Heavy rain may complicate the evening commute

Colder and perhaps snowy weather may arrive next week, but in the short-term, expect more mild air with a windswept rain this evening.

The weather has been quite volatile across much of the country. Although you are likely enjoying the mild weather, our lack of snow and cold is directly connected to the cold and snow out west.

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Meteorology is all about forecasting the waves in the atmosphere, and different sides of the waves bring very different weather. This week, we’ve already seen severe weather and a blizzard all associated with the same weather system. As this storm heads to our west it will force warm and even slightly humid air northward.

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The rain today will hold off until this afternoon, but once it does arrive it will become steady and eventually heavy. There could even be the rumble of thunder this evening as maritime tropical air is lifted high into the atmosphere by the cold, dense air to its west.

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The evening commute is going to be a problem as some heavier elements of rain take hold across the region. Although the sun is setting later, much of the commute will still take place in the dark. Both factors may lead to lots of red showing up on the traffic maps.

I expect half to one inch of rain. The map below shows where the heaviest rain will fall across the region.

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Temperatures won’t peak until 11:59 p.m this evening and could climb to almost 60 degrees. The record high for today in Boston is 59 degrees, set back in 1991. That same year, Worcester reached its own record high of 56 degrees. Each of these records could be broken late today.

As the cold front finally passes off the coast, the rain will end and skies will partially clear for tomorrow. Thursday is going to be another mild day.

The cold air will take its time moving into the area. This means another day of temperatures at least 10 to 15 degrees above the seasonal average. It’s going to feel like spring.

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Cooler air will return Friday and last through the weekend, though it won’t be very cold. Highs over the weekend will reach the low to mid 40’s with plenty of sunshine. A game of winter golf, a run, or a bike ride would be great ways to pass the time.

What about snow? We’ve only had about 10 inches of it in Boston and are now over a foot below average. Of course, this could be made up in one storm. Last year at this time, 48 inches of snow fell in 11 days. The graph below shows how this snow accumulated in such a short period of time.

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The computer models agree there will be a coastal storm passing to our east early next week. What we don’t know right now is how close this will come to New England, or whether it will bring snow or rain.


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