A hot and humid day is expected across Western and Central Mass. In addition, expect some high clouds at times today leading to a generally partly sunny day through about 4-5 pm today. It looks like there is likely to be a later arrival of thunderstorm activity than what was previously thought – more on that in a second. This means that much of the day today will be dry across the entire area. High temperatures this afternoon will be around 90 Degrees with humid conditions. Southwest winds will gust up to 30 mph at times throughout the day today. A Few Strong To Severe Thunderstorms Are Possible This Evening: It appears that thunderstorms, some of which may be strong to severe, will enter the Berkshires by about 6-7 pm and then quickly push into the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and the western Worcester Hills during the 7 pm hour before moving into the rest of Worcester County by 8 pm this evening. Thunderstorm activity is then expected to continue until about 10-11 pm this evening before ending. The timing of the thunderstorms is a bit delayed as what was thought yesterday and thus the severe weather threat may be a little lower than what was previously forecast. The atmosphere by late this afternoon and this evening is expected to be unstable enough to support thunderstorms, however, this instability is likely to decrease after about 7 pm this evening due to gradual loss of heating. The amount of low-level wind shear is expected to be strong enough to support at least some strong to severe storms with a couple of storms potentially rotating. All-in-all, I am not expected a widespread or major severe weather event and instead I think that a few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible, especially across Western Mass. Strong wind gusts will be the main threat, however, I think that we will need to monitor any storms that move into the Pioneer Valley where turning in the low level winds may be enhanced leading to the low risk for a possible tornado or two. In Summary, A few strong to severe thunderstorms are possible across Western Mass between 6 pm and 10 pm this evening with strong wind gusts the main threat. A tornado or two is a low possibility in the Pioneer Valley. Across Central Mass, the possibility is there for a strong thunderstorm or two between 7 pm and 11 pm this evening, although the severe weather threat is a bit less as compared to Western Mass. With that said, any strong thunderstorms will be capable of producing strong wind gusts.

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This Afternoon: A partly sunny afternoon is expected across Western and Central Mass with temperatures between 70 and 75 Degrees expected. Tonight: Clear skies are expected tonight with low temperatures between 45 and 50 Degrees. Tuesday: A warmer day is expected on Tuesday with lots of sunshine expected. High temperatures Tuesday will be between 75 and 80 Degrees. Wednesday: Hot and humid weather is expected on Wednesday as a cold front approaches us from the northwest. That cold front is likely to push through the area during Wednesday evening. Ahead of the cold front, the atmosphere is likely to be unstable and I think that we should see a line of thunderstorms progress from northwest to southeast across the region beginning across the upper Pioneer Valley and northern Worcester County between about 5 and 8 pm and then pushing through the lower Pioneer Valley and southern Worcester County between about 7 and 10 pm Wednesday evening. A couple of the thunderstorms could be on the strong side with gusty winds and small hail possible. High temperatures Wednesday will be between 85 and 90 Degrees. Thursday: A return to sunshine is expected on Thursday with high temperatures near 80 Degrees expected. A First Look At Memorial Day Weekend: Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the best of Memorial Day weekends in terms of weather. There’s the potential for an area of low pressure to slowly move off of the Mid-Atlantic coast from Friday into Saturday before possibly stalling near the Cape on Sunday and Memorial Day. This means that the weather could be damp and cool with a couple of rounds of showers and even a period of rain. The first period of showers could occur from Friday to Saturday morning with a round of rain possible on Sunday night into Memorial Day. High temperatures Friday will be near 65 Degrees. High temperatures Saturday will be near 65 Degrees. High temperatures Sunday will be between 65 and 70 Degrees. High temperatures Memorial Day will be near 60 Degrees.

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For The Rest Of This Afternoon: Rain is expected throughout the rest of this afternoon and it is likely that the rain will be heavy at times. Temperatures this afternoon will gradually fall through the 40s. Accumulating Snow Is Still Expected Tonight Into Friday Across All Of Western & Central Mass: We will be in a prime setup for a late season snowstorm across Western and Central Mass, especially in the higher terrain, tonight into Friday. With that said, this continues to be an extremely difficult forecast as the smallest differences in temperature, precipitation intensity and low pressure track will mean the difference between mostly all rain and a very significant snowstorm across much of, if not all of Western and Central Mass. An upper level low pressure system now located over the eastern Great Lakes will track across southern New England during the day on Friday. The dynamics, energy and moisture with this upper level low pressure are quite strong and this will lead to the atmosphere to become colder tonight into Friday leading to a changeover from rain to snow. At the same time this is occurring an area of low pressure now taking shape off of the Mid-Atlantic coast will head for Nantucket on Friday. This will cause some extra energy and moisture to be pulled into this system. Here Are My Latest Thoughts: A changeover from rain to snow looks to occur first across the Berkshires and across areas along and north of Route 2 between about 8 pm and midnight this evening. By the period from midnight to 3 am or so tonight, a changeover from rain to snow is likely to occur in the Hilltowns of Western Mass, the upper Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and potentially across much of, if not ALL of Central Mass, including metro Worcester. Rain or a rain-snow mix is likely to be occurring across the lower Pioneer Valley, including the Springfield metro. Turning to the period from about 4 am through sunrise Friday morning, a changeover from rain to snow will reach the lower Pioneer Valley, so that it will probably be snowing everywhere across Western and Central Mass by 7 to 8 am Friday morning. During the day on Friday, snow is expected to continue across Western and Central Mass. The exception might be across the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass, where the snow will probably mix with rain at times. The snow or the snow-rain mix will be heavy at times late tonight into Friday and this will lead to significant snow accumulations in areas that stay all snow. All of the snow or rain-snow mix with this storm will come to an end between 9 pm and midnight Friday evening. This is going to be a wet and heavy snowfall and therefore some power outages are possible in areas that see 4 to 5 inches or more of snow accumulation. In addition, roads will be snow covered and quite slippery tonight into Friday in the higher terrain. In Summary, significant wet and heavy snow accumulations are expected across parts of Western and Central Mass (My latest forecast total snowfall map can be found below). Snow amounts are going to be highly dependent on how heavy the precipitation falls. Once again, I want to emphasize that this continues to be an extremely difficult forecast and the smallest changes in either the storm track, surface temperatures or moisture feed could mean the difference between mostly all rain for many and a widespread significant snowfall across much of the area. One other thing to note is that there are some similarities of this storm to the March 31 to April 1, 1997 snowstorm and the October 29-30, 2011 snowstorm. Both storms and especially the 2011 storm brought much more snow than what was originally forecast. So, keep this in mind for tonight into Friday. One final thing – I would greatly, greatly appreciate any reports tonight & Friday. This includes precipitation type and how much snow has accumulated at your location. This will make it easier for me to determine what is actually happening & will also help to facilitate the updating of the forecast, if necessary. My Forecast Snow Total Map For Tonight Into Friday Can Be Found Below:

I continue to monitor this storm closely and will continue to keep you updated.

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