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Snow, then another thaw for the weekend

Dave Hayes maintains a daily blog on Facebook (facebook.com/WesternMassWeather), where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 25,000 followers informed and educated about the weather.

Good day to you, fellow human beings. It’s not every publication day that the latest edition of The Commons is delivered amidst a plowable snowfall, but it is most assuredly so this Wednesday!

Please note that Winter Storm Warnings are posted for Windham County today (the same goes for Bennington County to the west, and Cheshire County to the east).

After our mid-week snowstorm, we will enjoy fair weather through the weekend with rain possible by early next week.

Rain after all this snow? Yes indeed, as we will enter a January thaw period that should extend at least into next week, and possibly through the end of January before Old Man Winter resets the table.

For Wednesday, however, we’ve got a coastal snowstorm to manage. Tuesday featured some periods of light snow from an old Clipper system that weakened as it approached Vermont from the west.

This storm and its frontal boundary transferred energy to the Virginia coastline and combined with the jet stream and warmer western Atlantic waters to produce a coastal storm that is now developing and tracking northeast towards Cape Cod and the Islands. This is producing moderate to heavy snow at times across the region.

Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of wind with this system, and temperatures are reasonable. We can expect 5-10 inches by the time the snow tapers off, which should be by early- to mid-afternoon. Expect highs in the upper 20s and lows in the teens under partly cloudy skies as the storm departs to the east.

For Thursday and Friday, high pressure will build into the region with highs in the mid 20s on Thursday and the upper 20s on Friday. Expect partly sunny skies both days. Lows on Thursday night will be in the teens, and either side of 20 degrees for Friday night.

A shortwave may bring a cloudier period and a few flurries Thursday night, but we should be mainly dry and seasonably cold during these two days.

For the weekend, we will see milder conditions develop. A ridge will form in the eastern U.S., with high pressure at the surface to our south and east. The clockwise flow around the high-pressure system will allow a southwesterly, warming flow to advect into southern Vermont.

Expect highs in the upper 30s on Saturday and the low 40s on Sunday. Lows will be in the upper 20s to low 30s both nights.

These mild temperatures will cause our fresh snowpack to melt substantially by the end of the weekend. Clouds will increase by Sunday night, and a period of rain is expected into Monday with highs again reaching the low 40s. Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #442 (Wednesday, January 17, 2018). This story appeared on page C2.

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