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Light Snow, Rain Arrives Tonight Before Brief Weekend Cool Down

A weak disturbance will pass through New England tonight into Friday. This disturbance comes to New England as an area of low pressure passing right through southern New England. This track will keep the system on the milder side for most with light rain showers. Areas further north will see a period of light snow Friday morning. Precipitation, both rain and snow, will remain rather light throughout the event as the system doesn't have much moisture with which to work. This will be a low-impact event.

Precipitation will likely break out along the system's warm front in the evening across western New England. The precipitation will gradually fill in and spread northeast throughout the night. By midnight, light rain and snow showers will be falling across much of southern and central New England.

Expected weather around midnight:

During the overnight hours, there may be a period of sleet or freezing rain, but northern areas should switch to light snow and southern areas should switch to plain rain or a rain/snow by the early morning hours. This will primarily be a rain and/or snow event with little in the way of ice. By the early morning, light snow will be ongoing across much of northern New England with the exception of the lower elevations.

Expected weather around sunrise Friday:

Periodic light snow and rain will continue through the morning and into Friday afternoon. The rain/snow line will try to inch northward during the day, likely making it to Lake Winnipesaukee by the early afternoon. Precipitation will gradually end from west to east throughout the afternoon on Friday. Light snow will persist in eastern Maine through the evening.

Expected weather around midday Friday:

When all is said and done, light snow and rain will have fallen across New England, with a general couple inches of snow from Lake Winnipesaukee north, the Green Mountains and central Maine. A slushy coating to inch of snow will be possible across the Berkshires, and maybe Worcester Hills, and the lower elevations of northern New England. Total rainfall will be no more than a quarter inch.

A potent cold front will drop into New England Friday night, allowing temperatures to tumble. Temperatures will go from the upper 30s to low 40s Thursday afternoon to the single digits north to 20s south by Saturday morning. The most pronounced temperature drops will be across Vermont and into the White Mountains.

Along with the much colder temperatures, winds will increase as the pressure gradient between the departing low tightens with arctic high building into the region. This will result in wind gusts between 20-30mph.

Wind chills will remain in the single digits to mid-teens all day for much of northern New England away from the coastal plain. Southern New England's wind chill will not be so biting, with wind chills in the mid-teens to mid 20s in the afternoon.

The peak of this brief shot of cold air will be on Sunday morning, when wind chills will drop well into the negative teens and potentially approaching -20° in some areas in far northern areas with single digits and low teens in southern and central New England. This cold will not last as a southerly flow develops Sunday morning, leading to a rapid increase for Sunday afternoon. Highs Sunday will be a good 10-15° warmer than Saturday.

The warm-up for Sunday afternoon is the beginning of a warming trend that will last through much of the upcoming week. Next week, New England will see ridging in the jet stream and a persistent southerly and/or westerly flow, allowing temperatures to rise well above average.

That area of low pressure on the map above will push east and likely bring unsettled conditions to New England in the middle of next week (likely Wednesday or Thursday) in the form of rain showers. The system will likely pass to the north, dragging its cold front across New England. This will be the next shot at widespread precipitation, but a week out, there's no need trying to go into details. It's cold front may bring an end to the warmth late next week. This is the main feature we'll be watching over the next week.

Weather map for Wednesday (February 28):



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