Eric Fisher has your latest weather forecast.
ERIC FISHER: Today, a beautiful day for St. Patrick's Day. In fact, this month has been characterized by so much sunshine and dry weather, which does not happen in the month of March. We've had 16 straight dry days without any measurable precipitation in Boston. Only two longer stretches on record during the month of March. Both were over a hundred years ago. So we can actually use some of that rain and snow that is on the way in starting tomorrow.
Out there tonight we're in the 40s and 50s, a beautiful evening. We've had mainly clear skies across the area. We'll see low clouds start to fill in late tonight. All eyes on this storm system this evening. Widespread severe weather occurring here across the Southern states. It is that time of year.
Storm Prediction Center put out a high-risk zone, which is something we don't do very often. It's when they have high confidence that there will be wind damage, hail, and tornadoes. We have seen several of them already this evening. And then they'll head over toward the Carolinas as we move toward tomorrow.
How all those thunderstorms develop and come together will influence our storm here tomorrow night. So it will be something to track to see if that forecast moves at all in the next 18 hours or so.
But tonight we'll see some low clouds on the increase and temperatures in the 30s. Tomorrow might get a little early sunshine, maybe a vibrant sunrise to kick off the day. Then the clouds build and the rain develops a little after lunchtime tomorrow. So before that occurs, we'll hit the low 50s in eastern Mass, the 40s in central Massachusetts and across Cape Cod and the islands.
So a wet afternoon. We haven't had rain in the area since the very 1st of the month. So I think it's going to smell like rain. That's called petrichor, by the way. There is a name for that smell of rainfall as it makes its way in after a dry stretch, and it'll be wet during the evening.
Now as we head toward about midnight tomorrow night, the cold air starts to come in. We change over to wet snow. It will be a band of heavy, wet snowfall overnight, and it ends by early to midmorning on Friday. Best chance to accumulate late in the season is during the overnight hours.
I think most towns have a chance of two to four inches of snow, maybe some isolated amounts up to five with this one. Not major but enough for some icy travel late at night and into early on Friday morning. Temperatures will be heading below freezing, so just travel with caution within a couple hours of sunrise.
Coating to two more toward the south coast and the Cape. The northeast wind will be picking up. Gusty everywhere but especially the south shore, Cape Cod, and the islands. You'll see some gusts about 35 to 50 miles per hour to start the day on Friday.
And it's right around sunrise that travel will be at its worst. A couple hours after that, sun angle gets higher. The pavements will be in much better shape.
Not a warm day, though. We're stuck in the 30s for Friday afternoon. There will still be a good amount of melting. Whatever is left is gone after Saturday. We'll have a beautiful weekend, lots of sunshine, the spring equinox on Saturday, and really little wind on both days, which makes all the difference.
So an excellent first weekend of spring. Looks nice next week as well. Onshore breezes will keep it cool there at the coast. The mild air will be inland.