February has averaged almost 2 degrees below normal for the month and that cold trend continues with the passage of an arctic front last evening. Some of the coldest air of the season has overspread the region overnight and will maintain a frigid Friday. Most of us woke to temperatures in the single digits this morning and it will remain a very cold and blustery day despite a fair amount of sunshine. The lowest high temperature this month was on the 12th when the high was only 23 degrees. We will rival that on Friday as February closes out the month with one of, if not, the coldest overall day of the month. Gusty winds will add a bite to the air bringing wind chills down into the single digits to teens through the day. By the way, our average high temperature for the end of February is about 41 degrees in the Boston area.
Better news over the weekend is that it will not be as cold as Friday but the mercury will remain below normal. The cold regime will continue right into next week starting March off where February ended.
By the end of the weekend and the start of next week we contend with a winter storm with plowable amounts of snow likely.
High pressure is with us on Friday allowing for fair skies. The high drifts offshore Saturday as a cold front approaches from the west. Clouds will be on the increase Saturday afternoon, followed by a mostly cloudy overnight. The front moves across the local area by midday Sunday, perhaps setting off a few isolated snow showers, then is expected to move off the south coast of New England and stall across the offshore waters by Sunday night. Low pressure moves out of the Tennessee Valley Sunday night along the frontal boundary and then tracks across the offshore waters south of the New England south coast on Monday.
Periods of light snow can be expected later Sunday night with snow continuing through a good portion of Monday. Several inches of snow may fall, although it is still early to pinpoint accumulation amounts. There is a fair amount of consensus among the computer models that the heaviest amount of snow falls along and south of the Massachusetts Turnpike as the track has been pushed a bit farther to our south. That can change and of course will be watched closely over the next couple of days as updated computer runs allow for more specific details on the storms track and where the heaviest of snow is likely to fall.
After the storm passes the door is wide open for another plunge of arctic air Tuesday.
72 Hour Outlook:
Friday: Bitter cold and windy in the morning. Winds ease in the afternoon as high temperatures climb only to the low 20s despite a mostly sunny day. Gusty west winds 25 to 30 mph through midday.
Friday night: A few clouds and icy cold. Lows in the single digits. West winds under 10 mph, turning southwest by morning.
Saturday and Saturday night: Morning sunshine gives way to increasing clouds through the afternoon. Mostly cloudy overnight. Not as cold. Highs around 30 degrees. Overnight lows in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of isolated snow showers or flurries. Highs in the low to mid 30s.
Sunday night: Cloudy. Snow is probable after midnight. Colder with lows dipping back into the mid and upper teens interior, low 20s coast.