After a week that at times felt more like April than February, we’re returning to more winter-like conditions for the upcoming week, with cooler temps and the chance of some snow in the forecast for what seems like the first time in quite a while.
Mostly skies and seasonable temps are expected through most of the short term, with today being quite windy before things die down a bit overnight. Generally looking at highs through the 30s, with each day being a couple of degrees warmer than the one before it, but also a bit cloudier than the one before it so the feeling outside should be very similar. Clouds begin to roll in Monday afternoon ahead of our next system for Tuesday, but should remain dry through the evening hours.
Here's a look at forecast high temps for Monday from the GFS, the warmest of the three days.
A tricky forecast for this period as a classic “Miller B” system looks to approach for the middle of the week. A low pressure system runs up into the great lakes before eventually redeveloping off the New England coastline as it is blocked by a high to our north. That high also serves to lock in cold air, which means that this will likely be another mixed bag of precipitation types. How strong that high is and where it is located will determine how much cold air can hang on and how quickly the system can transfer to the secondary low, which will influence what precipitation types we see and for how long.
As of now, it looks like precipitation moves in late Monday night or early Tuesday morning and begins as snow everywhere. At least a light accumulation looks likely before the midlevels begin to warm and precipitation begins to change over from snow to sleet to freezing rain to eventually plain rain over the course of Tuesday afternoon and evening. As you would expect given that we’re still three days out from this system, there is quite a bit of spread among the guidance. The GFS is the warmest of the models, and would eventually flip the entire state over to plain rain, whereas the Euro and the GGEM are much colder and preserves surface level cold across the entire state for most of the event save the immediate coastline. The result would be a few inches of snow followed by a messy wintry mix in that scenario.
Given that we time and time again see models underestimate low level cold, and the GFS is notoriously warm with thermal profiles, I am leaning towards the colder guidance in this scenario. As such, I would expect accumulating snow across the state Tuesday morning, followed by a transition to a period of sleet and/or freezing rain for later Tuesday into the overnight hours. Eventually, I think everyone will flip to plain rain late Tuesday night as the low passes overhead save for possibly far NW areas, but the damage will have been done by then. Should see precip move out early Wednesday morning.
Too early for snow totals given that we’re 3 days out still, but generally I would say we are looking at advisory level amounts across the state rather than warning level as this system doesn’t pack a ton of moisture with it and the window for racking up accumulations will be relatively small. That said, should the timing of this system speed up a bit or the timing of the warm air slow down a bit, that could lead to snow coming out on the higher end of forecast, and the opposite goes for the inverse of that. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this system and if needed issue a first call map tomorrow evening.
Here's a comparison of the GFS and GGEM at 7 PM Tuesday evening. Notice that the GFS is mostly rain by this point, while the GGEM is still mostly snow, with mixing just starting to enter the SW portion of the state. With heavy snow rates ongoing, this would be a difference of several inches of snow between the two solutions.
Sunny and warmer for the back half of the week behind our system, with highs generally in the low to mid 40s. Could see another storm approach by Friday into next weekend, while this one looks warmer than the previous one at this time as there is no secondary low or high pressure to lock in cold air, it’s still an eternity away so stay tuned. Right now will add chance pops for Friday to account for it and we’ll revisit it early next week.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with highs in the lower 30s.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with highs in the mid 30s.
Monday: Partly sunny, with highs in the mid to upper 30s.
Tuesday: Snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain likely, otherwise, cloudy, with highs in the low to mid 30s. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Wednesday: A slight chance of rain, otherwise, becoming partly sunny, with highs in the low 40s. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, with highs in the low to mid 40s.
Friday: A chance of rain, otherwise, partly cloudy, with highs in the low to mid 40s. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Have a great day and thank you for reading SCW!