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Cold Snap this Weekend Followed by Quick Warm-up for Next Week

After a warming trend through much of this week, a potent cold front will drop through New England tonight through Saturday morning. An area of high pressure to New England's northwest will continue to filter cold and dry air behind the front. This high pressure, combined with the departing low, will create a tight pressure gradient, resulting in blustery conditions on Saturday. Winds will be gusting 25-35mph.


Temperatures will drop rapidly tonight as the front works through the area. The drop in temperature will be quite noticeable, especially for northern areas. The northern tier of New England will likely see temperatures drop over 30° from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. With windy conditions developing, the drop in feels-like temperature will be even greater. Southern and central New England will not see as big of a drop, but it will still be an abrupt change in air mass.



Temperatures Saturday afternoon will not rise more than 5-8° from morning lows as strong cold air advection continues from the area of high pressure offsets a mostly sunny sky. Wind chills Saturday afternoon will range from the single digits below zero north to the teens south. We'll need to watch to see if the air temperature in Boston can jump above freezing as the city hasn't had a single high temperature below freezing this February. This would be the first time in recorded history (dating back to the late 1800s) Boston hasn't had a single high at or below 32° in February.




The chill will peak Sunday morning with lows in the single digits north to low teens south. Continued wind chills will drop the feels-like temperature into the -10s, close to -20° in the higher elevations of northern New England with single digits south. This will be some of the coldest air of the season, which isn't saying much as arctic blasts have been lacking this winter.


Winds will quickly begin to relax as Sunday goes on with rapid warming during the day. This comes as high pressure builds to our west, allowing a southwesterly flow to send mild air into New England. As quickly as the colder air arrives, it will disappear.



Heading into Monday, a weak area of low pressure will pass to New England's north. This system will drag its fronts across the area Monday, leading to scattered rain or snow showers across northern New England. These showers will be light. They will also be more isolated across southern and central New England. The weakening cold front won't have much of an impact on the overall warming trend.




The warmth will continue to build through mid-week as a ridge in the jet stream builds into the east. This, along with a southerly flow, will allow temperatures to climb well above average. A trough of low pressure will cross the country during the week. This will bring unsettled weather to New England later in the week.



Just how mild it is able to get across New England is a bit of a wild card. This comes as the surface levels may not be able to warm as quickly as the mid and upper levels thanks to the potential for increased cloud cover and moisture. Still, highs should be able to jump well above average, with widespread 40s north and 50s south. Some locations could make a run at 60° on Wednesday if clouds don't stunt temperatures too much.



That trough of low pressure, which will very likely pass to New England's north, will spread rain showers into New England for Wednesday and/or Thursday. As expected at this time frame, there are discrepancies among timing. This system will likely drag its cold front across the region, leading to gusty winds and a potential end to the warmer weather. Being nearly a week out, details can change, but this will be the main feature we'll be watching over the coming days.

Weather map for Wednesday morning (February 28):


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