Forecast discussion: First off, Happy New Year to all of my readers. Despite a few flurries in the air around Providence and Boston, 2014 started off cold, but skies will clear during the overnight. We will see some sunshine for a brief period Wednesday morning, before we begin to see the effects of two low pressure systems which will affect Southern New England into Friday.
A weak high pressure ridge from the Southeast U.S. will give us some sunshine into Wednesday afternoon, before clouds begin to increase in our skies. The moisture is coming from a frontal boundary from Nebraska east to Maryland. The boundary will eventually move towards Southern New England, producing some snow showers just after midnight early Thursday morning. We will see light snow through the day, with winds increasing, as the pressure gradient tightens between a developing low in the Mid-Atlantic and high pressure over Quebec, Canada.
As we head into the mid-afternoon, the low pressure over the Mid-Atlantic will strengthen offshore, and slowly move towards the northeast. We will see stronger winds along the coast, with moderate snow. Some local areas may see snow bands training over them, or the same heavier snow fall remain over one local area. Also, if you have to drive or travel Thursday night, please take extra time, as visibilities will be only a quarter mile or less. Also, for the Cape and Islands, easterly winds may occur during astronomical high tide, creating some coastal flooding. Also, we will the heaviest snowfall totals during this time period.
By early Friday morning, the low’s center will be heading into the Atlantic, and snowfall will lighten. We will see the last snowflakes fall by the mid-afternoon. In terms of snowfall totals for the two days, it looks like eastern Massachusetts, including the Cape and Islands, will see the largest snowfall, with totals of 8-12 inches possible. For Boston and Providence, I am still looking at 6-9 inches for the capital cities. Worcester County would actually see the least amount, with 4-7 inches by Friday afternoon.
The good news is with the temperatures remaining below freezing, this will be an all snow event. Also, due to the low dewpoint temperatures, the snow will be a dry, fluffy type. This will make it easier to shovel, unlike storms where warmer air makes it a wet snow or sleet mix. However, it will probably make for some delays for the morning commute on Friday.
It will be cold as we shovel and clean up from the storm, as highs will only reach the middle teens. By Friday night, we will see some bitterly cold temperatures, as Providence will be near zero. As we move through the weekend, our winds will turn to the southwest, allowing for milder air to return. Temperatures may reach 40 degrees by Sunday.
The computer models are having a hard time forecasting a new storm system for Monday. Right now, we could see a mix of rain and snow during the duration of time we have precipitation. We will return to partly to mostly sunny skies by Tuesday, but high temperatures will only reach near or at freezing.
72 hour forecast:
Tonight: Flurries until the start of 2014, then partial clearing during the overnight. We will see a low of 18.
New Year’s Day: Mostly sunny skies by the late morning, with increasing clouds through the afternoon. We will see a high of 29 with west-northwest winds of 9-12 mph.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy and cold with light snow developing after 1 a.m. and a low of 21. Winds will come from the north at 3-6 mph.
Thursday: Cloudy with light to moderate snow and increased winds with a high of 28.
Thursday night: Moderate snow and strong winds possible with a low of 11.
Friday: Moderate snow through the early morning, turning lighter by mid-morning. All snowfall ends by the mid-afternoon. We will see a high of 15.
Friday night: Clear skies and bitterly cold with the mercury falling to 1 degree above zero.
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs 20-23, lows 14-17.
Sunday: Limited sunshine in the morning, before turning overcast during the afternoon. Possible snow showers by the late evening. Highs 37-40, lows 29-32.
Monday: Rain/snow showers during the overnight, ending by noon. Mostly cloudy skies expected for the rest of the day. Highs 41-44, lows 21-24.
Tuesday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs 30-33, lows 15-18.