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Boston Weather: 31.0°F | Light Snow

Weather

The Olympics Are Over

By Scott M. Stransky

If you happened to watch any of the Olympics on TV, you saw a wide range of weather conditions. Many days it was snowy in the Alps, yet there was little or no precipitation in the city of Torino. In fact, the average February precipitation in Torino is only about 2 inches, compared to over 3 inches in Boston. This is due to something we like to call an “orographic effect.”

As a storm system moves toward mountains, it has to rise into cooler air. When the air cools, its moisture begins to condense, forming clouds. When enough moisture has condensed, the clouds cannot hold it any longer and precipitation begins. By the time the system has progressed past the mountains, most, if not all, of the moisture has been precipitated out. Therefore, locations on the far side of the mountains (given the direction of the prevailing winds), such as Torino, are significantly drier than locations high in the mountains.

Closer to home, we can expect another chilly week (though not nearly as cold as the past few days), with a storm system threatening Boston on Thursday. The temperature will be right around freezing, so this weather event might include both rain and snow, but snow is more likely. Until then, enjoy the cold winter sun.

Extended Forecast

Today: Sunny. High 34 F(1 C)

Tonight: Mostly clear. Low 20 (-7 C)

Wednesday: Sun and clouds. High 36 F (2 C)

Wednesday Night: Light snow begins. Low 25 (-4 C)

Thursday: Snow and/or rain likely. High mid 30’s (1 C)

Thursday Night: Precipitation diminishing. Low mid 20’s (-4 C)

Friday: Some clouds. High mid 30’s (1 C)