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Colder and drier air for the rest of Tuesday

Posted by David Epstein  November 12, 2013 09:50 AM

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Showers of rain and snow are currently pushing south past Cape Cod and the rest of southern New England. An arctic cold front is moving eastward and off into the Atlantic. On the cold side of the front there were a few snow showers and some squalls. Any snow didn't long at all. You certainly didn't even need a snow brush this morning.
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I'll be updating the forecast for the warm-up later this week and more on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

An arctic front is rapidly approaching the east coast from the west. This front will be offshore by 10 AM and behind it, the coldest air of the fall arrives. Temperatures will fall very little until the front passes. Once the front goes by your area, you can expect temperatures to fall several degrees in a short period of time. It's in the 40s across eastern Massachusetts as of 6AM but already under freezing just west of Worcester.

The front is moving quickly because of the jet stream located at 30,000 feet. As this level of the atmosphere we find winds that move weather systems along. 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 this afternoon and tomorrow. 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
As the arctic front crosses the area in the next several hours, there will be a period of rain and snow showers along and just behind it. From now through late morning, the rain showers will change to snow showers. The snow could be briefly squall-like lasting an hour or two. Squalls are difficult to forecast, because like thunderstorms in the summer, not everyone sees the same thing. The squalls won't last very long, and the window of time I am speaking about allows these squalls to move from the northwest to the southeast and off the coast. Those of you west of Boston will be done with the snow showers as the commute ends and south of the city late morning.

Feedback
I would be curious what you would like to read about this winter during weather events and days without much weather. Let me know via @growingwisdom on Twitter. You can also email me via dave at growingwisdom dot com.

I still believe some whitening of the ground in parts of southern New England will occur and you could see an whitening of the grass south the Turnpike. What I am reporting is the chance of these squalls as the colder air moves in over the next several hours. Parts of the area won't see any snow at all as the rain just shuts down and temperatures fall.Think of this situation very similar to a forecast of scattered thunderstorms in the summer.
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As temperatures fall this morning, a spot or two on a few roads could become briefly icy. This would most likely occur in the higher elevations and those roads less traveled. 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 10AM this morning.
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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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