Boston Gets Another Shot at Its Snow Record This WeekendBrian K. Sullivan
Here’s an idea: Let’s talk about snow and Boston.
No one is sick of that, right?
With temperatures hitting 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 Celsius) Tuesday and 57 on Wednesday, it would be understandable to think that the 105.7 inches of snow that fell this season -- just 1.9 inches shy of the record -- is all the snow Boston is going to get.
Well, there will be more snow this weekend. It doesn’t look as though it will be enough to pass the old mark, although as colder weather moves in next week there may be other chances.
Breaking the record this season “isn’t out of the question but it certainly isn’t a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination,” said Alan Dunham, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachuetts.
A storm is going to sweep out of the Great Lakes this weekend and re-form off the Atlantic coast, sending moisture onto land, said Dan Petersen, a winter weather forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
The low-pressure system needs to interact with a high-pressure system over Canada to bring about the marriage of moisture and cold air that would usher in snow.
If the low comes across the Great Lakes with more strength than anticipated, it could set up a situation where the cold air is held at bay and more rain falls than snow, Petersen said.
The current thinking is that the storm starts out with some sleet and snow before changing over to all rain, said Rob Carolan, a meteorologist at Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Snow may return on Sunday as the storm pulls away, and yet it may not be enough.
“I don’t think Boston gets the record this weekend,” Carolan said Thursday.
Snow started falling in Boston in January and kept on coming through February, crippling the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, closing schools for days at a time and leaving roads lined by dirty white walls that somehow seem permanent.
In the past few days, a thaw has set in, revealing long-lost trashcans, broken bits of mysterious plastic things and bushes that look like they have been trampled by giants.
That won’t last.
The bottom drops out of the thaw after the storm passes.
“There still may be a mild day early next week out ahead of the cold surge,” said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “Once that next cold surge gets in, it’s probably going to stick around for a while.”
Before that, a matter of miles, or inches -- 2 inches, in fact -- will determine if Boston beats the snowfall record set in 1995-1996 or falls short.
“You might as well get the record,” Kines said. “At least you’ll have something to show for it other than just misery.”