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Calm before the ice storm?

Mild air precedes possible weekend shellacking

Dave Hayes maintains a daily blog on Facebook (facebook.com/WesternMassWeather), where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 28,000 followers informed and educated about the weather.

Good day to you, fellow humans being, that was a prolific and historic cold snap we just endured!

Thankfully, we have gotten out from underneath the Siberian Thumb (a term I just invented), and are enjoying seasonable to above-seasonable conditions for at least the end of this week.

We’ve got a bout of light freezing rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning, very mild and rainy conditions Thursday night into Friday night, a potential ice storm Saturday and Saturday night, and colder conditions into early next week, so let’s jump into the details!

For Wednesday, high pressure will slowly move to our east, giving us a sunnier start and a cloudier finish as a warm front approaches. Highs will be in the low 30s. At night, light overrunning precipitation will cross the region, bringing a mix of rain and freezing-rain showers, so some icy spots are possible, especially in northern and western parts of the county. Lows should slip into the upper 20s for many.

For Thursday, we will start off with some light freezing-rain showers, which should change to rain before we enter a period of just overcast skies. Highs will crest in the low 40s for the first time in a long time! Enjoy the balminess!

By Thursday night, a storm system will be riding up along a frontal boundary and coincide with an upper jet stream that will aid in forcing air to rise, resulting in a widespread rainstorm with lows near 40 and highs near 50 degrees on Friday.

We’ll warm up because the storm will pass to our west. However, it will drag its cold front through so that by early Saturday morning, temperatures should be near 30 degrees and some freezing is possible.

In addition, a secondary low will ride up that cold front and possibly redevelop to our southeast, pulling much colder air in at the surface, while warmer air resides aloft.

This could be the setup for a dangerous ice storm Saturday into Saturday night before changing to a period of snow as it ends by Sunday morning. Stay tuned to The Commons Facebook page at facebook.com/commonsnews, and I will update you there. Highs on Saturday will be in the 30s, and highs on Sunday will be in the 20s.

By early next week, we cool right back down with highs in the teens and 20s, lows in the single digits, and a snowstorm possible by the middle of the week. Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #441 (Wednesday, January 10, 2018). This story appeared on page A4.

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