A cold day for St Valentine

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  • A visible satellite image of the snow cover in SE Canada and NE USA, with Boston at the bottom of the image and the St Lawrence River in the centre. Image: NASA

    The forecast surface pressure across the USA through the coming days. High pressure shown in blue and low pressure in red.

    The forecast temperature anomalies, with above normal temperatures in red and below normal temperatures in blue. Boston is marked by the flag.

  • A cold day for St Valentine
    13.02.2016 18:12

    Whilst here in the UK we are experiencing a taste of winter at the moment with frosty nights and snow showers, over the pond in the north east of the United States, winter has set in with a vengeance for Valentine’s Day.

    In Boston, Massachusetts, for example, maximum temperatures of -11C (12F) are expected tomorrow, and overnight lows look set to break records. The low temperature tonight (Saturday into Sunday) is expected to be -22C (-8F), which would break the date record of -19C (-3F). Tomorrow night, the date record is also -19C (-3F), and this looks like it could well be matched. Combined with these temperatures, there will be strong to gale force winds from the north-west, adding a severe wind chill. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning for the region, stating that ‘life threatening wind chills and strong wind gusts’ are expected , with the wind chill making it feel like -36C (-33F).

     

    However, the people in Boston will be grateful to hear that whilst this is a sharp blast of cold air, it will be short-lived. From Monday, less cold air will sweep in from the west and as a result, by Tuesday maximum temperatures in Boston will climb to 11C (52F), with overnight lows also above freezing, at least for a couple of nights. The temperatures will become more seasonal towards the end of the week, with overnight frosts and daytime highs of around 2C (36F). This seesawing of temperatures is a reflection of a very unsettled spell of weather in the north-east States, with alternating low and high pressure systems tracking south-eastwards from Canada, directed by the flow of the jet stream. On Sunday, Boston will be on the cold side of the jet, but the jet waves back northwards at the start of the week, placing Boston on the warm side of the flow. This waving jet is the cause of the continued fluctuation in temperatures through the rest of the week.

    By: Rachel Vince