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A cold Saturday, but milder days ahead

Posted by David Epstein  November 30, 2013 08:12 AM

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In summer we talk about humidity as the variable that makes us feel more or less uncomfortable, in winter, itís the wind. While today is going to be a very cold day, winds will be light and with abundant sunshine it wonít be such a bad day. Most areas will remain in the 20s the bulk of the day with a few areas along the south coast hitting the freezing mark for a couple of hours.

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

There have been a few snow showers across Cape Cod this morning. This is due to the cold air, itís 11F in Bedford as I write, rushing over the warmer ocean. BOX_loop.gif The air picks up the moisture from the water and then produces snow. Itís basically the way a lake effect snowstorm happens in Buffalo. The radar image from early this morning shows the isolated coverage of the snow.

Sunday, a weak system will affect the area and bring more in the way of clouds. There is an outside chance of a shower or flurry, but no major precipitation is anticipated.
The first few days of the new week bring slightly milder air and more in the way of cloudiness. Temperatures will recover above freezing each day as the highs reach the lower 40s. By the end of the week even milder air will allow temperatures to reach the upper 40s and a few spots could hit 50F

Temperatures have been quite cold this month and although the final numbers arenít in for a few more days, I suspect we will end up quite a bit below average for November. There have been 16 days thus far that averaged below normal and although we did have a couple of very mild days this month, the cold has outweighed any warmth.

Ice has formed on many ponds and even some rivers, but it is not safe to walk on it. We need many weeks of below freezing temperatures for the ice to become thick enough to support a person. Every year someone makes the mistake of walking on thin ice, take care not to be that person.

There was a trace of snow so far this month and I am not expecting any more before midnight. December often brings the first accumulating snow and in many years our permanent snow cover. The past couple of winters December havenít been very snowy as winter has started late. Remember back in December 2011, began what would be one of the mildest winters in decades. The map below shows how much snow is forecast through mid-December. This map doesnít tell us specifically when any snow may fall, but itís useful for a general trend. Notice there is little or no snow along the coast. These are very long range maps and one unexpected atmospheric change can make it obsolete.
December snow.jpg

As we get beyond next weekend there looks to be another shot of very cold air entering the country. If I am to believe the long range models then highs across the Dakotas will remain subzero the week of the 8th of December. How much of that bitter cold air makes it east remains to be seen.

Ultimately, the configuration of the jet stream will determine if the brutally cold air makes it east or stays hung up in the west. Snow making can continue in the mountains much of the week, but temperatures may warm close to over freezing in the mountains to close out the next 5 days.

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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