Articles by Allison A. Wing
February 24, 2012
The weather these past two days given us a taste of spring. The high temperatures yesterday and Wednesday were 15°F and 17°F above the normal 40°F, respectively. That warmth, however, will not last, as temperatures will struggle to reach 40°F tomorrow in association with a shortwave moving through. While this shortwave is expected to bring several inches of snow to areas of central and western Massachusetts and New Hampshire, here in Cambridge we are primarily expected to receive rain. The rain should begin to taper off in the afternoon, ending by 8 p.m. or so. Following the passage of this system, high pressure will build into the region, keeping the weekend dry with seasonable temperatures. However, tomorrow could be quite breezy following the departure of the low pressure, so it could feel a bit colder than the forecasted high of 43°F.
February 14, 2012
With the exception of a few cold spurts (like this past Sunday), this winter has been marked by a general trend of above average temperatures. This weather will continue this week, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 40s (8°C); 10°F (-12°C) above normal. It has also been a dry winter, with only 2.74&quot; of precipitation occurring since Jan. 1, compared to a climatological value of 4.67&quot;. The first two weeks of February have also been unusually dry, with only 0.07&quot; of precipitation compared to a usual month-to-date value of 1.31&quot;. Not only has this winter featured a lack of precipitation — Boston has had a lack of snowfall in particular. Since Dec. 1, Boston has recorded 6.8&quot; of snow, far less than the climatological value of 26.5&quot; (and miniscule, compared with last season’s 71.2&quot;). Unfortunately for those hoping for snow, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards this week. There is a system coming through on Thursday and Friday that should bring measurable precipitation, but it looks to be only in the form of rain.
December 13, 2011
In last Friday’s weather discussion, Austin DiOrio noted that this November was the second-warmest November recorded at Logan Airport. This fits in with the fact that this autumn (September-October-November) broke the record for all-time warmest autumn, with an average temperature of 58.5°F. This is 4°F above normal, and above the previous record of 58.3°F set in 1931. December started out warm as well, with the high temperatures on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week a whopping 18°F, 17°F, and 15°F, respectively, above normal. The past few days however, have seen a return to more seasonable temperatures, a trend that will continue today and tomorrow before a brief excursion into the low 50s on Thursday. Looking further ahead, the weekend looks to be chilly with highs in the mid 30s — good weather for staying inside and studying for finals!
November 8, 2011
A high pressure system is in control for the first half of the week, bringing beautiful weather conditions to the Boston area. Similar to yesterday, today and tomorrow should be sunny with unseasonably warm temperatures. Normal high temperatures for this time of year are around 55°F, but we may experience temperatures over 10°F higher than that. Enjoy the nice weather while at lasts, because a coastal low will approach the region on Thursday. With plenty of moisture associated with that system, there is a potential for heavy rain Thursday afternoon and evening. The low will exit Friday morning, with clouds dissipating as a high pressure moves in from the southwest. The temperatures on Friday will be more seasonal, as northwest winds behind the exiting low advect colder air into the region.
October 25, 2011
This week, a fairly active weather pattern is in place, with a sequence of low-pressure systems marching across the country and bringing periods of bad weather to New England. The first was a mid-level shortwave trough that passed through last night. Tomorrow will be calm, but clouds will increase tomorrow night as a warm front pushes through ahead of the next system. There is uncertainty as to how much precipitation that system will bring, but there remains the possibility of rain showers on Wednesday. More certain is a cold front that will pass through on Thursday, which will cause high temperatures to struggle to reach 50°F. The timing is subject to change, but as of now it looks like Thursday afternoon and evening have the highest chance of rain. That low should move out in time for Friday to be sunny, but chilly.
October 4, 2011
A deepening low pressure moved up the coast toward our region last night, causing rainy conditions. As the low moves away throughout the day today, lingering rain showers are most likely this morning, before tapering off in the afternoon. As the low moves offshore tonight, skies will remain cloudy before yielding to partly cloudy skies tomorrow. The primary significant weather for tomorrow will be winds, as sustained winds out of the northwest of 15–20 mph are expected, with gusts up to 30 mph. Cold air advection associated with this strong northwest flow will usher in colder air for tomorrow and Thursday, with temperatures as low as the upper 30s possible tomorrow and Thursday nights. Compared with climatological low temperatures of around 50°F, this will quite a bit cooler. Overall, a high pressure system with abundant cold air aloft will keep the weather dry, sunny, and cool for the next few days before warming up again for the holiday weekend.
September 16, 2011
After experiencing warm temperatures most of this week, a cold frontal passage last night ushered in more fall-like weather. A high-pressure system will settle in to the region, bringing with it a much colder and drier air mass. While temperatures Monday through Thursday were 10°F above normal mid-60°Fs, temperatures this weekend could be as much as 10°F below normal. With clear skies and low wind speeds, the conditions tonight will be ideal for radiative cooling, allowing temperatures to drop into the mid 40°Fs.
August 30, 2011
After making landfall near Cape Lookout, NC on Saturday morning with sustained winds of 85 mph (gusting to 115 mph), Hurricane Irene moved up the coast, bringing heavy rain to much of New England throughout Saturday and Sunday. Irene made her final landfall as a tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 mph in Brooklyn, NY around 9 AM on Sunday, before quickly moving north through New England into Canada. Irene caused near record high tide levels of 9.5 feet at the Battery in NYC, as well as high storm surge on Long Island. In New England, the main impacts were power outages (over half a million people were without power in Massachusetts) due to trees toppled by the strong winds, and flooding due to heavy rain.
May 3, 2011
As reviewed in last Friday’s weather discussion, the tornado outbreak in the southern part of the country was a historic event. Yesterday, NOAA released a preliminary estimate on the total number of tornadoes associated with that storm. Between 8 a.m. April 25 and 8 a.m. April 28, there were 362 tornadoes. The bulk of those tornadoes (312) occurred between 8 a.m. April 27 to 8 a.m. April 28. This shattered the previous record for largest number of tornadoes in one event, which had been 148 from April 3–4, 1974.
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April 12, 2011
The weather gods cooperated with MIT this past weekend, providing sunny skies and warmth for CPW and the convocation celebrating MIT’s 150th anniversary. Temperatures over the weekend were 5–10°F above normal, while yesterday’s high of 72°F was only 6°F shy of the record high (78°F) and 18°F above the climatological value of 54°F. The weather the next few days will be a bit less pleasant, however. A cold front stalled to our south will cause cloudy skies and the chance of scattered rain showers for tomorrow. The real action will be late tonight and tomorrow, as a coastal low impacts our region.