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Showers, big cold and possible storm

Posted by David Epstein  November 22, 2013 06:45 AM

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Showers arrived this morning and while not very heavy, they will be with us on and off much of the day.

The first round of showers comes from a warm front in the morning while the second batch of showers results from a cold front. All the showers will be over during the evening commute, but roads may still be damp. Highs will stay in the 40s today.

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

Across southern New Hampshire and parts of interior Maine this morning some of the showers fell as sleet and a bit of freezing rain. advistory.png There is an advisory posted for winter conditions, an indication of the possible problems on some roads in northern New England this morning.

Overnight it will clear as temperatures fall back below freezing over far interior areas, but stay just above in Boston and the surrounding suburbs. Tomorrow brings more sunshine and chilly air. Temperatures will reach the lower 40s, but with a gusty wind, it’s going to feel quite chilly in spite of the blue sky.

Upcoming Cold
Our third round of Arctic air this fall hits on Sunday with a blustery day and temperatures more like late December. Highs on Sunday are going to stay just below freezing much of the day. Some areas may not get out of the 20s!

If you are headed to the Patriots game bundle up and bring a good wool lap blanket. With temperatures staying under freezing for so long the ground is going to continue to freeze. While I am not forecasting any major snow right now, it might be a good idea to put in the snow stakes Saturday. There is a chance when the ground freezes this weekend; it might not thaw before we get our first plowable snow. One year I didn’t get the markers in the ground before it froze and I ended up having to run around with a kettle of boiling water thawing little holes in the ground to put the orange things in the soil.

Monday continues the trend of cold and dry weather with sunshine and afternoon readings well below late November normals.

Storm Next Week
By now many of you might have heard about a possible storm in the Tuesday-Thursday timeframe. While there are still many specifics that need to be resolved there are some things we do know.

The European model and American’s global model are forecasting very different solutions for the atmosphere will behave next week. The Euro last winter was certainly the more accurate of the two, but this fall the Euro has not been performing as well as previous months.

Both models form a storm along the coast next week. The issue is the models are having trouble resolving if the jet stream from Canada and the jet stream from the south merge. Usually, our most significant storms occur when these two streams “phase” together. When this happens the storm is able to have both the cold and energy from the northern jet stream and the warmth and moisture from the southern one.

If the jets don’t merge, we can still get significant precipitation, it may just be more drawn out and the type, rain or snow, less definitive.

Being able to travel smoothly next week is critical for millions of people all across the northeast corridor. A rainstorm would slow things down quite a bit, but a snowstorm would create havoc. This forecast is still 5 or 6 days away and a lot can happen.
Below are two meteograms from information based on the two main models we use. This is but one small subset of data. You can see from these pictures both models forecast precipitation for Boston, but the temperature profile is different enough it would impact what type the precipitation takes, especially to start.
GFS Storm.jpg
EURO storm.jpg
This is going to change multiple times over the weekend and my best suggestion is to remain aware of the forecast for the Tuesday-Thursday time frame closely.
The dry pattern of the past three months is going to break at some point and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later, whether the change occurs next week or sometime in early December, our days of storm free weather are likely numbered.
Around the House This Week
I know some of you are already thinking about Christmas trees. Did you ever consider there are great trees you can add to the landscape that make great Christmas trees? Even if you don't decorate the tree, it will still be a wonderful addition in the landscape.


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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