A touch of cold came in Thursday as the first of two arctic fronts crossed through New England. Squalls and snow showers heralded the arrival of the cold air.
Temps plummet Thursday night under this first wave of cold. Single digits and teens will be common across all of New England. Winds should ease and turn light from the southwest at night, so at least the wind chills won't be intolerable.
We'll save that for Saturday night.
With such cold air sweeping over relatively warm waters offshore, any snow showers Friday night will blossom into squalls and moderate snow with the help of a strengthening storm system off Nantucket. Most likely, Cape Cod will see the best chance for accumulation, but as this storm departs, it will have a backlash of snow that will set up across midcoast Maine. Look for the light, fluffy snow to accumulate between five and 10 inches in hyper-localized spots.
Numbing cold works in Saturday and establishes residence in the afternoon. After starting in teens Saturday, our temperatures will crumble to the single digits by evening. Winds will crank as the cold rushes in, producing wind chills from 15-30 below across all of New England! This is dangerously cold, and you need to protect any exposed skin. Ambient air temperatures will fall to levels we haven't seen in years. Generally, 5 below to as cold as 20 below across Northern New England. Now that's cold.
Thankfully, the winds will ease as we go through Sunday afternoon, and as the cold moves offshore, we should be able to recover to the single digits and LOW teens.
Low temperature records in Boston and Worcester for Sunday morning are -3 and -11 respectively. We have a chance to break both of them - or at least tie in Worcester. I'm forecasting Boston's low to be around -5 or -6, so that record is clearly in jeopardy. If highs go on to only make it around 10 on Sunday in Boston, it will be the coldest in 12 years in the city. WOW!
Since it's been a while, it's wise to go over some pointers in this brutal cold snap. Remember to check on the elderly and look out for your pets. Try to protect any vulnerable pipes that run along exterior walls. Dress in layers and try not to spend a lot of time in the cold. Be extra careful with electric space heaters, gas heaters and candles. Keep away any combustible materials and make sure gas heating appliances are properly vented. Cold snaps like these often cause preventable tragedies with the misuse of these types of secondary sources of heat. Stay warm AND safe!