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Accumulating Snow Expected During Friday Across Western & Central Mass

For Tonight: Areas of fog and drizzle are expected to continue through this evening into the overnight hours of tonight. At the same time this is happening, colder air is creeping southward from Maine and New Hampshire and the 32 Degree line is currently located near the Sanford, Maine and Rochester, New Hampshire area. The big very important question continues to be how quickly will that cold air push southward into our area. The reason why is because moisture remains on many roads, parking lots and driveways & these will be susceptible to freezing up once the temperatures reach about the 33-35 Degree range. I do think that the northern Worcester Hills, especially near and north of Route 2 will get cold enough for black ice issues within the next couple of hours or so. In fact, areas near and west of I-190 may get cold enough for black ice to form by just after sunset. This is something that’s going to have to be watched closely for the evening commute. Elsewhere across Western and Central Mass, it appears that temperatures should stay just warm enough to prevent icing conditions through sunset, but may get cold enough for black ice issues as far south as the Mass Pike and the I-84 corridor by the 5-7 pm time frame. This means that all areas of Central Mass should have black ice issues throughout all of tonight. This means that slippery travel conditions are possible all of tonight across all of Central Mass, including the Mass Pike and I-84. Across Western Mass, the I-91 corridor is likely to stay above freezing through all of this afternoon and tonight with the hilltowns on either side of I-91 dropping to near 32 Degrees by about midnight tonight. Friday: Friday continues to look extremely “interesting” in terms of snowfall potential across the area. The weather set up for Friday is going to consist of a piece of atmospheric energy that’s going to pass right across southern New England. The combination of energy, moisture and just enough cold air is going to lead to widespread snow across the area during the daytime hours of Friday. What we’re going to have to really keep an eye on and try to key in on is where exactly moderate to heavy snow may fall as snow rates of 1 inch per hour are likely underneath any areas of moderate to heavy snow. Snow is expected to overspread Western Mass between about 5 am and 7 am Friday morning with the snow beginning across Central Mass between about 7 am and 9 am Friday morning. While the snow intensity is expected to be light through mid-morning, it looks likely that a period of moderate to heavy snow for about a 2-4 hour time period from late morning until about mid-afternoon Friday, especially across areas of Central Mass that are north of the Mass Pike. The snow looks to wind down and come to an end first across Western Mass around sunset and then across Central Mass by about the 7-9 pm time frame Friday evening. The big bug-a-boo to the forecast is trying to figure out how much snow is going to accumulate. The reason why is because it’s going to have to snow hard for the temperature profile to cool enough and allow the snow to accumulate. This means that areas that stay as mostly light snow all day Friday may only see a very slushy coating of snow. On the other hand, areas that see a period of heavy snow around the midday hour of Friday could easily pick up at least 2 to 3 inches of snow with an outside chance of localized 4 to 5 inch snowfall totals. Based on everything that I’ve looked at, I think that the I-91 corridor of Western Mass will see the least amount of snow with around one inch of slushy snow on mostly non-pavement surfaces. On the other hand, the highest snow amounts look to be in the Worcester Hills and along the I-190 corridor where snow amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected. In-between these two areas, most other areas of Central Mass will see around 1 to 2 inches of snow accumulation. A snowfall map detailing what I’m expecting has been attached to this forecast. Finally, this is expected to be a wet and heavy snowfall that’ll be quite slick to drive on – so, use extreme caution when traveling on Friday, especially in the Worcester Hills. Also, for those areas that are going to see a few to a several inches of snow, I want to warn you that it is going to be a tough snow to shovel due to the wet content of the snow (wet, heavy snow). So, use extreme care and take your time when shoveling. Temperatures during Friday will remain in the low to mid 30s.

This Weekend: The sun will return for Saturday with a mixture of sunshine and clouds expected throughout the day. High temperatures Saturday will be between 40 and 45 Degrees. Sunday will be sunny to partly sunny with high temperatures between 35 and 40 Degrees.

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