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Heavy rain with intense wind today

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

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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,

Heavy downpours
The heaviest rain is currently upon us. I expect this rain to be gone just after noon. It will be quite mild with temperatures getting into the lower 50s for the afternoon. I expect the rain to amount to anywhere from .50 to one inch of rain. The radar is already showing the back edge of the rain moving into Connecticut.
4BOX_loop.gif

The weekend

As the storm spins away Saturday a shower of rain or snow is still possible however the mild air will still be here as temperatures remain in the 40s. Winds shift for Sunday with a colder flow from Canada. Blustery and seasonable conditions will be the rule for Sunday with temperatures holding in the 30s all day. The dry weather will continue through Christmas with our next storm holding off until late Tuesday or Wednesday. We are still in a very stormy pattern.

Next storm
For the first time in a while the next storm is looking like it could be snow and not rain even at the coast. The track of this storm will untimely determine the rain snow line, but early indications are for this to be a colder storm than the past three.

Why rain not snow?
There are two reasons much of our precipitation this month has been liquid. Both reasons are connected as well. The jet stream is allowing some cold air to come into the country. Temperatures are going well below zero across the upper Midwest the next week and that air is quite typical for late in the year. The jet stream is allowing that cold air to only move so far east. Take a look at the two images below. The first one shows the storm track thus far this late fall and early winter season. As storms follow the jet stream, the cold and snow is mostly to the left of the center of the low pressure. As storms move up the Appalachians the cold and snow remains inland from the coastal plain. Contrast this with our storm track from say December and January 2009-2010 when the track was a couple of hundred miles further east and the snow and cold followed. That winter, Boston saw near record amounts of snow in the first part of the winter.

Jet stream.png
snow storm east coast track.jpg

Any snow for Christmas?
There is a chance for a few snow showers Christmas as a weak system moves through the area, however, this is not written in stone and I am less than confident this will materialize. I need to see a few more model runs of the forecast before I commit to any Christmas snow.

Christmas tree care
Speaking of Christmas this is the time to either get your tree or keep the one you have healthy for a few more weeks. Check out the video below on how to care for and select the perfect tree.

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 GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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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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