Friday 12.17.21

Good evening everyone! We are within 24 hours of the onset of our first notable snow of the season. Below is what you need to know!

Precipitation Type
This will be a very tough storm to predict the exact precipitation type. At this point, it looks like snow will change to a mix with sleet/rain or potentially pure rain, but the exact changeover time, the amount of mixing, and other variables are up in the air. As of now, though, it looks like the Lowell area will see at least some accumulating snow of note. This uncertainty is because a warm layer aloft will cross above southern New England, but only reach as far north as somewhere near the MA/NH border. Unfortunately for the Lowell area, this means a tougher forecast, as we will be right near the edge of significant mixing. Recent trends favor the mixing reaching into southern New Hampshire. There is at least an outside chance of some freezing rain, but the highest risk for freezing rain will be in central and western MA. 

Timing and Impact
Flurries are possible Saturday morning, but any snow of note will begin by midday Saturday. Precipitation will have the most impact on travel Saturday afternoon and evening, but won’t end completely until around sunrise Sunday. The good news is that given the long duration of the system, the precipitation won’t be overly heavy, though it will be enough to cause travel impacts (especially Saturday afternoon and evening when precipitation is likely to peak). Barring any impacts from freezing rain, the travel impact won’t be major, but it will make things quite slow nonetheless. Mixing with sleet may make roads especially slick. If you have to be out on the roads, make sure to take it slow and leave plenty of distance.

Amounts
There is some uncertainty here given the extent of mixing is still up in the air. That said, a general 2-5″ looks likely in the vicinity of the MA/NH border, including Dracut. Given recent trends that favor more mixing, I currently expect the lower half of the range to verify, but amounts will rapidly increase just to the north

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a widespread 5-8″ snow is likely for much of New Hampshire, Vermont, and western Maine. Further to our south, meanwhile, amounts will drop off quickly as mixing and rain become more dominant. Any snow in most locations will be heavy and wet (with the possible exception of far Northern New England).

I’ll likely have one final call tomorrow morning on this system. Changes are still possible, so stay tuned.

-Nathan

Thursday 12.16.21

Good evening everyone! It looks like we have our first notable snow event of the season on the horizon. Below is what you need to know!

Precipitation Type
This will be a very tough storm to predict the exact precipitation type. At this point, it looks like snow will most likely eventually change to a mix with sleet/rain or potentially pure rain, but the exact changeover time, the amount of mixing, and other variables are up in the air — and a mostly-snow solution is also possible, as is a solution with very little snow. As of now, though, it looks like the Lowell area will see at least some accumulating snow of note. This uncertainty is because a warm layer aloft will cross above southern New England, but only reach as far north as somewhere near the MA/NH border. Unfortunately for the Lowell area, this means a tougher forecast, as we will be right near the edge of significant mixing. There is at least an outside chance of some freezing rain, but the highest risk for freezing rain will be in central and western MA. 

Timing and Impact
Snow will begin by mid- to late-morning Saturday. Precipitation will have the most impact on travel Saturday afternoon and evening, but won’t end completely until around sunrise Sunday. The good news is that given the long duration of the system, the precipitation won’t be overly heavy, though it will be enough to cause travel impacts (especially Saturday afternoon and evening when precipitation is likely to peak).

Barring any impacts from freezing rain, the travel impact won’t be major, but it will make things quite slow nonetheless. If you have to be out on the roads, make sure to take it slow and leave plenty of distance.

Amounts
There is some uncertainty here given the extent of mixing is still up in the air. That said, a general 2-5″ looks likely in the vicinity of the MA/NH border, including Dracut. It’s a fair question as to whether we will be on the lower or higher end of the range; it’s too early to sort that out. To the south, expect a quick drop-off to little/no snow as mostly rain is likely south of the Mass Pike as well as along much of the coastal plain. Especially locally, amounts could decrease dramatically with only a slight change in the track of the system.

To our north, a widespread 5-8″ snow is likely for much of New Hampshire, Vermont, and western Maine. The snow in most locations will be heavy and wet; however, if you are headed up to far northern New England (north of Concord, NH), the snow will be a bit fluffier up that way. (The amounts will be similar though, because the fluff factor to the north compensates for lower liquid equivalents).

Another update will be posted by tomorrow evening. The situation will continue to evolve, so stay tuned!

-Nathan

Monday 10/25/21

Good morning! We’ve got a garbage weather week ahead by most standards, with lots of rain and periods of gusty winds.

Expect rain throughout this morning, giving way to cloudy skies; the high will be around 50, with a northeast wind at 5-10 mph. Tonight will be cloudy and 46, with rain after midnight, and a northeast wind of 5-10 mph, as an early-season Nor’Easter begins to affect the area.

Tuesday will be cloudy and 54, and Tuesday night will be cloudy and 47. Expect largely continuous rain throughout the timespan, and a northeast wind of 10-20 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph possible. Expect somewhere between 2″ and 4″ of rain by Wednesday morning (with a slight chance we could exceed 4″); as a result, flooding issues are a strong possibility Tuesday into Wednesday. Remember to avoid flooded roadways – turn around, don’t drown! Additionally, given the strong wind gusts, some minor wind damage and scattered power outages are possible. The risk is a little higher than normal for a wind event like this, given most trees are still fully leaved; however, the highest chance for power outages and wind damage will be to our south and east, where gusts over 50 mph are likely.

weather 2021-10-25.001

The steady rain wraps up Wednesday morning, with cloudy skies in its wake. A few showers are possible Wednesday afternoon and evening as well, with a high around 53. Clouds will decrease Wednesday night, with a low around 41. Thursday is hands-down the pick of the week, with a high around 55 and mostly sunny skies. Thursday night will have increasing clouds, with a low around 39. Friday will be mostly cloudy and 53, with a chance of rain in the evening with a system that doesn’t look too intense, but will be enough to likely make the whole weekend crappy.

Hey, it could be worse. October 29th (Friday) and October 30th (Saturday) have been littered with numerous high-end New England weather events in recent history. The 1991 Perfect Storm, the 2011 Snowtober storm, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and a wind and rain event in 2017 (that knocked power out for 80% of Dracut electric customers) all impacted our area on October 29 and/or October 30. We also saw an early-season snow event on October 30 last year that wasn’t particularly impactful, but impressive by October standards with a widespread 4″+ of snow. It appears this weekend will not be like any of those systems.

weather 2021-10-25.002

Have a great day!
-Nathan

Wednesday 9.29.21

Good morning!

With mostly sunny skies, expect a high around 64 today, with a north-northwest wind at 5-10 mph; gusts up to 20 mph are possible. Tonight will have increasing clouds, with a low around 45, and a northwest wind around 5 mph.

Thursday will be partly cloudy and 61, with a slight chance of showers around midday, and a northwest wind of 5-10 mph. Thursday night will be mostly clear, with a low around 41, and a light northwest wind.

weather 2021-09-29.001

Friday will be mostly sunny and 64; Friday night will be mostly clear and 42. Saturday will be mostly sunny and 65; Saturday night will have increasing clouds, with a low around 49. Sunday will feature mostly cloudy skies, with a high around 65 and a chance of showers.

weather 2021-09-29.002

Have a great day!
-Nathan

Monday 9.13.21

Good morning!

With mostly sunny skies, expect a high around 78 today, with a west-northwest wind of 5-10 mph. Tonight will be mostly clear and 52, with a light north wind. Tuesday will be mostly sunny and 74, with a light wind – initially coming from the north, but shifting to the south throughout the day. Tuesday night will feature increasing clouds, with a low around 62, a chance of a scattered shower late, and a south wind around 5 mph.

weather 2021-09-13.001

Wednesday will be partly sunny and 83, with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Showers are possible Wednesday night, with a low around 64. Thursday will be mostly cloudy and 71, with a chance of showers. The shower threat continues into Thursday night, with a low around 60. Showers are likely Friday, with a high around 72.

weather 2021-09-13.002

Have a great day!
-Nathan

Tuesday 9.7.21

Good morning!

With sunny skies, expect a high around 79 today, with a west wind of 5-10 mph. Tonight will be clear and 57, with a light southwest wind.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny and 83, with a south wind of 5-15 mph. Wednesday night will have skies turning cloudy, with rain likely late, a low around 66, and a southwest wind of 5-15 mph.

weather 2021-09-07.001

Going into Thursday, rain is likely for much of the day, with a high around 74; embedded thunder is also possible. Showers are possible early Thursday night, giving way to clearing skies with a low around 56. Friday will be sunny and 73, Friday night will be clear and 53, and Saturday will be sunny and 75.

weather 2021-09-07.002

Have a nice day!
-Nathan

 

Wednesday 9/1/21 – Significant Flooding Possible Tonight

Good morning! For those of you visiting my site from the UML Weather Center social media pages (due to the continued outage of the Weather Center site), welcome back to campus, Riverhawks!!! I’m Nathan Coram, co-President of the AMS student chapter and a senior in the meteorology program. This is my local forecasting site I’ve been using for 6 years now (to the day, actually!), and I’ve used this a few times as a stand-in for the Weather Center blog and forecast site this summer. That site was knocked down by the IT outage in June, and is just passing its final security checks in the coming days. The site will then be brought back online for the public to use.

With mainly cloudy skies, expect a high around 72 for today, with a mainly calm wind. The remnants of Hurricane Ida will deliver a significant impact to our area this evening into tomorrow morning. Far and away, the main impact will be heavy rain. Rain begins this evening, which could cause some issues for the evening commute. The heaviest rain will be overnight tonight into the morning commute tomorrow, before winding down.

Expect 2 to 5 inches of rain, with a newly increased likelihood of reaching the higher end of that range as forecast trends bring heavier rain further north. Some locations in Southern New England will likely see 5-8″ of rain, but the best chance of that is south of the Mass Pike. Flooding impacts are likely tonight and tomorrow morning; there is a possibility of a major impact for the morning commute tomorrow. Given the high amount of rain in a relatively short amount of time (combined with the overall rainy stretch we have been in), expect smaller bodies of water to rise fast. Urban area, poor-drainage area, and small stream flooding could be very serious. The possibility exists for flooding in some smaller rivers as well. Some basements may even flood, so have a plan to handle water in the basement. The highest risk of serious impacts remains south of the Mass Pike; however, the risk of a serious impact covers all of Southern New England and potentially the southern tier of Northern New England. Overall, this could be a very serious flooding event, so be prepared NOW for possible disruptions!

Gusty winds are also a possibility tonight and tomorrow, with gusts up to 35 mph possible. While this won’t be the main issue, some pockets of wind damage are possible. Expect a low around 58 tonight, and a high around 68 tomorrow. Sustained winds will be out of the northeast at 5-15 mph, shifting to the north and eventually northwest at 10-20 mph. Skies clear out in the afternoon Thursday as Ida’s remnants move away. Expect mostly clear skies Thursday night, with a low around 54, and a northwest wind of 5-10 mph.

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Going forward, expect a nearly perfect start to Labor Day weekend. Expect a high around 69 with mostly sunny skies Friday. Friday night will be mostly clear and 53; Saturday will be mostly sunny and 76; and Saturday night will be partly cloudy. Sunday will also be a very good day, but there is a slight chance of an afternoon shower; expect a high around 75 with partly sunny skies. Showers are possible Monday as an upper-level low may cross the area, though it’s early and still outside the scope of the 5-day forecast, so Monday may still be salvageable – stay tuned.

weather 2021-09-01.002

Have a good day!
-Nathan

Tropical Storm Henri – 8 AM Saturday 8.21.21 Update

Good morning! Tropical Storm Henri is headed right for the south coast of New England, although it will weaken very rapidly as it makes landfall, which will lead to limited impacts outside of far southern New England and southeast New York. Trends yesterday brought the landfall area all the way to western Long Island with a second landfall in southwest Connecticut. The NHC forecast as of 8 am (below) reflects an idea similar to this, although overnight guidance actually brought the track to the east, with a landfall over southeast Connecticut or Rhode Island now being more likely.

weather 2021-08-21.003
In any event, barring a dramatic shift in the landfall toward Cape Cod, we should remain east of the track, which leaves the Lowell/Dracut area (and surrounding areas of northeast MA and southern NH) out of the heaviest rainfall. Right now, it looks like a half-inch to 1.5 inches of rain is likely here, mostly Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning. Well to the west, over 4″ of rain is possible in portions of western CT, western MA, and southeast NY. However, given the amount of rain we have had recently, minor flooding issues are still possible. Always remember to avoid flooded roads. In the event there is a bigger track shift to the east, that could put us in play for 2″ or more of rain and I’ll have an update if that becomes more likely.

As for wind, the strongest winds will also stay away from our area. Tropical storm force sustained winds are likely for a portion of the CT/RI coasts, Long Island, and potentially southeast MA for a period of time Sunday evening. The system will dramatically weaken as soon as it makes landfall, so in our region, expect winds of 10-20 mph, with a period of gusts of 30-40 mph, Sunday afternoon and evening. While it won’t be a major issue locally, minor damage is possible. This shouldn’t be affected too much by any track shifts, as the storm would have to retain some strength as it approaches the Mass Pike and beyond for us to truly get into some stronger winds. It looks like that is not going to happen, as the storm looks to weaken dramatically upon landfall.

I will have an update this afternoon if changes to the forecast warrant. Have a good day!

-Nathan

Thursday 7.8.21: T.S. Elsa Evening Update

Good evening everyone, and welcome to readers coming from the UML Weather Center! The Weather Center site (which I often post to as a UML meteorology student) is down, so I’m sharing this post to the UML social media pages.

We are about to see some impact from Tropical Storm Elsa as it makes its way up the East Coast. Ahead of the storm, some showers (with embedded thunder also possible) are likely in the area this evening. On-and-off showers and thunderstorms are likely, before the main batch of rain moves into the area around sunrise tomorrow. Steady and heavy rain is likely after 5 am tomorrow, continuing for much of the day before ending by the early evening. Embedded thunderstorms are also possible.

Expect 2-4″ of rain over the next 24 hours or so. This may lead to flash flooding issues, especially in poor-drainage areas. The risk for flooding is exacerbated by the amount of rain we have had in the last week or so. Remember to never drive your vehicle into areas where water covers the road – turn around, don’t drown! Remember to move any sensitive belongings from your basements or ground floor, as the risk of flooded basements is prominent.

Rain is the primary hazard with Elsa, with wind being a potential secondary hazard. Significant wind is not expected, but with wind gusts likely peaking at 30-35 mph, some minor damage and isolated power outages are possible. Isolated tornadoes are possible in eastern and southern New England tomorrow morning and early afternoon, so keep a close eye on the weather and have a way to get warnings.

Any impacts should be ending by the evening tomorrow, as Elsa pulls away from the region.

I will have an update later tonight if necessary.
-Nathan

Thursday 7.1.21

Good morning!

Our heat wave has come to a crashing end, but expect very humid conditions to remain for a day or so. With skies turning cloudy today, along with rain likely in the afternoon (and especially the evening), expect a high around 79 today, with a west wind around 5-10 mph. Tonight will feature rain, with a low around 62, and a south wind around 5 mph, turning to the northeast at 5-10 mph.

We have a relatively unusual situation for this time of the year on our hands: a midnight high for Friday! The official high for tomorrow will probably be in the upper 60s to near 70 at midnight tonight, but for practical purposes, your daytime high will be around 62 at sunrise, with temperatures falling into the upper 50s by midday and then just staying there. Expect showers at times, with a northeast wind of 5-15 mph. Showers are likely Friday night, with a low around 54, and a northeast wind of 5-10 mph.

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While the weekend won’t be 100% junk like Memorial Day weekend was, the Fourth of July weekend won’t be that far off, as we will be experiencing essentially a very weak Nor’Easter. We will now be 0-for-2 in terms of weather on big summer holiday weekends. (What will Labor Day weekend bring us?) Saturday will be even worse than Friday in some regards: with a cold northeast wind off the Gulf of Maine, expect a high around 57 Saturday. Scattered showers will be around, but even though it likely won’t be a washout, it will be cold, damp, and cloudy throughout.

There is a continuing chance of showers Saturday night, with a low around 54. Conditions improve somewhat Sunday, as right now it looks like we’ll get to around 70 degrees with at least partial sunshine. There will still be lots of clouds and some showers, as the low pressure system inches its way out of our region, but this is still pretty terrible for the Fourth of July. We finally see real improvement Sunday night, as clouds decrease with a low around 55, and especially Monday, which will be mostly sunny and 82. The real saving grace here is that Monday is the official holiday for the Fourth of July, so many of you will have the day off. Expect highs to approach the 90-degree mark once again by Tuesday.

weather 2021-07-01.002

Have a great day!
-Nathan