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A Return To Very Cold Weather Is Expected Beginning Friday Night Across Western & Central Mass

For The Rest Of Today: More clouds than sunshine is expected throughout the rest of this morning. In addition, a few snow flurries are possible, especially across areas well north of the Mass Pike. An area of high pressure will build into the area this afternoon. This means that skies will become partly sunny this afternoon with high temperatures between 40 and 45 Degrees. Tonight & Friday: An area of low pressure is expected to take shape off of the North Carolina coast tonight and pass well east of the Cape on Friday. It looks like this storm system will pass far enough east to not be a problem for Western and Central Mass. With that said, I still am going to be keeping an eye on southeastern parts of Worcester County (Route 146 corridor & Route 122 corridor) just in case the westernmost extent of the snow shield makes it that far west on Friday. Cloudy skies are expected across the entire area tonight with low temperatures near 25 Degrees. Friday will be cloudy throughout the day. It is possible that some very light snow could affect southeastern parts of Worcester County during the afternoon. If, and that is a big if, the snow shield does make it as far west as the Route 146 corridor and the Route 122 corridor, any snow accumulations would be anywhere from a dusting to perhaps one-half of an inch. High temperatures Friday will be near 35 Degrees. North winds will gust up to 35 mph during the afternoon. Friday Night: An Arctic air mass will push into the area Friday night on strong northerly winds. This means that low temperatures Friday night will be near Zero. Northwest winds are expected to gust up to 35 mph at times throughout Friday night leading to wind chill temperatures of around 20 below zero. Saturday & Sunday: An area of high pressure will move over the area this weekend with no weather problems expected, besides the cold temperatures. Saturday is expected to be a sunny to partly sunny day, but very cold. High temperatures Saturday will be between 10 and 15 Degrees. Northwest winds will gust up to 30 to 35 mph at times leading to wind chill temperatures of 15 to 20 below zero. Saturday night will be clear and very cold with low temperatures around Zero. Sunday looks sunny, however, some increase in cloudiness can be expected by late afternoon. High temperatures Sunday will be near 25 Degrees. A Significant Winter Storm Is Expected To Affect Western & Central Mass From Late Sunday Night Through Monday: An area of low pressure is expected to track to near the South and North Carolina coastline on Sunday and then track up near or right along the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts on Sunday night and Monday. The uncertainty as to the exact track of this storm system continues to be high. Getting the forecast of the exact track of the storm system right is always crucial because it’ll determine where the snow-ice-rain line sets up and how much of each type of precipitation accumulates. After showing a track well inland into New York State and Ontario, Canada, there is beginning to be an eastward trend in the forecast track by the weather forecast guidance that shows this storm taking a track right across New England. I suspect that we could see some additional eastward shifts in the forecast track of the low pressure system and that, in the end, this storm could be much more wintry than rainy across Western and Central Mass. The reason why I think this storm may be much more wintry than rainy is because the air mass out ahead of this storm is going to be quite cold and it’s usually hard for a storm system to drive a path right through this sort of air mass. Instead, we usually see low pressure systems move just to the south and east of the Arctic air mass. Should this occur, it would mean a track that takes the storm either right over the Cape or just inland across the I-95/Route 128 corridor or even the I-495 corridor leading to all snow across Western Mass and a snow to ice scenario across Central Mass. Another reason why I think this is because it’s very unusual for a low pressure system to track along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. Instead, these low pressure systems track just to the east of the mountains or to the west of the mountains. The reason why is because they are taking the path of least resistance. Because of this, I think that we could be looking at a more coastal track rather than those model guidance forecast tracks into New York State. One thing that is for sure with this storm – it’s going to be very energetic and it’s going to pack a lot of moisture. This means that heavy amounts of precipitation is likely no matter what form it takes. Here Are My Thoughts: For now, I still think that the low pressure system may move north-northeastward across Rhode Island and then along the I-95/Route 127 corridor or the I-495 corridor in Mass on Monday morning. This would lead to all snow across Western Mass into the western and northern Worcester Hills with snowfall amounts of up to one foot possible. This snow would begin around midnight or so on Sunday night and continue throughout the rest of the night on Sunday night and through the day on Monday. The snow would then come to an end during the mid and late afternoon hours of Monday. For southern and eastern parts of Worcester County (east of I-84), the precipitation may start out as heavy snow beginning around midnight or so Sunday night and continuing throughout the rest of Sunday night and into the first part of Monday morning. The snow may then change to a messy mixture of sleet and freezing rain around mid-morning Monday with the freezing rain and sleet continuing into Monday afternoon. All precipitation then ends by mid to late afternoon Monday. Even with the changeover to ice, snow amounts of 4 to 8 inches are possible across southern and eastern Worcester County with ice amounts of one quarter of an inch possible. In addition to the heavy precipitation, it is likely to be windy throughout the storm with wind gusts up to 35 to 40 mph at times. This means that blowing snow is likely across Western Mass and the western and the northern Worcester Hills throughout the storm. It also means that blowing snow is likely late Sunday night into Monday morning followed by wind blown sleet and freezing rain later Monday morning into Monday afternoon across southern and eastern parts of Worcester County. This is a storm that I’m watching extremely closely and I will continue to have frequent updates as needed.

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