BOSTON (CBS) — Winter is low but not over. The days are rapidly lengthening, the angle of the sun is increasing, and the signs of spring are appearing everywhere. From ants crawling across the bridge to bursting magnolia buds, it sure looks like Mother Nature is ready to move on.
But alas, spring in New England is not so simple. Inevitably, there are some bumps in the road.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for most of Worcester County, north-west Middlesex County and the Berkshires from 10 p.m. Wednesday until noon Thursday. This is in anticipation of a light sleet and freezing rain at the start of our next storm system. The areas highlighted in the advisory are the typical locations where we tend to have precipitation type issues very early and late in the winter season. The main concern late Wednesday and early Thursday is for those who live in areas around 1,000 feet in elevation or above. For the rest of the region, it will be an all-wet event.
The rain and sleet arrived late Wednesday, around 10 p.m. and were light and irregular at the start. After dawn and Thursday morning the area of rain will fill in and become heavy over most of southern New England. The heaviest rain will fall from about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Expect about an inch of precipitation total, perhaps with some areas up to 1.5-2 inches. The icing will have little impact and as temperatures warm up Thursday morning, even the highest elevations in southern New England will change to ordinary rain.
There will likely be a second wave of rain late Thursday and early Friday. There are no issues with icing in that time frame, and we’re probably only talking about an extra 0.10″ to 0.25″. We will see some improvement on Friday with the sun emerging and temperatures climbing to near 60 in the afternoon.
New England will remain in a volatile pattern through the weekend. Although neither Saturday nor Sunday will wash out, both days will likely see an increase in cloudiness in the afternoon with a chance of scattered showers. Temperatures will be seasonal, likely in the upper 40s and low 50s.
Early next week we get yet another arctic blast. Monday’s highs will be stuck in the 30s and Tuesday morning’s lows will fall into the teens in most places. It’s terribly cold air for the end of March and it could damage tender, early-flowering plants.
The forecast got you down? I leave you with a look on the bright side. Wednesday begins a period of almost six months with sunsets after 7 p.m.!