Articles by Vince Agard
December 9, 2014
Another nor’easter is poised to strike the Eastern Seaboard today, bringing high winds and a mix of wintry precipitation to the Institute. The storm, which as of Monday night was beginning to form off the coast of the Carolinas, will quickly intensify as it moves up the coast this afternoon, with the center of the storm forecast to move onshore over New England overnight tonight. While nor’easters often mean big snowstorms for the Boston area, the track of this particular storm, combined with its insufficient access to early-season Arctic air, will turn it into a mostly-rain event for most of our region. While today may start out with a mix of rain, snow, and sleet, the precipitation will change over to all rain as the day progresses and the temperature climbs into the 40s (°F). Rain and wind will become heavy at times this afternoon as the storm strengthens and moves toward shore. In fact, total liquid precipitation from the storm may be in excess of 2 inches. As such, the National Weather Service had issued a Wind Advisory, Flood Watch, and Coastal Flood Advisory for the Boston area as of this writing.
November 25, 2014
Those waking up to temperatures hovering around 60°F (16°C) this morning might be hard pressed to believe that the Institute is in for a bout of wintry weather tomorrow afternoon. It’s true, however: Temperatures are as many as 20°F (11 K) colder behind a frontal boundary that will pass over New England today. This dramatic drop in temperatures will set the stage for a Nor’easter to bring gusty winds and wintry precipitation to the Eastern Seaboard tomorrow.
October 28, 2014
Even though November is just around the corner, the Institute will experience temperatures more typical of mid-to-late September in the next couple of days. As a cold front approaches from the west, a high pressure system will remain situated to our southeast, leading to mostly sunny skies and warm-air advection. Until the front reaches eastern New England, winds will be from the south and southwest, allowing temperatures to rocket into the high 60s and low 70s (°F) this afternoon and tomorrow. The cold front will pass through tomorrow evening, bringing the possibility of rain showers as it returns temperatures to more seasonally-appropriate levels.
October 14, 2014
The storm system that spawned severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes over the Mississippi River Valley yesterday will arrive in New England later this week, bringing the potential for heavy rainfall to the Institute on Thursday and Thursday night. Until then, the Boston area will be wedged between an offshore high pressure system and the approaching cold front. This setup will result in considerable pre-frontal warming, with temperatures expected to exceed 70°F (21°C) on each remaining day this week, whereas normal highs for this time of year are around 62°F (17°C).
September 30, 2014
As September ends, the weather patterns in New England are undergoing a transition from a summer-like pattern, in which forecasts are dominated by sunshine and sea breezes punctuated by occasional showers, to a more fall-like pattern, in which temperatures and precipitation begin to fluctuate more wildly with the comings and goings of frontal systems. October also signals a general cool-down: While temperatures in Boston reached 87°F (31°C) this past Sunday, normal high temperatures will dip down to the mid-50s °F by the end of the month.
September 23, 2014
Sunshine and light winds are expected to continue this week as strong high pressure is poised to dominate the northeastern United States. A broad high pressure system currently centered over the Ohio Valley will merge today with a secondary high currently located over eastern Canada. The combined high will move over New England tomorrow, bringing clear skies and calm winds to the region. Light southwesterly flow may prevent a sea breeze from developing this afternoon, keeping temperatures a few degrees warmer than they will be tomorrow. A coastal storm will have a chance of glancing the Massachusetts coastline on Thursday, but current indications do not appear favorable for the storm to make it this far north.
September 19, 2014
The last weekend of astronomical summer will be a pleasant one, as a high pressure system moves into place over the northeastern United States. Today will be a bit chillier than normal, as a sea breeze develops in the afternoon, bringing cooler air from over Massachusetts Bay, where sea surface temperatures are currently around 60°F (16°C). Tonight will be especially chilly, as clear skies and calm winds allow the land surface to efficiently radiate heat away, bringing temperatures down to the middle 40s (°F) early tomorrow morning. However, winds will shift to be from the south tomorrow as the high pressure begins to lift and a cold front approaches from the west. These southerly winds will bring warmer air up to New England, raising the temperature to near 70°F (21°C) tomorrow, and several degrees higher than that on Sunday. Expect a chance of showers on Sunday night, and temperatures returning to the 60s (°F) in its wake at the beginning of next week.
September 9, 2014
The beginning of September has seen abnormally scorching temperatures at the Institute this year. Three days above 90°F (32°C) have contributed to September being the warmest month of the year so far in Boston. However, the cold front that sent a series of severe thunderstorms over Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon also ushered in a regime of more seasonable weather, and the observed high and low temperatures on each of the last two days have each been within 4°F of their climatological normals.
September 5, 2014
Although Labor Day has come and gone and the fall semester has begun, summer is still in full swing at the Institute. This past Tuesday’s high temperature of 93°F (34°C) was the hottest temperature of the year so far in Boston. Strengthening offshore flow in advance of an approaching cold front will cause temperatures to flirt with the 90-degree mark once again today and tomorrow. The best chance for heat will come tomorrow afternoon, right before the cold front passes through. As the front arrives, expect thunderstorms to develop and move across New England tomorrow afternoon and evening. There is a chance that some of these storms could produce hail and/or damaging winds.
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September 2, 2014
A series of above-normal temperatures is expected this week, as summer-like weather rolls on into September. Warm temperatures will be encouraged today by a southerly breeze ahead of a cold front currently approaching from our west. These winds will bring warmer air up from the south, although slightly cooler ocean temperatures will prevent the mercury from climbing too high this afternoon. The aforementioned cold front will pass through overnight, bringing with it a band of showers and thunderstorms. After the frontal passage, skies will clear, and winds will shift to be from the north and west. This offshore flow will allow the temperature to climb once again tomorrow, with highs reaching the mid-80s (°F).