Winter will certainly remain intact this week as we once again deal with a significant winter storm, followed by continued unseasonably cold and blustery conditions through the late week period. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Monday night and Tuesday time period for our area.
The high pressure system that gave us a fair and cold St. Patrick’s Day will shift eastward during Monday. A very cold morning, by mid March standards, greeted you this morning and it will remain chilly through the day. Although we have some morning sunshine the overall trend will be for increasing clouds. Expect high temperatures only around 35 degrees, some 10 degrees below the seasonal average. Winds will not be a factor in enhancing the chill as they run less than 10 mph.
A sprawling and complex winter storm system will move out of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley on Monday. A secondary coastal low will develop off the New Jersey coast and become the primary player in this event. This coastal low is due to track right over southeastern Massachusetts and be positioned just to the east of Boston by Tuesday evening. Plenty of cold air is in place so the onset of precipitation Monday night will be in the form of snow. The snow continues overnight into Tuesday morning when snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour could be falling. A mix with and or changeover to freezing rain and sleet is possible mid to late morning. Rain could also mix in for a period of time as well and some of you may change briefly to all rain in the afternoon, especially in and around the Springfield area. The Tuesday morning commute is going to be quite a challenge as treacherous driving conditions are likely.
The National Weather Service has indicated that snowfall of 6 to 10 inches is possible throughout greater Springfield and the Pioneer Valley. The longer it takes for any mixing or changeover to happen the more snowfall you will receive in any particular location. The best chance for all snow will be in the hilly terrain. Snowfall totals could be reduced to 4 to 6 inches in the greater Springfield area, if the mixing and change to rain happen. Precipitation should begin to wind down later Tuesday, with occasional snow possibly continuing into Wednesday morning.
Temperatures tonight range from 26 to 30 degrees. Highs Tuesday 33 in the hills to near 37 in greater Springfield. Lows Tuesday night 24 to 28. Winds throughout this event are not expected to be significant as in past storms, but gusts to 30 mph could occur tonight and through most of Tuesday.
You may have heard that Wednesday is the official arrival of astronomical spring. Well, it will feel anything like spring as the remainder of the week we can expect a lot of clouds and cold temperatures, with snow showers possible at times, Wednesday and possibly into Thursday. We will remain colder than normal, with highs generally 34 to 38 degrees Wednesday through Friday and the overnight lows 20 to 24.