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Quiet weather to celebrate First Night

Posted by David Epstein December 31, 2012 08:17 AM

The weather is going to cooperate for both people and ice sculptures this year. It won't be too cold for those of you walking around the city, yet it will be cold enough for the ice sculptures to look great. Temperatures will remain in the 25-29 degree range for the entire evening, typical for the last night of December. There will be a few clouds, but beyond a quick flurry there shouldn't be any precipitation. The tranquil weather continues for the next 5-8 days with two or three days being quite chilly. The coldest weather will be Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures remain well below freezing during the day and some interior valleys could see a zero reading on Thursday or Friday morning.I update the forecast often on Twitter at @growingwisdom


Storm now over, cold and mostly dry into 2013

Posted by David Epstein December 30, 2012 02:42 PM

Our quick hitting storm is now heading east passing Maine after leaving anywhere from a coating to nearly a foot of snow in southern New England. The wide range of snowfall was thanks to some warm air which kept extreme eastern sections of the state from seeing snow until much of the storm had already happened.wind advisory.png Now we are watching cold air filter into the region and awaiting our first true arctic blast of the winter later this week. We are going to be fortunate in that the core of the cold air will hold off until a couple of days from now which means typical cold for First Night Boston. Winds this afternoon will be gusty and a wind advisory is in effect for much of the the state. I'll continue to update the forecast and the New Years Eve weather on Twitter at @growingwisdom


Snow to end in next few hours as storm rapidly pulls away

Posted by David Epstein December 29, 2012 11:30 PM

new map.bmp
A very intense but quick hitting area of snow is still moving through much of the area and will end after midnight. The map above shows what the situtation was like as we headed towards midnight. Some towns have seen snowfall rates of 1 to 2" of snow per hour and there has been thunder with the snow across southeastern Massachusetts this evening as the most intense part of the storm passes overhead. This storm reminds me a bit of that December 13th storm back in 2007 when everyone got let out of work at noon. That day, the snow came in hard and fast and was done 8 hours later, but the traffic was the worst I have ever seen. By 2 AM the heaviest snow will be long over and tomorrow skies will clear leaving a fresh coat of white for the sunshine to blind all of us. The period of rain is not changing back to snow so areas that haven't seen much snow will still see a couple of inches. rainsnow line.png The rain on the Cape this evening will also change to snow as the night progresses and even there a coating to a couple of inches could fall. I'll continue to update the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom


Moderate snowstorm for tonight

Posted by David Epstein December 29, 2012 02:40 PM

You knew this was going to happen eventually. There was no way our climate had changed so fast that it wasn't going to snow again. So here we are a few hours away from the start of the first significant snowfall for Boston in nearly a year. The last time Boston saw a major snowstorm was February 1-2 2011 when we saw over 10 inches. There will be a few flurries before the main part of the storm arrives tonight. warnings tonight.pngYes, inland areas have seen some snow already, but not the biggest city in the state. This won't be a memorable storm in terms of cold, snow or wind. The storm will also move and out rather quickly with just over 12 hours of accumulating snow. There will be some sunshine very early today and the sun is back my mid-morning Sunday. The storm will be quite pretty to look at and, since it will fall mostly overnight during the weekend, will have minimal impact to the area.I'll be giving regular updates about the storm on Twitter at @growingwisdom


Snow drought about to end for Boston

Posted by David Epstein December 28, 2012 09:00 PM

It's been since January 21st 2012 that Boston saw one inch of measurable snow, nearly a year. Our long absence of snow in the city is about to come to an end starting later tomorrow and running throughout Saturday night.The storm will end early Sunday. While this won't be a memorable storm for wind, cold, or snow amounts, it will break the streak of bare ground we have seen since the beginning of the year. When the storm winds down Sunday morning about 5 inches of snow should be on the ground around the Boston area. Some of you over interior sections of Bristol county will see a bit more and those of you north of the Massachusetts turnpike will see less. This is not a storm for ski country, they will only see a few flurries at best. Once the storm leaves typically cold air will remain for the rest of the weekend and for First Night festivities. I'll be updating regularly the progress of the storm and any changes on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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A few rain and snow showers this afternoon, snow potential Saturday

Posted by David Epstein December 27, 2012 04:00 PM

Wind and rain pounded much of eastern Massachusetts overnight and has now moved north of the region As we go through the afternoon there is the risk for a rain or snow shower. Some of you to the south of Boston could see glimpse of sun for a few minutes. If you live in one of those areas that saw snow last night try to push it out of the way as it will slowly freeze overnight. We are not looking at an arctic blast behind this storm. For snow lovers, the computer models are now trying to give us a storm for late Saturday. I hate when the models zig-zag around like this, it makes for too many changes in the forecast. I will have more information later this afternoon on Saturday's storm. I will be updating the forecast all day Twitter at @growingwisdom


Windy rainstorm for much of southern New England

Posted by David Epstein December 26, 2012 09:34 PM

During the past few hours I am watching warm ocean air continue to move westward. There was little chance anyone inside of Route 128 was going to see any snow with this system. Tonight it is becoming clearer that you will have to go at least to Route 495 to see an significant snow. The map below shows the position of the rain snow-line this evening and this line is slowly moving westward. To the left of where the front stops will see the heaviest snow. The front can wave a bit back and forth changing the snow to rain and back to snow again, but it appears that the trend is leaning warmer not colder with this system so far and that means the heaviest snows will most assuredly be confined to well north and west of Worcester.
coastal front.png
I will give more updates on Twitter at @growingwisdom I would love to hear from you.


Major storm to hit New England Wednesday night and Thursday

Posted by David Epstein December 25, 2012 10:00 PM

I hope you had a nice Christmas break. The weather also took a break Christmas afternoon and that break will continue much of Wednesday before a major storm hits New England. This is a very large and intense storm. There are blizzard warnings up from Arkansas to Ohio and winter storm warnings from Texas to Maine. winter storm warnings.png Across the south tornadoes are an issue with juicy tropical air being sucked in the core of the storm. There have already been over a dozen tornadoes today making this the most on Christmas since 1969. As this storm moves north from the Appalachians, it will transfer to the coast and then pass east of Cape Cod Thursday before heading into the Canadian Maritimes. In our area we have winter storm watches posted inland and high wind watches for the south coast. I'll be updating this storm often on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there.


Christmas snow followed by a larger storm

Posted by David Epstein December 24, 2012 09:47 AM

This morning the ground is bare across southern New England and up the coast to Maine. I know many of you would love to see just a bit of white for Christmas and you may get your wish. The good news for snow lovers is that this year we have a small system that will impact southern New England. The snow begins later Christmas eve and continues Christmas morning. snowforchristmas.png The snow will be over by noon Christmas and we will then see a bit of clearing. Wednesday looks dry and sunny for the mass return of gifts. By later Wednesday night, snow will break out across the entire area. There could easily be plowable amounts of snow during the night and into Thursday morning. Warmer air, on a strong wind off the ocean, will change the snow to rain across the south shore, Cape Cod and the Islands. However, how far north and west the warmer air moves will be critical in determining if the changeover makes it to Route 128, Route 495 or as far north as the New Hampshire border. What we do know is that were the entire storm to stay all snow, a foot of the white stuff is likely.I'll be blogging about this storm and the next one on Twitter at @growingwisdom


A white Christmas more likely for many

Posted by David Epstein December 22, 2012 06:00 PM

A cold and blustery day across the region is certainly feeling like winter. It appears as though we will look like winter here Christmas morning with a quick shot of snow. A weak storm is going to approach the area Christmas eve and rapidly push offshore Christmas morning. With cold air in place snow will break out across the area after midnight about the time Santa is snow.png The snow should be ending by noon Christmas day. Right now I am looking at a plowable storm for much of southern New England. Amounts could range from 2 to 6 inches with lesser amounts as you move into southern New Hampshire. Of course, I will update the forecast over the weekend and give more details tomorrow. Suffice to say, it may be a white Christmas after a very mild December thus far. Read more of my forecast updates on Twitter at @growingwisdom and feel free to ask me any questions or give feedback and comments there.


Heavy rain with intense wind today

Posted by David Epstein December 21, 2012 10:33 AM

A storm that brought a blizzard to the Midwest and tornadoes to the deep south is going to rapidly move through the area today and bring a period of intense wind and rain. Since we will be on the warm side of this storm there will not be any frozen precipitation. Winds will be strongest at the coast where they could gust as high as 50 miles per hour on the Cape. A high wind warning has been issued for that area with a wind advisory for gusty winds for the rest of Massachusetts. strongwinds.pngWinds like this can cause scattered power outages. (see map). Rain will be heaviest this morning into the early afternoon before winding down. By sunset, the rain should be mostly over although roads could still be wet enough to impact the commute home tonight. I'll be updating the forecast on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there for more information,


Midwest blizzard to bring rain wind to our area

Posted by David Epstein December 20, 2012 08:34 AM

If you look at December snowfall in Boston since the late 1800s you can find several instances of back to back years with under 1 inch of the white stuff during the month. It appears that we are on track to have our second year in a row without an inch of snowfall in the last month of the year. As fall comes to an end and the first full day of winter arrives this weekend, another storm will move in and out of the region. Again, like nearly all of our storms this fall, it will just be too warm for any significant snow in southern New England. If it seems like a long time since our last inch of snow you are correct. It's been 332 days, about 11 months, since Boston got an inch of snow. Normally we see our first inch around December and our last inch sometime in March. As our next storm approaches, once again I have heavy rain and no snow in the forecast.f


More rain, not snow on the way through end of year

Posted by David Epstein December 17, 2012 01:50 PM

Remember, the chances of a white Christmas in the Boston area are under 25%, so the fact that this year will be brown and green not white isn't that abnormal. Nonetheless, I know many of you would like to see some snow before we close out 2012, however, it's just not lining up that way this year. white christmas chances.png After our mixed bag of snow, sleet and freezing rain the next two storms are poised to be too warm for much, if any, wintry precipitation here in southern New England. Any snow will be confined to the mountains and even there rain could be an issue a few times this week. We have two more storms to affect the region. The first storm will be overnight tonight and into the first part of Tuesday with the second later Thursday night and Friday. You can follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at


Too much warm air will leave area icy or wet not white

Posted by David Epstein December 16, 2012 08:00 PM

In order to get a big snowstorm you need warm air. You might think that statement is counterintuitive but it's true. The biggest snowstorms that hit our area have some very warm air quite close. snowstorm development.png The warm air is what usually contains the moist part of a snowstorm and the cold air gives the storm its chill so the precipitation falls as snow, not rain. The deeper into winter we go the less likely rain will fall and the chances we get snow during our storms increase That fact is one of the reasons why February is our snowiest month. This week we have several storms affecting the area, however, the amount of cold air just isn't going to be enough to give us much if any snow. The above diagram shows the breakdown of precipitation with a storm that tracks along the coast. If the storm tracked further east, the snow line would also move east, a more westward track would bring the rain further inland. I don't see us having a classic snowstorm track with any of our storms this week.I'd love to have you follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdomI tweet more information about storms there as well.


Stormy period starts tomorrow, major snow for skiers

Posted by David Epstein December 15, 2012 05:06 PM

In an ideal world it snows in the mountains and rains at the coast. That is what many of us think about winter. Most meteorologist love big snowstorms and I am one of them, but the older I get the less I enjoy them living here in the 'burbs. This evening, as I am evaluating the forecast for the next week I am happy to see it might be too warm for any of the precipitation to fall as snow here in Southern New England, while folks across ski country may be measuring their snowfall in feet by the end of next week. Yes it's winter and it's suppose to snow, but with everything so many people have to do before Christmas it will certainly be easier to get around with wet road rather than huge snowbanks.
I'll be updating more on the storms via Twitter at @growingwisdom


Three storms to impact area before Christmas

Posted by David Epstein December 14, 2012 08:37 PM

I can't blog without mentioning what went on in Connecticut today. Words fail me and I just feel incredibly sad for all of us. In some ways this reminds me of that loss I felt after 9-11. We had seen terrorists attacks before, but that crystal clear September morning forever changed me. None of us should ever know this kind of evil that happened this morning, and the fact it has touched so many young children, hits me at my very core.

As adults we all know life continues in spite of the horror that can happen around us. Tomorrow many of you will go about your shopping for Christmas, do your Saturday errands and head to a movie or dinner to relax on the weekend. The weather looks to cooperate for the first part of the weekend before turning unsettled later Sunday and continuing though much of next week. Once the unsettled weather begins it looks to continue through much of the upcoming week and there could be significant amounts of rain or snow before next weekend.I"ll be updating the forecast and more on Twitter at @growingwisdom


Geminid meteor shower now underway

Posted by David Epstein December 13, 2012 10:10 PM

The final meteor shower of the year is now taking place and if you are lucky to have clear skies this is already quite a show. Across much of the northeast and back into the northern Rockies skies will be clear and perfect for viewing. There is a "new moon" tonight and this means no moonlight to spoil the show. While you will be able to see a few shooting stars after sunset the display really gets going after 10PM and will peak a couple of hours after midnight. However, you will definitely see some shooting stars well before peak. I circled in blue areas of the country that will have the best viewing tonight on the map below. I'd love to hear your experience on the meteor shower or on this blog. Please follow and chat with me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at
geminid meteor shower.png


Dry and seasonable into the weekend followed by stormy period

Posted by David Epstein December 13, 2012 06:30 AM

Medium range forecasting isn't easy but actually one of my favorite time periods to try to get the forecast right. The models generally forecast out to 10 days with some going a bit longer. The best forecasts are out to 5 days and once you go beyond that the accuracy falls rapidly. The models have been advertising a storm for next week for nearly 9 days and my confidence that something will develop is quite high. However, the track, intensity and amount of cold air that will be around when and if the storm impacts New England is so much of a question it's almost pointless to try to make a forecast for next Tuesday and Wednesday. However, it's still fun to try to get it right with the best available data and you need to realize that when looking beyond a few days into the future, there will be wild swings in the forecast.
I will be sharing more thoughts on the upcoming storm on Twitter at @growingwisdomPlease find me there and follow me. I am happy to answer any questions as well.


Tranquil weather turns stormy this weekend

Posted by David Epstein December 12, 2012 06:00 PM

Meteorologists get a bit giddy looking at computer models. We evaluate all of them and tend to gravitate towards those that show the most extreme weather. That doesn't mean we forecast or tell the public what we see, but all of us love to look at the model that forecast the "big one". The models have been forecasting three storms that will affect New England over the next 10 days. The first, and smallest,takes place later this weekend. The second and third, both potentially significant, early through midweek next week. The constancy of the models is very important in being confident in my forecast. The longer I see multiple models forecast the same solution the more my confidence grows in the forecast. When you see only one model forecast a snowstorm and all the other show rain or nothing, it's risky to go with the outlier. I once said to a colleague at Channel 5 you can't wish a forecast to come true as much as you may want that snowstorm.


Cold night on the way and chilly Wednesday

Posted by David Epstein December 11, 2012 05:00 PM

It was quite comfortable today with the sunshine this afternoon. Now temperatures are quickly falling back into the 30s and will fall further into the 20s overnight. Tomorrow will be the chilliest day in quite a while with highs struggling to get out of the 30s. A moderation in temperature will take place for Friday when highs reach back towards 50F with sunshine. Then, two storms will play a role in the forecast before Christmas. The first, will move through later Sunday and early next week with some rain or snow. The second looks to take place around the 20th and is now leaning snow but rain or nothing is not out of the question.I will be tweeting about the upcoming storms on Twitter at @growingwisdom


Sunny Sunday, wet Monday, dry rest of the week

Posted by David Epstein December 9, 2012 08:41 AM

Rapid changes in the weather will take place over the next 72 hours as we go from sunshine to a rainstorm and back to dry weather. The wild swing in weather conditions will be accompanied by an equally wild swing in temperature, especially along the coast. Highs today will reach the 40s and that will be the case Tuesday as well. However, tomorrow coastal areas from the Cape and west to about the Route 495 belt should reach the 55F-60F degree range with the mildest air over the south shore north through Boston. The rest of the work week looks to be dry and seasonable with highs in the lower 40s by day and middle 20s at night, quite typical for the second week of December.


Wet weather for some of the weekend

Posted by David Epstein December 7, 2012 12:45 PM

When I blog about the weather one of the first things I do is write the headline. The headline is what you see first so I actually give it quite a bit of thought. I try to make it eye catching, a quick summary of the weather, not hype the forecast and also not give the wrong impression about the ensuing few days. The headline for this blog is "wet weather for some of the weekend". It does look like part of the weekend will have some rain, but Sunday is actually looking rather nice with partial sunshine and rather pleasant temperatures for this time of the year. A weather system will move through the area overnight with a period of rain. It appears that much of the rain will end late Saturday morning and I expect some drier conditions for a good deal of the afternoon. This will set us up for a brief period of nice weather Sunday before another system of mild weather and rain moves through Sunday night and into Monday.Get my latest thinking on the weekend weather or just ask a question on Twitter at @growingwisdom
saturday december 8th forecast.gif


Cold for a day, then milder again

Posted by David Epstein December 6, 2012 09:19 AM

Another quick shot of cold air entered the region last night as temperatures fell over 30 degrees from the 50s to the 20s. Today will be bright and sunny but quite cold with temperatures remaining in the 30s for much of the day. The air is dry and you might want to think about getting the humidifier cleaned out and ready for future use. I don't expect the air to be so dry that we need humidifiers just yet, but shortly you will and I will let you know when that type of air is about to arrive. On Friday and into the weekend milder air makes another run back towards New England and temperatures will be in the upper 40s and even lower 50s once again. I still don't see any significant snow in the forecast for about the next 10 days. That puts us all the way to the middle of the month.


Damp this afternoon, but turning milder in places

Posted by David Epstein December 4, 2012 02:47 PM

Back in 1940 folks awoke this morning to a record cold 4F degrees. This ice was already becoming thick on many ponds and Boston would record nearly 50 inches of snow for that winter. On this same date in 1906 the high for today reached only 16F degrees and one can imagine folks gathered around their fireplaces much of the day. Today is going to be closer to 1982 when the high for the day hit a record 70F and temperatures that night only fell into the 50s. You might be wondering if we are going to repeat last winter's balmy conditions and the answer is most assuredly, no. The pattern for the next 10 days or so is mild as the jet stream continues to keep the coldest of the early winter air locked up in Canada. Winter sometimes doesn't get going until late December or January. This year is looking like we may have to wait until later in the month to see steady periods of cold and snow. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. On Twitter at @growingwisdom you can find more updates about the rest of the week's weather and what to expect this winter. Also, check out my latest newsletter by clicking here.


Mild start to the work week, colder finish

Posted by David Epstein December 3, 2012 08:34 AM

Temperatures this morning are running 20 degrees warmer than a few days ago at the same time, an illustration of just how different the air mass is today. We had a few showers pass through last night ahead of a weak front but that front won't bring any cool air with it. There will be plenty of sunshine today and the feel of spring in the air. Overnight many places will remain above freezing. This will set us up for the peak of mild air Tuesday when many towns make a run at 60F, a real December treat.For more thoughts on the upcoming weather or to just ask a question find me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at Milder air in December can cause bulbs to break ground and even some buds to swell up. No need to worry, once it gets cold again things will stop growing until true spring arrives in three months.


Snow ends this afternoon, milder Sunday

Posted by David Epstein December 1, 2012 12:49 PM

This afternoon snow will continue to move eastward after coating the ground and giving some folks up to 1 inch. The snow is the result of warmer air beginning to move north. As the milder air hits the cold air over us, it is lifted upward in a process called overrunning. This weather phenomena is what is creating this snow this morning. overrunning snow.png Eventually, the mechanism that is creating the overrunning will cease and the snow will end. The heaviest of the snow is now over. However, look for periodic snow or some freezing drizzle (where temperatures remain below 32F) until dark. Any accumulation this afternoon will be light.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at


About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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