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Blustery afternoon, cold New Year's Eve, storm threatens for Thursday

Posted by David Epstein  December 30, 2013 11:44 AM

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I was poring through the climate records for Boston this morning and was somewhat surprised by the Sunday rainstorm, which brought 1.34 inches of rain; it was a new record for December 29th. The downpours throughout the evening broke the old daily record rainfall of 1.28 inches set in 1945.

This morning finds clear skies across the area. I can see the tiniest sliver of the moon rising in the eastern sky as the first light of dawn has broken. It won't be long before the birds are back at the feeders and brilliant sunshine is illuminating the landscape.

Today is the mildest day for the week and it could be longer. I think the next chance of breaking the 32F degree mark will come on Sunday.

You've heard about the cold for New Year's Eve and it's still on the way, however it won't be record breaking. As mentioned, this afternoon will reach above freezing, but with a brisk wind, it will, at times, feel up to 10 degrees colder than it actual shows on the thermometer.

Tomorrow, the last day of 2013, will be cold with highs only in the lower 20s. There could be a flurry during the afternoon, but no accumulation. Tuesday night will be brisk with temperatures in the teens for much of the evening. If you are headed out, be sure to dress for the cold.

If you would like a forecast for a specific time the next couple of days ask me on Twitter @growingwisdom.

2014 resumes the cold dry weather, but only for a day. A new storm is going to muscle its way through early Thursday through the first part of Friday. The storm will be snow, not rain and the questions to be answered this week are how much snow, when does it start and when does it end? Cape Cod will likely see snow, but whether there is a change to rain there isn't known just yet.

Two of the more widely used models meteorologists use both show a storm is going to form. The discrepancies between the models revolve around timing issues and the amount of precipitation. I am feeling confident enough to say this will be a plowable storm and could exceed the 6 inch mark or higher. The snow will be very light and fluffy from all the cold air and if enough wind gets involved, the snow will really get blown around.
Friday storm.jpg

Many folks will be off on Thursday, but many schools are also scheduled to return. The impact to travel for the end of the week could be significant.

Tides will be running at their higher end of the monthly cycle Thursday and Friday, so there is potential for coastal flooding, IF the storm develops strong enough.

The models we use to forecast the storms beyond 3 days are called medium-longe range models. Later today our shorter range models will start to be able to forecast the storm. This will give me an added piece of information and begin the process of fine tuning the forecast with more specifics.

Could it miss?
There is still conflicting information on the size of the storm, but less of a chance there won't be any snow at all from something Thursday.

Cold dry weather returns behind the storm, with a below zero morning likely for many of us on Saturday.

I'll be updating blogs right through the storm, so check back often and of course, follow me on Twitter @growingwisdom.com
Indoor flowers are a great way to chase away some of those winter doldrums. Check out this week's video on these wonderful indoor bulbs known as amaryllis.

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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