Icy sidewalk in East Arlington, Jan. 19, 2024Due to subfreezing temperatures, ground ice persisted on a sidewalk in East Arlington in mid-January. /photo courtesy Catherine Brewster

UPDATED Feb. 29: The forecast for Arlington/Lexington: There is a slight chance of snow between 2 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29, with increasing clouds and a high near 34. West wind 16 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent, according to predictions.

Then it is supposed to be mostly clear tonight, with a low around 22, and with a west wind 8 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.

Then on Friday, March 1, the outlook is for it to be sunny, with a high near 45, with southwest wind 6 to 11 mph.

The statewide/regional picture from the National Weather Service office in Norton, Mass. is as follows: "Satellite and radar indicate lake effect snow showers streaming across NY state, tracking into western MA & northwest CT. Otherwise, a winter chill today with blustery west winds up to 35 mph at times, yielding wind chills in the teens and 20s."

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 or unofficial 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 is in effect the rest of the week. For updates, check the town website.

History for weather buffs

A note of interest for history buffs; per the NWS on Friday, Feb. 9: "[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 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 published Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, based on information from the town website; updated Jan. 12, including the placement of a photograph of flooded Alewife Brook near the town line with Cambridge. It generally has been updated daily based on forecast.weather.gov for Arlington-Lexington and on the National Weather Service's Twitter feed for all of Massachusetts. It was updated most recently Feb. 29.