GRAFTON, Mass. — The past 10 days have been exceptionally cold with a good-sized snow storm to boot.
If you have been watching your heating oil tank drain alarmingly fast, get ready for a warming trend to start as the week progresses.
According to the National Weather Service, Sunday’s dusting of snow will be long forgotten. The week will be sunny with temperatures climbing from the low to mid-40s mid-week, to maybe 50 degrees by next weekend.
To some, this is a welcome relief. Worcester County saw 8 inches or more of the white stuff just after Christmas followed by a streak of cold air where highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits were common.
A January thaw is ahead. Sun is in the forecast until Thursday, with temperatures hitting low the 40s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday might bring rain, but then next weekend could bring the 50 degree weather.
For those wondering what the rest of winter will look like, your guess is as good as any one's. According to the National Weather Service, El Niño, the quasi-periodic climate pattern that originates in the Pacific Ocean, shows equal chances Worcester County will see a winter with “above, near, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation”.
“This is one of the most challenging outlooks we've produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.
Enjoy the week; the rest of the winter could go in any direction.