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Temperatures on a roller coaster ride this week

Posted by David Epstein  January 5, 2014 10:31 AM

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If you follow me on Twitter (@growingwisdom) you might have already read this, but I had to laugh this morning as I am writing this blog and I looked up from my desk to catch my neighbor, in a very colorful robe, pulling the Sunday Globe off the top of a snow bank with a rake. Of course, she could have looked out her window an hour earlier and seen me in my slippers and pj's standing on a chair, filling the bird feeders. The things we do when we think no one is looking.

The day started bright, sunny and not so cold with most areas in the teens and 20s. Melting will take place this afternoon as the mercury rises above the melting point. I am hopeful my driveway is going return to the asphalt color by the end of the day.

Freezing rain
We have a brief shot of warmer weather for later tonight and the first half of Monday. The leading edge of the warmer air will lift over the cold air and could cause a bit of light freezing rain to fall. This area of rain is moving northward very quickly and could impact southern Worcester county and points west later this morning and early afternoon. This is the area that has closed JFK airport for a couple of hours today. This area will continue to move northward this afternoon and evening. freezing rain.png I think areas along the coast will not see any icing as temperatures warm quickly enough. If you are traveling later this morning and afternoon, take care to notice road conditions as they will change rapidly. The map has the counties with freezing rain advisories in purple. Within these counties, low lying areas will be most vulnerable.


Overnight some periods of rain will fall everywhere as temperatures continue to rise. By morning, much of the eastern half of the area will be near or even above 50F with areas of downpours and some fog.

The Monday commute is going to be slow. Some towns, (I’ll refrain from naming them and it’s not where I live) have done a horrible job of clearing the roads. I saw 4 and 5 inches of snow in the middle of some main roads driving around yesterday. This is going to quickly turn to a slushy mess tomorrow and if it doesn’t wash away, you’ll be driving over pieces of concrete-like ice and snow on Tuesday.

The mild air remains with us for the morning, but then temperatures will begin to slowly fall for the afternoon. During the evening commute temperatures will fall to the upper 30s and lower 40s. Between 8 and 10PM the air becomes cold enough for any of the slush or puddles to freeze solid.

Tuesday morning dawns bright, sunny and very cold. Wind chills will be subzero once again. As cold as it will be Tuesday, the core of the cold air will actually stay to our west. There are wind chill advisories and warnings into the deep south for tonight and Monday. Some of the wind chill readings will be as cold as we have seen in one or two generations.

The image below show actual and wind chill temperatures for the upper Midwest this morning. These readings are exponentially colder than what we experienced after the snow storm or will see for Tuesday.
sunday morning.png

The weather remains cold for the middle of the week before some light snow on Friday reminds us winter is very much alive. I don’t expect the system Friday to bring more than a light snow situation to the area.

January Thaw
The good news (for many of us) is there are clear signs of a January thaw for 4 or 5 days starting on the 11th of the month. In the image below, I have annotated some of the highlights of the weather for the next 10 days. Remember, this is based on model and the trends, not the specifics are what are important.
next week.png

Looking out into the second half of the month, there is more arctic air forecast to build and push southward. Some of the same patterns that established themselves last February could be in for a repeat performance of sorts as we close out the month of January and begin month two of 2014.

Indoor Flowers You Can Grow Easily
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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