First, some sad news in the world of meteorology – Dr. William (Bill) Gray is no longer with us. According to his official obituary from Colorado State University, he passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home in Fort Collins yesterday. He was 86 years old. Dr. Gray is best known for pioneering seasonal hurricane forecasts at Colorado State University. Officially he retired from the university in 2005, but remained active in weather research until the very end. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak in person, but didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him. While most meteorologists did not agree with his views on climate change, every meteorologist I know that did have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Gray personally would agree that he was a genuinely kind person and a legend in the field. He mentored 70 meteorology students who earned masters and Ph.D. degrees. Now many of them carry on his work in tropical meteorology. His former student, Dr. Philip Klotzbach took over the seasonal hurricane forecasts when he retired.
OK, how about some happier news…the weather itself. Considering the wide range of possibilities, the weather for Patriots’ Day will be pretty decent! The spectators will probably love it. The runners might find it a bit warm, but it could be worse, like 2012 when it was 87 degrees, the warmest Patriots’ Day on record in Boston. And at least it’s not like 1961, the snowiest Patriots’ Day on record in Boston. I’ve heard several New Englanders say that Patriots’ Day always "feels like spring." That makes sense since based on the historical record there is an 80% chance that the high temperature in Boston will be at least 50 degrees and only a 4% chance that the temperature will dip below freezing. Here are the rest of the stats courtesy of the National Weather Service:
As for 2016, Patriots’ Day "Eve" will be seasonable in Boston with high temperatures in the mid to upper 50s. Areas well inland will see temps soar well into the 60s and even reach 70 in spots. Skies will be sunny, and although it will still be breezy for the Cape and the Islands, winds in general will be much lighter than Saturday.
Patriot’s Day itself is a bit tricky. Winds will be light and kind of variable. That will allow a sea breeze to kick in Monday afternoon. The trick is figuring out exactly when the sea breeze begins and how far inland it penetrates. Boston might briefly hit the low 60s around lunchtime before the sea breeze moves through and cools things off to the mid 50s. Right now I’m thinking that areas west of 128 will be immune to the sea breeze and will continue warming into the low 70s Monday afternoon. So, for those starting the marathon in the 3rd or 4th waves, the coolest part of the route will be the very end. For those going to the Red Sox game, expect temperatures to drop after the 4th inning or so. Clouds will increase late in the day but any rain will hold off until after the official post race party.
A cold front brings us a good chance of rain late Monday night and early Tuesday and some MUCH cooler weather for all of New England. Spotty showers remain possible into Tuesday afternoon.