We have been in a solid freeze for a week. But thaw number 3 for this winter is about to begin.The freeze ends as a warm front crosses New England Monday night.Here is what should happen with the warm front.
In my book, a thaw is a period of above freezing weather, with southerly winds and higher dew points, that lasts more the 24 hours in wintertime, here in New England.Thaw number one was January 10-15, with a max of 62 degrees in Boston on the 14th.Thaw number two was 19-20, with a max of 55 in Boston.Our thaw number three begins Tuesday morning Jan 29 (in southern New England) and ends Thursday. Looks like 50 to 60 hours.But it is amazing what a week of cold can do. Many of our brackish, and even some Salt water harbors and bays of iced up this week. If not for upcoming thaw #3, we would have seen images like this one over Nantucket from Super Bowl Sunday February 1 2004.
Passengers on the noon ferry & members of this Coast Guard Cutter missed watching The Patriots beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl this day.
Chet Curtis took Mr & Mrs Surfskiweatherman flying to Nantucket, one of our first dates.Thanks Chet!
Even though we are not matching 2004, and not even close to 1978, watching the ice build up has been fun and interesting.Here is an image of The Charles River Tuesday the 22nd. Open water, as were most bodies of water in southern New England.
Ice began to form Tuesday, here is the view Wednesday Jan 23
By Sunday January 27, The Charles River is totally ice covered in Boston and Cambridge.Here are some statistics on the recent cold snap.Boston's lowest high temperature was 17 Weds 23rd.Boston lowest temperature was 4 on the 24th.The coldest temperature in New England was -37 at Big Black River Maine Tues 22nd.Mount Washington cooled to -35 Weds the 23rd, missing the record of -43 set Jan 23 1976.The most snow fell on Martha's Vineyard, 6" from our no show Norlun Trough Monday Night into Tuesday Jan 21/22.A Storm (Alberta Clipper) that barley registered as it raced in 130 knot jet stream over Maryland Thursday exploded in intensity to 918 millibars (27.1") East of Greenland Friday night Jan 26.
Cape Cod has been the snow capital of the last week. Also the surf capital.This image from Morebeach.com cam in Eastham, Coast Guard Beach Saturday Jan 26, 1 pm
On the inside of Cape Cod Bay, Ice built up and blew into the inside of the elbow.These images are at Rock Harbor in Orleans from Thursday the 24th.
Peter Lavasco aka @CapeAnnGuy on twitter shares this photo from Gloucester MA Sunday January 27th.
It is most frustrating is that the snow storms keep missing New England.What is worse than biting cold and no snow??Here is a satellite photo of the storm that dropped snow in Virginia, and iced roads in Tennessee and South Carlina, as it raced offshore and exploded in intensity over the Gulf Stream on Saturday January 26th.At one point we thought this baby would end the snow drought in Boston.It was supposed to be near 'benchmark' (70 west, 40 north), it only missed by about 300 miles.
This storm prompted flood warnings for The United Kingdom, where this winter has been very snowy and cold. The storm pushed in with warmer air and rain.So far this winter it has snowed in Boston 17 days, with a grand total 7.5" for the season, the greatest single snowfall being 3.2" Jan 16th.At Blue Hill Observatory Mike Iacono reports .75 inches of H20 so far and is one of the driest January's on record, ahead of .89" in 1955.The temperature at Blue Hill is averaging more than 3 degrees above normal per day so far in January.This winter continues to be really warm and dry.At Lake Winnipesauke the ice thickened up this week, but Ice In has not been declared, as open water still exists.Quick Look Ahead..After our brief snow & ice Monday evening, we will be near 40 Tuesday.Then on Wednesday a system with South Pacific Moisture (the stuff it takes to make a big storm) will drive up through the Great Lakes. That's a warm path for New England. We will have gale to storm force wind from the south Wednesday with temperatures pushing 60. We may break a few high temperature records.Wednesday night we get wet, up to an inch of rain is possible with a thunder storm thrown in.New Cold arrives Thursday.The source of the cold is more extreme than last time. But this cold is not aimed directly at New England.The next chance of snow is with an energized clipper the day after Groundhog Day, Sunday Feb 3.We will have to wait until the week of Feb 4-10 for the southern pacific moisture to get back on the playing field for a shot at 'The Big One' which has been known to happen that time of the year in New England. Especially when we see extreme cold on our side of the world.
A cold air mass shown here Sunday January 27th, colder than the last outbreak when it came through Canada, arrives in the lower 48 Wednesday January 30th. Then rapidly spread south and east to the Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Seaboard.Winter is far from over.