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New England Set to Enter Active Pattern

After our powerful nor'easter, New England has enjoyed, for the most part, quiet and seasonable weather. This week will begin in the same way, with mostly sunny skies and slightly above average temperatures. Once we get to Thursday, things start to change as a pattern flip occurs. Once this happens, New England will likely see multiple rounds of rain and snow. Here's a quick look at what to expect from this pattern:


A low pressure system will track just north of New England, with the center likely tracking near, or just north of, the Canadian border. This northerly track will allow mild temperatures to filter into New England on Thursday, keeping most of New England in the rain.

The exception will be northern Maine and the White Mountains. With colder air in place, Thursday could produce steady snow. With this being a day time storm in late-March, steady snow will be needed to accumulate a couple inches. It does look like snowfall rates will be just strong enough to eek out up to three inches.

Northern New England will likely see steadier rain while southern New England may only see scattered showers and overcast skies on Thursday. This system overall is rather weak and will not cause much of an impact. The dreary weather may persist into Friday. The National Weather Service of Gray, Maine states:

" The last few runs of the GFS suggest a wave of low pressure will ride along this boundary bringing high chances for rain and snow showers Friday with some support from members of the GEFS."

There remains model disagreement on whether or not rain will persist into Friday, but either way, Friday will remain cloudy and dreary regardless if there are drops falling or not.


I've been tracking this storm for a while but have not brought it up until now because models have been all over the place with it. At one point, it may have looked like another formidable nor'easter would be on the way, however, it's now looking like this storm will follow a trend that many of our storms have followed this winter.

That trend being that a primary low will track to our north with a secondary low forming along New England's south coast. The primary low to the north decays and transfers energy to the strengthening secondary low to the south. The secondary low then becomes the primary low.

A quick disclaimer about the map above. I created this for a storm earlier this winter, but it shows the general setup of this weekend. The big difference is that with it being late-March, the "cold air" locked in place will not be all that cold. It will be cool and below average. This will allow some wintry precipitation to mix in with rain in higher elevations of southern New England.

More widespread wintry precipitation is possible across northern New England. How much snow and sleet versus rain will be determined by the track of the coastal low and timing. Should the bulk of the precipitation come in overnight, it would allow for more potential accumulation. Also, the further north the storm tracks, the warmer the air will be in northern New England, leading to more rain and less wintry mix. Both the track and timing remain uncertain, so this forecast will have to remain very general until more information becomes available.

Here's a look at the setup shown in the graphic above on a real world weather model for this weekend's storm:


This active pattern will likely remain locked in as we progress beyond this week with possible disturbances (or full blown storms) currently eyeing Monday night (3/27) through Tuesday (3/28) and Wednesday night (3/29) through Thursday (3/30). These dates are where disturbances land at the moment, but this could change. The real moral of the story is that there will likely be precipitation chances every 24-36 hours. Welcome to spring showers.



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