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Mild now, but first real cold and a bit of snow coming for some

Posted by David Epstein  November 11, 2013 09:43 AM

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Sunshine and mild conditions start Veterans Day 2013 with most areas seeing temperatures above the freezing mark. This is one of those holidays where some of you are heading to work and others will be home closing out the long weekend.

I'll be updating the forecast for the week including the possible snow in the morning Tuesday on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

There are three main features on the weather maps today of interest. The first is a high pressure area that is located just to our south. You can see this on the weather map from this morning. surface map cold.png As this high rapidly moves east, a return flow of brisk west and southwesterly winds will ensue. You will notice the breeze this afternoon blowing the leaves around and making it feel a bit cooler than the actual high temperature in the lower 50s.

The second feature is up at around 30,000 feet. As this level of the atmosphere we find the jet stream. It is here I notice very strong winds over 130 knots in places and close to 150 knots. jet.png These strong winds are moving weather systems rapidly across the country.

This jet stream will put an arctic air mass eastward and bring the coldest air of the season to the area Tuesday and Wednesday. The rapid movement of air also means the cold won't last. As a matter of fact, we will warm up significantly by the end of the week and the mild air looks to remain with us all weekend.

First snow
The third feature I am watching today is that arctic front now in the Midwest. See the map above for the position of this front. As the arctic front crosses the area late tonight there will be a period of rain and snow showers developing along and just behind it. There are indications that tomorrow morning, during the commute, there could be a period of snow squalls lasting an hour or two. Squalls are difficult to forecast, because like thunderstorms in the summer, not everyone sees the same thing.

However, based on the latest computer models I am going to forecast some whitening of the ground in parts of southern New England the chance you could see an inch or two of snow south the Turnpike. If you follow my blog you know I don't hype the weather. What I am reporting is the chance of these squalls in the morning. It doesn't mean everyone is going to awake to 2 inches of snow on the ground, rather some squalls could put down a coating and in a case or two, there could be an inch or even a bit more if the squalls last long enough. Think of tomorrows situation very similar to a forecast of scattered thunderstorms in the summer.
first snow.jpg
The first snow is notoriously difficult to predict. No one wants to be wrong about the forecast at anytime, but particularly the first snow of the season. This isn't a big storm and while the ground may turn white, it's not going to be a plowable situation.

The timing is such however, a spot or two on a few roads could become briefly icy in the morning as temperatures near freezing. However, the roads are still quite warm, so most, if not all the accumulation will fall on the grass, cars and other open ground. The image below shows where the precipitation will be at about 5 AM or 6 AM tomorrow morning.
rain and snow.png

Warm up
On Thursday, temperatures turn milder again and reach back into the 50s. By Friday, some areas will be nearing the 60 degree mark making the cold and any snow but a brief memory in a very dry and relatively mild overall pattern.

 Gardening this week


 This week my video is on raised beds and how they can help extend the season.  I show you several ways you can use raised bed or cold frames to allow your gardening to start earlier and end later each year.



I'll be updating the forecast for the week on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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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