The cold weather pattern continues. Another very cold night is ahead with temperatures dropping to near zero throughout most of the Pioneer Valley.
Thursday starts off quite cold with some morning sunshine. Low pressure in the eastern Great Lakes Thursday morning moves quickly into northern New England by evening with an upper level disturbance moving across our area. Also, an arctic cold front is expected to cross the valley late in the day or evening and behind it comes even colder air for Friday. Scattered snow showers, perhaps a few snow squalls, will accompany the cold fronts arrival and passage during the afternoon and evening. Not much accumulation is expected, a coating to an inch is possible. Areas that get a squall could see an inch or two as it will snow quite hard for a short period of time. Think of it as a heavy snow shower. It can become slippery very quickly within any squalls so exercise extreme caution if you are driving in one. It will also significantly reduce visibility with a burst of heavy snow and gusty winds.
Friday marks the final day of what has been a colder than normal February. With that said we will close out the month with the coldest day of this week as temperatures run some 15 to near 20 degrees below normal for the day. Our average high for this time of year is near 40 degrees in the local area. Lows at night will plunge to near zero again with frigid wind chills well below zero.
Strong high pressure comes sweeping out of the Canadian Plains and into the Plains States expanding toward the East Coast during Friday. The high moves offshore Saturday as another weak disturbance approaches from the Great Lakes and may trigger a few more snow flurries or snow showers over the weekend. It pulls yet another cold front through here by Sunday morning with the frontal boundary stalling south of New England. Thereafter, low pressure slides through the lower Ohio Valley and stretches eastward to the coast south of New England by Monday, along the stalled frontal boundary. It is likely that snow develops sometime Sunday night and could last well into Monday. It is becoming more likely that we have plowable snow Monday but it is still too early to talk about accumulations.
Typically when March arrives, which it will do Saturday, one starts to think about winter winding down and some occasional spurts of spring weather by mid to late month. It certainly will not be the case at the beginning of the month as the cold weather pattern lasts into next week. One optimistic note, Daylight Savings Time will go into effect the second weekend of March making for sunsets after 6:30 p.m.
72 Hour Outlook:
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy and very cold. Low temperatures zero to 5 above. Gusty evening winds diminish to 5 to 10 mph later at night.
Thursday and Thursday night: Morning sun, followed by mostly cloudy skies. Chance of a snow shower or snow squall in the afternoon and evening. Partly cloudy thereafter. Cold and windy. Highs in the mid 20s with overnight lows near zero to 5 above. Winds may gust 30 to 35 mph.
Friday: Windy and bitterly cold. Despite abundant sunshine high temperatures only in the low 20s. Northwest winds gusting 25 to 30 mph, diminishing by evening.
Friday night: Bitter cold continues. Fair skies, lows in the single digits. Light winds.
Saturday and Saturday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers late in the day and or at night. Not as cold. Highs close to 30 degrees. Overnight lows around 20.