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Boston weather: Cloudy, but warmer, on Friday

The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on January 31, 2014.
The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on January 31, 2014.

Forecast discussion: Thanks to high pressure ridging over the Atlantic, Massachusetts enjoyed bright sunshine on Thursday. However, the key weather factor today was the temperature. Logan Airport reached 30 degrees today. As we move forward into this weekend, temperatures will actually go above freezing.

High temperature forecast for January 31, 2014

The winds are helping, as the wind direction is changing to the west-southwest. This is a warmer wind direction, allowing air from the south to move back into New England. By Friday afternoon, a low pressure system over the western Great Lakes will be controlling the winds. We will see cloudy skies by early Friday morning. The cloud cover will actually keep temperatures warmer, as low temperatures only fall into the lower 20’s. Despite a lack of sunshine on Friday, high temperatures will reach the upper 30’s.

As we head into Friday night, the cold front will pass through New England. At this time, I do not expect any precipitation, but it will remain cloudy. As we move into Saturday, a low pressure system over eastern New Mexico will slowly move east, and then move towards the Mid-Atlantic early Sunday morning. This low will bring some isolated showers early Sunday morning, with heavier precipitation in the afternoon. This system will move offshore by Sunday evening, allowing for some colder air to return for Monday.

High pressure will give us dry weather for Monday. However, I am watching a possible low pressure system that will bring some heavier precipitation Tuesday evening into Wednesday. Looking at the long range computer models, there is an agreement between them that the low will remain over the Mid-Atlantic. This would mean we would remain in the warmer sector. We would start off with snow showers Tuesday night, with the mixing or changeover to sleet or freezing rain. Once the warm front passes, the precipitation would change to just plain rain. The rain may be heaviest during the late morning and afternoon hours. At this time, my confidence in the models remains low, since we are still six days out. The models do agree that drier weather returns next Thursday, with Arctic air returning behind the cold front.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Mostly cloudy skies after midnight with a low of 20.
Friday: Cloudy skies and warmer with a high of 38. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 10-13 mph.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy skies with a low of 28. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 4-7 mph.
Saturday: Partly sunny skies with a high of 40.
Saturday night: Cloudy skies with isolated showers possible after 1 a.m. and a low of 35.
Sunday: Isolated showers in the morning become scattered in the afternoon. We will see a high of 44.
Sunday night: Showers end by 8 p.m. with clearing skies. It will be colder with the low falling to 27.

Extended Forecast:
Monday: Partly sunny. Highs 33-36, lows 21-24.
Tuesday: Partly sunny in the day, with overcast skies and light snow developing before midnight. Highs 34-37, lows 27-30.
Wednesday: Snow mixing or changing to freezing rain by 4 a.m., before becoming rain by mid-morning. Rain may be heavy at times. Highs 37-40, lows 27-30.
Thursday: Precipitation ends as snow showers and/or sleet before 2 a.m., with partly to mostly sunny skies expected. Highs 26-29, lows 15-18.

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