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Boston weather: Winter chill, snow in the forecast despite Spring's arrival

March 2014 is shaping up as one of the coldest ever locally. A look at temperature departures throughout the lower forty-eight.
March 2014 is shaping up as one of the coldest ever locally. A look at temperature departures throughout the lower forty-eight.

Metro Boston, North Shore and Metro West: Over the past three and a half months we have been pounded by snow and unrelenting cold spells. Although the snowfall let up in March we have seen one cold wave after another hit the region through the month of March, a month that may very well go down as one of the coldest on record in the Boston area. Yet, the calendar tells us that Spring began Thursday and that could be viewed as a point in which we are turning the page from Winter. I think we know better than that however and given the type of Winter we have experienced this year along with the current unrelenting Winter pattern, it probably is best to keep the snow blower and snow shovels handy a bit longer. Old Man Winter may have something up his sleeve for next week.

In the short term we take a step backwards Friday as it will be a cooler and breezy day. Although temperatures are expected to slip into the low and mid 40s, a few degrees below normal, the gusty winds will make it feel colder than that. High pressure allows for a dry day with a fair amount of sunshine. The high begins to get squeezed out Friday night as low pressure races across the Great Lakes during the day.

By early Saturday morning the Great Lakes low will be located in western New York State, tracking across central New England during Saturday and into the Gulf of Maine before midnight Saturday. This system will bring clouds and periods of snow and rain showers to the area later Friday night into Saturday. Precipitation is expected to be light with mainly snow showers across the interior at the onset late Friday night into early Saturday, changing to rain showers through the morning. Along the coastal plain it should be mostly rain showers on Saturday, although there is a chance of a brief period of predawn snow showers. Gusty afternoon winds follow as the precipitation ends by midday and sky cover improves through the afternoon. It may become quite mild for a brief period in the afternoon before cooling down overnight.

Dry conditions follow Saturday night right into early next week with temperatures becoming colder Sunday night into Monday and Tuesday. Once again, especially on Monday, the mercury will run 15 degrees or so below normal as arctic air takes another firm hold of the region for a few days. It won’t be the bone chilling cold we experienced earlier this month but temperatures are going to run significantly colder than normal Sunday night through Tuesday.

Then a heads up that a Winter storm could impact the area sometime Tuesday night into Wednesday. This does not mean it will happen but there are signs a significant ocean storm takes shape off the Southeast US coast early next week and then moves to the southeast of Nantucket early on Wednesday. Enough cold air will be in place at that time that if the storm does come close enough we would be talking about snow for that time period. So, what we are looking at next week are temperatures more reminiscent of January or February to start the week followed by the potential for snow mid week. Does that sound like Spring?

Three Day Outlook:

Friday: Mostly to partly sunny, breezy and cooler. High temperatures in the low and mid 40s. Gusty west to northwest winds up to 25 mph.

Friday night: Partly cloudy early, followed by mostly cloudy skies and a chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows in the upper 20s to low 30s. Feisty west winds early, diminishing overnight.

Saturday: Changeable conditions starting with snow showers inland to rain showers along the coast in the morning, changing to rain showers interior before ending by midday. Temperatures in the 30s through the morning, climbing well into the 40s in the afternoon. Winds turn west 10 to 20 mph later in the day.

Saturday night: Variable cloudiness and seasonably cold. Lows again in the upper 20s to low 30s.

Sunday and Sunday night: Partly cloudy and brisk. Slight chance of a passing flurry in the afternoon or evening. Highs close to 40 degrees, turning much colder at night with lows falling into the mid and upper teens interior, low 20s coast.

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