After a sugar coating of snow Tuesday, sunshine greeted us as we awoke this morning. While it’s bright today, a quick shot of pure arctic air is about to enter the region and bring temperatures down to near the zero mark.
The big story is the wind chill coming overnight. While this is serious cold for southern New England, the pattern is moving fast enough so this level of chill won’t continue very long. This cold snap is relatively brief, yet you are not going to want to be outside tomorrow evening through Thursday morning longer than is necessary.
If you wait for a bus or walk any distance, make sure to wear the appropriate clothing. Frost bite won’t occur in just a few minutes, although the way some carry on about it you would think if stick your hand outside it would instantly fall off. But let’s not diminish the risk too much because every year someone, often kids or pets, stay outside too long and end up with frostbite. The wind chill chart below show that wind chills overnight won’t quite reach the level where frostbit occurs after 30 minutes in Boston, but will be at those levels west of the city and across higher elevations.
The leading edge of the arctic air is marked by a few snow showers. I am not expecting anything more than a brief burst of snow this afternoon and most of you will just see sunshine with a few passing clouds. Anytime you have an arctic front crossing the region it can cause snow showers which could lead to isolated roads becoming slick. This is a bit like forecasting thunderstorms in the summer; meteorologists know the situation is good for snow showers, but we can’t tell you exactly who will see the heaviest. Today the air isn’t very favorable for squalls, but I’m mentioning them just in case.
By dark the front is off the coast and the cold air is pouring in. You’ll notice the wind, the cold and the dryness to the air tonight and Thursday. If you haven’t needed a humidifier yet this winter, this is the time to start it up. The two images below show wind chill and actual air temperature overnight. Both are noteworthy.
A southwest flow of air will bring a quick weather system with some light snow late tomorrow night and into Friday morning. Again, like many of our snow events the past 6 weeks, there isn’t going to be much accumulation. I could see 2 inches occur if the situation ends up being just right for snow, but also another dusting is possible. Either way, you certainly won’t need snowshoes to get to the mailbox Friday.
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Somewhat below average, but not bitter cold air continues through the weekend. It will be dry and sunny both days and good for getting outside, doing some skating or skiing or maybe just taking a winter walk.
There will be another storm passing to our south early next week. We will have to watch how the models handle this storm, but presently the flow looks too far south to bring more than a glancing blow to our area. Stay warm.