November To Remember? 11/13/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! It was a wintery one for sure! The well advertised cold blast of winter certainly lived up to its billing, with record low, and record low high temperatures falling in Boston!

After a mild Thursday, the cold air came blasting into New England on Friday. Temperatures plummeted to a record low of 23 degrees in Boston, beating the old record set all the way back in 1901 of 24 degrees.

The records did not stop there! A record low high temperature was broken on Saturday, with a high of only 37 degrees in Boston. This broke the old record set back in 1987.

You may say, Pete, that doesn’t seem that cold! Well, relatively speaking, it’s not. However, seeing that temperatures were 75 degrees just a week earlier, it felt that much colder due to the thermal shock factor!

In addition, it’s still very early in the season. It’s not that unusual to see temperatures like this after November 20th. The first 10 days of the month are typically more fall-like.

As mentioned earlier, Saturday felt more like mid December, with temperatures holding in the 30’s. The one saving grace was that we saw 100% of the possible sunshine. Wind chills were less Saturday night, but temperatures crashed once again, with lows in the teens and 20’s region wide.

Lighter winds and some sunshine made Sunday feel more tolerable. However, you’ll be surprised that temperatures still were below normal. As I mentioned above, temperatures are relative to the weather. With light winds, some sunshine, it felt much warmer than Saturday!

I don’t know about you, but all this cold, blustery weather has put me in the holiday mood! I absolutely love this time of the year, especially when the weather takes a turn to wintery conditions!

It made me search for some Christmas music on the radio. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed! In past years, I always seemed to be able to find one station that played some Christmas music, before Thanksgiving. So far, no stations as far as I know, have caved to the demand! Looks like I’ll have to break out the cd’s!

Some friends and family contacted me this weekend, and asked just what the heck is going on with our weather patterns?! What happened to the record warm fall we have been enjoying? Is it coming back?

These are all fair questions. A while back, I wrote in one of my posts to be cautious moving forward into November. If the warm weather persists through November, we most likely will be dealing with an easy peasy winter.

However, I also pointed out to be aware of an abrupt change in the weather patterns in November. If it turns sharply colder, a whole different winter could evolve.

As it turned out, there has been a large scale atmospheric pattern change here in November. I believe it was the big storm we experienced back on October 29th that was the catalyst to begin the change.

After nearly three years of weather patterns which featured cold shots in a sea of warmth, I believe the opposite is now here to stay…with short warm ups, in a sea of cold. In other words, Indian Summer is not coming back.

If you don’t like snow and colder weather, I would suggest that you either hibernate for the next 6 months, or go winter in the desert southwest. Otherwise, stick it out like the native New Englander that you are!

You may say, Pete, you said La Nina’s are typically warm and dry in Boston!! Well, yes, this is for ‘typical’ La Nina’s. I also mentioned that La Nina’s, like El Nino’s can be vastly different, depending on other global factors.

By the way, a La Nina is the opposite of El Nino. La Nina’s are the cold ocean phase of the Pacific Ocean off the South America coast.

The strength and more importantly the position of the La Nina, greatly affects the weather patterns here in New England. This year, the La Nina is east based, meaning the cold water is sloshed up right against the coast off Peru. This in itself, is enough to change the jet stream, and lead to colder air reaching the east coast.

In fear of repeating myself, I will need to stop here. There are many other very important details that I will need to explain to everyone in my official winter forecast, which is going to be published one week from today! Please make sure you check out this important forecast!

So what does a typical November bring to New England, in terms of climate and weather? Well, November is a true transient month, from fall, to winter.

November is highly variable. As you can see from the past few days, the weather in November can range from warm and sunny, to cold and stormy. Typically, November is our cloudiest month of the year, and is often the wettest month, too.

But again, it’s highly variable. Last couple November’s featured well above average temperatures, with little rain or snow, and an abundance of sunshine. Quite unusual, indeed.

To me, today exemplifies a perfect November day. Cloudy, gray, damp and chilly. There’s even some areas of patchy snow around the region, especially in higher elevations around 1000 ft and higher.

Speaking of snow, much of New England sees at least a little snow during this month. On average, Boston typically receives about an inch and a half of snow. However, this too is highly variable.

The city can go several years without much accumulation of snow, only to be hit by a decent sized snowstorm once every 5 years or so. Across the interior, snow begins to fall and accumulations are quite common during November.

The last stormy November we had was back in 2014. This month featured temperatures that were 2 degrees below average. A major storm just before Thanksgiving brought significant snow to much of interior New England, when up to a foot of snow fell, with power outages!

With the sudden turn to cold weather, I’m happy to report that many ski resorts across New England were able to make snow, and have officially opened!

This is a good couple weeks ahead of schedule! Many resorts use Thanksgiving Day as a typical time to open for the season. Looking ahead, I believe they made the right call.

On average, I’m expecting colder than normal weather to persist for the remainder of the month. Mother Nature may also help out with several chances of natural snowfalls to begin building bases.

Because of the early start to the ski season, I have decided to begin my ski and outdoor winter activity report earlier. Expect chilly temperatures up in the mountains this week. There may be some light accumulation of snow today and tonight. Then another chance of snow showers later Thursday into Friday.

A large storm on Saturday will bring a wintery mix changing to some southern resorts, then changing back to heavy wet snow later at night into Sunday morning. Thereafter, it looks like much colder air blasting into ski country leading up to the holiday.

Now for our weekly autumn outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. Expect a typical November day for the rest of today. It will be cold, damp and gray. There will be areas of light rain along the coast.

Inland, and in elevations above a thoudand feet, you will run into light snow mixed with sleet. Not a big storm, but it doesn’t take much to result in slippery travel. High temperatures will be in the 30’s inland and up north, low 40’s along the coast, and maybe 50 down on the Cape.

As the storm begins to intensify east of New England, a light north to northeast wind will develop. With this trajectory, low level cold air may drain down the coast from New Hampshire and Maine down into Boston.

Therefore, it’s not out of the question that some very light mixed precipitation could linger along the coast from Boston north. This would not happen until very late at night and first thing tomorrow morning. Again, it doesn’t take much for roads to become slippery! These small events are usually more dangerous than our larger storms.

With a moist northeast flow, tomorrow will continue to feature cloudy and chilly weather. In addition, there still may be some areas of light showers mixed with wet snowflakes, especially in the morning. It will be chilly, with highs only near 40.

Skies will begin to slowly clear tomorrow night. As this happens, temperatures are going to fall to near freezing. Be aware of black ice across the region! Frosty conditions will make for some slick roadways! These are the most dangerous type of conditions, and catch many folks by surprise!

Wednesday looks to continue to be chilly, with highs in the lower 40’s. Fortunately. there will be more sun, and it will be drier. Fair and chilly weather Wednseday night, with lows in the 20’s and 30’s.

A south wind will briefly allow temperatures to warm up into the very low 50’s Thursday. Later at night, a cold front will sweep through New England.

This will bring windy and colder weather to region later Thursday and into Friday. In addition, there may be some scattered snow showers, especially up north. Friday will be 10 degrees colder than Thursday, so expect low 40’s.

A storm will be moving towards New England on Saturday. Right now, the main thrust of this storm looks like it will track west of Boston. When this happens, it places Boston in the warm sector of the storm.

Therefore, expect southerly winds, and warming temperatures into the 50’s during the day. In addition, a band of rain will be traversing the state from west to east. This should arrive during the afternoon, and continue well into the evening.

Later at night, a strong cold front will sweep across the state, turning winds westerly. As mentioned above, the moisture should outpace the cold air down here.

However, the rain could change to a period of heavy wet snow in the ski resorts up north, before the storm moves out.

As the cold air rushes back into New England on Sunday, there is the chance of some scattered snow showers on Sunday, across much of the region. Temperatures will be falling through the 40’s.

Thereafter, next weeks weather weather patterns looks to be highly volatile!! According to the latest computer guidance, a surge of very cold weather will be moving into New England as we head towards Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day itself.

The question is, will a storm system develop, and track up the coast around Thanksgiving Day, bringing the chance of a rare White Thanksgiving, even to the coast? I will be monitoring this possibilty very carefully, and will be sure to update everyone with the latest information!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be publishing my official 2017-18 winter forecast! Please check in to see what you can expect in this exciting forecast! In the meantime, it’s subjective as to whether you will remember this November fondly, or not!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

From Summer…to Winter? 11/6/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! It was yet another split decision, weatherwise. Not that Sunday was awful, it’s just that Saturday was a classic New England fall day.

After the absurdly warm temperature of 75 degrees on Friday, Saturday was some 25 degrees colder, but featured mostly sunny skies. Sunday was milder, but threatened rain most of the day. Luckily, only some light showers & drizzle was scattered throughout the region.

So what’s the deal, Pete? You said the warm weather was over last week. Two days after the end of the second warmest October on record, we were back up into the mid 70’s again! Yes, that was a bit of a surprise to me! I have seen a bunch of warm autumns in recent years, but so far, this has been the warmest that I can ever recall!

No doubt, the warm weather has taken a toll in several ways. First, it has delayed our fall folage season into territory that I have not seen before. There is a possibility of some trees still holding onto foliage on Thanksgiving Day…yuck!! Where are we living, Washington D.C.?

Second, because we have not dropped to 32 degrees yet in Boston, the mosquito and allergy season just goes on and on. Not only that, folks are still cranking up the lawn mower, as the grass is still growing inside of Rt 128.

The warm weather has also kept winter sports enthusiasts excitement on hold, hoping for an for an early start to the ski and snow board season.

On the plus side, folks who enjoy gardening and working around the house, are certainly being treated to a extended growing season.

With all this warm weather, records are starting to tumble. Now, it’s not that we’ve been smashing record high temperatures all over the place. It’s just that it’s been so consistantly warm, for such an extended period of time.

For instance, Boston is about to break a record tomorrow, for going the logest period of time, failing to drop below 40 degrees.

So far, we stand at 200 consecutive days! The record of 201 days stems back to 1968. As it looks right now, Boston will not drop below 40 degrees, at least until Thursday. So right now, it looks like the city will break the record with 202 or 203 days of temperatures above 40 degrees.

How about the warm weather in October? Yes, it was very warm…but not the warmest! At least not here in Boston. We actually missed tying the record by a measly tenth of a degree. What year had the warmest October on record? That occurred way back in 1947!

Since I love looking at analogs and trying to find a match to similar weather patterns in the past, I had to look up what kind of winter followed such excessive warmth in those years. Keep in mind, climate has changed quite a bit from those years. But what the heck, let’s look back anyway!

After the warmest October on record, back in 1947, the weather suddenly turned in Boston during November. In fact, it turned out to be quite a severe winter, with bitterly cold temperatures, and nearly 90″ of snow. Wow!

How about the very warm stretch in 1968? Well, that winter started off on the mild side, with very little snow. However, 2 massive nor’easters in February changed all that.

The fist storm occurred on February 10th, when 2 ft of wet snow blasted the megalopolis region from New York to Boston. They called this the “Lidsay Storm” as the mayor of New York believed the snow was going to change to rain, and did not send the plows out. Fatal mistake.

The second storm was a New England only special. They called this the 100 hour storm, as it snowed in Boston for 100 straight hours! This is slightly over 4 straight days!

And it wasn’t just flurries, it snowed, and snowed heavily! By the time the storm was done, some 2 to 3 ft of snow fell in many areas around Boston, and up to 6 feet in New Hampshire and Maine!

The moral of the story? A warm fall does not gaurantee an easy winter! In fact, looking at these records, one could believe the complete opposite pattern from autumn, could be the end result.

But is this really true? Is a severe winter about to ambush New Englanders? Well, you will have to wait until November 20th to find out! At this juncture, I am still studying all the weather charts and long range guidance to help me formulate my forecast.

I am also keeping a very close eye on my seventeen natural signs I gather from Mother Nature. After I assemble all of this information, I simplify it, and make a prediction.

Like many years in the past, Mother Nature does not readily give you this information on a gold platter. Even the most high powered computer models can sometimes be no match to what Mother Nature holds in store for us.

So far, I am seeing a lot of conflicting signals. Teleconnections are conflicting with each other. Many computer models continue to advertise a warm & wet winter in eastern Massachusetts. While teleconnections say cold and snowy. This disagreement is leading to a low confidence forecast at this point.

Sometimes, after you make a forecast, a sudden change in ocean temperatures can foul up a perfectly good forecast, and be much different that what you first envisioned. This happened during the first couple weeks in December last year.

One thing to keep in mind my good weather friend Remy just mentioned to me. While the patterns looks similar to last year, subtle differences can mean a whole different outcome!Remy is in his freshman year at Cornell University, studying Atmospheric Sciences and Architecture!

I have mentioned in the past, I monitor the November temperature departures very carefully for snowfall forecast here in Boston.

At first glance, one may think winter is not coming this year. I can assure everyone, winter is coming. That, I do know at this juncture. How severe, I’m still working on that!

After today’s mild temperatures, a marked shift is going to occur in our weather patterns. It will turn cooler for the balance of the week. Come this weekend, a storm is going to intensify in the Canadian Maritimes. As this happens, it’s going to yank a chunk of cold air mass down into New England, from Canada.

How cold? Well, it may actually feel more like December this weekend! High temperatures may struggle to reach 40, and night time lows will fall into the 20’s!

Yes, the cold weather means the growing, mosquito and alergy season will finally come to an abrupt end in Boston! It will also get many in the mood for the upcoming holiday season!

Looking deeper into November, I see a very volatile weather pattern evolving. The Greenland Block looks like it wants to develop around mid-month.

This acts as two things. First, with high pressure building over Greenland, it surpresses the jet stream south of New England, allowing for colder than normal temperatures to move into New England.

Second, the block can sometimes mean a strong storm developing along the coast. If there’s enough cold air available, some spots in New England could be looking at an early season winter storm with snow next week.

This pattern may be repeated during the week of Thanksgiving. Snow in New England around Thanksgiving is not that unusual, especially across inland locations.

On average, snow around Thanksgiving occurs about once every four or five years. For instance, last Thanksgiving many saw a period of wet snow during the morning.

Back in 2014, a nor’easter brought nearly a foot of snow to many inland locations, with power outages just before Thanksgiving. Could this year be another year with snow? I believe the chances are above average!

Getting back to are beleagured fall foliage season. Yes, I agree, it’s been an off year. Way off, if you want my opinion. With the combination of record warm temperatures, and the black tar fungus, it left a lot to be desired for.

However, I always like to hold out hope for a surprise. Last week, I said the best could be yet to come. Well, everything is relative. With peak foliage running two weeks behind schedule in Boston, we have one more chance of a brief burst of color, before it’s over.

After tonight, temperatures are finally going to cool off to that ‘optimum’ zone. This means lows in the 30’s amd highs in upper 40’s and low 50’s. In other words, temperatures you would typically find in late October.

In addition, we are going to get a hard freeze in the city this weekend. This may come in the nick of time to reveal one final burst of color, allbeit somewhat muted. Although the red bushes are not disappointing this year!

It’s going to quick, and it will be over by November 20th. So be on the lookout for a very brief, and very late peak foliage here in Boston. Otherwise, it’s over across 95% of the rest of New England.

Now for your weekly outdoor activity autumn forecast. For what’s left in the day today, expect cloudy & somewhat gloomy weather, with periods of showers moving through. The one bright spot is that it will be on the mild side, with highs in the mid 60’s.

After some early evening showers, expect clearing and colder weather to move in. Late night low temperatures will fall into the 30’s, except low 40’s in Boston.

Tuesday will feature a small storm passing south of New England. I’m not sure if any precipitation will make it this far north. It’s not out of the question a few light showers may fall south of Boston. No heavy preciptation is expected, but some places south of Boston may experience some light rain showers. High temperatures will only be near 50, with lows in the 30’s and low 40’s.

More waves of low pressure will pass south of New England on Wednesday and early Thursday. At this point, it looks mainly dry around our area, with just lots of mid and high level cloudiness, which may block out the sun at times. A slight shift could bring some light precipitation south and east of Boston.

As we head towards this weekend, a storm is going to develop too late to bring us precipitation. However, as it intensifies north of our latitude, it’s going to drive a bundle of arctic air into New England.

I can’t rule out a few flurries or showers on Friday. Otherwise, expect falling temperatures through the 40’s and even 30’s during the day, and 20’s and low 30’s at night!

Watch for cold weather Saturday, with highs struggling to reach 40, and lows in the 20’s…even in Boston!

After a cold start, temperatures may moderate a few degrees by afternoon on Sunday. With increasing clouds during the day, some may think snow would be on the way. But it appears as if it will warm up enough for just rain here in Boston on Monday, perhaps some wet snow in ski country.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be discussing my thoughts in a bit more detail about my upcoming winter forecast. I will also let you know when some of us may see their first snow of the season! In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoyed the endless summer…is it winters turn next?

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Record Warm October…Is Over! 10/30/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their, weekend! It was yet another split decision, weatherwise. Saturday was a gorgeous late October day, with nearly 100% of the possible sunshine, and temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s.

Sunday was cloudy, and actually turned muggy. As a strong storm system approached, scattered showers developed during the afternoon.

Later Sunday night, an intense storm developed south of New England, and tracked due north, into the Hudson Valley of New York. This placed eastern New England on the eastern side of the storm.

Strong southeast winds and torrential rain squalls soaked the region late last night into early this morning. When intense storms track west of New England, this places us on the warm sector of the storm, with strong southeast winds.

Had this storm tracked south and east of New England, winds would of blown in from the northeast, and this would of been called a nor’easter. It also would of been a much colder storm, with heavy wet snow falling in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire.

However, this was not the case. Meteorologists and weather enthusiasts like myself call this type of storm a ‘south-easter.’ Now that the storm is north of our latitude, strong westerly winds are ushering in cooler and drier air from the west.

In it’s wake, the storm left damage similar to what a tropical storm would of brought. In fact, tropical storm Phileppe was actually absorbed into this giant vortex, adding fuel to this storm.

It was a very complex set up. Almost as if a winter storm and a tropical storm merged off the Atlantic coast. I could remember a similar set up on the same date back in October, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy merged with a winter cold storm.

I talk a lot about troughs of low pressure (cold & stormy), and ridges of high pressure (warm & dry). In this case, a deep trough of low pressure plunged into the deep south, west of New England.

Meanwhile, a strong blocking ridge of high pressure remained locked over New England. Believe it or not, it was actually colder in Georgia than it was in Maine this weekend!

This is what they call a high amplitude pattern. Think of it as taking a garden hose, and violently shaking it, until it forms big loops, like a winding river.

As cold air plunged south towards the Gulf coast, warm & humid air flooded up the coast into New England. The difference in air temperature between these two air masses resulted in a intense fall storm.

My sister reported to me from the New Hampshire seacoast region, that many were without power in her neighborhood, and some roads were closed due to downed trees. This matched up well, to the many reports of wind gusts greater than 70 mph I saw in this region.

I talk many times about big weather events breaking persistant patterns down. In this case, I believe this storm was the catalyst which broke the record warm weather pattern much of New England has experienced for the better part of two months now.

This doesn’t mean instant winter. However, I do believe this storm may be sign as to what we may expect to see more frequently this upcoming winter.

More importantly, this storm has broken the back of the persistant summer like warm & dry weather many have enjoyed so far this fall.

In fact, this October may go down as the second warmest in recorded history in many locations across New England. It was briefly number one at the end of last week. Slightly cooler temperatures to round out the month on Halloween may drop it out of first place.

I will have to wait to see what the final numbers will be from the National Weather Service, to make anything official. I’m very confident of at least a top 3 rank, which is very impressive!

Looking back on my forecast for October, I was anticipating it to be slightly warmer than normal, but was no where close to forecasting the excessively warm departures observed. I was also underdone on the precipitation.

I forecasted near average precipitation, when many areas doubled the monthly average. The exception was in Boston, where we will end up near average precipitaion.

This all came within the past week. Otherwise, it was a very dry month up to that point. So in summation, it was a very warm & wet month (especially towards the end).

As we close the chapter on October, we look forward to the transition month of November. This is a true transition month from autumn to winter.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe the intense storm of last night, is a game changer. This storm will rearrange the jet stream pattern across the northeast. While I don’t see a complete reversal to winter, I do see November to average out much closer to seasonal temperatures than what October was.

With the jet stream tracking much closer to New England this month, I see a roller coaster temperature pattern, with times of mild weather, but also periods of colder weather.

Because the storm track will be close to us, I also see a much more active month of weather in store, with many chances of stormy weather for us.

With cold air close by, this also means many may see their first SNOW this November! This especially true across the interior of New England, and up in the mountains. But it will be so changeable, that it would not shock me to even see snow in the coastal plain at some point this month!

How much snow? Logan Airport only averages about 1 and a half inches of snow in November. However, this number is greatly skewed. Boston can go several years without snow in November, and then receive a healthy snowstorm about once out of every 5 years. On average, the city does see it’s first light snowfall at some point during the month.

If you live across the interior, away from the ocean, your chances of snow in November greatly increase! I am expecting snow to arrive in much of New England this November, with many ski resorts opening up terrain for November skiing in the not too distant future!

I am monitoring the November patterns very closely. At this point, computer models are all over the place. I am calling it a atmospheric state of confusion! Teleconnections are contradicting the long range guidance. This means, teleconnections are saying it’s gong to get cold, while computer guidance is saying warmer than normal weather is going to overwhelm the pattern once again in November.

This is very important! If the warm weather keeps coming back, this is a sign of a warm & dry winter for Boston. However, if the pattern unfolds as I believe it will, with near seasonal temperatures, and the chance of some wintery precipitation this month, then we could be looking at a very stormy winter across New England, with significant amounts of ice & snow.

At this point, I am not seeing the very warm temperatures we have enjoyed the past two November’s here in New England.

I will be following these trends very carefully, leading up to my official winter forecast which will be published on November 20th. So stay tuned for that, it’s looking very interesting!!

How’s our foliage coming along? Poor fall foliage season, this year! It just can’t seem to catch a break from Mother Nature! Just when colors seemed to have been brightening up across the area, a big wind and rainstorm strips the leaves off the trees!

Typically, this week would be peak foliage around Boston. However, due to the excessively warm teperatures in October, we are running nearly two weeks behind schedule.

In addition, the black tar fungus has turned many of the maple tree leaves brown, or even black in some cases. However, there have been many other trees that were beginning to turn beautiful colors, albeit somewhat muted this year. I believe the best is still yet to come!

Early November can offer opitimum temperatures to bring out the best in fall colors. With clear, chilly nights, and sunny days coming up, I believe there will be one final burst of bright colors as we head into mid November. Also don’t forget, there are many fiery red bushes that only add beauty to the fall foliage extravaganza!

Would it not be beautiful, if we received a light coating of snow around mid November, with the colors of fall still lingering on the trees & bushes? This possibility exists!

Now for your weekly autumn outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. As the storm lifts out of New England, expect windy weather to persist into the afternoon. The rain is done, but you will notice temperatures falling throughout the afternoon, with early highs near 60, only to drop into the lower 50’s by days end.

Watch for clear skies tonight. It will still be breezy, which will make it feel a bit colder than what it really is. Low temperatures will be near 50 in urban areas, and 40’s across much of the interior.

Tuesday will be a nice day. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! It will be sunny and seasonal, with highs mainly in the 50’s, with light winds. Due to the clear skies, and light winds, temperatures will quickly cool off across suburbia tomorrow night.

In fact, if you live in Boston’s suburbs, and have not received a frost as of yet, you may get one tomorrow night, with lows in the 30’s. It will remain in the lower 40’s in Boston.

Wednesday will feature seasonable weather for November 1st. Expect sunny weather, with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 30’s. Still no frost expected in the city of Boston, but it may be closer. Many surrounding communities will see frost Wednesday night.

The average date of the first freeze at Logan Airport is around November 7th. At this point, I don’t see this happening until maybe a week later than that date.

More clouds but milder weather is expected for Thursday and Friday. There may even be some light rain showers from time to time. Highs will warm to near 60 Thursday, and lower to mid 60’s Friday. Lows will remain in the 40’s and lower 50’s.

Right now, the weekend looks as if it will turn cooler. A cold front will slip through New England, followed by north winds. This means high temperatures only in the lower 50’s, and lows in the 30’s and lower 40’s. Don’t forget to turn the clock’s back 1 hour Saturday, evening!

A couple waves of low pressure may ride along this boundary, and bring a couple chances of light rain at some point during this weekend, however a washout is not anticipated.

Timing this is very difficult at this point. It could be that mnost of the weekend is dry. Expect more roller coaster temperature swings moving into the following week.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be discussing more about our fickle November weather patterns, and give more details into my winter forecast. In the meantime, the record October is over, but that doesn’t mean winter…just yet!

Happy Halloween!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Change…Is Inevitable! 10/23/17

Hello! When it comes to fall weather, it just doesn’t get much better than this past weekend! I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy this amazing stretch of weather!

While Saturday was on the warm and sunny side, a slight change in the wind direction on Sunday brought onshore winds to much of eastern Massachusetts.

This kept temperatures mainly in the 60’s. Along with the sunshine, the sky was decorated with wispy cirrus clouds, which only added to the scenic beauty.

As the temperature cooled last evening, the air became 100% saturated when the temperature matched the dew point. When this occurs, fog develops! I’m sure many were watching how the dense fog obscured the football game last evening at Gillette stadium.

So what exactly is fog? A simple definition of fog is actually a cloud, that forms here at ground level. There are many ways fog can form. In the winter, fog can develop when warm, moist air advects over a thick snow pack. They call this ‘snow eater’ fog, and is a ski resorts worst nightmare!

Last night, the fog formed when a cool, moist wind off the ocean, converged with the warm temperatures we had during the day yesterday. So this would be classified as advection fog. As the temperature cooled, it matched the dewpoint temperature, resulting in thick, dense fog.

Getting back to our amazing stretch of weather, wow!! Who would of thought that way back on Labor Day, the great weather would still be here! This just proves, that some of our best weather occurs in September and October, and some years even November around here!

I can’t really say that I have never seen this before. In fact, the past several autumn’s, we have experienced similar weather patterns. I also remember a fall way back in 1995 that was very similar to this one. I will chat about this in just a bit.

But doesn’t it seem even better this year? Is this the perception, or reality? I don’t have all the statistics in front of me, but I believe that this may be one of the most tranquil, and warmest September and October’s in recent memory. I’m sure that this is at least one of the top 5 warmest October’s on record! And it’s been dry. too!

Last week, I mentioned that the state may be upgraded to moderate drought levels when the mew update came out last Thursday. And indeed, most of the state is now in moderate drought status. It has been exceptionally dry three months around here.

You may ask, I thought we eradicated the drought last spring? What happened to all that heavy rain and snow we got? Well, yes, we did have a wet period, and Mother Nature did a wonderful job with relieving the short term departures in precipitation.

However, much of New England continues to suffer through a long term drought, that believe it or not, extends way back to the start of this century! This is the cumulative deficits we continue to hold over, from previous years of below average precipitation.

Because our water tables are low, it didn’t take long for reservoirs, rivers, and lakes to begin showing the stress of not having enough water feed them.

Earlier, I mentioned how this fall is very similar to the conditions in fall of 1995. In that year, we also were enduring a serious drought through much of New England. Though that summer was much drier than this year, with this fall has been equally dry. That year was also a weak La Nina, something we are heading into this winter.

Everything was moving along very smoothly that year. It was one of the driest & warmest falls on record. This continued until right about this time of the year.

I vividly remember a major atmospheric upheaval in the weather patterns that year. At about October 26th, a strong cold front pushed through New England, essentillay ending the endless summer. From that point on, a new weather pattern took over for the following winter.

And what a pattern it was! Snow began in Boston in November, and did not finish until the following April, when 107.6″ fell. This was the cities snowiest winter on record, until the 2014-15 season beat it out!

Now, it may amount to a hill of beans. I always say that no two years are exactly the same, and most likely, that will be the case for this year as well. However, while it may not be a perfect match, you can tell a lot about a upcoming season, by looking at past years.

When meteorologists and weather enthusiasts (like myself) look at past weather patterns, and similar years, we call these analog years. The weather likes to repeat itself with similar weather patterns. It’s like a big puzzle, we try and piece together!

While this year looks similar to that infamous 1995-96 season, I’m not ready to say Boston is going to get bombarded with snow this winter, just yet.

That 1995-96 year was quite the anomoly. As I have mentioned before, La Nina years tend to be stingy with snowfall in Boston. Last year, Boston got off to real slow start. Nonetheless, the city still managed to accumulate above average snowfall for the season.

So where do we currently stand? At this point, the prospects for snow and sustained cold in eastern Massachusetts this winter, appears to be very much in question.

NOAA just released its winter forecast this past Thursday, and for folks who don’t like winter, this was your kind of outlook!

NOAA basically took the typical, generic La Nina patterns, and formulated a winter forecast off of that. In the end, this may be the best way to go. We shall see!

In their outlook, they are calling for a warmer than normal winter here in New England, with near average precipitation.

This is a very safe, conservative outlook! This outlook is subject to interpretation. If one looked at last years outlook, it was very similar!

NOAA does not predict individual storms or periods of severe winter weather. Therefore, you have to interpret this forecast with a grain of salt.

While the overall winter may be warmer than average, there still is the possibility of a period of two of rough winter weather. In fact, in La Nina years, it’s expected!

I found it humurous that NOAA actually singled out the New England region in their discussion letting us know that just because they are predicting a warm winter, this does not mean that we can’t get a period of severe winter weather, with a blizzard involved.

Why did they do this? Because New England weather is very fickle, and basically everything and anything is on the table when dealing with long range outlooks. It has happened before. Just last year was a warmer than normal winter, but areas in Maine received near record amounts of snowfall!

After one of the warmest falls on record so far, I’m looking for some answers as we head into November. This may begin as early as this week. A strong cold front is moving towards New England, and will likely bring strong winds, and a period of torrential rainfall later Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Thereafter, the weather will turn cooler, but not colder, as we close out October. Is this the big change I was looking for? Not quite just yet!

Looking ahead into November, I can see a much more volatile pattern developing. This means I’m expecting a much more amplified jet stream pattern, with periods of cold & blustery weather, along with stormier times.

In fact, from what I am seeing, there is the potential for an early season winter weather event, for many in New England. Could this be a sign of things to come this winter? My official winter outlook will be written and on line on November 20th…just a few weeks away!

Yesterday, I was driving around, and noticed that the fall foliage is finally beginning to change! Yes, there is the black tar fungus on many maple trees, that has ruined some of the colors this year. But as I mentioned in previous posts, there are many species of trees in the Boston area!

Though running a couple weeks behind schedule, there is plenty of beautiful colors showing up all across the region. Remember, there are also many beautiful bushes that also turn beautiful gold and vivid red colors.

Unfortunately, a strong southerly wind this week, is going to temporarily dull the colors. Next week, another frost may come closer to the city. There should be another burst of nice colors heading into the first week of November around here. There is also still some nice color to be found across much of southern New Hampshire and northern & central Massachusetts this weekend. So plan a drive & enjoy!

Now for your weekly outdoor autumn activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. After a very foggy start, expect a mixture of sun and low clouds today. Temperatures will be mild, but not as warm as recent days. Watch for dense fog to reform tonight. It will be on the damp side, but I’m not expecting any rain.

Tuesday will start off with low clouds and thick fog in some places. As the day progresses, there may be some breaks in the overcast during the afternoon. If this happens, it may boost temperatures up to 70. You will also notice it becommimg more muggy out, again!

At any point during the day, there may be a few hit and miss showers. I am not expecting a washout in eastern Massachusetts tomorrow.

Watch for a gusty wind to develop tomorrow night. It will have a real tropical feel to the air. Later at night, say after 10 pm, a squall line will be approaching the area.

In this squall line, you can expect gusty winds, high levels of humidity, along with torrential downpours crossing the region. I’m expecting a solid 1 to 2″ of rain, with isolated areas of 3″ if you experience any convection (thunderstorms)!

Wednesday will continued to be unsettled! Though not a completee washout, there still could be some additional showers during the day. It will still be on the humid side, along with some additional gusty winds. The sun may emerge late in the day for a interesting sunset!

Thursday will see a brisk west wind, with cooler weather moving into the region, along with lowering levels of humidity. It still may be a bit unstable, and a few scattered showers cannot be ruled out. High temperatures will be near 60.

Friday and Saturday are looking nice, with sunshine returning, along with mild temperatures. I can see temperatures warming up to the mid 60’s both days.

Right now, another storm system will be approaching New England on Sunday. If we’re lucky, most of Sunday will remain rain free.

However, there’s an equal chance that showers begin to move into the region during the afternoon. This will continue well into Sunday night, and early Monday.

Thereafter, an even cooler airmass will greet us for Halloween. Right now, the long range outlook looks dry, with high temperatures in the 50’s, and lows in the 30’s. Looks like a treat to me!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a more in depth look into my winter outlook. I will also have a preview for November, and a review of October. In the meantime, when talking seasons, change is inevitable! Time for a new beginning!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Frost…Then Indian Summer Reigns! 10/16/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! Overall, the weather was very pleasant across New England. Saturday featured some light showers, especially down the Cape. The morning was rather cool, but it warmed up when the sun came out during the afternoon.

The warm theme continued on Sunday, with temperatures soaring into the mid 70’s, under generally sunny skies…amazing!

All of that is coming to an end…at least temporarily! A sharp cold front sliced through New England eaarly this morning. This front was associated with a lot of mid and high level cloudiness. As has been the case so far this fall, the front had little to no precipitation with it.

After a wet spring, the weather patterns have returned to drier than normal conditions, for the better part of the last three months or so.

Because of this, the Palmer Drought Index have classified much of eastern New England, including us here in Boston, as being abnormally dry. This is the first of four stages in classifying drought status.

At one point, the region was under the extreme, and in some areas exceptional drought. So we have come a long way in eradicating the drought.

However, I believe the long term drought far exceeded the short wet season we experienced last spring. Therefore, it would not surprise me when the drought index is updated this Thursday, more of the region upgrades to moderate drought status.

I was chatting with my weather friend Remy about this the other night, and he had done some research about precipitation patterns here in New England, and came to some startling conclusions.

While it may seem like has rained and snowed quite a bit, he can trace the origin of this “drier” than normal weather patterns all the way back to 2006! Yes, we’ve had some wet seasons, but overall, precipitation has been below average, more times than not during this stretch.

And indeed, it has worsened over the last several years, to the point we have been in and out of one level or another of drought conditions, peaking last autumn, when some areas were under exceptional drought warnings.

Just when you thought we were done with it, an unusual drier than normal pattern re-emerged late this past summer, and has continued unabated straight into this fall.

While the reservoirs and water supplies are still in good shape, such dry conditions stresses our trees, gardens and wildlife.

You could literally write a whole book about the drought, and the implications from it. But keep this in mind, I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason. For reasons unknown to us, Mother Nature has the last say with our climate conditions.

Moving on to other topics. We are now at mid october, and many folks have been asking me why the leaves aren’t changing, yet? This is a very good observation. While splashes of colors have been showing up since about late August, most trees remain unchanged!

After a cool August, this could be the warmest autumn that I can ever recall! While temperatures are not the only reason why leaves change, it is one of the factors that help bring out the colors.

Fall is coming whether we like it or not. As we lose sunlight, and the days get shorter, the leaves begin to lose chlorophyll, the pigment which results in the green leaves.

A process known as photosynthesis uses the sunlight to produce food for the leaves to keep them green. As we lose sunlight, this process diminishes, and the colors of the leaves are revealed.

As I mentioned above, temperature also plays a crucial role. Warmer temperatures will keep sugars and water flowing into the tree. When the temperatures get cool enough, the tree begins to shut off this source, preparing itself for winter hibernation.

Obviously, this process has not commenced here along the coastal plain, yet. It’s been too darn warm! For this reason, fall foliage is currently running two weeks behind schedule this year.

And it’s not just here. Up north, where it typically is colder, has also been running behind with the leaves changing. It was only this past weekend, where reports up north, are coming in that the leaves are finally changing!

So when they do change, how are they looking? I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, there’s never a “bad” foliage season here in New England! Yes, some years are not as vivid as others. This appeares to be one of those years.

A black tar fungus around the Boston area has turned many maple tree leaves brown, or even black, not the colors we’re looking for in autumn!

As I have also said before, all is not lost! Peak foliage is still about three weeks away from arriving here in Boston. We have many species of trees and bushes around here, and some beautiful colors undoubtedly are going to emerge and surprise. It happens every year!

To get this process started, a chilly night is in store for much of New England, tonight! Much of northern New England has already experienced a frost or freeze. This has not been the case for us here in eastern Massachusetts, aside from a few isolated locations.

A very chilly air mass will be settling in across New England tonight. If you live inside of I95, from Portsmouth, N.H., to the city of Boston, Providence, R,I., points south and east, you will not experience frost tonight.

However, areas just west and north of I95, including all the suburbs of Boston, northern Rhode Island, and just outside of Portsmouth, N.H. there is a very good chance that frosty conditions will develop late tonight. This means temperatures could drop to the low to mid 30’s in these locations.

You may ask, Pete, how does frost form if the temperature is 35 or even 36 degrees? Yes, frost can still form, because the the air can become supercooled just within a few feet off the ground, and be close to 32 degrees right at ground level. Remember, cold air is heavier, and more dense, and settle to the ground.

For this reason, a few towns and communities even just inside of I95, but set back away from the ocean, may too exeperience a light touch of frost on some car and roof tops.

So that’s it, right? Summer is over? No!! The endless summer of 2017 is coming back! Because many will have received their first frost, or freeze, it’s safe to say an official Indian Summer is coming!

This cold dip in the jet stream, is quickly going to lift out of New England. Beginning on Wednesday, the high pressure area will begin building south of New England.

Because winds circulate in a clockwise motion around the high pressure, southwesterly winds will begin blowing warm weather right back into New England starting on Wednesday, and last for days on end, at least through next Monday!

Many ask what constitutes an official Indian Summer? The official definition is a warm, sunny period of weather, with light winds, after the first freeze.

A freeze means you have dropped to 32 degrees or lower. As I pointed out above, you can have a frost, and still official not dropped to 32 degrees.

For simplicity sake, after toinight, many will have experienced a frost or freeze, with the exception of coastal communities. So I believe the Indian Summer forecast is justified!

Many have also been asking me whether this warm weather is going to continue into winter? This is a very good question!

As the the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end! After a record setting all time warmest start to October, there are signs of a major pattern change heading towards the end of the month.

Long range computer models are indicating that the upper air pattern is going to reconfigure itself differently than what it has been this past September and most of October.

Rather than having a huge ridge of high pressure over the east (warm & dry), a significant trough of low pressure (cold & stormy), will evolve across the east, including for us here in New England.

This is in response to a retrograding upper air pattern, which builds a high pressure block over Greenland. This typically results in colder weather for us here in New England, as well as increasing chance of storms.

This is a very touchy situation. I have always believed that major pattern shifts at this time of year, could be a significant signal, as to what the winter may bring.

If this pattern shift to colder and stormier weather persists into November, then I have to factor this into my winter forecast. In other words, this pattern shift may have major implications for the winter forecast!

If this were to continue into November, we could see a very stormy winter unfold in much of New England, including Boston, with above to much above normal amounts of snow than usual.

This would be quite the contrast to what we have been experiencing this fall so far. In addition, I could see this beginning sooner than what we’ve been used to in recent years, with wintery threats beginning in November!

At this point, this is still just speculation. If the pattern reverts back to the endless days of summer in November, then I would need factor that into the winter outlook.

This is why I closely monitor weather patterns heading into November so carefully. Regardless, the winter forecast will be written for all to see, right or wrong, on November 20th! So stay tuned for that!

Now for your weekly autumn outdoor activity forecast. I am rating this week a 10 out of 10. Almost unheard of this time of year!

This is going to be short and sweet! After a mainly cloudy day, watch for clearing skies as we head close to sunset. This may result in a beautiful sunset, so keep an eye out for that! It will be cooler today, with highs barely reaching 60 in Boston, and actually dropping into the 50’s by late in the day. No precipitation is expected.

Watch for clear and chilly weather for tonight! As mentioned above, many areas will experience frosty conditions, with lows in the 20’s up north, 30’s in southern New England, except low 40’s in urban areas.

Tuesday will be a crisp, fall day. A great day for a drive to view the foliage! Highs will only be in the 40’s up north, and 50’s south. After another chilly night inland tomorrow night, Wednsday will feature sunny skies with moderating temperatures. Highs will be near 70.

Now, for the period of Thursday through next Monday, expect sunny skies, light winds, with highs in the 70’s and low 80’s, and lows in the 50’s and low 60’s!! Sounds like Indian Summer to me! Enjoy!

Well, that’s about it for today! In next week’s blog, I will be talking more about the possible pattern change, and whether it really means business, or not. I will also have another fall foliage report. In the meantime, Indian Summer reigns for now, but watch out for late October!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Through The Fog…I Still See Summer! 10/9/17

Hello! Happy Columbus Day, to all! It was yet another split decision weatherwise this past weekend. Saturday was a gorgeous early fall day, with abundant sunshine and warm temperatures. Sunday began with a brief period of showers. These showers moved away, but the rest of the day remained murky, with areas of fog and drizzle.

The one common theme from this past weekend and into today…it’s so darn muggy!! As the remnants of Hurricane Nate tracks north of Boston, it’s pulling up all sorts of tropical moisture from the deep south.

Many friends and family have been asking me, is this unusual weather? The short answer to this question is, yes!! It feels more like Memorial Day than Columbus Day. In fact, it may be a record for being so muggy, so late into the season around here. There’s no sense in sugarcoating it any longer. The autumn’s are warmer than they used to be…a lot warmer!

Just looking back over the last 10 years or so, I can count 7 out of the last 10 autumn’s were warmer than normal. In fact, Boston meteorologist Eric Fisher tweeted a startling graph, showing how Boston autumn’s have been steadily becoming warmer over the last 60 years or so. Yes, there have been some exceptions, but when you smooth the graph, you do notice the median line increasing over the years.

Even within my lifetime, I distinctly remember most years featuring brisk, chilly, autumn like weather on Columbus Day. I can’t remember the last time we had fall like weather on this holiday.

In recent years, many folks have actually been going to the beach! In fact, if you happen to have tomorrow off, I would recommend taking a trip to the beach, it’s going to be that nice!

Yet, despite the warm weather, you can’t stop the seasons from changing. We are losing daylight quickly now, and the nights are getting longer. With less radiation from the sun, cold air is beginning to pool in Canada. Eventually, a strong autumn storm will track close to us, and yank this cold air down into New England.

In a modified way, this is going to happen this week. As Nate passes through our area, the storm system is going to pull down cooler and drier air from the north this week.

However, because the source region is not that cold, it’s only going to bring us back to seasonal levels. It’s main focus is going to eraticate the oppressive humidity levels felt across southern New England.

As mentioned above, Columbus Day used to be the big weekend for peak fall foliage viewing across much of interior New England. Even in Boston, I remember certain trees starting to change color about this time of year. Over the years, the trend has been to push this date back a couple weeks.

While taking a short drive around my area yesterday, I was encouraged to see some splashes of bright foliage showing up on many of the trees. Now it’s true, certain species of maple trees around Boston have already turned brown, and lost their leaves.

This is due to a pesky fungus that attacked the leaves this summer. Lucky for us, there are many different species of trees around Boston!

Therefore, I’m happy to report that I’m still expecting some beautiful colors to arrive real soon! When is it ever not beautiful?

Despite the late start, I have read and seen many reports of some brilliant color showing up north, and even across western Massachusetts. It seemed as if the leaves changed overnight, said one report!

If you want to see peak colors, you probably have to drive about two hours north and west of Boston. However, it’s entirely possible that the color wave quickly collapses south, even as close by as Rt 128 belt by the middle of this week!

Here in Boston, and inside of I95, the process takes longer. Because of the modifying effects of the Atlantic Ocean, fall tends to last longer along the New England coast.

In fact, the beauty of autumn colors can sometimes last until mid November! This is when the perfect mix of chilly nightime temperatures, and mild sunny days, bring out the best of colors around here.

This means our autumn’s tend to last longer along the coast, extending the beautiful colors by a couple weeks longer than across the interior.

Due to the excessive warm weather this October, I am not expecting peak color to arrive in our area until the start of November this year.

Many continue to ask me just what this warm October means for our upcoming winter? This is the million dollar question! I don’t weigh too much of what happens in October for the upcoming winter. In recent years, October has just seemed to become an extension of summer.

My attention primarily focuses in on the patterns in November. My motto is, what happens in November, the winter will remember! While October may offer some clues, it’s in November when I gather most of my signals. Therefore, my official winter forecast is not published until November 20th, this year.

If looking at only October patterns, one would think that an excessively warm winter is on the way. And it’s true, if this pattern were to persist into November and December, you can forget about any meaningful winter this year for Boston.

The whole winter hinges on temperature and precipitation patterns in November. The more above average the temperature is at Logan Airport during November, the less snow the city receives.

Conversely, the closer it is to average or a bit below, the higher the amount of snow falls. I use this, and about 16 other signals to formulate my winter forecast.

Right now, the western trough (cold & stormy) and eastern ridge (warm & dry) pattern is persistant and stable, and is unlikely to change much for the next 7 to 10 days.

However, there are some signs, that as we move towards Halloween and the start of November, chillier temperatures may begin to penetrate the northeast, resulting in a reverse of this current pattern.

If this pattern persists, and does not “flip” to colder weather in November, as I mentioned earlier, a non winter may be in the works. But this is currently NOT the forecast. Just merely speculation.

It’s a very stubborn pattern to break down, especially with a La Nina (colder than normal water) developing in the south Pacific Ocean this winter. Typically, La Nina brings warm and dry winters to Boston, with below average snowfall.

A stubborn ridge (warm & dry) of high pressure tends to persist in the southeast part of the U.S., resulting in a warm & dry winter there. This ridge can sometimes extend all the way up the coast to Boston.

Meanwhile, a trough (cold & stormy) of low pressure, persists across the northwest part of the U.S., resulting in a very snowy and cold winter for that part of the country. This is currently the pattern across the U.S., very La Nina like.

The tricky part is, La Nina can be quite variable. No two La Nina’s are alike! Other global factors can alter the typical pattern, resulting in a surpressed jet stream, bringing snowy and cold weather for Boston. I am closely monitoring these other factors for the upcoming winter forecast.

With all that being said, I have calculated that out of 10 La Nina’s, six of them feature below average snow, two will be close to average, and two will deliver well above average snow. So if don’t like much snow, the odds are in your favor!

Now for weather history. In stark contrast to today, back on October 9th, 1979, an unusual early snowstorm struck the region! While it’s not that unusual for snow to fall in the hills and mountains of New England in October, it is unusual for snow to accumulate along the coast, especially so early in October!

In this storm, not much fell right along the shore, but you didn’t have to travel too far inland to see heavy wet snow begin to pile up!

The storm caused considerable damage to trees and power lines across the region. As is typically the case when it snows in October, not much fell the following winter! The weather community calls this the October snow curse!

Now for your weekly autumn outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this week an 8 out of 10! Expect warm and muggy weather for the rest of today in Boston. More like late mid summer, than early fall. As the remnants of Nate pass by, watch for areas of rain and downpours to travers the region this afternoon, beginning around 2 to 3 PM, and continuing on and off until about 10 PM.

It’s questionable whether the Red Sox get this game in without a rain delay or even a cancellation. If they’re lucky, the heaviest of rain will miss Fenway…go Red Sox!

Any leftover rain will sweep out of the region tonight. Skies will clear and the humidity levels will begin to drop. Still, low temperatures will only fall into the 50’s and low 60’s.

Expect a beautiful day for your Tuesday. Watch for at least partly sunny skies, with lowering levels of humidity. With temperaures near 80, I would consider a trip to the beach if I had the day off!

For the period Wednesday through Friday, expect more typical weather for this time of the year, with high temperatures mainly in the 60’s, and lows in the 40’s and 50’s. It should be mainly dry, however, there is a slight chance of a period of showers Wednesday night into early Thursday.

Next weekend is slightly iffy at this point. I’m not expecting any washouts. However, a front may be in close proximity to our region. If this front is north of us on Saturday, we may break into another blast of warm temperatures! We could be talking 80…again!

Sunday may be slightly cooler, with more clouds increasing, along with the chance of some developing showers, especially later in the day. Thereafter, warmer than normal weather looks to resume at least through October 24th.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be letting you know when we may see our first frost. At this rate, it won’t be for a while yet. I will also have another fall foliage report, and another update on the winter forecast. In the meantime, summer is not ready to set sail, just yet!

Thanks for reading!

~Happy Birthday to my sister, Val!~ (October 10th)

Touch of Indian Summer…2/10/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! It was yet another split decision in the weather department. Saturday was a volatile day, with flooding rains occurring just north of Boston on Saturday morning. Some of these heavy showers traversed through Boston during the day, along with some thunder.

It was very chilly too, with high temperatures only in the 50’s. Saturday night brought the regions first widespread chill to the air, with many locations receiving their first frost, mostly across the north country!

This set the stage for a spectacular Sunday, on the first day of October. When people talk about classic New England fall days, this is exactly what they mean!

Whether you took a drive to view the early stages of fall foliage, went apple picking at a local orchard, or just watched the Patriots game with family; it was a stellar fall day, with deep blue skies, and 100% of the possible sunshine!

After winter, autumn is my next favorite seaon! There’s nothing like the sunny mild days, and clear crisp fall nights here in New England! Add the fall foliage extravaganza to the season, and you have a region that people travel to from all over the world!

What about our climate? While some may complain, we actually have it pretty good around here! Located exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, New England can feature a climate from every part of the world, at any given time of the year. This means we have great variability here. Typically, no one particular pattern lasts too long.

While winters tend to be the longest season, not every winter brings tons of snow and bitterly cold temperatures. Due to our geographic location, the weather is influenced by many source regions. With Canada just to our north, the Atlantic Ocean to our east, and the tropical Gulf Stream just to our south, it’s no wonder why our weather changes so frequently!

A good friend of mine, and a loyal blog supporter, once told me that his father said, “It all depends which way the wind is blowing.” Could it be this simple? Can we really tell what the weather is going to be like by just knowing this?

The short answer to this question is, yes! Not to get too technical, but the direction of the wind blowing will tell you what kind of weather you’re going to see. This is is true for us here in New England, and especially for people who live in Boston.

Not that Boston is the center of the universe, but it’s location makes it especially fickle with wind direction. Boston’s latitude makes it far enough north, to be experience major winter storms and blizzards in the winter.

However, its proximity to the ocean, makes it susceptible for warm air to penetrate into the city, changing heavy snow to heavy rain. It all depends which way the wind is blowing. An east or southeast wind most always turns snow to rain. While a north or northeast wind locks the cold air along the coast, keeping precipitation mostly frozen.

Now that October has arrived, it’s time to start focusing on two things. The winter forecast, and fall foliage! Several friends and family members are anxious for my thoughts about the upcoming winter.

No doubt, the record blast of winter a few years ago have people wondering whether such a unprecedented event could happen again.

As I have said before, anything is possible. However, these type of historical winters are the exception and not the rule. Looking back in my data base (my brain), I can recall about one to two blockbuster winters here in Boston, for every decade. What do I mean when I say blockbuster winters?

Well, this is subject to interpretation. For some, a blockbuster winter is when you receive over 100″ of snow. Others may see it as a getting hit with a major blizzard or two (like 1978).

While ferociuos, Boston did not receive 100″ of snow in the 1978 season. I believe it was 85″ which is still a big season. But it was of course the two major blizzards we received that year, that made it memorable.

Then there are years like 2014-15, when Mother Nature decided to break Boston’s all time snowfall record in three weeks time! This, my friends, was calculated to be Boston’s worst winter in 300 years!

Even for myself, I have different ideas on what constitutes a blockbuster winter. Looking back, I would say 2014-15 was the worst I have ever seen. Then, going back in time in no chronological order of severity, there was 2010-11, 2004-05, 2002-03, 1995-96, 1993-94, 1992-93, 1977-78, 1968-69.

Notice how there were no years during the 1980’s? Yes, if you love big winters, this was not a decade of your liking! While there were some notable storms, there was no winter that received more than 65″ of snow during this decade, in any given winter.

In fact, there were more years during the winters of 1978-79 through 1991-92, that averaged below average in Boston. If you’re keeping count, there 9 out of 14 years that averaged below normal snow, in some cases, well below average!

As for the other 5 years, there were two years that were right about average, and only 3 years that featured only a bit above, but not by much.

But that all changed in the 1992-93 season. Since then, you may be surprised to know, that Boston has received more snow on average, than any in other time in recorded history! This means our average snowfall recorded at Logan Airport, has actually increased from 42″ to 44″ per year!

This begs the question, are the winters getting snowier in Boston? Well, if you look at data from the last 20 years, I would have to say, yes!

Personally, I have not seen winters like this when I was growing up as a kid in 70’s and 80’s. Yes, I remember the Great Blizzard of 1978…it was mammoth. While we have had storms come close, the ’78 storm still holds as the most intense winter storm I have ever seen in Boston.

While 2014-15 was the worst single winter I have ever witnessed, there were 4 massive snowstorms in succession to that year to achieve this status.

I’m also very aware that this could be the glory days of snowstorms here in Boston. It very well could be my long standing belief that this is a climate cycle, and could easily settle back to less snowfall in the coming years.

So what about this winter? Well, it’s still too early to be sure! At this early juncture, I can see this winter going two ways. Either this unusaully warm weather is going to continue through the rest of fall, and into December, leading to a warmer and drier winter this year.

Or, the pattern is going to snap to colder than normal, sometime in late October or November. Should this occur, then we should then begin to prepare for a stormy winter, with heavy amounts of snowfall.

Right now, most computer models are not too enthusiastic about any sustained cold air around here through December. But that could change! Some models do indeed show some chillier weather penetrating New England heading into November.

Much, much more to follow on this as we move deeper into the fall. My official winter forecast will be published on November 20th this year.

Wow…did September turn warm! After a chilly start, the month ended up nearly 3 degrees above average! This reversed the trend of cooler than normal months during the summer. While turning warmer, it also turned out drier than normal, with below average amounts of rain in most areas.

How does October look? Average high temperatures start out in the upper 60’s, only to cool by 10 degrees by Halloween. While the first two weeks of the month looks warmer than normal, I believe the last two weeks will be closer to average, with both warm and cool days.

However, the net result may be another month a bit warmer than normal, but not as much as September. There will be some chilly periods, which should bring a frost to much of New England, except right along the coast.

While October is typically our quietest month of the year, I believe it will turn a bit more active towards the second part of the month, with more chances of heavy rainfall.

Therefore, I believe we will end up with close to normal rain, which is just under 4″ in Boston. We typically do not see snow in Boston during October. However, there have been notable exceptions!

Now that october has arrived, it’s also time to talk foliage! Colors were showing up across the region as early as late August. The recent warm September has slowed this process down. Near average temperatures across northern New England this month will commence the color wave, as it heads south.

With that being said, you may need to drive a bit further north than usual this weekend to see peak fall foliage. Typically, you would only need to go to the White Mountains. But this year, you may need to travel to northern parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine to run into peak colors this weekend.

All it takes is a couple chilly nights and sunny days to quickly change the leaves! Early reports from up north is a season which is not as vivid as last year. If you recall, last year was a complete surprise to many experts! As leaves exploded with brilliant reds and oranges across the region. There’s still time for a last second recovery, so not all hope is lost! No matter what, there’s always pockets of brilliant colors!

Down here in the Boston area, a fungus has attacked many Maple trees, making the leaves dry up and fall prematurely. With all that being said, it only takes a few night of ideal weather conditions, to bring out some brilliant colors in other trees. Expect peak colors to arrive in Boston about a month from now.

Now for your weekly outdoor activity autumn forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out 10. Expect deep blue skies and mild temperatures for both today and tomorrow. While high temperatures will be in the 60’s along the coast, it may touch 70 not too far inland. Watch for chilly weather tonight, with lows near 50 along the coast, and upper 30’s and 40’s in suburban areas.

Watch for a taste of Indian Summer like weather for both Wednesday and Thursday. Because many locations in southern New England have not had a freeze, it’s not officially going to be Indian Summer.

However, any warm weather in October can be classified as Indian Summer-like. Up north, many locations have received their first freeze, some as early as late August!

With southwest winds, temperatures will soar into the upper 70’s and lower 80’s both days! Enjoy!

For the period Friday through Sunday, the weather becomes a bit iffy during this timeframe. While I am not expecting a complete washout, there will be a couple fronts traversing the region, with times of clouds and the chance of a couple periods of rain.

One such chance will be during the day on Friday, then another Saturday night and early Sunday. All the while, temperatures will cool back to near seasonal levels, which is the mid to upper 60’s over the weekend.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will check to see if anymore tropical activity will be developing. I’ll also let you know if anymore warm weather is in our future, as well as more clues about our upcoming winter. I will also have a new fall foliage report. In the meantime, enjoy the taste of Indian Summer, the wise owl in the picture can see winter coming soon!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

~Happy Birthday to my niece, Olivia!!~

Cool Shot…In A Sea OF Warmth! 9/25/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! After a rather gloomy week, the weekend turned out brilliant! Saturday started out with low clouds and fog, only to burn off to warm & sunny weather during the afternoon.

Sunday was a flashback to summer! While sea breezes kept it cooler right at the beaches, interior New England heated up into the high 80’s and low 90’s! What a day!

Wow…what a pest Jose was! While interior New England was asking what all the fuss was about, folks on Cape Cod and especially Nantucket were dealing with somewhat of a 4 day nor’easter!

I learned that some folks were actually stranded from either leaving the island, or trying to get back on, due to the ferry service being suspended for most of the week!

As was forecasted, the closer you lived to the center of the storm, the worse the weather would be. Here in Boston, it was mainly just a cloudy, gloomy week, with some some passing showers and gusty winds.

After an off forecast the week before, I felt the forecast last week was much improved across the region! I don’t believe we received as much rain as I forecasted here in Boston, but the general forecast was good, especially for the Cape.

As is the case, tropical storms in the fall can generate their own micro climates. Had the storm not meandered off our coast for a week, we would of enjoyed endless days of sunshine & warm temperatures.

Now that Jose is gone, this summer like pattern has quickly overwhelmed the rest of New England! What happened was Jose was interacting with a high pressure area across the Canadian Maritimes, essentially blocking Jose from tracking away from New England.

Winds circulate clockwise around high pressure, and counter clockwise around low pressure. With the high pressure anchored north of New England, and low pressure stalled south of us, a cool, foggy, moist northeast fetch develpoed off the Atlantic flowing straight into coastal New England.

I know what you’re thinking. If you are half a weather fanatic as I am, you were thinking just what would of happened if this same type of a storm system happened during winter?

Well, it’s difficult to say whether it would be the same set up in winter months, and just how cold it would be, ect…but a set up like this would of been nearly perfect in burying the coastal plain in a massive blizzard!

Actually, it very much was a winter type scenerio, here in late summer! I mention quite a bit about the Greenland Block, and how that often gives eastern Massachusetts cold & stormy weather during the winter months.

As has been the case over the last several summers, the Greenland Block has been appearing during the summer months, only to disappear during the height of winter.

This is still a bit of a mystery as to why this occurs, even to expert meteorologists! What I do know, is that if you love winter storms and heavy snow, this can be a very frustrating pattern!

With that being said, I do want to clear up a couple misconceptions. As we have seen over the past several years, we don’t always need the Greenland Block to receive heavy snows in Boston! During the infamous snow blitz of February 2015, there was no Greenland Block, and the city was buried with records amount of snow!

There are several other global factors that can develop in a winter season, that can deliver severe winter weather to the Boston area. During the record 2014-15 winter, a massive block developed across western Canada, and Alaska.

This cut off any mild Pacific air from traversing the country and warming us up. As the winter matured, bitterly cold air pooled over Greenland and eastern Canada, and began slowly sinking south into New England.

The catalyst for that winter was the weak El Nino that developed. This activated a very moist sub tropical jet stream that traveled across the southern U.S. then up the east coast, right over southeastern Massachusetts and the Boston area.

When the bitterly cold arctic air interacted with the moist tropical air during late January, it was like an atmospheric explosion! A succession of four massive blizzards paralyzed our region with up to 100″ of snow in just three weeks time!

I remember going to a weather conference and the local meteorologists spoke about just how extreme this winter pattern was. They discussed how unusual it was, for the arctic jet stream and the moist sub tropical jet stream to phase together for a extended period of time. Yes, it happens every now and again to give us intense winter storms.

But to have these streams merge, and be persistant over a period of time, was somewhat of a freak of nature. Another unusual aspect, was small area, where the two streams merged together.

It was a conduit fine line of intense snowfalls, confined to generally a 100 mile wide band, which basically stretched through eastern Massachusetts…especailly inside of the I95 corridor!

These are the winters which make New England a legendary place to live if you love snow! Fortunately for many, these winters come few and far between.

I was chatting with a friend over the weekend about that winter, and he mentioned that winter could of been once in a lifetime event. For the most part, I agreed with him.

However, there are many ways Mother Nature surprises us, and I’m sure there will be more records that will be broken in the future!

So what’s the latest with our fall and early winter patterns? Many friends and family members have been asking me when is fall weather coming??

Well, for folks who love warm weather, I’m happy to report to you, the seasonal shift we’ve been experiencing over the past several years, appears to be happening again!

Warm weather patterns look like they want to continue deep into the autumn, if not early winter. However, this also means winter could linger into spring, next year? This is partially due to well above normal ocean temperatures across the globe.

Earlier in September, weather patterns appeared as if they wanted to rush winter into New England earlier this year. However, there have been many significant developments since then, resulting in a different outlook for our region moving forward.

What once looked like a weak El Nino (warmer than normal water off coast of South America in the Pacific), is now lookin like a weak to perhaps even moderate La Nina (colder than normal water off the coast of South America in the Pacific).

With this sudden change, it now appears as if a similar winter to last year, may be on the way for us this year for here in New England.

This includes a warmer than normal autumn for much of New England, and rapid, extreme changes during the winter months. However, I must caution you about this early forecast. I mentioned several times that La Nina winters in Boston can be quite variable…ranging from warm & dry, to getting hit pretty hard with heavy snow.

Latest computer models are also hinting at some extreme weather in some parts of the country this winter. This includes us here in New England!

It’s quite unusual for computer models to be showing areas of above average precipitation, this far out. At this early juncture, I can foresee well above normal amounts of snowfall for much of northern New England this winter. I’m thinking even more than last year, and that was a pretty big year!

Here in Boston, we’re straddling on the lines of dry to the south, wet to the north. Same goes with temperatures, cold to the north, and warm to the south. In other words, it’s a coin toss at this point. But fear not! I will have this all ironed out by the time my official winter forecast is published on November 20th!

In the meantime, keep enjoying the bonus warm summer like temperatures! A friend asked me if this is Indian Summer? Very good question! Many folks have their own ideas of what Indian Summer is.

The official definition of Indian Summer is a warm, sunny period of weather, with light winds, after the first freeze. If you want to get technical, most of the leaves should also have fallen.

Some areas of northern New England have already received their first freeze, but for the majority of us, it’s not official!

Getting back to our endless summer…yes, the warmth is most likely going to continue through much of October the way I see it. It won’t feel like summer all the time, as there will be quick shots of cool, autumn like air swinging through every now and again.

One such cool shot will be arriving later this week. This will be short lived, as it already looks like it’s going to get warm all over again by this time next week!

As we head into November, the pattern may try to become more seasonable. Long range computer models are starting the month off warm, but may start getting colder as we head towards the second half of the month? We shall see!

What implications does all this warm weather have on our foliage season? From reports that I have seen, foliage is in full swing up north! This makes sense with all the chilly weather we experienced at the end of August and start of September.

With some marginal chilly nights ahead, expect foliage to be vibrant up north, and to continue to change colors just about on time. This means peak colors will be arriving in far northern Maine, New Hampshire and part of Vermont this weekend!! The color wave will then proceed to travel from north to south as we move deeper into autumn.

As for the Boston area, all this warm weather will hinder the leaves from changing color. I’m expecting another long, drawn out autumn around here, with peak colors not arriving until the first two weeks of November.

Right now, I’m expecting similar color to last year, which was quite nice! However, a fungus on some leaves, has dried out some leaves, making them turn brown and prematurely dropping. I will keep you updated with our fall color as we head into October!

As I say every year, autumn is beautiful in New England, whether we have a banner foliage year, or if it’s an off year, it most always delivers beauty!

I’m writing too much today! Before I get to my forecast, I quickly wanted to mention the awful natural disasters striking many regions this summer!

Three catastrophic hurricanes have caused biblical amounts of destruction. On top of that, an intense earthquake shook Mexico City last week, killing many. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims in this vicious display of natural force.

What’s next? Scientists are keeping a close eye on possibly a major volcanic eruption. One near Mexico City (like they need that)! And the other in Indonesia. The wrath of Mother nature is the most powerful force on earth, and can strike without warning, anywhere on the planet!

Now for your weekly outdoor autumn forecast. I will rate this week an 8 out of 10! Expect warm and dry weather for the rest of today, through Wednesday. Temperatures will be near 80 along the coast, to near 90 inland!

In addition, watch for an increase in humidity levels, especially tomorrow and Wednesday, when it feel quite muggy out! As the humidity increases, fog could form, especially along the coast late at night and early mornings.

A strong autumn cold front will be charging towards New England on Wednesday. This cold front will act as two things. First, it will introduce a fall like air mass for the period of Thursday through Sunday.

Second, it will act as a deflector, as it protects Maria from tracking north into New England, shifting her east, and tracking her out to sea. Thank Goodness!

As the cold front arrives, there will be a band of showers moving through later Wednesday, into Wednesday night. There’s a slight chance of a period of heavy rain in southeastern Massachusetts overnight Wednesday, as the cold front interacts with high humidity levels leftover from Maria.

Temperatures may reach into the low 70’s on Thursday, but will fall into the 60’s on Friday through Sunday. Night time lows will be chilly, with many 30’s and 40’s. All along, expect mainly sunny weather, along with some fair weather cumulus clouds. Great for fall a fall foliage trip, or apple picking! Enjoy the cool weather, it may warm up all over again come next week!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be monitoring these unusual weather patterns, and let you know whether we have anymore beach days left! I will also have an October preview, and my September review. Wow! October 1st is Sunday! I will also have another fall foliage report! In the meantime, enjoy the sea of warmth while it lasts…the tide will eventually turn!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

~Happy 16th Birthday to my nephew Nicholas!!~

More Tropical Trouble! 9/18/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! Each morning featured thick fog, and murky conditions along the coast. As the sun warmed up the atmosphere, this fog burned off, leading to quite beautiful afternoons each day.

Though it felt like summer out there, the seasons are slowly beginning to change. In fact, the official first day of fall is this Friday!

One sign of the seasons changing is the increase in foggy mornings. Some friends were asking me what’s up with all this fog around here past couple mornings?

There are many ways fog develops. One way, is when the air temperature and dew point (measure of moisture in the air) are the same. When this happens, the air becomes a 100% saturated.

Because the nights are longer now, the air temperature has more time to drop, and can fall to the dew point more easily, developing fog…sometimes pea soup fog!

I was chatting with a life long friend of mine this past weekend, and we got around talking about the tropics. He’s not as much of a weather fanatic as me, but he understands the concepts of weather quite well, and is quite interested in it.

We typically chat about current events in each season. With it being the peak of hurricane season, we talked about the season so far, and he asked me what my thoughts were about Jose.

Ahhh, yes…good old Jose! It seems like he’s been milling around the Atlantic for two weeks now! And in fact, he has been!

To say the least, it’s been an active season, so far. After many dormant years, the hurricanes have returned in a vengeance.

Earlier, it appeared as if another El Nino, and plumes of Saharan dust off Africa, was going to inhibit the development of hurricanes once again this season. But oh, have things changed!

It’s amazing how the atmosphere has adjusted to produce this active season. What once looked like a El Nino season, has quickly turned into another La Nina in the Pacific Ocean.

You ask, what does this have to do with the hurricanes in the Atlantic? Well, El Nino increase wind shear in the tropics. This prohibits storms from developing. La Nina is more stable, which results in a conducive environment for hurricane development.

But it’s not just that. A massive high pressure system parked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, has proved to be the catalyst for tracking hurricanes this season.

The high pressures clockwise ciculation is the driver, tracking these storms from off of Africa westward, towards the Caribbean and United States.

The catastrophic destruction these storms have caused, has beeen shocking. And it’s not done yet. I will be discussing more about this shortly.

Getting back to Jose. My friend pointed out to me the sudden drop in ocean temperatures off the New England coast. And he asked me whether this is going to diminish the chances of New England being struck with a big hurricane this season?

As I mentioned above, Hurricane Jose has been wandering around the Atlantic, seemingly lost, for weeks now. Why is this happening? Well, for one, the enormous high pressure system previously mentioned above, is essentially blocking this storm from moving harmlessly out to sea.

So what does that mean for us here in New England? Well, after doing a loop de loop out in the Atlantic, it now appears Jose is beginning to make his move northward. Computer models have been all over the place in tracking this storm!

With that being said, it appears as if the computer models have come to some general agreement with the track of this storm.

I can totally understand the public worrying about a major storm hitting New England! After the horrifying video, and constant catastrophic news reports, who wouldn’t be concerned?

Before you get too worked up, I want to let you know what my thoughts are, regarding this storm. First, Jose is currently a minimum hurricane, with max winds of 80 mph. This in itself is enough to do some serious damage.

However, a couple things are going to happen to Jose before it arrives. Number one, it’s moving slow. This is a good and bad thing for us. The good thing, is that in most cases, hurricanes need to be moving very fast to maintain their tropical characteristics to be a big problem for us here in New England.

This means the storm is weakening as it encounters cooler water surrounding New England. Remember what my friend said about the cooler water off New England? Yes, this will definitely weaken the storm. Hurricanes need a minimum of 80 degree ocean temperature to maintain their strength.

As this happens, the storm is going to trasform into a cold core storm, or like a winter time nor’easter that we typically get around here.

The bad news is that this storm is also going to track very much like a nor’easter would, and is going to stall, or even do another loop southeast of Nantucket Island.

This may prolong the strong winds down on the Cape, and beach erosion elsewhere along the coastline. I will have all these details shortly in my forecast.

If that’s not enough, we have Maria to worry about now! Maria is going to turn into another catastrophic major hurricane. I can see this intensifying into at least a category 4, and possibly even a 5 over the next couple days.

This is just horrendous news for folks in the Leeward Islands, many of which were just destroyed by Irma. Maria is currently going through rapid intensification. It’s possible that the storm is cat 3 (130 mph winds) while going through the Leeward Islands. This would be the only piece good news I can see for them.

However, my concern is, computer models are really ramping her up as she approaches Puerto Rico, as a cat 4 (150 mph winds), or even stronger! Computer models show her tracking right over the center of the island, sparing none.

This would result in catastrophic flooding across the mountainous terrain, along with destructive high winds. Not a good situation unfolding down there at all.

What does the future track of Maria look like? Well, we can’t even get Jose nailed down at this juncture! However, long range patterns do show that folks on the east coast must keep an eye out for Maria, as she could track close to the coast, and spread flooding rains up the coast. I will continue to monitor.

Before I get to my forecast, I did want to briefly chat about our upcoming weather patterns. Now that La Nina is becomming established, it appears as if the mild to warm weather is going to continue here in New England, well into the fall. This does not mean we will not have some chilly episodes, but overall, it’s looking warm at least through October.

Right now, long range computer models are beginning to print out maps for the upcoming winter. At this early junture, I can see another banner snow year coming up for New England ski resorts…possibly even more snow than last year!

The Boston area is a coin toss, and I will not know how severe or mild the winter will be until late November. Remember, La Nina’s are highly variable in Boston! I have to study more information to be able to make an educated call sometime in November! I will continue to keep everyone updated with my research.

Now for your weekly outdoor activity forecast. Sorry about the overzealous nice weather forecast for last week! While the first few days were on target, the remnants of Irma really fouled up the forecast towards the end of the week. Too many showers and thunderstorms, and too much foggy weather! Let’s try this again!

For this week, I’m calling for a 5 out of 10. Expect mainly cloudy and somewhat muggy weather for the rest of today. It should remain dry, with highs mainly in the lower 70’s.

As Jose appraoches tonight, expect increasing clouds along with the chance of some showers across the Cape. A tropical storm warning is in place for coastal Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and the South Shore up to Hull. This means you will see winds in excess of 39 mph, along with tropical downpours of rain.

Tuesday should feature increasing, gusty winds out of the northeast. As winds increase, expect showers to traverse the region from south to north. At this point, I’m not expecting a washout around Boston tomorrow, but it will be wet at times.

Conditions will deteriorate later Tuesday, and expecially at night across the region. Rain, heavy at times will be spreading across the Boston area and up along the coast. The heaviest rain looks to be confined along and east of the I95 corridor. right now, I’m anticipating between 1 and 2″ of rain around Boston.

Although it will rain, I’m not expecting nothing too heavy north and west from there. Winds will also be increasing to up to 40 mph in the Boston area, possibly up to 50 mph along the South Shore, and extreme east coast areas.

Being closer to the center, the Cape will bear the brunt of this storm. Heavy rain, possibly up to 3 to 5″ and strong winds gusting up to 60 mph will result in some downed trees and scattered power outages.

With these strong onshore winds, coastal flooding and beach erosion is always a concern. Right now, I would say there is low to moderate risk of a least some coastal flooding in typical areas that are prone to flooding. I’m not anticipating major flooding.

Also keep in mind the these type of storms produce dangerous rip currents, and unexpected large waves. The NWS is expecting waves of up to 20 ft! It goes without saying to stay out of the water until the storm passes!

This includes fishing boats. A few people already needed to be recued after being swept off rocks due to an unexpected large wave off the coast of Rhode Island this past weekend!

Heavy rain and the strongest winds should abate around Boston by midday Wednesday, but may continue down the Cape for much of the day. It will be on the muggy side.

Expect slowly improving weather on Thursday. Early morning low clouds, and fog may improve to some afternoon sun. If this happens, it will warm up well into the 70’s.

As for Friday, the first day of autumn, expect it to feel more like summer! After some early morning fog, it should turn mostly sunny and very warm, with highs near 80.

Right now, the weekend is looking to be very warm and dry. Expect sunny and very warm weather on Saturday, with highs in the mid 80’s! Beach anyone? Sunday may be slightly cooler at the coast, but another sunny and warm day appears to be on tap! Enjoy!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my first fall foliage report for everyone! I will also have another update on the tropics. In the meantime, our tropical troubles will pale in comparison for folks who have to deal with Maria! Please keep them in your prayers!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Meanwhile…It’s Back To Summer! 9/11/17

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! It was a fallish feel to the weather, as temperatures felt more like late September, rather than the beginning. This was in stark contrast to what was going down in Florida!

It’s hurricane season, folks! In fact, Hurricane Irma struck at the exact peak of hurricane season, which happens to be on September 10th!

After a record dormant stretch, the U.S. has now been hit by two category 4 hurricanes in the same season, for the first time in recorded history!

Hard to believe the last time any major hurricane had struck the U.S. with a category 3 or higher, was way back in 2005! It’s been a long time coming, but the hurricanes are back with a vengeance!

If you need to be reminded, hurricanes are the largest, widespread, dangerous & most destructive storms on earth. These are powerful storms, that are very difficult to forecast, with erratic tracks, and levels of intensity. Part of this reason is because hurricanes typically form where steering currents are weak, or non existant.

Like many around New England, I was in awe watching hurricane coverage on all the major networks yesterday.

With the advancements in technology, it truly felt as if we were there watching the storm ufold! While I loved seeing the live coverage, I had an uneasy felling in my stomach.

I was chatting with my good weather friend Remy last evening about the storm coverage. We both were very disturbed how networks place reporters and meteorologists in danger, during the height of the storm, just to increase ratings and social media attention.

We both agreed it’s irresponsible, extremely dangerous, and sets a bad example for evacuation efforts!

Just yesterday, I saw two meteorologists from The Weather Channel in very dangerous situations. One was reporting live in Miami. At first, he was reporting on a boardwalk showing the rising water behind him, with 70 mph winds battering him. This may have not been good enough for ratings. I was shocked in the next report, as he was then standing in waist deep storm surge water, witrh waves splashing on him!

Another was in Naples, where a meteorologist was reporting live during the arrival of the eyewall. While I’ll admit it was fascinating watching him battle through the worst of the storm, I was shocked when it appeared as if a small tornado crossed the street and nearly sucked him up into its vortex! While The Weather Channel may have loved the ratings, I’m sure his wife and family thought differently!

As far as I could see, the highest wind gust in Florida was reported from Naples, where an amazing gust of 142 mph was recorded!

Yet, as bad as it was, this storm could of been a lot worse!! At one point, this was a powerful category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 mph! Unfortunately, for Barbuda and St. Martin, they bore the brunt of this storm, as the eye passed right over them, absolutely destroying 90% of the islands.

It must of been a terrifying experience witnessing that event. As a comparison, you could say it’s the same as being in a F3 tornado for about 8 straight hours!

Had the storm not interacted with Cuba, this may of been the fate for south Florida. In addition, the track Irma took actually spared the western coast a devastating storm surge. Offshore winds literally blew the water out of the harbors and bays, to the north of the eyewall.

The fear from many, and myself, was as the eyewall tracked north along the coast, the water would rush back into the coastline, resulting in a dangerous storm surge. Well, Thank God the worst scenerio did not materialize!!

While many did see a storm surge, coastal communities dodged a HUGE bullet in my opinion! Rather than remaining over the Gulf waters, paralleling the Florida coast, Irma jogged right as the eye went over Naples, then proceeded to move north over the center of Florida.

With this slight change in the track, the surge literally got “cut off” from flooding the coast. I can only attribute this as a kind act of God, sparing these locations total destruction.

This small change in the track caught many off gaurd, including local meteorologists, National Weather Service, and The National Hurricane Center. Again, this sudden change in the track spared the coastline millions of dollars in damages.

While this was good news for areas such as Tampa Bay and Tallahassee, the sudden change in track meant bad news for east coast cities such as Jacksonville!

Just when you thought the worst would bypass you to your west, your city suddenly ends up with a major storm surge this morning! The small 50 mile shift meant east coast side of Florida became vulnerable to storm surge.

Remember, the worst conditions of the storm, occurs in the northeast quardrant of the storm. This placed Jacksonville in this location.

I havn’t seen anny preliminary numbers, but I believe Irma may go down as one of the most costliest storms on record! This includes the catastrophic damage in Caribbean Islands which sustained a direct hit from the storm.

We could go on and on chatting about Irma. But I believe, many, including myself, are Irmered out!

Some years, these storms maintain their tropical moisture package, and soaks New England with flooding rains. This will not be the case this go around!

In fact, with the sudden increase in tropical activity, I’m beginning to see a retreat of our early fall weather patterns. While a coolish September seemed to be in the cards this year, it now appears as if the cool weather is retreating out west, and a large ridge of sunny and warm weather will dominate our weather possibly for the rest of the month!

Hello…HELLO??? Just as I thought. I hear no complaints from many out there! What once seemed like a sudden end to summer, now appears as if we may be entering a pattern similar to the past several years.

What does this mean?? Well, it may mean a resurgence of above normal temperatures, and fairly dry patterns heading into at least the first part of October.

This means more bouts of extended periods of Indian Summer heading into fall. This keeps the theme of “seasonal shift” going that we have been experiencing the past several years. Meaning, it takes quite a while for winter to begin in New England, often well after Christmas.

This also keeps the streak of fantastic weather during the month of September going! It’s so ironic how inclement patterns linger through the summer months, only to finally straighten themselves out when everyone goes back to school and work in September!

Does all this have any implecations for the upcoming winter…maybe. What seemed like a weak El Nino (slightly warm water in Pacific Ocean) developing this winter, has now reverted to at least a moderate, if not strong La Nina (colder than normal water in Pacific Ocean). This may have major implications on our winter, which may be beginning to show its effects here in early fall.

Unfortunately, the warmer temperatures may delay our fall foliage season, once again. I know many have commented on the early splashes of color, but I’m concerned the warm temperatures will keep the leaves greener, deeper into the fall.

This doesn’t mean that a dull season is coming, it just means that it may linger longer, even into the first couple weeks of November, much like the past several years. Even if some colors are muted by the warm weather, autumn always delivers scenic beauty in our region!

While a warm, dry winter is not gauranteed, La Nina’s typically are not too snowy and cold here in Boston. There are exceptions. I can recall four La Nina years in the past 25, that brought Boston above normal snow.

In 1995-96, was a La Nina year which featured a very unusual blocking pattern, which helped Boston to, at the time, a record snow year.

In 2007-08, another La Nina, brought well above normal snow to much of New England. In fact, record snows fell up in northern New England!

Another La Nina year in 2010-11 delivered a surprisingly heavy snow year. This year had some questions whether the Icelandic volcano eruptions aided in surpressing the jet stream that winter, helping in the near record snows.

Then there was last year. Despite a very warm fall, Boston managed to accumulate slightly above average snow, with heavier than normal snows falling in the ski resorts and interior locations.

So if you’re a snow fan, all is not lost. However, the odds are not with us. I would say about 3 out of 10 La Nina’s are snowy in Boston, or about only 33%. The rest of those years you can throw into the garbage.

The odds are better if you live well inland, and up north, where you may see 6 or 7 out of 10 La Nina winters on the snowy side. Time to move north!!

In the shorter term, the weather this week looks to bring back summertime temperatures to much of the region. In fact, I am rating this week a solid 9 out of 10!!

As we remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country today, the weather could not be any similar than it was on that fateful day.

Expect nearly a 100% of full sunshine for the rest of today. It will be warm, with high temperatures near 80 degrees. Look for clear skies tonight, with lows only in the 60’s.

I’m expecting summer time weather for much of the remainder of this week! Look for excellent beach weather for the period of tomorrow through Thursday, with sunshine and highs in the lower to mid 80’s, and nightime lows in the 60’s.

The remnants of Irma may attmept to move through the area on Friday. While some computer models attempt to produce some rainfall, I mainly see just cloudy weather on this day, with slightly cooler temperatures, in the lower 70s. I can’t rule out some scattered showers, but a washout is not anticipated.

Any early scattered showers will move out on Saturday, leading to a pleasant day, with partly sunny skies, and highs in the 70’s. Sunday looks like a beauty! Sunny skies are expected, with temperatures near 80 once again!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be discussing about how long we can expect this warm weather to continue for. I will also have a new tropical update, and also talk a bit more about what kind of weather we can expect this fall. In the meantime, If you love summer, put the sweaters away, and head to the beach!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

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