After a record-shattering month of December, the first burst of winter cold has hit the Institute. Ocean-effect snow showers on Monday were followed by Tuesday morning temperatures at Logan Airport plunging to 8°F (-13°C), while a steady northwesterly wind made it feel like -8°F (-22°C). Here on campus, the weather station on the roof of the Green Building recorded a low temperature of 6.9°F (-13.9°C). These temperatures were in stark contrast to the last month of 2015, in which the average high was 52°F (11°C), it was 69°F (21°C) on Christmas Eve, and the temperature only dipped below the freezing mark on four occasions. On average, the month of December was 10.6°F (5.9 K) warmer than average, and 4.3°F (2.4 K) warmer than the next-warmest December on record.
A relatively warm ocean surface will combine with an incoming warm front to bring temperatures back above normal for the next few days. After a high of 45°F (7°C) on Wednesday, highs will remain near the temperature of the nearby sea surface (in the low 40s °F) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday, a low pressure system will bring a warm front along with copious amounts of rain to the Boston area. Depending on the exact track of the storm, Boston could challenge its record high temperature for January 10, which is 56°F (13°C). A cold front on Sunday night will bring an end to rain, and a return to more seasonable temperatures for the beginning of next week.