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Boston weather: Ice, snow, and wind ahead on Thursday

The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 14, 2014.
The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 14, 2014.
www.weather.gov

Forecast discussion: The low pressure system I have been discussing for the last several days is centered over western Pennsylvania. It has brought heavy snow to Northern New England, along with freezing rain and sleet in southern New Hampshire and Vermont. Right now, moderate rain is coming down in Boston. As we progress through Wednesday evening, we will see temperatures drop rapidly, and the precipitation change to sleet and then snow before the morning commute.

High temperature forecast for March 13, 2014
www.weather.gov

During the overnight, we will have a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for much of Massachusetts, with the exception being the Cape and Islands. Also, southern Bristol and Plymouth Counties are not part of the alert. The Advisory is in effect from 10 p.m. until noon Thursday. This is due to the frozen precipitation we will receive. Temperatures will also be dropping rapidly. Before dawn, low temperatures will fall into the lower 20’s. We will be experiencing what is known as a flash freeze. Although it sounds like something out of Magic: the Gathering, it really is a meteorological term. It comes from Environment Canada, their version of the National Weather Service. It is defined as temperatures falling from above freezing to below freezing within a three hour time period. This will cause any wet pavement to become frozen over. So, please take extreme precaution during the morning commute, as traction will be poor on secondary roads and untreated parts of the highway.

We may see anywhere between a coating of snow to as high as 2 inches, probably north and west of Boston. Snow will end around 3 p.m. and become just flurries until the evening commute. By then, a strong high pressure system over the central U.S. will clear our skies. However, temperatures Thursday night may come close to breaking an all-time record. We will then see milder temperatures Friday night, thanks to cloudy skies and warmer air coming from the south. We may see highs reach 50 degrees on Saturday.

By the start of next week, Arctic air will once again reign down on New England, dropping our high temperatures to near freezing by Monday. Also, I am watching a possible low pressure system forming in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico, and moving along the coastline up towards New England. The Canadian and European models show the low bringing us some snow on Monday, although the American and United Kingdom models push the low out to sea. For now, I will keep light snow in the forecast.

We will be dry on Tuesday, before another fast moving low brings some early morning snow showers, before changing to rain showers by the early afternoon. Temperatures will be climbing upward as we head into Wednesday, reaching the lower 40’s.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Moderate rain changing to sleet and freezing rain around 2 a.m., before changing to light snow at 5 a.m. Winds will be increasing as well. We will have a low of 20.
Thursday: Windy with light snow tapering off by 3 p.m. before ending around 6 p.m. We will see a high of 23. A dusting to 2 inches of snow is what I am expecting for most of eastern Massachusetts. Winds will come from the northwest at 23-28 mph with gusts of 40 mph.
Thursday night: Clear skies by midnight, breezy, and very cold with a low of 13. Winds will come from the west-northwest at 10-15 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny and warmer with a high of 36.
Friday night: Increasing clouds with a low of 32.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with possible showers by the late morning. It will be milder with a high of 50.
Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 30.

Extended Forecast:
Sunday: Cloudy skies in the early morning becoming mostly sunny skies and breezy by the late morning. Highs 40-43, lows 21-24.
Monday: Cloudy with possible light snow. Highs 30-33, lows 18-21.
Tuesday: Partly sunny. Highs 33-36, lows 23-26.
Wednesday: Becoming cloudy with snow showers by the early morning. Precipitation becomes rain by the early afternoon, and ending by 4 p.m. Highs 41-44, lows 27-30.