Cold Returns… Eyes on Mid-Week

Cold air pours back in overnight tonight, and temps on Monday are about as cold as they get for this time of year.

So what are the records for coldest highs on March 24th?  In Boston, it’s 26, set back in 1888, and in Worcester, it’s 24 in 1940.  We’ll be close to those numbers tomorrow afternoon despite some sunshine.

Ok, how about the mid-week storm?  Tuesday night into Wednesday morning would be the time frame to watch here as a rapidly strengthening ocean storm passes east of us.  There’s no question that this becomes a powerful storm, the question is how close does it track to us and what are the impacts? 

Essentially what we’re watching now is for energy currently over western Canada to drop down into the United States.  As it does, it’ll grab energy/storm from the southern branch of the jet stream, and develop it off the Georgia/Carolina coastline, and rapidly strengthen it as it moves toward Nova Scotia.  Sound complicated?  It is, and when you’re talking about the merging of energy from coming from two vastly different geographical locations, it only takes minor timing differences to adjust the track of the storm that determines the fate of impacts for us. Currently, there’s no blocking in place in the atmosphere, which means there’s no mechanism to drive the storm closer to the coastline.  Without that block, the timing and position of the phasing two pieces of energy would have to be perfect in order to deliver and all out snowstorm for the entire region. Right now, in terms of storm positioning, it doesn’t look like the perfect set-up.

At this time, it appears that most of us get a glancing shot from this storm as the core of the storm stays just offshore.  That core of the storm is capable of dropping 1-2 feet of snow and hurricane force wind gusts over the fishes… so it’s all the better if it stays to our east.

Back on land, the most likely locations to receive heavy snow, and wind gusts 50-60mph are towns over the Cape and Islands. The farther northwest one travels, the less snow and wind one gets.  Given this thinking, it’d be hard pressed to get more than a few inches near the city, but a good bet for at least a half a foot or more for much of the Cape.

While signs are encouraging for a glancing shot, and not a direct hit for most of us, I’d still keep an eye on it.  With a storm this powerful, it’s a high stakes game. While it’s a lower probability of happening, if the main area of low pressure develops and takes over another 100miles west, wind speeds and snow numbers would have to come way up for all of us.

Beyond mid-week, we do get a taste of Spring back with temps near 60 for Friday and Saturday.

 

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