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Boston weather: Wet early, then spring arrives

The weather map for the first day of spring, March 20, 2014,  in Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT. Partly sunny skies are expected.
The weather map for the first day of spring, March 20, 2014, in Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT. Partly sunny skies are expected.

Forecast discussion: Boston began Wednesday with bright sunshine, as a high pressure ridge to our east controlled our weather in the morning. However, as the high pressure center moves further into the Atlantic, the ridge began to break down. A low over Michigan will begin to move eastward this evening. By the afternoon, clouds ahead of the system began to take over the skies. This low will eventually bring some showers by the evening. The precipitation will become heavier into Thursday morning, as the cold front begins to move through eastern Massachusetts. The low will move offshore by the early afternoon, just in time for some partial sunshine. Spring then officially arrives at 12:57 p.m. We will welcome the new season with temperatures climbing into the lower 50’s by the late afternoon, thanks to strong March sunshine.

High temperature forecast for March 20, 2014

A weak area of high pressure will give us dry weather for Friday, but a new low pressure system will advance cloudy skies during the afternoon. It will remain cloudy through Friday night, but we will see some snow showers during Saturday morning, as their will be enough cold air in the atmosphere to create some snowflakes. But, warmer air arrives during the late morning, and we will change over to rain. Showers will end by the late afternoon, but we will keep mostly cloudy skies into Saturday night. Colder air will then advance into New England by Sunday night, as lows fall into the lower 20’s.

As of right now, the long range models are only seeing temperatures reach freezing during the daytime on Monday. The mercury will fall into the middle to upper teens by Monday night. As we move into Tuesday, I will be watching the models very carefully. Right now, the American model has us seeing some light snow showers, as a weak low over New York brings moisture over New England. A much stronger low forms east of Florida, and moves slowly out to sea. However, the European model wants to form a Nor’easter, and bring some pretty significant snowfall late Tuesday into early Wednesday. Right now, my confidence in the forecast after Monday night is very low, due to the completely different scenarios the models are giving me at this moment.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Cloudy with showers arriving after 9 p.m. Showers increase to light rain around 1 a.m. We will see a low of 35.
Thursday: Light rain ends by 11 a.m. with partly to mostly sunny skies and breezy the rest of the day. It will be milder with a high of 54 with winds shifting to the west-southwest at 13-16 mph.
Thursday night: Partly cloudy and a low of 32. Winds will come from the west-southwest at 12-15 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny through the morning, with cloudy skies by around sunset. We will have a high of 45.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 30.
Saturday: Wet snow showers by 7 a.m. turning over to rain showers before 10 a.m. Showers end by 5 p.m. We will have a high of 50.
Saturday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 31.

Extended Forecast:
Sunday: Partly sunny. Highs 42-45, lows 20-23.
Monday: Mostly sunny and quite cold. Highs 31-34, lows 18-21.
Tuesday: Partly sunny with light snow by the early evening. Highs 35-38, lows 25-28.
Wednesday: Cloudy with light snow and rain showers. Highs 37-40, lows 26-29.

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