Storm is good news for skiers and those who hate bitter cold

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Welcome to my Weather Wisdom. In this blog I am going to be writing about all things weather and other topics of interest and I hope you will check back often. Please give me suggestions on what is of interest to you and what questions you have about our fickle weather. Let’s begin with today’s weather event. As this storm crosses New England warm air will flood up the coastline providing a windy rainstorm. The good news for skiers is that across Maine, NH and northern VT there is enough cold air that the rain will fall as snow and amounts will be significant. Yesterday temperatures were in the teens across the ski areas while we saw temperatures in the 30s. Those colder temperatures are the reason the precipitation will fall in the form of snow, not rain, across the mountains.

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This storm is important to skiers and ski areas. There has been an ongoing snow drought across northern New England. This is especially evident when you consider that as early as this morning the ground was bare across much of Maine; that is about to quickly change. There will also be some snow across western MA in the Berkshires today, but amounts there will be moderate and at best reaching a few inches.
For local impacts in eastern MA, watch out for strong winds, some minor coastal flooding at the time of high tide which is close to noon today. There will also be big puddles but the good news is that much of the rain will be over by the evening commute.
Storm 2-Friday

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A second weather system is going to affect us Friday and into the first part of the weekend. The second storm is going to move up through the great lakes and behind this second system a blast of cold air heads towards the east coast.
I am not overly concerned that this blast of air will be that impressive. While it is certainly going to be cold and perhaps close to the coldest air we have seen this season, there is something quite interesting about this air as it heads towards the Northeast. Let me share a map I am reviewing to help me predict just how cold it will be this weekend. Take a look at the map to the left. This is the map I use to see airmasses (blobs of air), as they move across the country. The purple color is the coldest of this mass. The map is not actual ground temperatures, so don’t panic, but it does help me to see the flow of air around this second storm. Notice the purple color (arctic air) is heading towards Massachusetts from PA and NY to our southwest. That trajectory of air is exactly why this will not be a very powerful arctic outbreak.
Here in New England when we are going to get super cold, we look for our air to come straight from the northwest, a direct shot. This weekend’s cold air is going to take the trip here the long way, first heading south then making the turn to the northeast. Since the air will take this longer journey the sun will have a chance to modify the air and therefore the coldest stuff will remain over the upper Midwest and never make it here. Good news for those who hate bitter cold, but cold enough to be reminded its January.
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