For This Afternoon: A very mild and windy afternoon is expected across the region. Skies this afternoon will feature a mixture of sunshine and clouds and high temperatures will be between 60 and 65 Degrees. It will be quite windy this afternoon with southwest winds sustained at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Tonight & Friday: A strong frontal system is expected to push through the area late tonight and Friday morning bringing with it heavy rain, strong winds, very mild temperatures and the possibility for a thunderstorm or two. Let Me Update You On Each Part Of This Storm: Rain: A steady moderate to heavy rain is expected to overspread Western Mass during the 9 to 11 pm time frame tonight and then overspread Central Mass between 11 pm and 1 am tonight. Heavy rain is then expected to continue across Western Mass until about 7-8 am Friday morning. Heavy rain is expected to continue across Central Mass until about 8-9 am Friday morning. Rain is expected to quickly come to an end across the entire area by the 8 to 10 am time frame Friday morning. Total rainfall amounts of around one inch can be expected.
Winds: Strong southerly winds are expected to be a big time issue for tonight and the first half of Friday morning. These winds will shift into a west to northwest direction by late Friday morning. For tonight, south to southwest winds will be sustained at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph before midnight and then sustained at 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph after midnight out of a south to southwest direction. During the early and mid-morning hours of Friday, southwest winds will be sustained at 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 to 60 mph. During the late morning and afternoon hours of Friday, west winds will be sustained at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph. There is a pretty high chance for some downed trees and power outages with all of this wind. The most likely time for this to occur will be from about midnight tonight until about 9 am Friday morning. If there are going to be downed tree limbs and any power outages, the most likely time frame for this to occur looks to be from about 11 pm Thursday night until about 9 am Friday morning. Flooding: Street, poor drainage and basement flooding looks very likely between 11 pm tonight and 9 am Friday morning as there's likely to be significant runoff of water due to the rain not being able to be absorbed due to a frozen ground. River or stream flooding is not expected. Thunderstorm Potential: There's the possibility of a thunderstorm or two between about 6 am and 9 am Friday morning when a squall line moves through. While technically strong or severe thunderstorms are not expected, this squall line could bring a burst of wind that could gust up to 65 mph in some areas. Temperatures: Temperatures on Thursday night will be between 54 and 60 Degrees all night long. We are going to have to watch how quickly the temperatures fall on Friday as if there is a quick fall in temperatures, we may have to watch for freeze up issues. Temperatures through mid-morning Friday will be in the 50s across the entire area. By late Friday morning, temperatures will quickly fall into the mid 30s across Western Mass and into the upper 30s to low 40s across Central Mass. A further fall in temperatures is expected on Friday afternoon with temperatures reaching the low 30s across Western Mass by early afternoon and the low 30s across Central Mass by mid afternoon. By late Friday afternoon, temperatures are expected to be in the upper 20s across the entire area. This means that it's possible that some freeze up of standing water and residual moisture on roads is possible as early as midday across Western Mass and as early as early afternoon across Central Mass. Saturday: A robust low pressure system and its associated frontal system is expected to move across the area Saturday afternoon bringing with it widespread snow showers and snow squalls. It appears that we will see widespread snow showers across the entire area between 12 pm and 4 pm Saturday. This will be followed by a line of heavy snow showers and snow squalls which looks to move through Western Mass between 3 pm and 4:30 pm and then across Central Mass between 4 pm and 6 pm Saturday. The snow showers are expected to deposit around one inch of snow accumulation Saturday afternoon. As for the snow squalls between 3 pm and 6 pm Saturday, these may put down a very quick 1 to 2 inches of snow accumulation, along with near zero visibility and wind gusts of up to 45 mph out of a west to northwest direction for about 30 to 45 minutes at any one location. High temperatures Saturday will be between 35 and 40 Degrees. Sunday & Presidents’ Day: An area of high pressure will build into the area for Sunday and Monday. Sunday is expected to be sunny to partly sunny with high temperatures between 35 and 40 Degrees. Partly sunny and milder weather is expected for Monday. High temperatures Monday will be near 50 Degrees. Tuesday & Wednesday: An area of low pressure is expected to push across central New England later Tuesday into Wednesday. While rain is possible for most of the area from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning, it’s possible that the precipitation could start off as some freezing rain across the northern Worcester Hills and the Berkshires Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures on Tuesday will be in the 30s. Temperatures on Tuesday night will rise into the 40s. Temperatures on Wednesday will be between 45 and 50 Degrees. Winter IS NOT Over: I have seen some media weather outlets proclaim that winter is over and that we will not see any more snowstorms this season. This IS NOT true, I DO NOT believe this at all & neither should you!! There are strong signals in the data that suggest we will see yet another trough of low pressure drop into the eastern United States by the very end of this month and potentially remain in place into at least the first half of March. This means that below average temperatures with the possibility of at least 1 to 2 snowstorms are in the cards between the end of February and the middle part of March. In fact, one such possible storm that could bring snow and ice to the area is possible for next Friday. So, don’t let the really mild temperatures fool you. Winter is far from being over and I think that March could be very lion like.