Near Record Warmth Possible Thursday

A sequence of storm systems moving through the Great Lakes will escort rounds of seasonably warm temperatures into the Northeast.  Temperatures Wednesday-Saturday will rise well above normal.  This round of above average temperatures comes to a close this weekend when a strong cold front brings heavy rain to the region.

General Overview/Short Term Forecast
The warmth is centered in the Plains and Midwest today.  Record highs are forecast to be tied or broken in Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Minneapolis, Denver, and Omaha, to name a few.
NWS Max temps Tuesday. Circled values are forecast to tie or break daily record (image Weatherbell)
Look at the huge difference the snowpack makes.  Temperatures are in the mid 70's in South Dakota while just over the border in North Dakota temps remain in the 30's and 40's,
National Snow Analysis, Snow Depth 2-21-2017 (NOAA)
Meanwhile in the Northeast high pressure remains in control.  An advancing warm front will bring some showers tonight and the leading edge of the mild air.  Temperatures today will rise into the mid 40's further helping to reduce the snowpack in Southern New England.  I think this is critical to approaching record highs on Thursday, as we see in the Midwest today.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Tuesday 7 PM
Some freezing rain is possible in the higher elevations of Worcester and Franklin Counties tonight.  I will still keep an eye on temp trends this evening in case it gets slick in the lower elevations as well.  Forecast minimum temperatures are close to freezing even in the Blackstone Valley.
NWS Minimum temps Tuesday PM into Wednesday AM (image Weatherbell)
The precipitation threat is between midnight and 4 AM.
13z HRRR sim radar Wednesday 2 AM (image Weatherbell)
The cold front will fall apart as runs into the influence of the Atlantic high.  As a result morning clouds will thin and depending on how much sun we get, temperatures will rise into the mid to upper 50's.
NWS Max temps Wednesday (image Weatherbell)
Wednesday PM-Saturday PM
Although I am confident Wednesday's records are safe in SNE, here are the record high temperatures for the next 4 days (starting tomorrow).

Here is the projected surface analysis for 7 AM Thursday.  Note the developing snow storm in Wyoming and Nebraska.  Today's max temps in Nebraska are the mid to upper 70's!  That's the beauty of the weather on the open plains.  It can go from 75 and sunny to 20 and blizzard in 12-24 hours.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Thursday 7 AM
This storm will head towards the Great Lakes.  This means the flow in the Northeast is from the Southwest and our air is warm and moist, especially this time of year.   The moisture hanging around the northeast is a concern for forecasting record temperatures on Thursday.  Low-level clouds may keep temperatures in the upper 50's/low 60's.  Worcester and Providence have a shot at the 60 and 61.  Boston and Hartford should be safe.
NWS Max temp forecast Thursday with forecast record max circled (image Weatherbell)
Some 25-30 mph wind gusts are possible on Thursday, especially near the South Coast.  It sure looks glorious in the Mid-Atlantic.  Now on Friday, a backdoor frontal boundary may settle across New England.  That would keep temperatures in the 50's with a chance of showers.  It is possible it will be 48 in Gloucester but 65 in Hartford.  The front will lift back through Southern New England as a warm front late Friday.  If that happens early look at the warmth lurking in the Ohio Valley.
NWS max temperature forecast, max temp records forecast to be tied./broken circled (image Weatherbell)
February 24 has the monthly temperature record at each climate site so it will be hard to set any records on Friday.   We get into the 60's again Saturday as the front swings through in the afternoon/early evening.  Rain is likely Saturday AM ahead of the front as tropical air surges north.  0.5 to 1" of rain by midnight and then the system is long gone and seasonable weather remains.

I'll be evaluating the temperature trends for Friday.

-Zack Green


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