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More rain showers this afternoon, but a nice weekend

Posted by David Epstein  February 21, 2014 12:30 PM

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Temperatures have warmed above freezing in all locations and the remainder of the morning and early afternoon damp with drizzle and coolest conditions north of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Warmer air is trying to push into the region, but it's having a tough time dislodging the cold at the ground. Temperatures are quite spring-like well south of New England and that mild air likely will not arrive at all today. This means most of the day will be in the 30s to lower 40s, not the 50s. The warm stuff seems stuck over New Jersey for now. It could sneak in south of Boston later today, but don't count on it.
NJ now.png

Radar feb.png
The radar image from this morning gives us a good idea of the weather today. I put arrows to indicate the movement of each of the areas. Notice the area moving north, this is bringing in the milder air behind it. The longer line of rain to our west, running in a south to north direction is headed east and will be here this afternoon. As the front nears it will kick off a new round of showers and even thunderstorms. I am not expecting much in the way of total rainfall, even if there are some heavier downpours. The map gives a rough idea of potential rain. We could see up to half an inch of there are thunderstorms.

rain today.png

This is the same front produced severe weather in the center of the Nation, but I donít believe we will have any severe weather. The timing of the front brings it through later in the afternoon and evening. Until then, it will be mostly dry. You could see a glimpse of sunshine well south and west of Boston, but not very much or very long.

Iíll update the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom.

The weekend looks nice and dry with Saturday being the mildest of the two days. Highs on Saturday reach the 40s everywhere and even upper 40s in a few towns. We stay in the lower 40s on Sunday with a blend of clouds and sunshine. There could be a quick rain or snow shower Sunday afternoon as the colder air works back into the region for Monday.

More winter ahead
It turns cold again next week and the cold is going to become quite entrenched for the remainder of the month and to start March. There are also going to be stormy possibilities along way, but as you know the exact track of any coastal storm wonít be known until just a few days before it occurs.

Oneís experience of winter seems to fall into two camps. There are those of us who embrace winter snowmobiling, ice fishing, winter camping, skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowshoeing and simply enjoying the nesting atmosphere the winter creates.

On the other side of the coin are those who see it as something to get through. We dread the dread the driving, the shoveling, the heating bills, the lack of seeing our lawn for 4 months, having to wear layer upon layer and wishing it wasn't so dark all the time.
I tend to fall into both camps and depending on the day, I lean one way or another. This year I have done a lot of snowshoeing, but have yet to make it up to the mountains to ski. I am still hoping I can get a few runs in before the snow does melt later in April. Iím also very tired of shoveling and my heating bill is 50% higher than I expected back in October which of course limits funds for other things. Perhaps you are finding the same thing. I already keep the heat at 60F all day and allow myself a few hours of 63F at night, what a treat!

When winter starts early, as it did this year, it can tend to drag on for a long time. Some yearís we donít see much snow before Christmas and it winds down in early March, this isnít going to be one of those seasons.

When was it snowier?
For Boston, the granddaddy season of snow is the winter of 1995-1996 when 107.6 inches of snow fell at Logan Airport. That winter reminded me of my youth in Maine when I think the massive snow piles I saw were one of the things that excited me about weather and probably lead me to become a meteorologist. There are likely budding meteorologists being created this year.

Boston has seen 56 inches of snow this winter with much of that coming in the past few weeks. I was curious about that seeing how this number compares to what happened 18 years ago and how much snow fell through February that year. The answer is by the end of February 1996, Boston had gotten over 83 inches of snow or over 2 feet more than we have seen this year. Of course, that winter was number 1 for snow, but itís interesting to look back.

If you are wondering, March 1996 had nearly 17 inches of snow and April saw about 7 more inches. It didn't snow in May that year which Iím sure didn't disappoint anyone except the most sadistic of snow lovers.

40 years of snow1.jpg
Although we are seeing a three day break from the cold and perhaps as much as 5 or more days without a major storm, the atmosphere is still very much in winter mode. The light may be increasing and the average temperature is higher, but this year Old Man Winter has other ideas. Itís your choice to curse it or embrace it, but itís not going away for a while.

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 »
Boston Forecast & Weather Tracker - Storm Center
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