Watching Wednesday…1/15/18

Hello! Happy Martin Luther King Day! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! If you’re into sports, and even if you’re not, it was a great weekend to stay home and watch some exciting football with friends and family! Looking forward to watching our New England Patriots play in their 7th straight AFC Championship game in a row this Sunday! Amazing!

I was glad the storm I forecasted for this past weekend, turned out to be mostly rain across the area! When making a forecast last Monday, it looked as if the cold air would arrive sooner, making it a more wintery type storm. Computer models trended warmer during the week, so no further updates were warranted for that particular event.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a significant storm! Wow…I don’t know about you, but I was shocked at the intensity of the thaw that pushed into New England! While many were pleased to see the snow get completely obliterated, I was not one of those people!

One thing I have learned if you want sustained cold in winter, never trust a La Nina winter! While it’s safer across the deep interior and up in ski country, the coastal plain is susceptible to epic mid winter meltdowns.

Hard to believe nearly 14″ of snow and tall snowbanks could completely vanish within 48 hours! I was in awe standing in the Star Market parking lot in West Roxbury, literally watching the snow evaporating from the snowbanks!

Curious as to how all this could happen, I looked further into the epic meltdown. The combination of warm tropical air, with dew point temperatures near 60 degrees, air temperatures in the low 60’s, a strong southerly wind, and the ultimate killer, snow eating fog! All these factors, in conjunction with nearly 2″ of drenching rains, helped to eraticate the impressive snow pack…quickly!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I love my winter season! I also love summer, but I love winter MORE! What happened at the end of last week, could be compared to if temperatures were in the 40’s with a soaking rain, on 4th of July, for folks who love summer!

And it wasn’t just here in Boston. The unprecedented thaw swept all the way up to the Canadian border, nearly wiping out snow bases from ski resorts around the region. Even Mt. Washington had most of its snow disappear!

There was hope cold air would catch up to moisture on Saturday, changing the rain to heavy snow, salvaging the important Martin Luther King Day holiday ski weekend. But that never really happened.

I was dismayed when I woke up Saturday morning to find all the precipitation had abruptly shut off, and the sun was already beginning to poke through the storm clouds. In fact, Saturday turned out to be a sunny day!

Welcome to La Nina winter in New England! Fast moving storms, rapid temperature fluctuations, and weather patterns that never can seem to make up their mind!

The big question, is it the La Nina, or just New England weather being New England weather? Well, I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle! As we all know, our climate is fickle to begin with. Add a La Nina to the mix, and the weather really gets weird!

Many friends and family have told me they’ve already had enough winter! Bring on spring! So far, Boston has received approximately 23″ of snow this season. This is about 10″ ahead of schedule for the date.

We also have had our share of cold. Both November and December averaged below average temperatures. In some cases, especially late December and first week of January, way below average! This led to incredible pictures and video of bays and harbors freezing over across New England!Thanks to all who sent me these to my timeline!

So the thaw was needed and welcomed by many across the region. While it’s true we’ve had a pretty impressive first half of the winter, I’m eyeing the possibilty of an even harsher second part of winter!

Last week, I mentioned that this winter is not for the faint of heart. Just what exactly do I mean when I say that? Well, when you add up the harsh beginning, with the bitter cold temperatures, and major nor’easter a couple weeks ago, then the prospects of a even more intense second half of the winter, well, things could get rough.

Why do I think it’s going to get worse? There are a number of global factors that I’m looking at, that support this forecast.

First, La Nina will be weakening heading into spring. This will actually allow more cold air to spill into the U.S. and spread east into New England.

Second, ocean temperatures are beginning to finally cool off. This fits in very well with the seasonal shift I have been talking about over the last several years. Once winter settles in, it’s going to be difficult to dislodge it.

Third, computer models are forecasting a disruption of the Polar Vortex. What does this mean? This is a complex subject, that only Atmospheric Scientists truly understand.

By now, I’m sure you have heard the term ‘Polar Vortex’ in media outlets. The Polar Vortex is a vortex of cold air spinning around the arctic regions. When the vortex is strong, it tightens up, allowing warm westerly winds to flow across much of the United States, keeping us mild.

Occasionally, the Polar Vortex is disrupted by warming in the upper stratosphere. When this happens, it disrupts the vortex, allowing lobes of cold air to penetrate into lower latitudes, where we live.

Computer models are forecasting multiple disruptions of the Polar Vortex in coming weeks. This may lead to extended periods of frigid cold weather across a good chunk of the U.S. including us here in New England.

In addition, as the jet stream becomes more active and interacts with the cold air, more nor’easters and winter storms are anicipated from February and into March.

Now for the good news! Before that happens, it appears a general relaxation of the pattern is going to bring an extended period of above average temperatures to much of the eastern part of the U.S. including us here in New England.

You may ask, Pete, did we not just have a January thaw? Yes, but that was just a ‘mini thaw.’ A real genuine thaw looks to be on the table…beginning after the winter storm threat on Wednesday.

Wait, what?? Winter storm threat on Wednesday?? Yes, in typical La Nina fashion, another complex winter storm is setting its eyes on much of New England for this Wednesday. This is another very complex set up!

However, latest computer model runs are trending towards a potential heavy snowstorm for interior portions of New England. This means areas north and west of Interstate I95. At this point, I am anticipating snowfall to be in excess of 5″ but not more than 8″, occurring during the day on Wednesday, especially during the morning.

Let’s say from Worcester, to Portsmouth N.H. up to Portland, Maine, and back over to Manchester, N.H. and all towns in between outside of I95, is in this zone.

Is this my final call on this storm? Not at all! Could the heavy axis end up in the city of Boston? No doubt. There are still some models showing a colder solution, and thumping Boston with a heavy wet snowstorm on Wednesday.

Because of the tricky timing of this storm, I am going to review more data, and wait until tomorrow to make a final call with this storm system for Wednesday. As usual, please see my updated post on Facebook for my latest thoughts on this potential storm.

Here’s your latest New England ski forecast. After last weeks nuclear meltdown, things have stabilized, and many resorts are back to making snow. In addition, many areas will be receiving a decent snowfall on Wednesday, resulting in very good conditions returning heading into next weekend. Overall, I will ratre this week a 7 out of 10.

Now for your weekly regional winter activity forecast. I will rate this week a 5 out of 10. Winter weather, but also spring weather by next weekend!

Expect cloudy and cold weather for the rest of your Monday. If you live on Cape Ann, and the south shore of Boston, you will continue to see ocean effect snow blowing in off the ocean. Many areas have already picked up a couple to three inches of snow. You may pick up another couple inches for your own private snowstorm!

Oddly enough, these same areas could receive mostly rain on Wednesday! Later, these snow showers may spread up into Boston, resulting in slippery travel, and a couple inches of snow overnight here in the city. It will remain on frigid side, with highs only in the teens.

Tuesday should feature mainly cloudy weather. Another area of snow may move into western Massachusetts and Vermont during the afternoon. I’m not expecting snow tomorrow in Boston, and it should be milder, with high temperatures near 30.

As mentioned above, a storm will be developing across the mid Atlantic region tomorrow night. This storm is expected to be another fast mover, but it will be tapping into tropical moisture out in the Atlantic Ocean, while feeding off cold air off to our west.

Due to the clash of these two air masses, a wide area of precipitation is going to develop, and rapidly move into New England late tomorrow night. This should begin as all snow from Boston points north and west. Down on the Cape, it may begin as a mix, but latest computer models are showing warm air flowing in off the ocean, turning this to mainly rain.

Wednesday is going to be a tricky day. I am not expecting blizzard conditions, or anything like the storm we had back on January 4th. However, a good part of our region could see a good slug of precipitation, with the heaviest falling the first part of the day…especailly during the AM commute. In places where it’s cold enough outlined above, this will fall as snow, and quickly accumulate between 5 and 8″ as I see it right now.

The forecast for Boston is much trickier! As the storm approaches, computer models are poking a nose of warm air in the upper levels of the atmosphere over the city, to create very borderline temperatures to support snow.

If I were to go by what the data says right now, I would say that a burst of heavy wet snow will fall in Boston, which may also mix with rain at times, keeping accumulations between 3 and 6″.

However, as I mentioned above, I will need to update everyone on the forecast for Boston tomorrow. This could still trend colder, resulting in different scenerio for Boston, with heavier accumulations. The problem with this storm is that the heaviest snow may be falling during the morning commute.

Conditions will begin to improve, as the storm pushes off the coast later Wednesday, and skies begin to clear at night. Lows will fall back to the teens and twenties. Any areas that see slush, will freeze up overnight, so be aware of that.

Thursday should see sunny skies, and seasonable temperatures, with highs in the low 30’s. No bitter cold air will follow this storm, unlike the one on January 4th.

As promised, a warming trend will commence on Friday, and continue through the weekend, with mainly dry conditions. I would say upper 30’s on Friday, upper 40’s on Saturday, and mid 50’s on Sunday! It will truly be a touch of spring! Wow!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will be talking about how long January thaw part II will be sticking around for!

I will also be reviewing latest data regarding the second part of winter, and its implications. In the meantime, I’m keeping a close eye on Wednesday, especially for that all important commute & possible school delays and cancellations!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

GO PATRIOTS!!

Cold Snap…Snapped! 1/8/18

Hello! I hope everyone was bundled up and kept warm this weekend! After the blizzard, temperatures plunged into the deep freeze, with sub zero readings at night, and wind chills to minus 30 below zero! Friday was brutal, with ineffective sunshine and gale force winds, resulting in widespread areas of blowing snow. The winds were less intense on Saturday, but temperatures barely made it out of the single digits.

Wow! What a storm! The weather of this past week was a meteorologists/weather enthusiast smorgasbord! The interaction between Facebook friends, new friends and family brought levels of competence you don’t see everywhere! I would like to personally thank everyone for all the great questions, positive feedback, and weather observations!

I would also like to thank the Beethoven Elementary School in West Roxbury, in placing their trust in my forecast in helping them determine whether a snow day was coming!

Of course, I have no control in that decision. Determining whether to cancel school in Boston is a collaberative effort with city officials, the NWS, and other agencies.

In the end, the children’s safety should be first and foremost in the decision making. The decision to close down nearly the whole city on Thursday was also a very good move in my opinion.

A late afternoon press on conference on Thursday with city dignitaries had Mayor Walsh closing Boston Public Schools a second day on Friday. This too, was the smart decision. The city was hit hard, and needed more time to clear sidewalks, and streets to make it safer for kids and parents alike.

It’s always a tricky call. In this case, Mother Nature gave clear signals that a major storm was coming. I can recall a similar situation just last winter, where a major storm was forecasted for Monday morning with blizzard conditions and high winds. Shools were cancelled, everyone was ready for the storm. We we all awoke Monday, the sun was shining, and the storm missed!

In all fairness, it was meant to be a two part storm. We did get hit with the first one, with 6 to 12″ of wet snow falling on that Sunday. Another 6 to 12″ of windblown snow was forecasted to hit on Monday.

This storm did develop, but it was north of Boston’s latitude, therefore clocking Maine the next day, and sparing Boston. Computer models made a last second change in the track of the storm, and it was too late to reverse the no school call made the day before. It was a very frustrating storm, to say the least.

I can also see the difficult decision the city encounters when making a no school call. Some folks say just wait like the old days until 6:30 the morning of the storm. This would be ideal. But we don’t live in the 70’s anymore! People’s time is so much more in demand these days!

Many parents have have to scramble to place kids in daycare or with relatives when they are faced with these last second decisions.

Not to mention many employers who are not so understanding when it comes down to lost time. It’s better to make a decision and stick with it, rather than to flip flop and keep people wondering.

Circling back to the storm that hit much of New England on Thursday. Overall, I was pleased with my forecast for much of the area. I certainly busted too high on snowfall for the Cape! Many friends on the Cape were messaging me asking me when the snow was coming?

The Cape is such a difficult call during winter storms. This is beacuse of it’s location sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean. I’ll tell you this, it could of very easily turned into a wicked blizzard down there. As it turned out, a coastal front developed, and persisted during the duration of the storm.

This meant mild ocean winds warmed up the temperatures to well above freezing anywhere east of the canal, even right up along the immediate coastline from Plymouth, Marshfield, and Scituate.

While the cold air changed the rain to heavy wet snow in these areas, it never really made it to the Cape. With so much cold air over the region, many meteoroligists and myself thought it would change the rain to snow sooner.

I believe the culprit was that the storm actually moved closer to the coast than what was first predicted. Therefore, places like Worcester, who were not supposed to see much snow, ended up getting 16″ of accumulation!

Sorry if you were expecting a big snow, and got nothing! It’s part of the risk you live living on the Cape! There will be more events this winter, I can gaurantee that!

As for the rest of our area, forget it!! Most areas in and around Boston were clocked with between 12 and 21″ of snow! The city of Boston itself registered between 13 and 16″ of windblown across the city.

Areas to the south of Boston saw between 12 and 21″, with the Stoughton, Brockton, and Bridgewater areas seeing the most between 18 and 21″. West of Boston also saw a lot with between 15 and 19″ of snow, depending on what town you live in. Same story north and northeast of Boston, with many areas seeing between 12 and 18″ of snow up to Portsouth N.H. and Portland, Maine.

This all fell in a very short period of time! Had the storm moved a bit slower, no doubt many would of seen a crippling storm in excess of 2 ft! During the height of the storm, I also heard three rounds of thundersnow! When I posted this on Facebook, I was glad to see many other friends also experienced this rare phenominon in our area! This was the result of a rapidly intensifying storm.

The other aspect of the storm many were commenting on was the historical coastal flooding. While I did not emphasize it, I did call for the potential for moderate to major coastal flooding in my forecast. My one regret was not to warn people more as to what was to come.

I could see the potential, a rapidly deepening nor’easter off our coast, astronomical high tides from the waning full super moon on Monday, and strong northeast winds. All these ingrediants added up to a period of major coastal flooding along our coastline.

This flooding caught many by surprise, especially in the City of Boston! The water rushed in like a category 2 hurricane storm surge. Most coastal locations were hit hard.

The question presented, was it as bad as the Blizzard of ’78? While the tidal height was higher in this storm, the damage was not as great as in the blizzard. Remember, the Blizzard of ’78 stalled in the ocean for two days.

This resulted in four consecutive high tides, which absolutely destroyed our coastline. Had this storm stalled like the blizzard, this would of been a bigger storm both in terms of snowfall and coastal flooding. It truly would of been catastrophic.

Many friends were asking me what the terms “bombogenisis” means, and “bomb cyclone”? Bombogenisis is a true meteorological term, and the meaning is a low pressure that drops 24 millibars of pressure, within 24 hours. In this case, this was a double bombogenisis, as the central pressure fell nearly 60 millibars within 24 hours…truly amazing!

Bomb cyclone is a term made up in social media, which is essentially the same thing. It’s a storm that rapidly intensifies, and literally explodes in strength, like a meteorological bomb.

Last week, I had a friend message me asking me to please stop saying Arctic Blast! Polar Express! Icebergs coming! I found this very funny, and told her the next winter animal on the list will be penguins! It was all in good humor!

Yes, we have endured through one of the most intense January cold snaps in Boston since winter 1917-18! Winter 2014-15 was also frigid, but that period came in February and March. There are so many different ways records can be broken!

For those who are tired of the cold, and I know there are many, I’m happy to report that a relaxation of the pattern is on the way this week! I would love to get into all the changes with everyone, but my time is suddenly limited!

I did want to quickly add, with the mild weather arriving this week, there may be a surge in burst pipes call. The reason is that the when the temperatures warm up, the ice melts, and the pipes only then begin to leak. So please be aware that this could happen as we thaw out.

I will say this…while the worst of this past cold snap is behind us, do not be fooled that winter is giving up. Talk of the rest of January being warm, and that spring being around the corner is false.

We have a long way to go here. There will be some roller coaster temperature swings coming up over the next couple weeks. This will only lead to a very active pattern, with multiple chances of storms, some of which will be snow, rain, or even our nemises freezing rain!

Thereafter, the real winter pattern may not become fully established until February, leading to the real possibility of some serious winter weather.

Yes, we may flirt with 60 on Friday, but this winter is not for the faint of heart. A sharp change back to winter is lurking for this upcoming weekend. I will speak more about this shortly in my forecast.

Now for your ski report. The blizzard on Thursday did hit ski country, too. The emphasis was in eastern New England, but many resorts picked up between 10 and 16″ of snow. This week is not shaping up to be too bad.

Temperatures are moderating, so skiing will be more comfortable. The best days for hitting the slopes will be tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Unfortunately, it may rain on Friday, only to turn sharply colder over the weekend, with the chance of mixed precipitation changing to snow.

Here’s your weekly outdoor winter forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. Sorry I missed today’s forecast. It was a fairly tranquil day, with temperatures cracking the freezing point, for the first time in nearly two weeks!

There’s going to be a period of light snow moving through the Boston area this evening. I am only expecting a dusting at most in some locations. It will be moving through at the time of the commute, so be aware.

Tuesday looks to bring mainly sunny weather with a chill back to the air, but nothing bitter! Highs will mainly be in the mid 30’s. Expect fair and cold weather tomorrow night, with lows mainly in the teens and twenties.

There will be a bit more of a nip to the air on Wednesday, with highs in the lower to mid 30’s, but nothing that we can’t handle!

A noticeable jump in temperatures will bring readings up into the mid 40’s on Thursday. It looks dry right now, but complex storm system may begin to approach the region later in the day with some showers. Showers will overspread the region Thursday night, with lows not likely falling below 40.

A storm is going to track west of New England on Friday, driving in a south wind, and possibly warming many cities and towns close to 60 degrees! The downside is that it looks like there’s going to be periods of rain and showers most of the day.

Right now, the weekend is shaping up to be very complex weather scenerio. That same storm passing to our west is going to be pressing a cold front through the region during the night. This will allow colder air to begin to slowly sag back into New England.

At the same time, computer models are indicating another storm is going to form on this cold front, and slowly track south of New England. To me, this looks like it has trouble written all over it!

It’s very difficult to say exactly what’s going to happen from now, but at this point, I would expect the possibilty of a winter storm to affect much of the area this weekend. One scenerio I could see developing is mixed precipitiation changing to a heavy snowstorm up north.

In southern New England, I could see heavy rain turning into a major ice storm for us here in southern New England, including Boston. That would not be good!

Another possibility would be if the colder air pressed further south into southern New England, and mixed precipitation turned to heavy snow the deeper we went into the day on Saturday, and into Saturday night.

Needless to say, the Patriots game at Gillette Saturday night could be a very wintery one indeed! Of course I will be monitoring this storm potential during the week, and have further updates as conitions warrant.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I am going to be discussing the pattern for the rest of January, and have a sneak peek into where we are heading from here. I will also have a new ski forecast. In the meantime, enjoy the break, Mother Nature looks like she wants to snap her fingers again come this weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Frigid…Potential Storm! 1/1/18

Hello! Happy New Year, to all! I hope everyone stayed warm & cozy as we welcomed in the New Year! After a brief period of very light snow later Saturday, temperatures actually turned colder on New Year’s Eve, with highs barely reaching the teens, with wind chills below zero!

Unfortunately, time is very short this evening, so I will need to post an abbreviated post this go around. In addition, we may have a very important winter storm to track this week, and many folks just need to know the details, so they can make plans accordingly.

Some have been asking me with all this cold around, where’s the snow? Be careful what you wish for! It’s not that it hasn’t snowed, it has. In fact, Boston finished December with exactly the amount of snow that the city typically receives in December.

Areas to the north and west has seen even more. I went out to Wayland, Mass. today, and they had a solid 6″ on the ground, compared to 3″ here in Boston. This is very normal this time of year, as the Atlantic Ocean modifies the coast, and keeps winter temporarily at bay.

This all changed on Christmas Day. A rapidly developing storm brought white out conditions Christmas morning, followed by plummeting temperatures during the day. We’ve been in the deep freeze since!

Overall, December went according to plan. I was expecting a wintery month, with snow and below average temperatures. I also was expecting a White Christmas, which most from Boston points north and west certainly received!

What about January? Was December the dress rehersal for this winter? I believe it was! Looking at some of the long range guidance, I am anticipating a very rough month of winter weather in much of New England. Perhaps centered here in the Boston area.

This means I’m expecting generally below average temperatures, with above average snowfall. There will be some moderation to the pattern. But with the milder temperatures, I’m expecting a big ramp up in snowfall. Boston averages approximately 14″ of snow in January. We could easily end up with double this amount, if not more.

Because January is our coldest month of the year anyway, expect the colder than normal temperatures to feel more harsh than usual. I could get into all the details of the weather pattern, but it will have to wait until perhaps next week. Needless to say, it’s going to be a very wintery month!

Getting to the matter at hand, there is the potential for a significant winter storm this week on Thursday. I’m not sure whether there’s just too much information to go around these days, or Mother Nature is becoming more hostile at scientists trying to figure her out!

Whatever it may be, the complexities of the pattern has meteorologists and weather enthusiasts across the country studying the weather charts and computer models more diligently than ever!

The potential storm on Thursday is no exception! I have mentioned it to folks on my weather chat forum and other friends, this is an exceptionally rare set up for a major storm to hit the Boston area. I’m not saying it’s not going to happen, because I really need to study more data before I can make my call on this beast one way or another.

This we do know, is that this is going to be one ferocious ocean storm develpoing southeast of New England. Should this storm come in full bore, we would be looking at a severe blizzard, with hurricane force winds and accumulations exceeding 20″ in eastern Massachusetts.

However, many pieces of the puzzle need to fall into place for such an event to materialize. All these ingredients are not in the mixing bowl just yet!

At this point, computer models are forecasting an intense storm to form in the ocean, but the question remains as to just how close this storm is going to track to New England. The closer it tracks, the more severe the impact on our region.

Over the past couple days, computer models have been waffling back and forth with the track. One run tracks it close to the coast, while 6 hours later, it’s 300 miles further out to sea with minimal impact. Keep in mind, meteorologists look at 51 different ensemble members, nearly all of them with different solutions!

One thing’s for sure, there is a tremendous amount of potential in this pattern. Currently, a very strong short wave (energy in the upper atmosphere), is diving down out of central Canada.

This energy is forecasted to dig deep into the southeast, merging with more energy off Florida. As this storm develops, enough cold air may be around for some frozen precipitaion to fall in northern Florida!

As this storm begins to track up the coast, it will begin to increase in intensity. At that point, computer models diverge, some taking it northeast, further off the coast and out to sea, while others track it north, close to Cape Cod.

Should it come close to Cape Cod, get ready to be buried on Thursday! If it tracks further out to sea, it could still be a major snowfall of 6 or more inches, but not a real blizzard.

If it tracks any further than that, we may just be dealing with a lot of snow blowing around on Thursday, but nothing that we havn’t seen already. I will not know for sure what the final outcome will be until sometime tomorrow afternoon.

So with all this in mind, here is my current thinking for my weekly forecast. It’s going to be a very wintery week, regardless if the storm hits or not. For the rest of tonight, expect frigid temperatures, with lows near zero once again.

Tuesday will feature mainly sunny weather, with highs in the upper teens, to maybe near 20 degrees.

Tuesday night will continue to be fair and not as frigid. Lows will be mainly in the single digits and lower teens.

Expect sunny skies to begin on Wednseday, but watch for clouds to increase during the afternoon. It will actually be a bit more tolerable, with highs in the lower 20’s.

Watch for thickening clouds Wednesday night. Late at night, heading towards dawn, snow may begin to develop from south to north. Temperatures will remain in the teens and lower 20’s.

Right now, let’s just call for snowy and cold weather for Thursday. Let’s also call for brisk north to northeasterly winds, and cold temperatures in the lower 20’s. This forecast is subject to MAJOR changes! Please stay tuned for updates over the next day or two!

Whatever happens on Thursday, this storm is going to yank a brutally cold airmass out of Canada over New England this weekend!

Hibernation watch in effect! Get ready to watch as many movies and keep warm, as temperatures will likely be only on the single digits for highs on Saturday, with lows well below zero!! Some slight moderation is possible on Sunday.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will talk in more detail as to how severe this winter pattern may turn out to be. I will also keep you posted to let you know if any more winter storms in our future. In the meantime, please look for my updates on the impending winter storm for this Thursday! I’m excited to see how this is going to turn out! Please keep warm & safe!

Thanks for reading & welcome my new friends!

Peter

Polar Express! 12/26/17

Hello! For those who celebrate, I hope eveeryone had a wonderful Christmas Holiday! It was a magical Christmas for me! Not only did we celebrate the day with my mother, but the fast moving blizzard in the morning, added just enough snow to make it the perfect White Christmas, perhaps ever!

Talking about a possible White Christmas in my blog back from November, I couldn’t have written the script up any more perfect! As is typically the case, Boston kept us guessing right to last minute whether it was going to pull it off, or not!

After some late night Christmas Eve snow, the snow changed to rain early Christmas morning. However, this was only temporary. As the fast moving storm tracked just south of Boston and into Massachusetts Bay, the storm rapidly intensified.

This is when winds suddenly picked up, temperatures plumetted, and whiteout conditions settled into Boston points north, along with thundersnow! It only lasted for about an hour, but it was enough to accumulate between 3 and 4″ across the city, and officially make it a White Christmas! Areas to the north and west received more snow, with generally between 4 and 7″ falling. In Maine, most areas received between 8 and 12″ of snow!

Some startling statistics. This was only the third time in the last 50 years, that Boston received more than 1″ of snow on Christmas Day! The all time record snowfall for Christmas Day was 3.3″ set back in 2002 and 1974.

Officially, 2.9″ of snow fell at Logan Airport, but closer to 4″ fell in many surrounding neighborhoods. Had it snowed for another half hour, we would of had the snowiest Christmas Day in recorded history in Boston.

We are beginning our descent into the depths of winter. Yes, it has been feeling like winter for the past few weeks now, and winter has just officially arrived a few days ago, but that has been just a warm up, as to what lies ahead.

Bitterly cold air has been building in Canada for the better part of this month. We’ve seen pieces of it, but now that we are officially in winter, Mother Nature is going to begin unleashing this severe cold, aimed right at New England!

Why is this so dangerous? Well, severe cold is tough to take anytime in the winter. But it’s twice as worse this time of year. We are heading into our lowest temperatures of the year on average. When you forecast temperatures that could be up to 15 to 20 degrees colder than already very cold averages this time of year, you have the potential for extreme winter conditions.

What are some of the dangers to look out for in bitterly cold weather? First, freezing to death! Yes, frostbite is a term you’re going to be hearing a lot of in the next week or two. Cover those extremities up!

Next, pipes bursting due to the extreme cold temperatures. Leave a slight drip on your faucets, and open up cabinet doors to help prevent pipes from freezing!

Folks with little to no heat can come down with hypothermia, and get very sick. Please check on the elderly to make sure their furnace is working properly, and to keep them warm.

If you have to use a space heater, make sure it’s far away from flamable material, and the outlet has enough amps to accommodate the power drawn from the heater. These can be very dangerous, and are the cause of many house fires in our region.

Next…snowfall. As mentioned several times in previous posts, the snow is coming. While southern New England has been teased with a couple moderate events here in December, the pattern is getting itself into position to blast us with several heavy snowstorms and possibly even blizzards. Begin preparing for a period of heavy snowfalls, possibly beginning as soon as this weekend!

I was speaking with my sister yesterday, and we were talking about how wintery this December has turned into. We had a moderate snowfall on December 9th, a full ice storm just last Saturday, then a fast moving snowstorm on Christmas morning that socked much of Maine with between 8 and 12″ of snow. Next is going to be the bitter cold, along with the potential for more snow before the year is out. I would say it’s been a very wintery month, so far!

December was expected to turn wintery. However, the big storms are coming in January and February this winter. I’m fully expecting to reach my forecast of between 60 and 70″ of snow in Boston, and then some.

Many friends and family were asking me about the ice storm. Yes, it certainly has been a while since we saw an ice storm in Boston. Maybe 15 or 20 years ago since we had one to this caliber.

The interior has had several, such as December 2008, and January 1998, which come to mind. Both were severe, and resulted in excessive damage.

Here along the coast, it’s much more difficult to have an ice storm. The pattern has to be perfect, usually warm ocean water modifies the climate.

Ice storms are complex, especially along the coast. Warm, moist air overides a dome of cold air near the surface. Cold air is dense, and is difficult o dislodge, especially across the interior, and deeper valley’s.

Typically, the cold air gets scoured out along the coast very quickly. However, in this case, a small storm developed along the warm front, south of New England.

The counterclock circulation around the clock maintained a northerly drain of low level cold straight into Boston, coming down from the Maine coast.

This process maintained itself throughout the storm on Saturday, resulting in glazed trees, and very icy sidewalks and side roads.

Now for your weekly ski forecast. This week will be a 9 out of 10. A fast moving snowstorm dumped between 6 and 10″ across most ski resorts, except in Maine, where between 8 and 14″ fell on Christmas Day. If you are planning on going skiing later this week, dress appropriately, and be prepared for below zero temperatures! More snow may fall on Saturday, then possibly on New Year’s day.

By the way, if you are planning on building an outdoor rink this year, the pattern is looking very good! I would say a 9 out of 10. Cold looks strong through January 10th. We may warm up for a period between the 10th and 20th, only to turn cold again late month. There are also several snow threats to monitor.

Now for your weekly outdoor winter forecast. I will rate this week a 4 out of 10. Be prepared for winter conditions! It will be mainly blustery and cold for the rest of today, with highs only in the 20’s.

Tonight will be fair and very cold, with lows mainly in the single digits and teens. Expect dry weather to continue for your Wednesday, with highs in the lower to mid 20’s.

An arctic front is going to push through the area tomorrow night. There may be some scattered squalls, otherwise, expect temperaures to plummet to -10 below zero to +10 above zero.

Thursday is going to be bitter cold!! Many places in New England may not get out of the single digits. Along the coast, it will be very cold too, with highs only on the lower to perhaps mid teens.

Watch for pipe bursting cold Thursday night, with low temperatures ranging from -15 below zero inland, to near zero in the city of Boston.

A cold northerly wind may develop on Friday, this may introduce the ocean effect snow showers on the Cape. Eleswhere, expect dry weather to continue, along with bitterly cold temperatures.

A coastal storm may develop Friday night, and track close enough on Saturday, to deliver snowy and windy conditions to eastern Massachusetts, and especially on Cape Cod.

Right now, the potential is there for a moderate snowfall of between 4 and 8″. However, should this storm trend stronger, and closer to the coast, a much more serious storm would unfold, which would linger into Sunday morning.

Thereafter, Sunday should begin to dry out and continue to be very cold, with highs only in the teens and low 20’s. First Night celebrations look to be on the dry side, but bitterly cold, with lows in the single digits and lower teens!

Right now, Monday is looking to be cold and dry. Another storm may be lurking close by, which may bring more snow to start off the New Year, or shortly thereafter. Overall, the pattern is going to turn bitterly cold over the next 10 days or so.

There is the potential of snow, too. Tracking timing and strength is very difficult at this point. However, the potential for a major winter storm, if not a blizzard is on the table. If I see the threat increasing, I will update everyone accordingly!

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my review of December, and look ahead as to what may happen in January! I will also let you know as to when I think this cold snap will be letting up. In the meantime, I hope we don’t see any polar bears roaming down from Canada to keep warm!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

~Wishing everyone a Happy & Safe New Year!~

Still Dreaming of A White Christmas? 12/18/17

Hello! Wow! What a game last night! Just when you thought the Pats were down and out, they pull out an improbable victory! There’s no better feeling than watching the game around the holiday season surrounded by family and close friends! I have said it before, but to me, watching sporting events helps bring families closer, by sharing an emotional experience together. It does not hurt when your team wins, either!!

I thought I would would start off with this, since that game was much more exciting than the weather has been around here lately!

This is not all true. Last weekend, Boston received 6.1″ of snow, making it the largest snowfall in the city for the date since 2005. Then over the weekend, specifically Thursday morning, then again Friday night, fast moving clipper storms brought accumulating snows to the Cape for the first time this season.

The storm on Friday night came close enough to give Boston a feather dusting, with mostly novelty like snowflakes falling across the city.

While nothing major, somewhat more serious snow fell in places that normally see the least this time of year. Between 1 and 4″ of snow fell on the Cape, making for a very picturesque scene for sure come Saturday morning!

The rest of the weekend continued the theme over the last several days, mainly cold and dry weather across the region. While not brutal, the cold weather last week certainly had a bite to it.

This is in stark contrast to the past several Decembers around here. After a fairly mild first week to December, the long advertised cold snap has finally arrived! The question is, how long is it going to stick around for?

This is a good question. As we all know, this is a La Nina winter in Boston (cold ocean temperatures off the South American coast). La Ninas typically bring variable conditions to Boston, tending to be on the warm and dry side.

Last year was a perfect example. While Boston received near average snow, it was the second warmest winter in the cities history…yikes!

This year is another La Nina. While it’s been colder this past November, and some of December so far, it’s also been a very dry pattern. Despite this, Boston is running near average snowfall so far here in December.

Typically, the city receives about 9″ of snow during December. With 6.1″ already fallen, it wouldn’t take much for us to reach the average this year.

Again, this is a far cry from the past several Decembers, where we either had no snow, or received well below average snowfall for the month.

Moving onto the matter at hand. We are excactly one week away from Christmas, and family and friends have been asking me whether there will be snow for Christmas this year? On average, Boston sees a White Christmas, defined as 1 or more inches of snow on the ground on Christmas Day, about 1 and 4 times, or about 25%. These chances increase dramatically if one lives to the north and west ot the I95 corridor. The numbers are also highly variable. We can go years without snow for Christmas, then have several white ones in a row.

If you asked me a week ago, I said it looked like a lock for a White Christmas this year! Now…well, the answer is not as clear cut!

This is quite unfortunate, as it appeared from a couple weeks ago, that the pattern was going to be very conducive in producing cold and snow around here leading up to Christmas.

Now, at least in the short term, temperatures may warm up to near 50 tomorrow, and possibly even close to 60 on Saturday! Wow! What a turnaround! With no new snow in the forecast, this will for sure melt away any remaining snow we have left from last weekends snowfall.

So is all hope lost? Is there no chance at a White Christmas? NEVER!! There’s always a chance! I always believe there’s a chance for a Christmas Miracle!

Last year I reminisced about when I was a kid, and a surprise snowstorm hit Boston on Christmas Day! It could of been in 1975? My sisters came running into my room frantically telling me to open up the shade! It was something that I will never forget, for my whole life! Big, fluffy snowflakes falling staright down. Snow fell steadily the whole day and well into the night, turning Boston into a Winter Wonderland!

So, any miracles for Christmas 2017?? Well, after the blowtorch on Saturday, things *could* start to become interesting! Over the past few days, computer models have been waffling back and forth as to what the weather is going to be like on Christmas Day.

I recently saw a tweet by longtime NECN meteorologist Tim Kelly tweeting out what he thinks the weather is going to be like next Monday. He tweeted that it could be sunny, cloudy, warm, rainy, cold, snowy, thunder, or windy. Hmmmm….that sounds just about right for New England weather!

In all honesty, Mother Nature is keeping us guessing! Some models show a blowtorch, or “torchmas” as some been calling it. Meaning break out the lawn chairs and BBQ grills! This was the weather two years ago on Christmas Day, remember?

As mentioned above, these models have been waffling back and forth. While one model shows a very warm day, the next model run shows an arctic blast arriving.

Still other models show a chance of rain or snow, or rain changing to snow, while others show something in between, with neither warm or cold weather.

I will be discussing in detail as to what I think may happen on Christmas Day shortly in my forecast!

Just a quick update on my winter forecast. So far, I have seen nothing to change my thoughts on the forecast. I’m neither more confident, nor less. I’m still expecting a barrage of winter storms to strike our region. When this happens is still somewhat murky at this point.

Nonetheless, with the official start of winter arriving this Thursday, I am planning on issuing one final update to the forecast, in case you’re interested!

Now for your weekly ski forecast. While it rained in Boston last Tuesday, many ski resorts gor hammered with up to a foot of fresh snow! This is just what they needed! I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. Not much natural snow coming up for this week. They are receiving very light accumulations today, however.

Overall, it looks fairly tranquil this week. Unfortunately, the warm air and rain may briefly make it to ski country this weekend. Thereafter, it should turn much colder, with the chance of some natural snowfalls during Christmas week. Prospects are looking good heading into the new year with an active jet stream and multiple chances for snow.

Now time for your weekly outdoor activity winter forecast. Look for cloudy skies for the rest of today. It will be chilly, and you may see some flakes floating down from time to time.

Right now, it appears any light accumulations will be confined to areas to the north of Boston, where some may see a dusting to an inch. I spoke with my brother in law on the N.H. seacoast, and he says there’s been occasional light snow falling all day! This is actually a warm front attempting to press through the region.

Clouds may linger this evening, along with some patchy areas of light snow to the north, and sprinkles or showers to the south. With southwest winds, temperatures should not fall that much. Expect lows to be in the 20’s and 30’s across the region.

Tuesday will feature a increasing southwest wind, ahead of an approaching cold front. This wind direction typically transports mild temperatures to our region. Tomorrow is no exception, so expect temperatures to warm up into the mid to upper 40’s in the Boston area.

As the cold front sweeps off the coast tomorrow evening, watch for winds to switch to the west, northwest. This is typically a cold wind direction for Boston! Therefore, expect temperatures to plummet tomorrow night, back down into the teens and 20’s, along with a gusty wind!

Expect cold and breezy weather conditions in Boston for both Wednesday and Thursday. Temperatures will mainly hold in the 20’s and low 30’s both days. As mentioned above, the first day of winter officially arrives on Thursday, at 11:28 am!

A low pressure is going to develop in the midwest, and track west of New England into the Great Lakes on Friday. This will once again develop a southwest flow across New England. Watch moderating temperatures on Friday, with highs in the lower 40’s.

Another storm will develop and track closer to New England on Saturday. This will increase the pressure gradient, and bring even milder weather into southern New England. Watch for temperatures to soar into the mid to upper 50’s!! In addition, periods of rain will traverse the region from south to north. Not very Christmas like at all!

As this storm moves north of our latitude, it’s going to drag a cold front across the region. Right now, it looks like it’s going to start to turn cooler on Christmas Eve. Another wave may form on the front, and bring more rain to the Boston area.

However, it may begin to turn cold enough far to the north and west for some sleet and snow to begin to mix in with the precipitation. High temperatures look like they will be in the 30’s north and west of Boston, and 40’s in much of eastern Massachusetts, points south.

As mentioned above, some computer models want to bulge this wavy weather front back north of Boston on Christmas Day, resulting in another warm spike into the 50’s, with periods of rain. UGHHH!!

At this point, I’m not going with this solution. I’m going with a colder solution to happen. From global teleconnections that I can see, I believe that the cold air is going to press further south into much of New England later on Christmas Eve night.

At the same time, with the intense temperature gradient setting up just off our coastline, I believe there’s at least a 50% chance that another storm is going to develop and track up along the coast, passing close to Cape Cod on Christmas Day itself!

If this were to occur, we could be looking at some sort of a winter storm storm on Christmas Day. Right now, it’s looking like rain at the coast and snow across the interior, say north and west of I495.

However, as it turns colder later in the day, the rain may change to snow even to the coast, setting us up for wintery evening?

I will be closely monitoring this forecast as we move closer to the holiday. I can assure you there will be changes. I will update everyone if conditions warrant.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have a quick update of my winter forecast. I will also be on the lookout for any impending winter storms or cold snaps for the rest of 2017! Where has the year gone? In the meantime, whether we get snow or not for Christmas, I wish all your dreams come true!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday Season!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

*I may update this weather blog on Christmas Eve or write an abbreviated blog next Monday, depending on weather conditions! ~Thanks!

Montreal Express! 12/11/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! After a long stretch of tranquil weather, the weather took a decidedly wintery turn! Many saw their first significant snowfall of the winter!

Saturday began with light snow developing during mid morning. The snow quickly ramped up and fell steadily throughout the entire day, and well into the evening.

Sunday was a scene straight out of Currier & Ives, as many Bostonians woke up to a landscape that would make Bing Crosby proud!

Yes, it was a tricky forecast when I wrote my post last Monday. The problem was computer models were not picking up on the steering currents bending back enough to bring significant snow into southern New England.

Therefore, I took the middle of the road approach, and called for the first light snowfall of between 2 and 4″ across the region.

After I made my forecast, it seemed as if the computer models further diminished the storm, and gave much of our area no snow at all!

Rather than panicking and cancelling the threat, I waited, knowing that the computer models would trend back west with the storm.

This does not happen by luck. It actually takes a bit of experience, reading a lot of technical discussions, and the knowledge to back it up!

I was quite surprised when many local forecasters removed the threat all together in Wednesday’s forecast. While computer models were showing the moisture safely remaining offshore, the overall pattern called for the steering currents to bend the precipitation back into eastern Massachusetts.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I could see that there still was potential for snow on Saturday. Sure enough, computer models began trending west with the storm on Thursday, and the talk of snow reappeared in the evening forecast.

My forecast started out with the potential of 2 to 4″ of snow on Monday, with the chance that it could increase should the storm move closer.

As it turned out, my final call on the storm Friday night, was for the Boston area to receive between 5 and 8″. Boston did receive 6.1″ with many other areas to the west of the city receiving between 7 and 8″ of snow. If you live south of Boston you saw between 3 and 5″. I was happy the forecast verified quite well!

NWS Boston in Taunton also did a fine job forecasting this storm, and provide up to date coverage on all storms. If you are on Twitter, I would recommend following them.

No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes from time to time. This is a imperfect science, which changes every 3 hours.

Mainly rain fell on the Cape, as the ocean was still too warm to sustain accumulating snow down there. If you live on the Cape and love a good storm, do not be dismayed, your turn will come!

Get used to this! Computer models are already giving meteorologists fits, and it’s not even officially winter, yet!

The reason? Well, I heard some blame it on budget cuts to releasing weather balloons up in Alaska. Weather balloons are critical in gathering upper air data for computer models, and it *could* be a reason why the last second change to the storm track on Saturday. Not to make excuses, but it seems plausible to me.

In addition to short range difficulties, computer models are also having trouble forecasting the exetnded outlook. For instance, some computer models keep trying to push another blowtorch Christmas into the east this year.

However, others are dropping the arctic hammer, and forecasting the coldest Christmas day in years for the east. In addition, these computer models show an active storm track, which could bring significant winter storms around the holiday this year.

What do I think? I am siding with the latter this time around. While some computer models show warm, they’re not picking up other global teleconnections which actual bring sustained cold and stormy weather to New England from now through the end of the year, including Christmas.

So this begs the question, are we going to have a White Christmas this year? It’s still two weeks out, but I say Boston has a greater than average chance at a White Christmas this year!

Typically, Boston has about a 25%, or 1 and 4 chance of at least 1″ of snow covering the ground on Christmas Day. This percentage increases dramatically if you live north and west of RT 128 and I95 to about 50%, or about 2 out of every 4.

If you live in western and northern New England, the chance is greater than 75%, or about 3 out of 4. Only if you live in northern Maine are you assured of a White Christmas. Locations such as Caribu Maine see a White Christmas 100% of the time!

Due to a surpressed jet stream, and colder than average temperatures, I will say Boston has a 75% chance of a White Christmas this year! Leading up to the holiday, I see an active storm track, with multiple chances of wintery precipitation! One computer model actual shows a big storm around the holiday itself…wouldn’t that be something!

What about for the short term? If you have lived in Boston, you may of heard of the phrase, get ready for the ‘Montreal Express’!!! What does this mean? Is it a new express train from Boston to Montreal?

Well, it’s sort of like an express train! However, you’ll be dismayed to learn that the Cold Miser is the conductor! Yes, this has all to do with Mother Nature, delivering an arctic blast from Montreal straight to Boston!

Montreal is approximately 350 miles to the northwest of Boston. as storms pass through New England and rapidly intensify, winds blow counterclockwise around the cyclone. With this wind trajectory, howling cold winds blow from the northwest to the southeast.

This is a special gift from Montreal to Boston residents during the winter months, as strong winds drive cold air directly from Montreal to Boston, given the name, Montreal Express! Many Bostonians always say you can keep your gift, we don’t want it!

I will get to my forecast in a moment, to let you know when the express arrives! But first, I would like to have a short segment of weather history.

It was on this date, back in 1992, that a historical nor’easter was battering the east coast. This was a slow moving, severe storm, which brought massive coastal flooding, hurricane force winds, and up to 4 ft of snow in interior New England!

Nearly 6″ of liquid precipitation fell in Boston, with sustained winds of 50 mph out of the northeast. As colder air drained into the storm, rain turned to heavy snow, along the coast, with many areas receiving up to 10″ of heavy water logged, wet snow.

West of Rt 128, 1 to 3 ft of snow fell, with an astonishing 4 ft on top of Mt Wachusett in Princeton, Ma…wow! I remember taking a drive out there after the storm, and being in awe at the deep snows!

Now for your ski and snow boarding forecast. I am rating this week a 8 out of 10! Yes, ski country is going to get slammed tomorrow by a rapidly developing winter storm! Thereafter, howling northwest winds are going to bring snow squalls from Lake Ontario into many ski resorts, with additional accumulations.

Another low pressure may bring additional snow on Friday. The weekend looks to be your best bet for calm conditions. With new snow, and less harsh conditions, it looks fabulous for early season skiing!

Now for your weekly outdoor winter activity forecast. I will rate this week a 4 out of 10. Very wintery. The rest of today will feature mainly sunny skies, but with increasing high clouds late. It will be seasonable, with highs in the upper 30’s.

Watch for clouds to rapidly increase tonight. Late at night, snow will streak across the state, and reach Boston by dawn.

Tuesday may feature some slick roads first thing in the morning. However, strong southeast winds will rapidly turn the snow to rain from Providence, Boston, Portsmouth N.H. and even up to Portland, Maine.

However, a secondary storm is going to develop near Long Island, then move northeast, passing close to Boston, and rapidly intensifying as it moves up the coast. This means cold air is going to get locked in over much of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Much of northern New England can expect a very wintery day tomorrow, with heavy snow in northern regions, and mixed precipitaion in southern areas, with rain withing 10 miles of the coast. Many ski areas are going to receive at least 1 foot of snow, with lower elevations between 2 and 8″.

As this storm tracks north of our latitude, the winds are going to swtch to the west, and then northwest. Because of a very unstable atmosphere, there is a chance of a few snow squalls, even along the coast on Wednesday!

There will be numerous snow squalls up north, dropping visibilities, and adding to accumulations. It’s going to turn bitterly cold, with temperatures falling into the 20’s.

Prepare for bitterly cold weather Wednesday night, with strong winds creating wind chills below zero! Air temperatures will fall into the teens.

Winds will relax on Thursday, but still expect it to be cold, with highs still only in the 20’s. It will remain dry, but you will notice an increase in high clouds late in the day.

A fast moving clipper type storm will be diving down from Alberta, Canada, southeast towards New England on Friday. If this storm tracks close to or north of Boston, we will only get a period of snow, then clearing.

However, should this storm track south of New England, over the ocean, it may rapidly intensify, and could bring a quick hitting blizzard like storm to eastern Massachusetts. Cold temperatures and strong winds, would result in blowing snow, with low visibilities for a time.

This storm will keep moving, therefore, accumulations should be less than 8″ if it takes this track, the way I see it right now. This is a very volatile pattern which is subject to rapid changes! I will monitor the situation carefully and update you if warranted.

Whatever happens on Friday will be off the coast this weekend. It should be mainly dry and chilly on Saturday. Temperatures could moderate on Sunday, with high temperatures possibly briefly reaching the lower 40’s with mainly sunny skies.

Well, that’s about it for today! In next week’s blog, I will begin to focus my forecast for the Christmas Day holiday weekend! I will also have a new ski and snow board forecast. In the meantime, don’t say our neighbors from Montreal never gave us anyhting!

-Thanks for reading!

Pete

Major Pattern Change! 12/4/17

Hello! Welcome to meteorological winter! I hope everyone had a great, weekend! The weather was similar to what it’s been like over the past several months…tranquil, with very little precipitation.

Saturday was a mainly cloudy day, with temperatures in the mid 40’s. After a chilly start, Sunday was similar, with a bit more sunshine, and highs once again, in the 40’s. I don’t know about you, but to me it seems like the temperatures have been stuck in the 40’s now for weeks on end!

As mentioned above, meteorological winter begins on December 1st. Many ask, what exactly is meteorological winter? I thought winter arrives on December 21st? Yes, it does. That’s astronomical winter. This marks the official start of winter, and also the shortest day of the year.

Meteorological winter runs from December 1st through the end of February. This is used by Meteorologists for cleaner record keeping, by dividing the seasons up into 4 exact qaurters.

Of course, we know Mother Nature goes by her own timetable, and could care less about statistics and record keeping. But I can see the meteorologists and climatologists point of view.

With official dates for the start of seasons varying year to year, it is easier to keep track of records by dividing the seasons up into 4 quarters. It would be a logistic nightmare, otherwise.

So how did we do this past autumn? Well, September nad October were the warmest in the cities history. Had it not been for a colder than normal November, Boston would of easily had its warmest fall on record. Blue Hill Observatory recorded its second warmest fall on record.

It was quite a remarkable turn around from one of the warmest October’s on record, to a colder than normal November! Though not as impressive as the warm departure from October, it was a stunning turn of events, nonetheless.

It was also a drier than normal fall. Our only big rainstorm came on October 29th, when many areas received between 3 and 5″ inches of rain.

Otherwise, September and October were much drier than normal across much of New England, which outweighed the big rainstorm at the end of October.

How about, November? Well, I had the right idea about the chillier temperature outlook, but was quite off on the above average precipitaion forecasted, and the chance of our first snowfall. neither of which happened.

In fact, it was a very dry and tranquil month, on a whole. A storm just before Thanksgiving accounted for a good majority of the monthly precipitation.

Temperatures is where I did a good job on. After a blow torch October, the atmoshphere had to do quite the reversal to get temperatures cooler than normal. It did exactly this, with November averaging a good 1 to 2 degrees below average for the month across the region.

After months of tranquilty, it appears as if Mother Nature is finally showing signs of waking up from a long slumber. After last months proclamation of a November to remember, should I dare try the same catchy phrase for December?

For many, last November was a big snooze fest in the weather department. Really, the only thing of interest were following the temperatures…which can be as exciting as watching paint dry.

Now, if we can get some temperature extremes, along with some moisture, we could be looking at a much more exciting weather pattern this December!

last week I spoke about the rubber band theory. Keep stretching and stretching the band, and eventually, it’s going to snap!

After careful review of the latest computer data, I believe this time may be nearing! After all, we live in New England, not Florida!

A strong cold front will be crossing the country on Wednseday. Before this front arrives, another surge of warm air will punch into New England. Along with the warm temperatures, a period of heavy showers will be traversing the state from west to east later tomorrow and into tomorrow night.

At the same time, strong high pressure will be building across Grennland and much of northern Canada. This is the Greenland block building. As this happens, colder than normal air will be dislodged from Canada, and move south and then east into the United States. This is the start of winter!

Here’s the thing. Computer models are projecting this block to persist possibly for the remainder of the month! Therefore, I am forecasting below normal temperatures for much of New England, starting from about Thursday onward. Of course, there will be some relaxation to this pattern from time to time, with some days not as harsh.

With the colder than normal temperatures forecasted, the talk of snow will be increasing. I have no doubt many of us will see our first flakes, possibly as soon as this weekend!

My concern in a pattern like this, is that we have the potential for a major storm to form along the east coast, say sometime between December 14th, and the 24th. Computer models have been hinting at this for some time now. Mostly showing a storm(s), but changing the time frame.

The danger in patterns like this, is that it can turn into a repetative storm track, bringing multiple storms with heavy snow accumulations. This could result in delays and cancellations during the busy holiday season.

What I’m also monitoring very closely, is the continuation of much warmer than average ocean temperatures off the New England coast. With the bitter cold air plunging south into the Ohio Valley, this is going to carve out a very deep trough of low pressure (cold & stormy), across the eastern part of the United States.

New England will be on the eastern side of this trough, which is where the storm track is. When this bitter cold air merges with the anomalous warm ocean temperatures, it creates a baroclinicity zone. This is the difference between the bitter cold air clashing with the warm water, which creates a very volatile weather pattern.

The computer models are beginning to show something like this developing. In my opinion, it’s just a matter of when, not if it’s going to happen this winter.

I’m just not sure if it’s going to be a couple big blizzards, or multiple smaller events. One of my analog years for this year, is the winter of 1995-96, when Boston had 17 snowstorms during that winter.

The only thing that’s holding me back from forecasting a blockbuster winter, has been the lack of precipitation so far this fall.

Typically, fall precipitation is a precurser to winter patterns. However, with the ocean temperatures so warm, and the baroclinic zone coming into play, I do believe we’re going to see a big uptick in precipitation starting real soon.

Now for your ski and snowboard forecast. I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. A mini thaw tomorrow is going to be replaced with much colder weather for the foreseeable future, beginning Wednseday afternoon.

This will allow for nearly round the clock snow making. In addition, there will be opportunities for plenty of natural snowfall starting from this weekend, likely continuing until the end of December!

Now for your weekly outdoor winter activity forecast. I will rate this week a 6 out of 10. Expect abundant sunshine and mild temperatures for the rest of your Monday. Highs will generally be in the 40’s. Tonight will feature increasing clouds, and not so cold. Low temperatures will only fall into the 30’s and 40’s.

Watch for increasing clouds tomorrow. Southerly winds will warm many up into the low to mid 50’s. A strong cold front will be approaching from the west.

As this happens, showers will be approaching the Boston area during early afternoon, and continue well into tomorrow night.

Along with the rain, we will experience windy conditions, it will remain very mild tomorrow night, with lows not falling much lower than 50 degrees.

Wednseday may begin with some leftover showers early in the morning. However, as the cold front sweeps off the coast, the winds will shift westerly, and temperatures will begin to drop during the day. It will be brisk, with temperatures falling through the 40’s and 30’s.

Wednesday night will be fair, with lows in the 20’s. Thursday should feature partly sunny skies, with highs mainly in the 30’s.

The time frame of concern runs from Friday through Sunday. The cold front that moved through our area onearly Wednesday is going to stall off the coast. As the same time, waves of low pressure are going to develop, and ride up along this front.

This is a very tricky forecast. Right now, I’m forecasting for this front to bend back towards the New England coast. At the same time, I’m expecting rounds of precipitation to travers our region. With the cold air in place, I’m expecting some of this precipitation to fall in the form of snow, or mixed snow, sleet and rain.

A few outcomes could be the end result out of this storm threat. First, the front may not bend back towards the coast enough, meaning we’ll only see some flurries, and patchy light snow.

Second, the front will back in enough, and some solid moisture will track through eastern New England, resulting in our first general snowfall of 2 to 4″ across much of the area.

The third possibility is more of a wild card. In this case, a piece of energy digs off the mid Atlanic coast, and merges with the front offshore, developing a coastal storm, or nor’easter.

This storm would then slowly track south of New England through the weekend, bringing with it a more serious threat of a significant winter storm, with snow accumulations in excess of 6″ across much of our area.

Right now, I am going with option 2. If later guidance picks up on option 3, I will post updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will continue to discuss the implications of this evolving winter pattern, and look at our chances of having a White Christmas this year! In the meantime, a major pattern change is coming, and it’s not for sunny & warm temperatures!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Rubber Band Watch In Effect! 11/27/17

Hello! I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoyed your long holiday weekend! Overall, the weather was very seasonal, I would say.

After a wet Wednesday, Thanksgiving morning began with quite a chill for many. But with a 100% of the possible sunshine, temperatures recovered during the afternoon, but still ran below average for the date.

The weather on Black Friday was similar, perhaps a touch milder. Saturday was the warmest day of the long weekend, when temperatures made it all the way up to 58 degrees! This was short lived, as temperatures cooled a full 10 degrees on Sunday, with a brisk wind.

So here we are…a full week after my winter forecast was released. Am I already thinking about crumbling it up, and throw it into the garbage can? The short answer to this question is…NO!

However, with that being said, I was rattled after I published my forecast last Monday, only to see many experts in the field come out with their forecast shortly thereafter, with much less snowfall forecasted for the Boston area this winter. As a friendly reminder, i am forecasting between 60 and 70″ for Boston, while their forecast is for between 35 to 45″.

This sent me into a minor panic attack, as I recalculated my seasonal winter forecast model in my brain. While there are many things to be concerned about, I do still believe we are in for quite a winter here in New England!

In all fairness, not all were calling for just an “average” winter. Some seasoned winter forecasters came in with similar numbers to mine.

Yes, I do believe we are in for this amount of snow this winter, but how we get there may be an adventure in its own right! The past decade has featured extreme weather patterns. From dormant periods of no snow, to getting bombarded with excessive amounts of it!

When you take the average of all these ups and downs, you come up with a seasonal average of approximately 44″ of snow at Logan Airport. The average has actually increased in Boston over the last 20 years of record keeping. Climatologists are saying this has been the snowiest two decades in Boston weather history!

Some believe that it’s due to an increase in water vapor, and available moisture due to warmer ocean temperatures? Could be. This doesn’t sound too far fetched to me.

I also believe this will be the coldest winter since the famed 2014-15 winter a few years ago. This is not saying much, since the last two winters in Boston were two of the warmest winters ever recorded in the city.

Yet, it’s not like we didn’t see any winter. Incredibly, winter 2015-16, which featured one of the strongest El Nino’s on record, saw 36″ of snow in Boston. Much of it fell after January 1st. That year featured the 70 degree Christmas Day, leading many to rename the day ‘Torchmas’.

That winter also featured the Valentine’s Day arctic outbreak, which saw Boston record it’s lowest temperature in some 60 years (- 9 degrees)!

When El Nino (warm water off the South American coast), is too strong, Boston typically does not see much snow, nor much of a winter, for that matter. But even after the record winter from before, Boston saw at least some winter weather.

Last winter was just as interesting! La Nina ruled in the Pacific Ocean (colder than normal water off the South american coast). While La Nina’s also typically don’t bring much of a winter to Boston, other global factors pointed differently.

Despite November temperature departures averaging +2 degrees in Boston, a bit above average snow still managed to fall at Logan Airport. Much more to the north.

If you recall, last winter featured wild temperature fluctuations. Many were surprised to learn that we received above average snow.

In many cases, the cold arrived just as moisture came, only to rapidly vacate after, resulting in melting snow as quickly as it fell.

This year is also a La Nina year. You may ask, then why am I forecasting above average snow and colder weather this winter?

Well, just like El Nino’s, there are different strengths, and positions La Nina’s take in the Pacific Ocean. The strength and the position of the La Nina and El Nino can have a profound effect on our winter here in New England.

This year, the La Nina is east based. Meaning the coldest water is sloshed up close to the west coast of South America. This can dictate where the position of troughs (cold & stormy), and ridges (warm & dry) align themselves here in New England. Last year, storms started as snow, only to change to rain in Boston, as warmer air flodded the coastal plain.

This, in conjuction with a easterly based QBO, will work in tandem to keep the Greenland block building to our north. When high pressure builds across Greenland and Canada, it forces the cold air down into the eastern parts of the U.S. many times bringing cold & stormy weather, including for us here in New England.

In typical La Nina’s, a strong ridge of high pressure (warm & dry) builds in the southeastern part of the U.S. This usually floods southern New England with surges of abnormally warm weather.

I believe this strong ridge of high pressure is going to try and build north again this winter. However, with the factors stated above, the polar jet stream is going to be surpressed this winter, making it colder, especially from Boston points north.

This is going to lead to an epic thermal gradient battle across New England, with the polar jet stream (cold + dry)pressing down from the north, and sub tropical jet stream (warm + moisture) building up from the south These two streams may phase, resulting in bouts of heavy snow and ice storms across the region.

What else am I basing my forecast on? I also monitor November temperature departures very carefully. After October finished nearly 8 degrees above average (the second warmest on record), the pattern in November has certainly flipped, and is actually running close to a degree below average for the month!

This is very important. I have done extensive research, and I believe Boston’s snowfall has a close correlation to November temperatures at Logan Airport.

When departures run neutral to minus two degrees below average, the chances of above average snowfall increase dramatically in the city. Winter storms are often colder, and snowier than forecasted, leading to greater accumulations.

At this point, I am calculating this November to finish approximately 1 degree below average at Logan Airport. We will not officially know for sure until the montly climatology report comes out early Friday.

As I mentioned earlier, how we get there could be an adventure! The patterns as of late have been strange to say the least. I must say, this has been the quietest stretch of weather from September through November, that I can ever recall in many years.

Aside for that intense storm at the end of October, the weather patterns have been unusually dormant. With the colder than normal November, I am now issuing a rubber band watch in effect!

For weather enthusiasts, you know exactly what I’m talking about! For my friends and family, you may think that I have finally snapped! Nope, not yet!

What I mean by this, is that I believe the weather pattern is going to snap, like a rubber band being stretched out beyond its capabilities, then finally snapping!

When do I believe this is going to happen? Well, there are signs that it may begin sometime around the 10th of December.

When the pattern becomes established, I am expecting a difficult period of winter storms from mid December, through much of January, and possibly February too.

As always, Mother Nature holds all the cards! This is my best educational guess. Nobody has all the correct answers. Timing still may be off, but I believe a period of severe winter weather is going to arrive at some point or another this winter. So be prepared!

With the colder than average November, ski resorts have been able to begin making snow in the mountains. Some resorts have even picked up some natural snow this past weekend! I will rate this week a 7 out of 10. Not bad for this time of the year!

Mostly colder than normal weather is on tap this week, with perhaps Wednesday being slightly above normal. Still no major storms, however a system moving through New England may be just cold enough in the mountains to bring some wet snow on Friday.

Now for your weekly outdoor autumn activity forecast. I will rate this week an 8 out of 10. Expect a mix of sun and clouds for the balance of today. It will be somewhat below average, with high temperatures around 45.

A brisk wind will develop tonight, and temperatures are going to plummet, as a reinforcing shot of cold air pushes in from the north. Look for low temperatures to fall into the teens and twenties regionwide.

Tuesday morning will feel like winter, so bundle up! Later in the day, the cold will ease, and temperatures will rise into the mid 40’s, under dry conditions. Tuesday night will feature less cold weather, with lows mainly in the 30’s.

A milder southerly flow will bring warmer temperatures in on Wednesday, with highs similar to last Saturday, say mid to upper 50’s. This too will be short lived, as yet another cold front slices through New England during the afternoon. Colder air will drift back into the area Wednesday night, with lows back in the 20’s and lower 30’s.

Thursday will be dry, but somewhat cooler that Wednesday, with high temperatures back into the mid 40’s. Expect increasing clouds late in the day.

Thursday evening should be dry, but there is a chance of some rain moving in towards morning. Lows will be in the 30’s to near 40.

Friday is looking unsettled, with some periods of rain falling here in Boston, and highs in the 40’s. Up north, and in the mountains, there’s a very good chance that this rain changes to some wet snow. A major storm is not anticipated at this point, but will be good for ski resorts heading into the first weekend of December.

Right now, this upcoming weekend looks blustery and chilly. I can’t rule out a few snow flurries up north, but it should remain fairly dry down here in southern New England. High temperatures will mainly be in the 40’s during the day, and lows in the 20’s and 30’s at night.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will have my review of November, as well as my outlook for December. I will also be letting you know when I believe we may see our first snowfall of the season! In the meantime, the rubber band continues to expand, when it snaps, watch out!

Thanks for reading!

Pete

* Feel free to ask me any questions or comments about the upcoming winter, or weather. I enjoy the interactions!

Winter 2017-18: Snowy…Colder!

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. It was an interesting weekend weatherwise, across the region. Saturday began frosty, with temperatures in the 20’s. As clouds increased through out the day, temperatures also warmed, so when precipitation arrived at night, it was all rain showers.

Sunday morning was the opposite of Saturday, with warm temperatures and showers to start the day. In fact, Boston broke a string of 12 consecutive below average days, with a high temperature of 60 degrees, which occurred early in the day!

As a strong cold front sliced through the region, winds shifted to the west, and temperatures pummeted throughout the afternoon, as skies cleared. It became downright cold last night, with most locations falling into the 20’s.

In fact, many saw their first snow flurries very early this morning! Cold westerly winds picked up moisture off Lake Ontario, resulting in the first lake effect outbreak of the year in Upstate N.Y. Some of these flurries drifted all the way into the Boston area this morning!

Speaking of snow, it’s finally time to publish my official 2017-18 winter forecast! After countless hours of research, I believe I have a good idea at what we might expect this winter, here in New England.

As I have mentioned in the past, my technique uses a blend of science and nature from all sources, to come up with the best educated solution that I can offer.

Is it difficult? Yes! Just when you think you have all the answers, Mother Nature changes the questions! This year has been no different! The one word that comes to mind when looking at the long range computer guidance, is chaos!

Since I’m not getting too much support from the computer models, I resort to Mother Nature. Not that the computer models are useless. I use them as a tool to help me determine what the overall trends will be. Together with the natural signs, is what I believe is the key, in making a solid seasonal forecast.

You may ask, what’s the difference between the science and natural signs? Well, science is something you can see. With todays technology, we have an endless amount of resources which includes computer data, graphs, statistics, satelite pictures, ect…In nature, it’s things that you hear, touch smell, and see.

On the science side of it, I look at global teleconnections, ocean temperatures, and long range seasonal guidance.

What are the factors for this winter? The first factor I look at is the ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. What happens in the Pacific, dictates many times what’s going to happen here in New England.

This year, we have a weak, to borderline moderate La Nina (cold water off the South American coast). There are two types of La Nina’s. Cold water in the central Pacific is called a central, or west based La Nina. These La Nina’s typically bring warm winters to Boston, with variable snow.

The other type of La Nina is when the cold water is sloshed up against the west coast of South America. This is called an east based La Nina, and typically brings colder winters to Boston. While last year was west, this year, we have a decidedly east based La Nina.

Next is a phenomenon called the QBO, or the quasi-biennial oscillation. This could be the key to the whole winter around here. The QBO is an alternating wind in the tropical region, which either blows easterly or westerly up in the stratosphere. It oscillates between easterly and westerly about every couple years.

When the QBO blows west or is positive, and we have a central based La Nina, Boston typically sees a warm winter. This was the case last year. This year, the QBO is east or negative. When this happens, and we have an easterly based La Nina, this is conducive to high latitude blocking to form over Greenland.

This is also known as the Greenland block. In a typical La Nina, the southeast ridge (warm & dry) expands in the eastern part of the U.S. bringing warm winters alonng the east coast, sometimes up to Boston.

However, when we have an east based La Nina, with a negative QBO, the Greenland block is more likely to develop. We have already seen this occur several times here in November. When this happens, it surpresses the southeast ridge, and allows colder weather to settle down into New England, from Canada.

There are many more scientific factors, but I believe those are the two biggest ones influencing the upcoming winter. What about the natural signs?

Well, we all know how warm it’s been this fall. Even with the colder November, Boston is still on track to having its warmest fall on record! I’m astonished at how the leaves are still hanging on many of the trees, here on the week of Thanksgiving!

As I have mentioned in past posts, I follow the fall patterns very carefully, for clues to the upcoming winter. While the first two thirds of the fall were absurdly warm, November has seen an abrupt change to the weather patterns. This abrupt change could mean a much different winter is on the way for us this year.

No doubt, it’s gotten colder here in November. Boston is running close to 2 degrees below average this month. Looking ahead to rest of the month, there may be a couple warm spikes, but overall, I believe the cold air is going to win out.

Therefore, I’m expecting November to finish with a temperature departure of either neutral, or even slightly below average by minus one or or minus one and a half degrees below average.

Another sign pointing to a much different winter, is the building snow pack and cold weather in Canada, much earlier than last couple winters. The snow pack is building in southern Canada, and it’s much colder this year.

This develops a feedback situation, when snow makes it colder, which allows more snow to fall, and allows the snowpack to advance. Eventually, this gradient is going to settle south, into New England.

Some other natural signs I observed this fall were Canadian Geese flying south. I was shocked back in September one night, when I heard honking noises in the distance. Soon enough, I saw a massive flock of geese fly right over my house! It was dark, but I could faintly make out the white feathers on their underside.

So what does this all mean for the upcoming winter? Well, after reviewing all of my data, I do believe that much of New England is going to be in for quite a winter this year! This goes against the standard typical La Nina patterns.

However, as I mentioned above, other factors are going to make this not a typical La Nina year. With the Greenland block being a player, this is going to surpress the jet stream south.

With bitterly cold air to the north, and warm air to our south, this is going to set up an unusually strong temperature gradient, cutting through, or just south of southern New England.

I’m expecting above average precipitation this winter, especially in December and January. With the colder temperatures, I’m expecting above average amounts of snow this winter. Boston’s average is approximately 44″ at Logan Airport, and close to 50″ in surrounding areas.

So how much am I expecting? Well, I am not expecting the unprecedented record snow blitz of February 2015. However, this winter will bring its own challenges. Right now, I’m going with between 60 and 70″ of snow in Boston this winter. If anything, I may be a bit too conservative on this number.

How we reach these numbers is still in question. There may be a snow blitz like we’ve seen in recent years, then the winter lets up. Or, it may relax in February, only to return, and linger into March and April. This is just too difficult to forecast by anyone.

At this point, December and January look to be quite stormy. Look for the action to get going after December 10th. A White Christmas is looking like a good bet across much of the region this year! January looks to bring winters worst, with frequent storms, and tough winter weather conditions.

In addition to the many winter weather events I’m expecting, I also believe we stand the chance of one or two blockbuster storms, with snowfall in excess of 18″.

With all that being said, there will be times of relaxation to the pattern, and periods of fluctuations. I’m expecting the overall winter temperatures to average close to average in Boston…slightly colder to the north, and slightly warmer to the south. Because last couple winters have been so warm, this will feel colder than usual to many.

When the Greenland block relaxes, where there may be periods of mild to even warm weather. This will give us a chance to melt snowbanks down, and thaw out a bit.

How about the rest of New England? Heading up north, you can expect a similar year to last year, but with even more snow in valley locations.

You can expect between 70 and 80″ close to the Massachusetts border, 80 to 90″ in southern New Hampshire, and 90 to 100″ of snow in much of interior New Hampshire and much of Maine. Many ski resorts will likely see double this!

If you live along the New Hampshire seacoast, I’m expecting between 70 and 80″ of snow this winter. This is a bit lower, due to the proximity to the ocean.

How about south of Boston? This area is a bit of a wildcard. How much cold air penetrates south, and does it stay warmer in storms to produce icy mixtures, keeping accumulations lower?

Right now, I will go with the standard rule of slightly lower amounts south of Boston, of 50 to 60″ across the south shore, stretching back through interior southeastern Massachusetts.

However, as we have seen many times in the past, these areas can sometimes receive much higher amounts of snow, depending if the moisture collides with the cold air, at just the right time.

South of this region, and along the south coast, between 40 and 50″ should fall. Right now, I’m expecting a tough winter on the Cape, too. However, with the warm ocean temperatures, there may be many more storms with mixing issues, and rain. Therefore, snowfall looks to be between 30 and 40″.

This is lower, but is still above the normal 20 to 30″. The Cape is tricky like many other areas south of Boston. I have used typical climatological statistics, only to see them get double of what I forecasted.

Ocean temperatures play a huge role in snowfall amounts on the Cape, and along all of coastal Massachusetts for that matter.

What could go wrong? We don’t get as much blocking, with La Nina forcing taking over, and the storms bringing too much warm air, changing snow to rain in Boston. All points from the Mass Pike points south have a rather large bust potential. I’m 90 % confident north of the Pike of a very snowy, winter. While in Boston, I’m 60% confident.

On the flip side, the cold air presses further south. If this happens, and collides with the above average ocean temperatures, we could see a couple explosive storms occur, making it even snowier than what I’m predicting.

Now for your weekly autumn outdoor activity forecast. I will rate this a 6 out of 10. Expect the rest of today to feature mainly sunny but cold weather. Highs will mainly remain in the 30’s, perhaps nick 40 in some sposts.

Expect fair weather tonight, with just a few clouds. Temperatures will fall early, only to stabilize later on, with lows in the 20’s and 30’s, perhaps rising as morning approaches.

Tomorrow will be a completely different day all together. With south winds, expect temperatures to soar to near 60 degrees! This will feel warmer, due to the cold weather of today. However, this too will not last long!

A cold front will be approaching tomorrow night, At the same time a storm will be developing off the mid Atlantic coast, and head northeast. Latest computer models show a moisture plume coming up the coast, and hitting eastern Massachusetts with up to half inch to one inch of rain Wednesday morning.

After the storm moves away, the cold front will sweep off the coast, and temperatures will begin to fall again. This sets the stage for a sunny, and rather cold Thanksgiving Day. Early morning highs will be in the 20’s, and only warm up to near 40 by the afternoon.

No travel troubles at night, with temperatures falling back into the 20’s. Friday looks to be a mainly sunny day, with highs in the upper 30’s and low 40’s.

Right now, another fast moving cold front will be approaching New England on Saturday. This means increasing clouds, with temperatures possibly back up to near 50 degrees. There may be some showers Saturday night, only to clear out and turn colder once again on Sunday. Look for windy conditions, and highs only near 40.

Well, that’s about it for now! In next week’s blog, I will begin my ski and snow boarding forecasts! I will also elaborate a bit on my winter forecast. As always, there will be some surprises. It never turns out exactly the way you thought it would! In the meantime, remember everything is relative, maybe it won’t be so bad after all?

~Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!~

Thanks for reading!

Pete

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

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