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Boston weather: Sunny skies and cold temperatures until Thursday

The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 11, 2014. Sunny skies and cold temperatures are expected.
The weather map for Southern New England at 1 p.m. EST on February 11, 2014. Sunny skies and cold temperatures are expected.

Forecast discussion: Eastern Massachusetts received anywhere from a coating to as much as an inch and a half of snow from the weak low pressure system Sunday night. At the moment, our weather is being controlled by a strong high pressure system over Minnesota. This high will keep our winds blowing from the northwest the next few days. This will allow for colder air from Canada to come down into Southern New England. Overnight lows this evening and Tuesday night will be very cold, as temperatures will fall into the single digits Tuesday night. Also, our high temperatures will be well below normal for early February, as they only reach the middle 20’s.

High temperature forecast for February 11, 2014

The high will slowly slide to the east, as the jet stream remains mostly west to east. We will be watching a series of low pressure systems move across the Southeast U.S. and Pacific Northwest. The first low will bring wintry weather for the Southeast U.S. Monday night into Tuesday. The second low will then move across the Tennessee River Valley, and into the Atlantic. The second low will bring us another winter storm for Wednesday night into Thursday. However, the biggest problem at the moment is the low’s track.

Over the last few days, the computer models I use have been coming up with different scenarios. They all involve the low’s track. If it goes further out to sea, colder air will remain over us, making it stay as snow. But, without a strong high pressure system over eastern Canada, warmer air will move in faster. So, this will determine how quickly the snow changes to rain. At this time, I am going in between the European and United Kingdom models. The precipitation will start off as snow, with a snow/rain mix for the south coast by the morning commute. As we receive warmer air, the precipitation will change over to rain. By the late evening on Thursday, colder air will move back over the region, changing the precipitation back to snow showers. The snow showers will end by early Friday morning.

At this time, my confidence in the forecast for this storm still remains low. If the track changes even 30 miles to the east or west, this will greatly change the precipitation type and timing. I will continue to watch the computer models, and update you on any changes tomorrow night. Because of the uncertainty, I will not discuss any snowfall totals, until I have more confidence in the forecast track.

With confidence, I can tell you the system moves away from Southern New England by Friday afternoon, and we will see partly sunny skies. The American model is showing a low pressure system moving over New England on Saturday, and we could see some snow showers during the morning and afternoon. Once the low moves offshore, a new high pressure system will give us dry weather right into early next week.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy and cold with a low of 14.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with a high of 25. Winds will come from the northwest at 11-14 mph.
Tuesday night: Partly cloudy and very cold with the mercury falling to 9 degrees. Winds will come from the north-northwest at 9-12 mph.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds by the evening commute. We will see a high of 25.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with patchy fog by 11 p.m. Light snow starts around 3 a.m. We will see a low of 21.
Thursday: Snow changes over to rain by the early afternoon. We will see a high of 39.
Thursday night: Rain slowly changes back to snow showers by 10 p.m. We will see a low of 30.

Extended Forecast:
Friday: Snow showers end by 3 a.m., with partly sunny skies. Highs 39-42, lows 24-27.
Saturday: Cloudy skies with scattered snow showers by the early morning, ending in the mid-afternoon. Highs 34-37, lows 15-18.
Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs 30-33, lows 14-17.
Monday: Mostly sunny. Highs 32-35, lows 15-18.

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