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Boston weather forecast for Jan. 3, 2014

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Forecast discussion: Eastern Massachusetts has been getting hit from a band of ocean effect snow showers, along with a frontal boundary which is bringing Arctic air. Now, New England is bracing for a Nor’easter Thursday night, followed by bitterly cold temperatures Friday evening into Saturday. Milder temperatures are in store for early next week.

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At this time, a low pressure system has developed and is beginning to intensify off the coast of Maryland. Current radar shows some light snow over eastern Massachusetts as of 8:30 p.m. However, southern and central Rhode Island are already seeing moderate to sometimes heavy bands. Also, strong winds are beginning to appear on the Cape, as buoy reports show winds of 25-30 mph off Boston Harbor. Seas are already at about 12-15 feet.
For most of Massachusetts, we are currently under a Winter Storm Warning until 10 a.m. Friday morning. Several cities and towns have parking bans in effect, and several towns have cancelled school. Some churches and many businesses have also closed for tomorrow. To see a complete list of closings for the Boston area, click here. For the extreme eastern coastline, along with the Cape, they are under a Blizzard Warning until 11 a.m. Friday.

Some parts of the state will be seeing snowfall tonight at about an inch per hour in heavier snow bands. Also, winds will be increasing, so we will be seeing blowing and drifting snow. So, if you absolutely have to travel by car tonight, please be extra careful. Give yourself extra time to make it to your destination. Already, parts of Peabody and Rowley have unconfirmed reports of 10-16 inches of snow.

By the time Boston wakes up, we should see anywhere from 12-18 inches on the ground. The area around Essex County could see up to two feet of snow. Southern Plymouth County will see 8-12 inches, while the Cape and Islands will see 5-8 inches. However, as you shovel and blow you way out of the driveway, please dress in layers. Wind chills will make it feel like 15-20 below in the morning, and high temperatures will only make it into the lower teens. By Friday night, it will be just bone chilling cold, as temperatures will plummet below zero. We may even break a record for Friday night, as the all-time low was 1 degree in 1904. This would be the first time Boston saw temperatures reach zero since January 24, 2011.

By Saturday, it will feel downright balmy, as high pressure brings mostly sunny skies and high temperatures will reach the upper 20’s. By Sunday, southwest winds will help bring milder air back to eastern Massachusetts, as temperatures climb into the upper 30’s. But, we will see another round of precipitation, albeit it will be rain. The rain showers may change over to snow showers by Monday afternoon, as a cold front passes through the state. We will once again see bitterly cold air behind the front move over the region.

We will see dry weather for Tuesday and Wednesday, with temperatures only in the 20’s. By next Thursday, a weak low pressure system will bring some possible snow showers by the evening.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Moderate to heavy snow bands, creating snowfall of one inch per hour at times. Winds will be increasing through the night, with 22-27 mph in Boston. We will see a low of 7, with visibility near zero at times.
Friday: Moderate snow through the early morning, turning lighter by mid-morning. All snowfall ends by about 2 p.m. We will see partly sunny skies the rest of the daytime. Winds will diminish through the day. I’m expecting 12-18 inches in Boston, and east to Plymouth County. Plymouth County to Cape Cod will see 8-12 inches, and the Cape and Islands will see 5-8 inches. Winds will be from the north-northwest at 18-23 mph, with a high of 14. Wind chills will make it feel like 10-15 below zero.
Friday night: Clear skies and bitterly cold with the mercury falling to four below zero. Winds will diminish from the west-northwest at 5-8 mph.
Saturday: Mostly sunny and warmer with a high of 27.
Saturday night: Partly cloudy and much warmer with a low of 22.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy with rain showers by the late afternoon. We will see a high of 39.
Sunday night: Light to moderate rain with a low of 36.

Extended Forecast:
Monday: Rain/showers ending by the early evening. With the cold front passing by the afternoon, precipitation could end as snow showers. Highs 47-50, lows 15-18.
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny and much colder. Highs 21-24, lows 7-10.
Wednesday: Partly sunny with possible ocean effect snow showers along the Cape and Islands during the early morning. Highs 24-27, lows 13-16.
Thursday: Partly sunny until the early afternoon, with possible snow showers by the evening. Highs 35-38, lows 21-24.

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