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A Major Winter Storm Is Expected To Impact Western & Central Mass From Monday Night Until Wednesday

Before you begin reading my latest forecast, I want to ask for your help to alleviate the costs (A LOT of time and money go into producing these forecasts, especially where I’m probably going to be working almost around the clock tracking and forecasting the upcoming major winter storm) it takes to send out these weather forecasts for Western and Central Mass. YOU CAN MAKE A DONATION TO SUPPORT ROUTE 20 WEATHER- I Also Accept Donations Through Venmo. My Venmo Id is @Robert-Lightbown A Major Winter Storm Is Expected From Monday Night Until Wednesday Morning: The potential is increasing for a major winter storm to impact Western and Central Mass beginning on Monday night and continuing until Wednesday morning. This continues to be an extremely challenging weather forecast due to many different factors that are going to play their individual roles into how this storm unfolds. That said, this looks to be a storm that initially begins as rain Monday afternoon and changes to heavy, wet snow with increasing winds on Monday night. Heavy, wet snow with strong winds are then expected to continue through the day on Tuesday with blowing snow and possible blizzard conditions. In addition, the combination of heavy, wet snow and strong winds will also lead to the potential for downed trees and power lines with power outage issues. The weather setup for this storm system is going to include a piece of energy embedded within the northern branch of the jet stream that pushes into the northeastern United States. At the same time, another piece of energy embedded within the southern branch of the jet stream will push northeastward towards the northeastern United States. The biggest question continues to be how quickly with these two pieces of energy merge and how will this affect the evolution of the surface low pressure system. The latest weather forecast guidance seem to be point to a scenario where both pieces of energy merge just south of Long Island. If you’re a snow lover, this is a scenario that favors a crushing snowfall across the entire area. That said, there are still challenges with this forecast. First is if the northern piece of energy is stronger than the southern piece of energy, it would lead to the low pressure hooking too far west causing a much milder scenario. This leads to mostly rain for most areas with the jackpot snow amounts confined to the Berkshires. Second is if that northern piece of energy is quicker than the southern piece of energy, it would lead to the two pieces of energy not merging. This would lead to a weaker storm and a scenario that features a light to moderate snowfall, at most. By far though, the greatest challenge to this forecast is going to be the temperatures as we are sorely lacking any real cold temperatures. With a lack of cold temperatures, we’re going to have to totally rely on the dynamics and energy from the low pressure system to produce its own cold air. So, what looks like may occur is that we start things out Monday afternoon and Monday evening with temperatures in the upper 30s. Once the dynamics and energy from that storm system take over, it will cause the atmosphere to cool down leading to temperatures to fall into the 30-32 Degree range during the overnight hours of Monday night and staying at those temperatures all day Tuesday. Even though the exact, nitty gritty details of the exact timeline of this storm still need to be figured out, I have enough confidence to say that I think we’re in for a major winter storm. You can find my first forecast snowfall map for this storm attached to this post. Over the next day or so, my focus will be on trying to pin down the exact details of this storm. These details include: First is that it is very likely that there will be multiple bands of very heavy snow that set up. The challenge will be figuring out where these set up. Also, we’re going to have to figure out where any sinking air in-between these heavy snow bands may set up. Where this sinking air sets up will impact the snow totals leading to areas of less snow accumulation. At the same time, areas that are caught under the heaviest snow bands will see very high snow totals and we have to figure that out. Second is snowfall ratios. Given that temperatures are going to be very close to freezing, the snowfall ratios may be as low as 6 inches of snow to 1 inch of ratio (this is a very wet snow consistency). That said, those areas that are underneath the heaviest snow bands, the dynamics of this storm will be such that the snow ratios will likely be much higher and may be more like 10-12 inches of snow to 1 inch of water (a fluffier snow with huge snowflakes falling). Third will be the strong winds. I think that we’re probably going to see wind gusts of up to 40-50 mph at times very late Monday night through Tuesday and Tuesday night. These strong winds combined with falling snow will lead to considerable amounts of blowing snow and blizzard conditions. Additionally, the combination of strong winds and heavy, wet snow could lead to numerous power outages and widespread tree damage. So Here Are My Latest Thoughts: Precipitation initially in the form of rain or a rain-snow mix looks to overspread the entire area during Monday afternoon. This rain or rain-snow mix is very likely to change to all snow everywhere across the region from north to south between 8 pm and midnight Monday evening. Snow then continues through the after midnight hours of Monday night and it will likely become heavy at times in intensity during the predawn hours of Tuesday morning. On Tuesday, Snow that will fall at a heavy intensity at times, are expected for much of the day. In addition, strong northeast winds gusting up to 40-50 mph will lead to considerable amounts of blowing snow and blizzard conditions at times. If you do not have to absolutely travel on Tuesday, STAY HOME!! Road conditions throughout the day Tuesday will be extremely hazardous due to heavy snow and blowing snow. The heavy snow bands should begin to decay and dissipate by early Tuesday evening, but we’re likely to be left with a continuation of the steady snow throughout the night on Tuesday night. In addition, the strong north to northeast winds gusting up to 40-50 mph will lead to a continuation of blowing snow. My recommendation is to avoid travel on Tuesday night as well due to hazardous road conditions due to snow and blowing snow. Snow looks to come to an end just after sunrise Wednesday morning. I am now working almost around the clock watching, tracking and forecasting this storm. Because of this, many more frequent storm updates will be sent out as needed.

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