Showing posts from May, 2016

Five Years Later- The Springfield, MA Tornado

Five years ago today a strong and borderline violent tornado tore through Western Massachusetts.  It was the strongest and deadliest storm to hit MA since 1995.  Portions of downtown Springfield were in ruins as were several towns further east.  Three people died and nearly 300 were injured.  The tornado caused around $160 million in damages.

Synoptic Set Up
A superb severe weather set up was present by 8 AM on June 1, 2011.  A strong surface cyclone in Ontario sent a warm front into surging into Northern New England.  In its wake a surge of warm tropical air with dew points into the 70's.   Meanwhile in the wake of the cyclone very dry air was dropping into the Midwest.    Surface winds were out of the south but at 14-18K ft they were more westerly creating strong wind shear.

The Storm Prediction Center recognized the threat and had most of New England in a severe weather risk area.
Already by 9 AM an initial wave of severe thunderstorms erupted in South Central/Eastern MA & …

Quiet Weather This Week

Mostly dry and seasonable conditions are in store for Southern New England this week.  Memorial Day is traditionally the unofficial start of summer.  June 1 is the start of meteorological summer.  Temperature will not be as warm this week as they were the end of last week but they will be in the mid 70's.  Once again the coastal areas will be cooler than the interior. 
Short Term A stalled boundary across SE MA and RI is dividing line between dew points in the 50's and dew points in the 60's Temperatures everywhere are in the low 80's That second cold front along the Great Lakes and into Quebec/Ontario will move through overnight and it will be dry.  Temperatures drop into the 50's.  
Wednesday-Thursday A cooler air mass accompanies the cold front tonight.  Winds will also shift to the east keeping temperatures in the 60's near the coast, 70's in Metrowest/Central MA and low 80's in the Connecticut River Valley. High pressure in the Canadian Maritime will…

Second Look- Memorial Day Weekend

I get the feeling a lot of people called out of work today judging by the boat traffic on Webster Lake.  If you didn't don't worry the long weekend looks warm and mostly dry through Sunday evening.  There will be isolated showers and thunderstorms each day but these will last only an hour or two.  Guidance has continually over-forecast showers/thunderstorms each day this week so let's hope that continues.   Monday is a different story.  I am fearing a wash out.

Short Term Outlook
Showers and thunderstorms are popping up in the Northeast including Southern New England.  These are quickly raining themselves out.  There isn't much to move these showers so they could sit for awhile. A few stronger storms exist in upstate New York
Taking a closer look at Southern New England
This will continue this evening.  The visible satellite shows less clouds today across SNE
Now looking at the temperatures the coast continues to suffer from the sea breeze.  It is much warmer inland.  L…

Thursday May 26, 2016 Weather Briefing

I've talked about the Memorial Day weekend several times already so I won't beat a dead horse.  I will update it tomorrow but I like my forecast.  I remain concerned about where exactly rain will set up on Sunday afternoon.  My advice to anyone who lives in Worcester County to the the coast to have a back up plan in case it rains.  This includes Rhode Island.  For more info on the week please watch the video below or see this post.

Short Term Outlook
Some cumulus clouds have developed in Central and Western New England
As of 4 PM a few sprinkles were present in Southern New England but no organized showers or storms.
Guidance suggests some showers/thunder may move across Vermont and New Hampshire this evening.  Some of this activity could reach northern Worcester County.  I think we are good south of the Pike.  Now so far temperatures have behaved exactly as I expected for everywhere but Boston.  Winds are out of the east still and the temperature as of 4 PM is 69.  ZG Weather …

First Look- Memorial Day Weekend

The unofficial start of summer is Memorial Day weekend and for once Mother Nature agrees.  Although temperatures will back off from the mid to upper 80's on for Sunday/Monday it will still be warm.  There will be isolated afternoon showers/thunderstorms on Friday but I am hopeful that most of the action on Saturday is to our west.  On Sunday a front from our east will touch off isolated showers before moving back east on Monday.

General Overview
High pressure is now in control as yesterday's low pressure system departs.
Our wind direction hasn't completely flipped to the west yet so temperatures are in the low 70's in some places.  But even I was write this and look at the local weather station network I notice a lot of stations are rising rapidly.  Local high resolution guidance is forecasting upper 80's for most this afternoon.  Look how awesome it captures the sea breeze effect.
So why does the sea breeze have such a profound effect on the coast?  The answer lie…

Rain with Isolated Thunder This AM

Some of you may have awoken to a few rumbles of thunder this AM (I know I did).  Bands of showers and thunderstorms are wrapping around a surface low south of New England.  The first band is lifting through the Blackstone Valley now (as of 445 AM).  This band extends to Boston and Springfield as well.  I expect another band around 8 AM.  Here is the radar loop this morning
The counter clockwise motion of the low shows up nicely on radar.  Here is the zoomed in surface chart
Here is the radar as of 8 AM.  I feel this could be overdone in Eastern MA but keep the umbrella handy and give yourself an extra 15 minutes if you are commuting this morning.
The rain shifts to Western MA and Northern CT this afternoon.  We should stay dry in Central and Eastern MA/RI.  Northeast winds keep temperatures around 60-65.  Winds begin to shift this afternoon and temperatures will rise overnight.

I have some changes to my weekend forecast that I will discuss in my next post.

-Zack Green