The cold, wintry grip that swallowed New England at the start of the weekend has loosened its grip, but only for a short while. Already, a cold front has dropped into the area to cloud our Monday and put us on the precipice of another plunge into unseasonably cold, perhaps record-setting, air.
This front will do little to move the needle Monday. With highs nearing 50 south of the Merrimack River, you’ll notice very few signs that the air is about to get numbing.
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Heavy clouds will eventually lower and spit out patchy drizzle in the afternoon here in southern New England, while far to the north of Concord, New Hampshire, Brattleboro, Vermont and Sanford, Maine, snow will sweep in. A subtle wind shift to the north, then eventually northeast here in southern New England, will be the true signal that the cold pooling to the north will eventually spill this way.
However, even Monday night our defenses are up, with lows only in the 40s and a nearly flat wind.
Heavy Tuesday morning fog will turn to scattered showers as the cold air rushes in. Abrupt changes include a sudden switch in the wind a turn to snow across the Berkshires, the Worcester hills, and Metrowest, and a rapid drop in temperatures from early morning (west) to afternoon (east).
Any and all temps that reach for the 40s and 50s early will crash back to the 20s and 30s by the evening. Expect any standing water or leftover puddles to freeze solid into the evening and overnight as a true arctic airmass moves in. Patchy black ice may be an issue.
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This air is rarefied cold – rivaling the midwinter chill we normally see in January or February. Records are likely to fall into Wednesday morning as temps fall into the teens and possibly single digits in the coldest locations.
Wind chills on Wednesday will only "recover" to the low 20s by afternoon as many spots stay sub-freezing. It’ll take a couple of days, but warmer air mounts a comeback by the end of the week.
We have another blast of cold coming for Saturday of this week in the 10-day forecast, but if model trends have their way, a big shakeup in the pattern could finally deflect the deep cold shots and ease us back to seasonable levels into next week.