Keeping Up

Happy holidays to you and your family!  Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope your weekend was filled with relaxation and many made memories.  While it wasn’t a white Christmas for us here in the area, it was a sunny one.  Temps were actually right on par with “normal” for this time of year, topping out in the mid to upper 30s.  With clear skies through the night and diminishing wind, temps will fall back into the teens for many.  It may be a good night to enjoy that Christmas “yule log” again… but of course I mean the real burning fireplace that will actually keep your home warm, rather than just the yule log on TV.

We’ll start off Monday with cold temps and sunshine, but that sunshine will fade around midday as clouds move in.  I’m sure you haven’t missed all of the holiday travel trouble that was caused by a massive winter storm out west.  Well, that storm is currently bringing blizzard conditions to the Dakotas and ice issues to the Midwest.  There was even a weak tornado reported in Kansas today… and all of this is due to the same storm system.  This is one huge storm system that’s making its way in our direction.  Look at this beast:

The center of the storm will move more north some as it tracks eastward.  For us, that means that we don’t get hit with this head-on.  Clouds move in tomorrow afternoon, and eventually some really mild air will move in from the south.  Here’s the problem though – I’ve already mentioned how cold things get tonight, and tomorrow’s highs stay in the 30s… Well, cold air is more dense than warm air and it tends to just want to sit like a couch potato… not wanting to budge for the warm air.  The warm air then moves up and over that dense cold air, and it can cause problems with freezing rain and sleet.  We’ll be watching for this potential in central and western Massachusetts tomorrow where the cold air lingers the longest.  The timing on this will be between 3pm-11pm.  This will not be widespread, but still something to be aware of if your travels take you to this part of the Bay State.

By the way, there’s often a little confusion when it comes to the difference between sleet and freezing rain.  Once the snowflake falls out of the very cold cloud way upstairs, if it melts on its way to the ground then it can never re-freeze into a snowflake.  Therefore, the precip type (snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain) all depends on the temperature profile in the path from cloud to ground.  Here’s a good picture of what’s happening:

Whether sleet or freezing rain though, we’re talking about ice – which means we’re talking about slick roads.  Use caution tomorrow afternoon/evening while temps are still cold.  As we get closer to midnight though, temps will be climbing… During the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when we’re all into the 40s, we’ll be tracking all RAIN showers.  Temps still climb into the 50s for Tuesday.  I think most of the rain showers are over and done with by Tuesday morning, but then it will be about mild temps to start and very windy conditions.

It’s back to “normal” for Wednesday, with highs in the upper 30s again.  We’re still trying to nail down some details for Thursday, but for now I’m planning on a wintry mix with some snow most likely N & W of 495.  “HOW MUCH SNOW?” is still something we’re trying to pin down.  Stay tuned for details on this… and for more details on some snow showers to kick off 2017 (see extended forecast above).  For now though, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and to all a goodnight!  – Breezy