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Boston weather, metro north and west: Quiet and milder weather ahead

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Old Man Winter has had a firm grip on the area of late but he will lose some of that grip late this week and possibly through the weekend as we turn considerably milder. Temperatures have been about 4 degrees below normal for the first half of the month and with the recent snowfall many of us have already exceeded a foot of snow for December. The next several days paint a much different picture.

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Here is a look at some snowfall totals from yesterdays storm in the metro Boston area and communities to the west and north. Swampscott, Pepperell and Framingham report 8 inches, Saugus and Bedford 7.5, Winthrop and Wakefield 6.5, Natick, Danvers and Lawrence all report about 6, Cambridge 5.5, Newburyport 5 and Amesbury 4. Central and southern Essex County and most of Middlesex County hit the jackpot with the highest snow totals. South of the city saw lesser amounts, generally 3 to 5 inches, dropping off to 1 to 4 inches through Plymouth County.

We can say goodbye to the storm that delivered the latest Winter punch. The low was centered in the Gulf of Maine early today and will continue northeastward into the Canadian Maritimes through the day. High pressure begins to build into the area during Wednesday and will be centered near the North Carolina coast Thursday. This eventually sets up a southwest flow and that means milder temperatures for the end of the work week and into the weekend. It will also mean drier conditions with a return to periods of sunshine for Wednesday and Thursday.

Weak low pressure will ripple along a frontal boundary to our north over the weekend. This will maintain considerable cloudiness and a chance for showers through Sunday. However, one fly in the ointment is the possibility of an arctic front slipping far enough south that it will bring colder air into the area Sunday and with that the possibility of some frozen precipitation instead. On the other hand, if the front behaves and stays to our north we could see temperatures flirting with the low 50s Sunday. That’s obviously quite a difference and as we move forward the computer models should allow us better guidance to pin down what is most likely to occur Sunday.

Early next week we do expect colder air to spill into the area with a return to below normal temperatures as we approach Christmas.

72 Hour Outlook:

Wednesday: Becoming mostly sunny this afternoon. High temperatures in the low 30s. Brisk northwest winds 10 to 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph.

Wednesday night: A few clouds around, otherwise fair skies and cold. Lows in the low to mid 20s. West winds diminish to 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday: Becoming partly cloudy. A bit milder as highs climb into the mid 30s to 40 degrees. Breezy southwest winds of 10 to 20 mph, possibly gusting to 25 mph.

Thursday night: Partly to mostly cloudy. Not so cold as temperatures only fall a few degrees. Lows in the low 30s. Light southwest winds around 10 mph.

Friday and Friday night: Mostly cloudy and milder. Chance of showers at night. Highs in the mid 40s, with overnight lows in the mid to upper 30s.

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