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Boston weather, metro north and west: Winter returns through mid week

Northeast outlook for Sunday. Rain stays south and snow showers stay north as we go from mostly to partly cloudy through the day.
Northeast outlook for Sunday. Rain stays south and snow showers stay north as we go from mostly to partly cloudy through the day.

After a chilly start on Saturday temperatures climbed well into the 50s with some locations reaching 60 degrees mid to late afternoon. It was a nice sampling of Spring but that will be put on hold for the next several days as Winter takes aim at the area starting tonight and lasting into Thursday. Thereafter, milder temperatures return for late week and the start of next weekend. In between the temperature fluctuations this week is the possibility of a major nor’easter impacting the area.

Return to below normal chill on Sunday.

An arctic front will move across the region today and behind it mid Winter cold begins to overspread the area tonight and especially for Monday and Monday night. Strong high pressure surges eastward during Monday bringing fair skies. We will be so cold on Monday that the record low high temperature for the date could be in jeopardy in Boston. That record is 26 degrees which was set in 1888. Considering it is expected to be a mostly sunny day it makes it all the more impressive that the stronger late March sun does very little to warm up the day. Further, overnight lows both tonight and Monday night will flirt with 10 degrees. Those are very cold readings for any time of Winter, let alone for late March or so called early Spring!

The high moves offshore early on Tuesday as everyone waits to see what the next storm does. I’m sure you have already heard that there is a possibility of a major storm late Tuesday into Wednesday with a few stating this one could be of historic proportions. Not yet. I mean, the blizzard of 1978 still holds the standards for a historic Winter storm in these parts and it would be a mistake to state this early that this storm has those kinds of historic possibilities. However, caution is warranted as we draw closer to the event and all should pay close attention to further developments either through local media, weather outlets or the National Weather Service. I will be updating for the North Shore and metro west area as well. On the flip side, there is still a chance that most of the local area has only minimal impacts. Stay tuned!

Having said all that here is what the thinking is as of Sunday morning. We know the cold air mass will be in place so that any precipitation is all snow. A storm starts to take shape off the North Carolina coast early on Tuesday. Although computer guidance has several storm tracks they all remain offshore. Just how far is the question as to whether the local area gets a significant hit or not. Coastal locations share the greater threat with that threat diminishing the further inland you go. Southeast Massachusetts, closest to the storm, could very well receive heavy snow, damaging winds, minor coastal flooding and power outages since they will be closer to the storm center, which is expected to pass south and east of Nantucket Island very early Wednesday. For metro Boston and points north and west light snow may actually break out around midday Tuesday with the intensity ramping up overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, if the storm comes close enough. Still a bit early for snow accumulation discussions because it is simply a guess at this point.

Once the storm departs high pressure takes control Thursday.

Three Day Outlook:

Sunday: Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Much cooler with high temperatures near 40 degrees. Winds west 5 to 15 mph, becoming northwest 10 to 20 mph this afternoon.

Sunday night: Clearing skies and much colder. Lows tumbling into the low teens. Gusty northwest winds to around 25 mph.

Monday: Sunshine and very cold for late March. Highs only in the mid 20s to 30 degrees. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph.

Monday night: Bitter cold under mainly clear skies. Lows in the low teens with a few upper single numbers possible inland. Lighter winds.

Tuesday and Tuesday night: Becoming cloudy, chance of light snow breaking out by afternoon. Possibly becoming steadier and heavier overnight. Not as cold. Highs in the low to mid 30s, overnight lows in the 20s.

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