Jen Taupier Beauregard took this photo of a downed tree across the Minuteman Bikeway between Thorndike and Lake streets on April 4.Jen Taupier Beauregard took this photo of a downed tree amid snow across the Minuteman Bikeway between Thorndike and Lake streets on April 4, 2024.UPDATED 2 a.m. April 21: Today: "Increasing clouds, with a high near 58. West wind 8 to 14 mph."

Tonight: "Areas of frost after 4 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 35. West wind around 9 mph."

That's per forecast.weather.gov for the Arlington-Lexington area.

 In what is not weather news but still having to do with natural events, it was reported that the New Jersey-based earthquake at mid-morning Friday, April 5, was felt throughout Massachusetts including by some in Arlington, according to social media. Here is what the National Weather Service's Massachusetts office had to say about it: "[10:30 a.m.] We have received several reports of an earthquake felt here in southern New England around 10:25 a.m. Preliminary reports indicate a magnitude 4.8 earthquake was recorded in north-central N.J. Please refer to the the USGS for more information! earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ev"

National Weather Service generally gives this standard advice whenever rain is forecast: "Are you prepared for possible flooding? If you live/work in an area that floods in heavy rain, ensure that sump pumps are working. Know alternate travel routes. Never drive through flooded roads!" 

The National Weather Service on social media recently asked: "Are you interested in severe weather? We're kicking off our 2024 Skywarn Spotter training program soon! Classes are FREE and open to the public. In person - register online! For more information and to register, visit weather.gov/boston/skywarn"

On Wednesday, March 6, the local environmental organization Save the Alewife Brook expressed concern about the region receiving possibly even more rain -- up to 5 inches -- on Thursday. "When we receive just less than an inch of hard, fast rain, we experience untreated sewage pollution discharges into Alewife Brook," an emailed newsletter said. "When we receive more than a couple of inches of hard, fast rain, the Alewife Brook floods over its bank and onto the Alewife Greenway path. This might occur around midnight tonight, depending on local precipitation. Avoid any floodwater near Alewife Brook [in East Arlington, near the boundary with Cambridge], tomorrow and Friday. This water may be contaminated with raw sewage, which can cause illness," it concluded.

Snow no go -- who could know?

As to snow, last month, as late as at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, per forecast.weather.gov, up to 6 inches of snow were expected locally, but, in the end, it was far less. According to a Boston Globe app, only 1 inch of snow fell in Lexington, immediately to the northwest of Arlington; Arlington itself keeps neither official nor unofficial precipitation statistics. Public schools in Arlington, Lexington and many other Massachusetts communities also closed their public schools out of, as the saying goes, an abundance of caution. That included the regional Minuteman High School in Lexington, attended by some 215 Arlington teens.

There was no collection of trash/recycling Tuesday Feb. 13, and a one-day delay was in effect the rest of the week. For updates, at any time, one may check the town website.

History, recent and otherwise, for weather buffs

A note of interest for history buffs; per the NWS on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024: "[on this date in1934]: All-time record low temperatures, many of which still stand today [including minus 21 at Blue Hill]. 2017: The 'Blizzard of '17' brought over a foot of snow."

In mid-January 2024 locally there was a run of subfreezing temperatures for about a week, and then temperatures finally climbed into the 30s Jan. 22. Previously, overnight temperatures were down to the low teens and feeling more like zero when accounting for the wind-chill factor. Last weekend, the National Weather Service had this to say: "[Cold Snap] Wind chills will drop to near and below 0F [Friday Jan. 19] and Saturday night as arctic air filters in behind today's departing light snow." 

Snow fell Tuesday, Jan. 16, beginning before dawn. By late morning, Lexington had reported nearly 2 inches based on reports from a trained spotter; the town of Arlington does not provide official estimates, and it could have varied quite a bit, with the amount often depending significantly on where in town one is; elevated areas in the Heights -- also further inland and closer to Lexington -- tend to get more snow than East Arlington and the Center.

In mid-January, for a while, almost the entire state was under a flood watch/warning with up to 2 inches of rain along with wind gusts up to 43 mph in greater Boston, per the National Weather Service. "Watches have been raised across the region. If you live in flood-prone areas along the coast or rivers, pay attention to future forecasts," the NWS says on X-formerly-Twitter. Of note for those near Alewife Brook, the NWS said, "Avoid floodwaters due to potential hazards like chemicals, sewage and diseases. Hidden underwater debris may cause injuries, and water depth can change unexpectedly near storm drains and washed-out roads."

The previous rainfall by Jan. 10 had caused overflow, likely containing untreated sewage, at Alewife Brook, a perennial concern to members of the locally based Save the Alewife Brook environmental organization, which continues to work with state officials on plans for sewage treatment.

"To see water containing untreated sewage on the path people's feet travel carrying probable pathogens back to their homes distresses me," group member Valorie Nybo, a retired health official, told YourArlington today.

"Lots of dog feet travel that same path . . . baby strollers and bicycles will all travel that path carrying whatever the Alewife Brook deposits there back to their homes."

Snow and ice removal operations take place as needed by the town of Arlington's Department of Public Works (DPW) -- officials said that up to 8 inches of snow fell in January -- with DPW clearing storm drains. However, with more than 3,000 storm drains in town, DPW cannot get to them all, the town announcement said -- and therefore asks residents themselves, if possible, to clear the accessible parts of storm drains near their property, as doing so reduces the risk of localized flooding. As the DPW website page notes, "the outside of catch basins frequently gets clogged with leaves and trash." Learn more and Adopt-A-Drain. 


Jan. 3, 2024: Town gets first measurable snow of season


This news announcement was first published Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, based on information from the town website and updated Jan. 12, including temporary placement of a photograph of flooded Alewife Brook near the town line with Cambridge. It has since been updated regularly based on forecast.weather.gov for Arlington-Lexington and the National Weather Service's Twitter feed for all of Massachusetts. It was updated most recently April 17.