17-22 mph from the west-northwest.
Thursday: Mostly sunny with a high of 40.
Thursday night: Becoming cloudy during the overnight with a low of 33.
Friday: Cloudy with showers arriving by 1 p.m. and a high of 55.
Friday night: Showers end by midnight but remaining cloudy and a low of 44.

Extended Forecast:
Saturday: Cloudy skies with showers arriving by noon. Moderate to heavy rain is possible by the mid-afternoon. Highs 54-57, lows 37-40.
Sunday: Moderate rain tapers to showers by late morning, and ending by the early afternoon. A little sunshine is possible before sunset. Highs 47-50, lows 35-38.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 53-56, lows 34-37.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy by the morning, with the chance of a shower by the afternoon. Highs 50-53, lows 35-38.

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