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Mild and wet for today, slowly colder into the weekend

Posted by David Epstein  January 14, 2014 08:34 AM

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After going over budget with heating costs in December and the first week of January, the current mild weather will have a positive impact on our wallets. As a result of the thaw, snow cover has dwindled not only here, but across the entire United States in the past week. At its height, 48% of the lower 48 states were covered by now; today that number is about 28%.

That feeling of spring is in the air with temperatures are in the 40s this and a mild southwest breeze. Roads will be turning damp during the next several hours as some light spotty rain passes through. The steadier rain holds until after the morning commute, but will impact the evening one.

For some areas this evening there could be heavier downpours at times with the homeward bound drive impacted by poor visibility and big puddles.

I'll update the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom. Please follow me there, it's also a great way to ask a question or give comments.

Rain comes to an end this evening with partial sunshine for Wednesday. It's still going to be well into the 40s for the afternoon. On Thursday, a storm will pass out to sea to our east. The western edge of the clouds and showers could impact coastal areas, but presently this look to be missed storm for all of southern New England. There isn't any chance of snow as there isn't any cold air around.

The end of the workweek sees bright and sunny skies for Friday with comfortable, by mid-January standards, temperatures. Another storm threatens for the start of the weekend with some rain or snow. It's too early to know if this coastal low will stay over the ocean or bring some rain or snow to the area.

Lots of quick weather changes will take place the rest of the week as a fast moving area of rain moves through today, followed by two storms threatening the area Thursday and again Saturday. Temperatures will be trending colder heading into the MLK holiday on Monday, but the true arctic air should stay just north of southern New England.

Thaws in January while often part of winter, are not welcome for everyone. The ski areas hate seeing a warm week after having the snowpack build during the first part of winter. If you earn a living sanding and plowing, a break in your cash flow for too long can be difficult. It’s tough to know if a storm will impact the area more than 5 days ahead, but we are in a pattern of frequent precipitation.

I really enjoy trying to forecast the long-range. While certainly less accurate, the 4-6 day forecast is getting better. There are so many tools and maps I can use to make a long range forecast. One of the easiest to understand is now much snow, in total, will fall over a period of time. The map below shows how much snow might fall from today until about January 24th
Saturday storm.png
Of course, this map isn’t accurate so don’t get all excited about the big storm. The reason I use it is to see trends. What it tells me is it will be mild along the coast and colder inland and if a storm occurs, the heaviest snow would be inland and over northern New England. Today’s map is completely different than the one yesterday and really only tells me we will need to watch for the possibility of rain or snow on Saturday.

Another map for the weekend shows a weak storm staying of the coast and having no impact to New England. So what I know at this point is the atmosphere will likely create a storm this weekend in the ocean. Where it goes, how it develops and other details will likely be sorted out over the next few days.
gfs storm.png

Great flowering houseplants
If you are getting the winter blues, how about picking up a calla lily to brighten up your house? Check out this video where I show you how they grow.

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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