Partly sunny skies, but continued windy conditions are expected This Afternoon across Western and Central Mass. Temperatures this afternoon will be around 45 Degrees. Northwest winds will gust up to 30 mph at times.

Partly cloudy skies are expected Tonight with low temperatures near 25 Degrees.

A sunny to partly sunny day is expected on Friday with less wind. High temperatures Friday will be near 45 Degrees.

A frontal system will push across New England during Saturday. This means that skies on Saturday will be cloudy and there will likely be rain showers during the afternoon and evening. High temperatures Saturday will be near 45 Degrees. Sunday looks cloudy and mild with the possibility of some scattered rain showers during the afternoon. High temperatures Sunday will be between 50 and 55 Degrees. Looking ahead - There is growing evidence in the data that suggests we turn cold & potentially snowy for later next week through Christmas Week. A blocking area of high pressure may set up near Greenland, which could send some cold air southward into the northern and eastern United States. At the same time this is occurring, an active southern part of the jet stream may try to send some moisture our way and the combination of the two could lead to at least a couple of winter storm threats. The first potential winter storm threat looks to be from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning of next week as an area of low pressure may head up the East Coast of the United States bringing much of the area accumulating snow. I'm also watching for a second possible winter storm threat for next weekend (December 19-20) as yet another low pressure system crosses coastal New England bringing snow and possible ice to much of Western and Central Mass. I will be keeping you updated on the two possible storms in the coming days. So, keep checking back.

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The uncertainty with exactly when the rain will change to snow and how much snow may accumulate during Saturday and Saturday night remains very high. One big reason why there is so much uncertainty is because this storm is going to have to produce its own cold air from its rapid strengthening and the amount of energy it produces. This is something that the weather forecast guidance struggles with most times. There are three ways that this forecast could go “south”. The First Way is that the temperatures don’t fall quick enough during the day on Saturday leading to either the rain not changing to snow at all or not occurring until the very end of the storm. The Second Way is if the precipitation shield from this storm moves out just as the rain is changing to snow. This would lead to the rain changing to snow on Saturday morning, but ending quickly around early afternoon Saturday. It would also lead to the heaviest snow amounts occurring in Maine with very light accumulations here in Western and Central Mass. The Third Way is if we change from rain to snow during Saturday morning and then see several hours of moderate to heavy snow on Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening as a band of particularly heavy snow sets up from the eastern Hilltowns of Western Mass into much of Worcester County. Should this occur, it would mean upwards of a foot of snow could accumulate in this region. With that said, Here Are My Thoughts: Rain will overspread all of Western and Central Mass this evening and then continue throughout the rest of the night tonight. The rain, I think, will change to snow fairly quickly across Western and Central Mass by mid to late morning Saturday. Snow then continues through Saturday afternoon and I think that a band of heavy snow with snowfall accumulation rates upwards of 2 inches per hour may set up from much of Worcester County westward into the eastern hilltowns of Western Mass. This heavy snow is expected to occur throughout Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening and travel may be extremely difficult during this time due to the heavy snow rates. The snow will continue through Saturday evening before coming to an end just after midnight Saturday night. Our latest snowfall total forecast map is attached to this post. This is going to be a wet, sticky and very heavy snow and I do have considerable concerns that we may see snapped tree limbs and downed power lines due to the wet, heavy snow accumulation across Worcester County into the eastern hilltowns of Western Mass. North winds are also expected to gust up to 30 to 40 mph at times and this will add to the threat for snapped tree limbs and downed power lines from the eastern hilltowns of Western Mass through Worcester County. Please be aware that the forecast of this storm continues to be VERY uncertain and additional changes to the forecast may be needed.

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The latest weather guidance I look at seems to be pushing our storm system a bit further east with its forecast track. This could do two things - first is allow enough cold air to push into the area quicker than previously thought & two is focus the highest snow amounts across Central and Northeast Mass rather than Western Mass.

So, it still looks as if rain will overspread the entire area during Friday afternoon and Friday evening. The rain is likely to continue throughout Friday night and Saturday morning.

During Saturday afternoon, the rain is expected to change to snow across all of Western and Central Mass with the snow continuing through Saturday night. It looks like the snow will be light in intensity across Western Mass with a bit more heavier intensity in snowfall across Central Mass where a period of moderate to heavy snow is possible late Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening. The snow is expected to come to an end during the first part of Sunday morning. My latest snowfall accumulation forecast map is attached to this post. Please be aware that the forecast of this storm continues to be VERY uncertain and additional changes to the forecast may be needed. It's possible that the storm system may track even further east and if that happens, it could limit the area of heavier snow amounts (3-7") to areas along and inside of 495 with little snow occurring along and west of I-91.

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