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Freezing rain and rain today, dry and cold for Christmas

Posted by David Epstein  December 23, 2013 09:00 AM

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I know schools are off today, so traffic won't be as bad this morning as a typical Monday. However, there's a freezing rain advisory in effect the for the first part of the day for the northeastern third of Massachusetts including metro Boston.
freezing rain.jpg
In addition to the freezing rain, there is a lot of fog out there as well and this can hamper travel further. If the advisory is dropped this morning, I will update on Twitter @growingwisdom.

When we experience freezing rain, it's because the air above the ground is warm and the snow in the clouds has melted on the way down. What then happens is the water hits the surface where temperatures are below freezing and turns into ice or what meteorologists call "glaze".

The icing situation this morning isn't major and many of you won't experience it, even in the warning area. The reason is temperatures are barely cold enough for any rain to freeze. This is the map of temperatures around 9AM.freezing rain now.jpg The most likely areas to see freezing rain will be along the New Hampshire border. There will be periods of just plain rain much of the day, with the heaviest concentrated around the afternoon and evening hours.

By the time we get to the evening commute temperatures will be warm enough so there won't be any ice forming. However, the rain could still slow down the ride this evening especially around malls and shopping areas which will have heavier than normal Monday traffic.

Dry weather returns for much of the week with cold temperatures especially Christmas Day. Highs Tuesday will reach near freezing, but say in the 20s for Christmas (Wednesday). On Thursday it will be a bit milder and there is a slight risk for a rain or snow shower. Highs will rebound into the 30s. Dry weather returns for the weekend.

The reason for today's precipitation is a combination of a frontal system and a low pressure area moving through. The front is the same one which dropped temperatures over 30 degrees in some places since yesterday. That dividing line between spring warmth and winter cold will basically fade away as a small storm moves up long the coast this afternoon and evening. Once these systems exit the area a return to sunshine and dry conditions will follow.

The country is going to be fortunate this holiday with no big storms anywhere. The map below shows a forecast for around 7PM EST on Christmas Eve. Notice how tranquil things are for a change.
Christmas Eve.jpg
I'll be updating the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom throughout the week. Please follow me there.

Indoor flowers: Growing Amaryllis
You might be giving or getting one of these beauties this time of the year. Check out how to care for them in this video.

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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