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Accumulating Snow & Ice Expected From Wednesday Night To Thursday Night For Western & Central Mass

For Tonight: A cold front is expected to push through the area early this evening bringing with it showers of rain and snow. A line of rain and snow showers, some of them heavy in intensity are expected to move into Western Mass by about 4-5 pm reaching Central Mass by about 6 pm or so. These showers of rain and snow are then expected to continue until about 8-9 pm when they will come to an end. In terms of precipitation type, I do think that areas around the northern Worcester Hills and in the Berkshires will mostly see snow showers with the cold frontal passage. Snow accumulations this evening in the northern Worcester Hills and the Berkshires should amount to up to one inch. Other areas of Western and Central Mass will likely see rain showers mixed with snow. In addition to this, it should be noted that this is a pretty dynamic front. Because of this, don’t be surprised to hear thunder with some of the showers. Multiple reports from near Ithaca, New York to northeastern Pennsylvania indicate thunder and small hail have occurred with some of these showers and I expect to see similar reports here in Western and Central Mass this evening. Once that front moves through, expect skies to become clear to partly cloudy after midnight tonight with temperatures falling into the 25 to 30 Degree range. Winds tonight will be Southwest at 5 to 10 mph before midnight and West at 10 to 20 mph after midnight. Wednesday: A quiet weather day is expected on Wednesday as a high pressure system briefly moves across the region. Skies during the morning will be sunny to partly sunny with increasing clouds expected during the afternoon. High temperatures will be between 40 and 45 Degrees. Winds will be West at 5 to 10 mph. Snow & Ice Is Expected Beginning Around Sunset Wednesday Afternoon & Continuing Through All Of Wednesday Night, All Day Thursday & Then Into Thursday Evening: The period from Wednesday night through Thursday and Thursday evening looks like one big mess in terms of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the entire area. There will be two separate weather systems that will affect the area. The first will be a low pressure system that’ll move just south of Southern New England late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This will bring snow to start with that changes to sleet and freezing rain during Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The second system will be another low pressure system that’ll push near the south coast of New England during Wednesday evening bringing with it a round of freezing rain. This second round is particularly worrisome as the freezing rain could fall at a moderate to heavy rate leading to widespread icing across the entire area. So, let’s try to detail things a little more region by region: Areas Near & South Of The Mass Pike, Including I-84, I-395 & Route 146: Snow begins around sunset Wednesday afternoon and then continues for a few hours early Wednesday evening before it changes to sleet during the mid-evening hours. The sleet looks like it’ll mix with freezing rain at times beginning around midnight Wednesday night to about just before sunrise Thursday morning. A change to all freezing rain looks possible just before sunrise Thursday morning with the freezing rain expected to continue through the Thursday morning commute. This first round of wintry precipitation looks to end by mid-morning Thursday. A break in the precipitation looks to occur from mid-morning Thursday until about early evening Thursday. A second round of precipitation in the form of freezing rain looks to occur from early evening Thursday until about just after midnight Thursday night. It’s possible that this freezing rain could be moderate to heavy in intensity. All precipitation will come to an end just after midnight Thursday night. Snow and sleet amounts Wednesday night look to amount to 2 to 3 inches. More importantly, it appears that ice amounts of around one quarter of an inch is expected from the freezing rain on Thursday morning and Thursday evening. In fact, it’s possible that up to one third of an inch of ice is a possibility for areas just south of the Mass Pike. This accumulation of ice during Thursday morning and then again during Thursday evening is likely to impact travel in a big way with slick and icy conditions expected. In addition, there is the potential for ice buildup on trees and power lines, which could lead to some downed tree limbs and possible power outages. Areas North Of The Mass Pike, But South Of Route 2: Snow begins around sunset Wednesday and then continues through all of Wednesday evening before it changes to sleet around or just after midnight Wednesday night. Sleet then looks to continue for several hours after midnight Wednesday night. It appears that the sleet will mix with freezing rain beginning around sunrise Thursday morning. A mix of sleet and freezing rain then looks to continue through the Thursday morning commute before ending around mid-morning Thursday. A break in the precipitation looks to occur from mid-morning Thursday until about early evening Thursday. A second round of precipitation in the form of freezing rain looks to occur from early evening Thursday until about just after midnight Thursday night. It’s possible that this freezing rain could be moderate to heavy in intensity. All precipitation will come to an end just after midnight Thursday night. Snow and sleet amounts Wednesday night and Thursday morning look to amount to 3 to 4 inches. More importantly, it appears that ice amounts of one tenth of an inch to two tenths of an inch is expected, mostly from the expected freezing rain on Thursday evening. Very slippery travel is likely throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning due to the combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Icy and very slippery travel looks likely on Thursday evening due to freezing rain. In addition, there is the potential for ice buildup on trees and power lines on Thursday evening, which could lead to some downed tree limbs and possible power outages. Areas Near & North Of Route 2: Snow begins around sunset Wednesday and then continues through a large part of Wednesday night before it changes to sleet during the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning. Sleet then looks to continue through the Thursday morning commute before ending around mid-morning Thursday. It appears possible that the area near and north of Route 2 may “miss out” on the second round of precipitation Thursday evening. This is something that’ll be watched though. Snow and sleet amounts Wednesday night and Thursday morning look to amount to 4 to 5 inches. Very slippery travel is likely throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning due to the combination of snow and sleet.

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Heidi-Jeanne
Heidi-Jeanne
Feb 22, 2023

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