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A Three Part Storm Will Impact Western & Central Mass From Late Tonight Through Friday Night

For The Rest Of Today: More clouds than sunshine is expected throughout the rest of today. Temperatures throughout the rest of today will be in the upper 30s to low 40s.

Part 1 Of The Storm – Late Tonight Through Thursday: An area of low pressure is expected to strengthen as it moves from the Ohio Valley tonight and across northern New England on Thursday.

A mixture of snow and sleet will overspread Western and Central Mass between about midnight and 2 am tonight. The mixture of snow and sleet is then expected to continue throughout the rest of the night tonight.

On Thursday morning, the snow and sleet is expected to change to freezing rain from south to north starting along and south of the Mass Pike just before sunrise Thursday morning and then across areas north of the Mass Pike between 6 am and 9 am. The changeover line from snow/sleet to freezing rain is expected to reach the Route 2 corridor by about 10 am Thursday morning.

The freezing rain is then expected to change to rain, first across the Connecticut River Valley and the Blackstone Valley by late morning Thursday. Across the Worcester Hills, the Berkshires and the Hilltowns of Western Mass, the changeover from freezing rain to rain will be much slower to occur with freezing rain lingering well into Thursday afternoon. It is possible that the northern Worcester Hills may stay as freezing rain throughout all of Thursday afternoon.

Snow and sleet accumulations late tonight into Thursday morning will be around one inch across much of Western and Central Mass. The exception will be along and north of Route 2 where up to 2 inches of snow and sleet accumulation is expected.

As for ice accumulations on Thursday, up to one tenth of an inch of ice accumulation is expected across the Connecticut River Valley and the Blackstone Valley. One to two tenths of an inch of ice accumulation is expected across most of the Worcester Hills, the Berkshires and the Hilltowns of Western Mass. It is possible that up to one quarter of an inch of ice accumulation could occur across parts of the northern Worcester Hills on Thursday.

Icy and slow-going travel is expected for Thursday morning’s commute across all of Western and Central Mass.

As for Thursday afternoon and evening’s commute, icy travel may be a problem across the northern Worcester Hills with wet roads expected elsewhere across Western and Central Mass.

Part 2 Of The Storm – Thursday Night Through Friday Morning: After a brief break in the precipitation on Thursday evening, rain will overspread Western and Central Mass just after midnight Thursday night. The rain is then expected to continue through Friday morning and the rain will be heavy at times.

It is possible that enough cold air will be around late Thursday night and Friday morning so that there could be freezing rain instead of rain across parts of the northern Worcester Hills.

One other thing that we are going to have to watch out for is the possibility of the rain changing to freezing rain across all of the Worcester Hills and the Hilltowns of Western Mass during Friday morning.

Part 3 Of The Storm – Friday Afternoon Through Friday Night: Colder air will wrap into the area during Friday afternoon causing all of the precipitation to change to snow across much of, if not all of Western and Central Mass. How quickly the precipitation changes to snow and how much snow accumulates will depend on two things – One is how fast the colder air moves into the area & two is how quickly will our storm system move away.

A changeover first to sleet occur across much of Western and Central Mass during the first half of Friday afternoon. This will be followed by a changeover to snow first across the Berkshires, the upper Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and northern Worcester County between 2 and 4 pm Friday afternoon. The changeover to snow could then occur across the lower Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and across the rest of Worcester County between 4 pm and 6 pm Friday.

Snow will then continue through Friday evening before ending around midnight Friday night.

Possible snow accumulations Friday afternoon and Friday evening may range from 1 to 2 inches across the lower Pioneer Valley of Western Mass eastward through areas along and south of the Mass Pike in Central Mass to 2 to possibly 4 inches of snow accumulation across the Berkshires, the upper Pioneer Valley of Western Mass and across northern Worcester County. These snow amounts will likely change as we get a better idea of how quickly (or slowly) the colder air moves in & how this interacts with the precipitation that is left.

Thank you for reading my latest forecast for Western and Central Mass.

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