Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

FXUS61 KBOX 130251

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Taunton MA
951 PM EST Tue Dec 12 2017

Strengthening low pressure over upstate NY redevelops over 
northeast Massachusetts this evening, then intensifies into a 
gale center over New Brunswick Wednesday. A shot of arctic air 
wraps around this exiting low into Thursday, with a period of 
strong winds and bitterly cold wind chills, ahead of which a 
period of light snow is possible. Another low pressure may bring
some light snow around Friday night. Cold and dry once again 
for Saturday. A wintry mix possible by Sunday. A milder weather 
pattern on the horizon into next week.


945 PM update...

Low level drier taking hold in western New Eng as dewpoints drop
rapidly through the 20s with teens just to the west. This drier
air will overspread SNE tonight as strong cold advection takes
place. 925 mb temps cooling to -10 by 12z.

Freezing drizzle threat is near zero as this drier air moves in
and mid level moisture moves in ahead of approaching mid level
low. This will result in chance of snow showers across western
MA during the overnight. 

As cold advection intensifies, gusty WNW winds will continue to
develop with gusts to 30+ mph spreading to eastern New Eng
overnight. Expected morning lows will range from upper teens
west to mid 20s east.  


Strong low pressure will spin across the Maritimes into 
Labrador through Wednesday night, continuing a strong surge of 
arctic air into our region. While the core of this arctic air 
remains north of our region, will see increasing W-NW winds 
with the sharp pressure gradient. 0-3 km lapse rates are near
dry adiabatic, meaning excellent mixing and momentum transfer.
Will probably need a Wind Advisory for portions of southern New
England, especially across the higher terrain and towards the 
coasts. Still trying to refine the area and timing a bit more.

Some leftover snow showers may linger across the E slopes of the
Berkshires through midday Wednesday, with a few lingering along
the S coast early. Otherwise, mainly dry across much of southern
New England. Below normal temperatures with highs below
freezing. Wind chill values later in the day remaining in the
single digits and teens above zero. A few locations towards the
Berkshires could see subzero wind chills Wednesday afternoon.

Winds diminish some Wednesday night as better mixing moves 
offshore. Another mid level shortwave should pass by to our
south. While this should mean some clouds for our region,
temperatures will still fall into the teens away from the
immediate coast. Lows in the 20s for there. Still very low wind
chills in the single digits and teens for much of the region,
with readings as low as -5 toward daybreak across the E slopes
of the Berkshires. 

Any snow showers would be closer to the south coast of new
England. Limited moisture would also limit any accumulations,
which should be less than 1 inch, where it snows at all.


*/ Highlights...

 - Skirting clipper low with light snow Thursday
 - Cold and dry Thursday night into Friday
 - Another shot of snow shower activity going into Friday night
 - Cold and dry again for Saturday
 - Potential wintry mix event for Sunday 
 - Early on cold, light snow followed by a warmer trend next week 

*/ Overview...

Cold, active weather pattern persists into the weekend,
beginning to relax into the following week. H5 trof pattern 
maintains over NE N America round which disturbances rotate, at 
times capturing S-stream energy, quickly escaping E with lesser 
downstream traffic. Looking at a series of clipper systems which
will bring periods of wintry weather followed by gusty winds 
that aid in preserving the below- average temperature pattern we
have seen as of late. Strength of individual disturbances is in
question which will be broken down below, however their 
forecast quick movement and short residency, looking at brief 
impacts and leaning towards less impressive / deep storm 
development in vicinity of New England. Certain they'll keep on 
reloading negative H85 temperature anomalies across the region. 

But perhaps a warming trend towards late December? The wave
breaking over the NW Pacific as a stout jet of milder air 
pushes E into W N America, colder air is shunted back N as the 
H5 pattern across the CONUS relaxes, becoming more zonal. While 
still within the periphery of the polar jet, seemingly looking 
at a return of an ebb and flow pattern with a nod towards shots 
of cooler air out of the N rather than S-stream dominance. 

Continued confidence in operational forecast guidance out
through 72-96 hours, thereafter preference to ensemble means. 
Wintry weather followed by cold and blustery themes into the 
weekend then a gradual warm-up into next week with potential for
mixed precip events early on.

*/ Discussion...


Skirting clipper low, potential for wintry weather. Consensus of  
forecast guidance has a near-miss, the crux of the forcing 
offshore associated with positive differential vorticity 
advection, stronger ascent of greater moisture availability. 
However, evaluation along isentropes and the environment within 
the snow growth region, there are indications of weak lift and 
available moisture along decent SW to NE frontogenetical banding
around H7-5. Can not rule out light snow chances spreading as 
far N/W of the MA/VT/NH border. Not sold on just saying zero 
based on synoptics. Consensus of guidance has the dry, subsiding
wedge further N over N New England. Thus like to keep chance 
PoPs for all of S New England, likely along the S coast. Amounts
light, thinking little impact. The EPS probabilities paint a 
decent picture of outcomes with respect to 24-hour 0.01 liquid. 
A mainly early-half of the day event, tapering into
afternoon/eve. Nantucket having the best shot of seeing
appreciable accumulation of precipitation. 

Late Thursday into Thursday night...

Cold and dry. Initially blustery, storm system quickly steering
out as high pressure builds in. Gales briefly on the waters, 
all else being good. Flirting with noteworthy wind chills yet 
seemingly prior to the crux of cold air with single digit lows 
into Friday morning. That being said any liquid from melt along 
roads will easily freeze. 

Friday into Friday night...

Possible snow shower activity, otherwise maintained cold.
Positively-tilted H5 trof axis quickly sweeping across the 
region yields little threat and impact to the region. Moisture 
present but lacking deep synoptic lift. Agree with the bulk of 
development across the better baroclinic zone well offshore as 
the H5 trof undergoes neutral tilt out across the Atlantic. Lack
of mid-upper level curvature until further downstream. Chance 
PoPs with energy transfer from N-stream clipper to S-stream wave
along the better baroclinic zone. Mainly snow showers and 
looking at light accumulations. 

Saturday into Saturday night...

Blustery and cold. High pressure settling in behind exiting
storm, would expect ocean-effect stratus / showers near the 
coast, perhaps some Lake effect snow shower activity getting 
into N/W MA before deeper subsidence and drier air builds in.

Sunday into Sunday night...

Potential mixed precip storm. Monitoring cold air damming as
there is the possibility of over-running precipitation. 
Gradually warming as the warm front lifts N but also as the dry 
slot seemingly wraps in, looking at potential change overs 
before all is said and done. Too early to get on particulars but
something to watch.

Into next week...

Some final clipper systems, shots of cold, then the warming
trend begins as we get back into an ebb and flow pattern. With
clipper and cold, the usual shot of snow shower activity
enhanced by the Lakes, followed by blustery winds and the
typical offshore ocean-effect stratus / shower activity. The 
H5 trof relaxing, we get back into S flow and a warmer trend.


Forecaster Confidence Levels...
Low - less than 30 percent. 
Moderate - 30 to 60 percent. 
High - greater than 60 percent.

Short Term /through Wednesday Night/...

0230z update...

CIGs improving to VFR as WNW winds increase with gusts to 25-30
kt developing. 

Wednesday... SCT-BKN 050 with strong, gusty W winds up around 
35-40 kts along the high terrain and along the coast, a bit less
elsewhere. Cross wind issues for N-S oriented runways expected.

Wednesday night...
Low-end VFR CIGs erode becoming SKC however marine stratus holds
close to the coast. W winds tapering though will remain strong
along the E-coast up around 30-35 kts into Thursday morning. 

KBOS Terminal...High confidence in TAF. 

KBDL Terminal...High confidence in TAF.

Outlook /Thursday through Sunday/...

Thursday: VFR. Breezy. Chance SN.

Thursday Night: VFR. Breezy. 

Friday: VFR. 

Friday Night: Mainly VFR, with areas MVFR possible. Breezy.
Slight chance SHSN.

Saturday: Mainly VFR, with local MVFR possible. Breezy. Slight
chance SHSN.

Saturday Night: VFR. Breezy. 

Sunday: VFR. Breezy. Chance SHSN.


Forecaster Confidence Levels...

Low - less than 30 percent. 
Moderate - 30 to 60 percent. 
High - greater than 60 percent.

Short Term /through Wednesday Night/...

Tonight...Arctic cold front sweeps across the area with SE 
winds shifting to W-SW up to 20-30 kt. Vsby improves after 
evening rain/snow showers. 

Wednesday and Wednesday night...Gale force winds with gusts up 
to 45 kt. Rough seas up to 15 ft. Slight chance of snow showers 

Outlook /Thursday through Sunday/...

Thursday: Low risk for Small Craft Advisory winds with gusts up
to 25 kt. Local rough seas. Chance of snow. 

Thursday Night: Low risk for Small Craft Advisory winds with
gusts up to 30 kt. Areas of rough seas. 

Friday: Winds less than 25 kt. Areas of seas approaching 5 ft. 

Friday Night: Winds less than 25 kt. Seas locally approaching
5 ft. Chance of snow showers. Local visibility 1 to 3 nm.

Saturday: Moderate risk for Small Craft Advisory winds with
local gusts up to 30 kt. Local rough seas. Slight chance of
snow showers. 

Saturday Night: Moderate risk for Small Craft Advisory winds
with local gusts up to 30 kt. Local rough seas. 

Sunday: Winds less than 25 kt. Seas locally approaching 5 ft.
Chance of rain showers.


MA...Wind Advisory from noon Wednesday to midnight EST Wednesday 
     night for MAZ007-019-022>024.
     Wind Advisory from 10 AM to 8 PM EST Wednesday for MAZ002-008-
RI...Wind Advisory from noon Wednesday to midnight EST Wednesday 
     night for RIZ008.
MARINE...Gale Warning from 8 AM Wednesday to 6 AM EST Thursday for 
     Gale Warning from 8 AM Wednesday to 4 AM EST Thursday for 
     Gale Warning from 1 PM Wednesday to 1 AM EST Thursday for 
     Gale Warning from 10 AM Wednesday to 6 AM EST Thursday for 
     Gale Warning from 6 AM Wednesday to 6 AM EST Thursday for 
     Gale Warning from 5 AM Wednesday to 6 AM EST Thursday for 



National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations