Well, we’ve done it! We managed to make it to the final weekend of astronomical winter, and in true New England fashion, mother nature will throw us somewhat of a curve ball.
Unlike astronomical winter, meteorological winter is defined as all points between December, January and February…what are traditionally the coldest months of the year. Meteorological spring would follow from March to May. Astronomical spring (vernal equinox) describes the point at which the sun passes directly above the Earth’s equator.
The astronomical season (December 21-March 20) will end with minimal snowfall: only 11.4”, which makes it the ninth least snowy winter for Boston.
While we’ll enjoy a mild kickoff to St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, the final full day of winter will be met with a drastic but brief cooldown. We’ll go from a comfortable 50° day on Saturday to a wintry chill on Sunday with highs around 38°. With gusty northwest winds, temperatures will feel like the mid-20s.
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Triple Dip La Niña Winter Comes to An End, What About Spring?
For the third straight winter, La Niña conditions returned to the equatorial Pacific. This refers to a period of cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the east-central Pacific. The pattern typically brings in variable cold-to-mild temperatures, but wet conditions across the Northeast. That fell in line with this year’s winter, which featured a graciously mild season, but wetter than normal.
In the inverse, El Niño conditions are expected by summer. This would feature warming ocean temperatures than normal at the equator and could influence increased tropical development in the main development region off the African coast. These regions are typically marked by increased wind shear which would limit, but not completely suppress tropical storms.
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An El Niño is known to control and influence the overall weather pattern. In the summer months, the country can experience cooler-than-average temperatures, with dry conditions across the Eastern US.
El Niño and La Niña are typically strongest during December to April because the equatorial Pacific sea-surface temperatures are normally warmest at this time of year. A slight warming of the waters due to El Niño can result in a major redistribution of tropical convective rainfall. The next several months, April May and June are trending warmer than normal, according to the Climate Prediction Center. This comes as no surprise for New England. Average high temperatures range from 51° at the start of the month to 62° by the end of the month. So an influx of days approaching 70s can be expected.
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