A return to relative warmth

The Boston area is experiencing a return to climatologically normal temperatures after record cold enveloped the region over President’s Day Weekend. The most severe part of the cold outbreak came on Sunday, when both the high (12°F) and low (-9°F) temperatures were the coldest ever observed in Boston on February 14. An extraordinarily cold polar air mass was to blame for the frigid outbreak, which spread throughout the northeastern United States. The unique extremity of the cold air mass was captured by a weather balloon measurement in Albany, New York, on Saturday night, which measured -23.4 °F at the 850 millibar level (a height of about 1.4 kilometers) — the coldest temperature ever observed at that height in Albany.

Things changed on Tuesday and Wednesday, when high temperatures easily exceeded the climatological normal of 39°F. A cold front passing through this morning will cause today’s temperatures to be a bit lower, with temperatures dropping into the teens (°F) tonight under clear skies and calm winds. Warm weather will return for the weekend, with temperatures reaching the upper 40s (°F) on both Saturday and Sunday. Numerical weather prediction models indicate the possibility for a large storm to impact the area around the middle of next week, but there is a great deal of uncertainty concerning the storm’s track, and it is therefore too soon to predict the type or amount of precipitation.