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Boston Weather: 32.0°F | Fair

Weather: Missing: Winter (Last Seen a Year Ago)

By Greg Lawson
STAFF METEOROLOGIST -- As a news reporter put it, the only effect the Y2K bug has seemed to have had is on our thermometers. After several very anomalous days with temperatures in the 60s, including a record breaking 64°F (18°C) on Monday, we will now return to more seasonable weather. A healthy high pressure center has nestled into New England this morning and driven away the rain. Today will see mostly clear skies, gusty winds in excess of 20 mph, and a high temperature just shy of 40°F (4°C). Clear and cold will be the rule until late Thursday when the clouds return with an approaching low. This system should track to our north and precipitation will not be an issue. Skies should be back to partly cloudy with temperatures just above normal by Friday and through most of the weekend.

Given the large shielding high pressure center, we are on target to break the record for going the latest in the season without receiving any accumulating snow. Apparently, the existing record is January 6th and was set in the late 1800’s. Where has all the snow gone? With 1999 being the second warmest year on recent record (1998 being the warmest), one might wonder if global warming is to blame. Most experts are citing La Nina as the culprit rather than global warming. La Nina, the complementary phase to El Nino, has been in a rather strong regime of late. Its effects, while mainly described in a statistical nature, include shifting the typical tracks of east coast storms to the north. We’ve seen a lot of this so far with inland ski resorts receiving their share of snow while Boston has remained snow-free in the warmer, southeastern sector of most storms. Signs point to La Nina weakening, but there is still no guarantee when our snow drought will end.

Today: Brisk and mostly sunny. Gusty, northwesterly winds. High of 39°F (4°C).

Tonight: Clear and cold. Winds slowing. Low 20°F (-7°C).

Thursday: Cold with clouds returning late afternoon. High just above freezing. Low

in the upper 20s (-3 to -1°C).

Friday: Clearing to partly cloudy by the afternoon. High in mid-40s (6 to 8°C). Low

in the upper 20s (-3 to -1°C).

Weekend Outlook: More of the same. No major storms predicted.