The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 33.0°F | Overcast

Weather: A Gem of a Storm

Weather

A Gem of a Storm

By Gerard Roe
staff meteorologist

The rather sluggish winds over the past couple of days have kept the same air mass over Boston. The resulting haze leaves the sky looking none too pretty. Tightening pressure gradients should flush out this air in the next few days. A cyclone to our north will bring with it a warm front followed closely by a cold front today. Some clouds are likely with each, with some clearing in between. For Tuesday at least, the lifting will not be strong enough to squeeze any rain out of the relatively dry atmosphere. By Wednesday morning, however, moisture streaming up from the south will be in place for a second, smaller cyclone approaching from the west. Rain is most likely off in the Berkshires, but a sprinkle is possible over Boston. Clouds will hang around into Thursday morning.

Hurricane Opal is a major concern in the Gulf of Mexico. As of Monday night it is sitting 600 miles due south of Louisiana and moving very slowly northward. It has been developing the features of a mature hurricane. While it continues to sit over warm waters with either weak or no shearing winds, strengthening is expected. Sustained winds may reach up to 105 mph (169 kph) with rainfall of perhaps a foot or more. Its slow progress means a tricky track forecast.

The National Hurricane Center expects to issue a hurricane watch for most of the gulf coast with landfall occurring around noon on Wednesday. Their best bet at the moment is that Opal will cross over to land somewhere on the Florida panhandle. In any event this potentially dangerous storm bears keeping a close eye.

Today: Scattered clouds. Winds from the west 5-10 mph (8-16 kph). High 70F (21C).

Tonight: Mostly cloudy keeping temperatures up. Chance of rain by morning. Low 58F (14C).

Wednesday: Cloudy with rain likely in the west and probably spreading to Boston. High 68F (20C). Low 55F (12 C).

Thursday: Some clearing. High 70F (21C). Low 52F (11C).