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New England's Cloudy, Active Weather is About to Break

Heading into this weekend, a large-scale Omega-style blocking pattern will be set up over North America. This blocking pattern will bring New England a major change in the overall weather than what the region has been experiencing for the better part of a month of now. After a very stormy and unsettled January, the start of February will be very quiet.



An Omega Block is a type of pattern that features a large ridge of high pressure bordered by two troughs of low pressure. For this weekend into much of next week, New England will be on the border between the ridge and the trough. This will bring the region seasonable temperatures as well as keep large-scale storm systems away.


500mb height showing the location of the polar jet stream on Saturday taking on the shape of an Omega Block:



The northerly flow from this setup will allow some colder air to dive into New England for the weekend, but it will moderate. The pressure gradient between the high pressure to our west and low pressure to our east will result in a steady breeze through the weekend, so it will feel chilly.


Temperatures will likely remain steady through at least Tuesday. These clear skies over most of New England will allow overnight low temperatures to become seasonably chilly, so while the afternoons will be seasonable, the mornings will be cold.



With high pressure in control of New England's weather, it will lead to much sunnier weather for all of New England. Saturday will likely be partly cloudy, but Sunday onward is more likely to be mostly sunny. The one exception will be Cape Cod and the South Shore, where more clouds and some ocean-enhanced snow showers will be possible.


As mentioned previously, this setup will keep large-scale storms out of New England. The southern jet will be very active this weekend into the upcoming week. This will direct a storm system over the Gulf states before exiting into the Atlantic early next week.


With the blocking pattern set up where it is, this storm system will not be able to ride up the coast, but instead get shunted well south and out to sea. Some ocean-enhanced snow showers may make it into the southern New England coast, but this would be light and scattered.




Heading toward the middle to end of next week, the blocking pattern will likely begin to break down as it slides east. This might allow for a warm-up by the end of next week. We write "might" because models tend to have much difficulty figuring out what blocking patterns will do, especially when looking out 5+ days. This block is no different.


500mb height forecast for Thursday showing the block breaking down as the ridge slides east:


Models have been flip-flopping on just how much warmth will spread into by mid to late next week. The question is whether the air mass will moderate or stay warm as it shifts east. Models have trended warmer, but this will likely change once again over the next couple days. Either way, there currently isn't much room for any truly winter-like cold to get into New England.



The breakdown of the block will also re-open a path for large-scale systems to move through New England once again. This can be seen as early indications show a storm system trekking across the northern United States late next week. This system would likely arrive in New England on Friday (February 9) or Saturday (February 10).


Weather map for Friday morning (February 9):


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