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Boston weather: Windy and cooler for Friday

The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 21, 2014. Mostly sunny skies are expected.
The weather map for Southern New England at 2 p.m. EDT on March 21, 2014. Mostly sunny skies are expected.

Forecast discussion: After some early morning showers in Boston due to a passing cold front, a high pressure ridge helped bring back some sunshine on Thursday. A weaker cold front did pass through this afternoon, helping to bring back cloudy skies for a few hours. Eventually, we returned to a mix of sun and clouds before sunset. Also, spring arrived at 12:57 p.m. As we head into the weekend, we will see a small disturbance pass through for Saturday. However, I am carefully watching the models for a possible Nor’Easter for the middle of next week.

High temperature forecast for March 21, 2014

Before we talk about winter gloom, let’s talk about the weekend. We will start with Friday, which will be dry but windy. This will be due to high pressure ridging moving into Southern New England. It will meet with the tail end of a low pressure center still moving into Nova Scotia. This tightening of the pressure gradient will help create the strong winds. Also, we will begin to see more clouds as we head into the evening commute. We will be cloudy but dry Friday night. By early Saturday morning, a low over eastern Montana will bring some snow showers. As we progress through the morning, we will begin to see a mix of rain and snow showers. It will be warm enough to change it to all rain by late morning. The low’s center is moving quickly, so all precipitation will end by mid-afternoon. We should see some partial sunshine before sunset. We will see partly sunny skies for Sunday, with high temperatures only in the lower 40’s.

By Sunday evening, the cold front associated with the low will push through, and it will pull some cold Arctic air back over New England. It will feel more like January on Monday, as high temperatures struggle to stay above freezing. Low temperatures Monday night will fall into the upper teens to lower 20’s. As we move into Tuesday, it will remain dry, but we will see increasing clouds into Tuesday night. This is where the spring weather will look more like mid-February.

As of last night, I had mentioned only the European model was showing a true Nor’easter over Cape Cod by late Tuesday night. After examining the new models, the European model has not changed its mind. But, what has me concerned is the other models are starting to see the same scenario. The American model still keeps the low furthest east of all the models. So, we will see strong, gusty winds Tuesday night, but only light snow. The snowfall will persist into Wednesday night. The third model of choice, the United Kingdom model, is also showing a strong low moving up off the New England coast. Finally, I decided to glance at the Canadian model. Although the low is not as close to the New England coast, it too forms a strong Nor’Easter.

Now, this scenario is still about 5 days away, and the models have been known to over-forecast low pressure systems. They are still in a transition period from winter to spring like systems. So, my confidence for the forecast after Tuesday afternoon is still low. But I must admit that the models all seeing this same scenario within five days does have me a little concerned.

72 hour forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy with a low of 33.
Friday: Mostly sunny through the early afternoon and windy with increasing clouds into sunset. We will have a high of 45 with west-northwest winds of 17-22 mph with gusts of 40 mph at times.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a low of 31. Winds will come from the west-northwest and diminish to 6-10 mph.
Saturday: A few snow showers by 2 a.m. but changing to rain by 9 a.m. Showers should end around 3 p.m. with partly sunny skies. We will have a high of 51.
Saturday night: Partly to mostly cloudy with a low of 29.
Sunday: Partly sunny with a high of 43.
Sunday night: Partly cloudy and cold with a low of 23.

Extended Forecast:
Monday: Mostly sunny and quite cold. Highs 30-33, lows 18-21.
Tuesday: Partly sunny with light snow by the evening commute. Highs 35-38, lows 25-28.
Wednesday: Cloudy and windy with light snow. Snow ends by 8 p.m. Highs 36-39, lows 22-25.
Thursday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 39-42, lows 28-31.

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