BOSTON (CBS) – It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – or dreading – the first appearance of that four-letter winter word that arouses so much emotion.
What? Did you really think the weather would stay sunny and mild forever? This November was sure to be beautiful. This is the first time since 1976 that we start November with 11 dry days in a row! After the record rainfall this summer and early autumn, I can’t imagine anyone complaining.
But unfortunately all good things come to an end. And we typically do that with a bang here in New England.
First the rain on Friday.
Massachusetts sees a 3 to 6 hour window this afternoon of heavy rain, gusty winds, and even some embedded thunderstorms.
Approximate heavy rain windows:
Worcester: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Boston: noon to 6 p.m.
Cape and Southeast Coast: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
During the heaviest rain, there will be some south-southeast winds with gusts of 20 to 40 miles per hour, especially in southeast Massachusetts. Wind advice is available until 7:00 p.m. for all coastal areas in which peak gusts can reach up to 80 km / h.
Total rainfall should be about an inch for most, and maybe up to two centimeters in isolated areas. Not enough for widespread flooding, but some brief flooding in cities and streets is likely during the Friday afternoon and evening rains.
Next our first snowflakes.
Saturday is a pleasant day with highs around 60 and lots of sunshine. In the late afternoon the clouds return quickly and a fast moving low pressure area brings another round of rainfall on Saturday night. This lap starts out as rain if it arrives between 7pm and 9pm. Saturday.
However, temperatures will cool not only because of the darkness, but also from above. The air above the ground will be below freezing Saturday night while the air at the surface will be between the top 30s and bottom 40s. Precipitation will pull some of that colder air down, perhaps just enough to turn rain into snow in parts of our region.
This is a very fast paced system that only lasts 3 to 6 hours and comes out of here just after midnight. And temperatures closer to the coast are likely to stay a little too warm for snow. Conclusion: To see the first flakes, you have to be in the right place at the right time.
The best chance of seeing snow on Saturday night is in the higher elevations of central and western Massachusetts, the Berkshires, and Worcester Hills. The snow can even briefly turn the ground white in parts of northern Worcester County.
Further east, towards Route 495, we’re talking about some snow mixing with the rain. You would have to be outside or in your car at the time to notice it, certainly there was no evidence left on Sunday morning.
If you miss the snow on Saturday night, there are still a few chances of isolated thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday. No organized storms, just a general choppy pattern that could create a drizzle or snow shower here and there.
If that feels like early for snow, it really isn’t. While the first average measurable snow in Boston is November 29, we see flakes in the air quite often by mid-November. Don’t forget that Boston had 4 inches of snow on October 30th last year! Worcester’s first measurable snowfall falls on average around November 18, almost exactly on schedule.
If this little “taste of snow” is not enough for you, tune in next week!
Every day at 5 p.m. On WBZ-TV, our weather team will present various stories with a view to this winter, which will culminate in our annual winter weather forecast with the entire WBZ team on Friday, November 19th!
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ