The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 35.0°F | A Few Clouds

Weather: Snowy Saturday?

By Bill Ramstrom
STAFF METEOROLOGIST -- It looks like we have a good chance for a respectable snowstorm during the day on Saturday. A weak storm is developing today over the Midwest, and beginning to pull in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the models indicate that it will move eastward, and shift off the coast east of Virginia. From there, it will head northeastward, just off the New England coast. This is the classic pattern for Boston to receive plenty of snow. Storms that pass off to our east have two factors working to produce heavy snows here. There is a strong temperature gradient between the land and the Gulf Stream, which brings ocean water of 70F within a few hundred miles of Cape Cod, even in the dead of winter. This provides lots of energy for a storm to develop if it passes along the edge of the Gulf Stream. Then, due the the counterclockwise rotation of winds around storms in the Northern Hemisphere, winds in Boston blow from the northeast during these storms, keeping cold air from Canada in place, ensuring snow. These conditions have not lined up well yet this winter, but we have a good shot on Saturday.

For today, we will have a breather between yesterday’s blustery storm and Saturday’s winter weather. High clouds will overspread the sky during the day, perhaps with a halo around the sun. Temperatures will be cool, but the wind will be much lighter, so it will remain comfortable. Tonight, skies will cloud over, and some light snow is possible by sunrise on Saturday. The bulk of the storm will arrive in late afternoon, and could last into the late morning on Sunday. Right now, it looks there's a chance for all snow even here along the coast, but with the way this winter has been going, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see at least a period of sleet or rain.

By Sunday morning, we could see 5”-8” of snow on the ground, along with fairly strong winds. Skies will clear during the day on Sunday, though cold northwest winds will continue throughout the day.

Today: High clouds, cool. High 38°F (3°C).

Tonight: Clouding up. Chilly. Low 27°F (-3°C).

Saturday: Flurries morning, with steadier snow by late afternoon. High 33°F (1°C)

Saturday Night: Windy and snow. Chance of changeover to rain. Low near freezing, 32°F (0°C).

Sunday: Snow ends in the late morning, clearing and cool afternoon. Temperatures 29°F (-2°C).