For This Afternoon: An area of high pressure will move to the east this afternoon and this will set up a southerly wind flow across the area. An increase in high and mid-level clouds will continue this afternoon causing the sun to be filtered out. In addition, some scattered rain showers will overspread Western Mass around sunset. Temperatures this afternoon will be between 40 and 45 Degrees. Tonight: A warm front is expected to lift northward across the area tonight. This means that tonight will be cloudy and there will be quite a bit in the way of rain shower activity across Western and Central Mass. Temperatures tonight will remain in the 40s and will actually rise to near 50 Degrees towards morning. Thursday: A very mild day is expected on Thursday across Western and Central Mass with morning clouds giving way to some peeks of sunshine during the afternoon. High temperatures on Thursday will be between 60 and 65 Degrees. Thursday Night & Friday: A cold front is expected to push through the region on Thursday night. There may be just enough moisture around so that there are some very spotty rain showers around. Low temperatures Thursday night will be near 50 Degrees. An area of high pressure will briefly control our weather on Friday with partly sunny skies expected. Temperatures on Friday will start out between 50 and 55 Degrees, but will fall through the 40s during the afternoon. Saturday: An area of low pressure is expected to move across Southern New England during Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening. It looks pretty likely that this storm system will bring with it a real mess of icy wintry precipitation across Western and Central Mass. There continues to be differing forecasts when you look at each individual weather model with the GFS model and the Canadian model showing more of a mixed bag of snow, ice and rain. Meanwhile, the European model continues to be the snowy weather model and seems to point to a general 3 to 6 inch snowfall across all of Western and Central Mass. I do think that the European model may be too cold and snowy and am still leaning more towards a mixed bag of wintry precipitation. Biggest change to the forecast though is the timing of the storm, which now looks to be during Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Here Are My Thoughts: As I already mentioned, I think that we’re still looking at a messy mixture of snow, sleet and rain across a large part of Western and Central Mass. The areas that have the greatest chance to remain as all snow will be across the Berkshires, the far upper Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and across areas that are north of Route 9. In these areas, 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulation is possible during Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Across areas including the lower Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and across areas that are near and south of Route 9, the precipitation will probably start out as snow early Saturday afternoon with 1 to 2 inches of accumulation. By late Saturday afternoon, I think it’s quite possible that we’ll see the snow change to a sleet and rain mixture with the mixture of rain and sleet continuing into Saturday night. It continues to look possible that the precipitation may end as snow across the entire area very late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. I want to emphasize that this is still an evolving forecast and the weather forecast models seem to be trending colder and colder with each new forecast. Should this continue, it would mean that I would need to adjust the demarcation line between snow and a mixed bag of precipitation further south and it would also mean potentially higher snow amounts for more of Western and Central Mass. If you have plans for Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, it’s a really good idea to keep up to date on the latest forecasts as they will likely need to be refined and honed in on even more over the next couple of days or so.
Sunday: Sunday’s forecast has actually become a bit of a wildcard as some of the weather forecast guidance are hinting that snow may persist into the day on Sunday, especially across Central Mass. This will be something to certainly keep an eye on. For now, I think we may see snow come to an end early Sunday morning with very slow clearing expected by Sunday afternoon. High temperatures Sunday will be near 35 Degrees. Next Week’s Weather Outlook: The weather forecast for next week continues to be very uncertain with many different moving pieces of the weather puzzle figuring into this uncertainty. One big change to the forecast is for Monday as it now appears that 2 weather systems may not phase together, but instead remain separate entities. This means one system passes north of our area and the second system passes well south of the area. So, the forecast for Monday and Tuesday now looks much drier with no wintry precipitation now expected. Now, I do think that we still need to keep a very close eye on the weather for either next Thursday or on Christmas Eve as weather forecast guidance continue to suggest that a low pressure system may pass across central or southern New England. At this point, it’s still WAY too early to determine what type of precipitation may occur or how much may accumulate. I do think, however, it’s a possible system that could impact Christmas travel for next Thursday and on Christmas Eve, especially across areas north of the Mass Pike where there may be a higher chance for snow or ice.