While some of you might have seen some snow showers Thursday morning, Boston will likely need to wait at least five more days for a storm with an inch of snowfall. Amazingly, a nor’easter is on the way for Saturday, but it’s rain, not snow, that’s in the forecast.
The weather has been providing lots of interesting factoids lately, two of them this week: Sub-tropical storm Alex is the first storm named in the Atlantic since 1978. The storm is way out in the Atlantic and eventually could impact Greenland. Our region’s lack of a storm with an inch or more of snow in Boston will become the third-latest late start on record on Saturday. If you’re curious, the longest Bostonians had to wait for an storm with an inch or more was 2007, when it snowed on Valentine’s Day.
A two-pronged storm will affect the region Friday night and Saturday. The stronger system will be the nor’easter off the coast, but the other storm over the Great Lakes is going to help erode any cold air present and leave us here in Southern New England with a rain storm.
Late Snow Usually Means Not Much Snow
It’s not that rainstorms in January are unheard of, but as we get deeper and deeper into the month without snow, we have to consider this winter could be a bust. All of the winters that started this late didn’t bring very much snow. Of course, you can (rightfully!) point out last winter, but the pattern now isn’t 2015, so atmospherically it’s just not in the cards that we’re headed for a snowy pattern.
This weekend’s storm would typically be in a great spot to bring snow to New England, but you need cold air for snow, and it’s just not going to be there. The rain will begin in the wee hours of the morning Saturday and continue for the first part of the day. I believe the storm will progress quickly enough for clearing skies and blustery conditions during the Patriots game on Saturday. If you are tailgating in the early afternoon, the rain should end between 11 a.m and 1 p.m.
How Much Rain Will We Get?
The map above is an indication of the expected amount of rain, and it’s based on averages of several models. I expect one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of precipitation. Some rain will have already fallen by sunrise Saturday.
The second map below shows how much rain is expected from sunrise until late morning — notice there isn’t a big slug of it.
Cold, But Nothing Severe
After this storm passes, cold air — typical for January — will arrive. The cold next week will be some of the coldest air this season, and since it hasn’t been very cold, it will seem cold. There will be headlines about the cold, but in actuality, it will be nothing more than typical cold in what’s becoming an atypical winter.
You can follow my updates to this weekend’s storm and the weather on Twitter @growingwisdom.