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Midday Tuesday Update On The Upcoming Storm For Tonight

It looks like snow will overspread Western Mass between 2 and 4 pm this afternoon and then overspread Central Mass between 4 and 6 pm today.

Once it starts snowing, it'll come down quite hard for a while leading to an accumulation of snow before the changeover to rain.

At this time, it appears that most areas of Western and Central Mass will probably pick up a quick inch or so of snow accumulation. The exception will be across the northern Worcester Hills, the Route 2 corridor and the Berkshires where 2 to 3 inches of snow looks quite possible.

A changeover from snow to rain looks to occur across areas near and south of the Mass Pike by about 7-8 pm or so this evening. For areas north of the Mass Pike and especially in the northern Worcester Hills, the changeover from snow to rain may not occur until about 9-11 pm this evening.

One thing that does concern me is the possibility for a brief period of freezing rain during the change from snow to rain. The ground is very cold right now due to the combination of the snow pack and the prolonged period of sub-freezing temperatures. This means that even though the air temperature might be above freezing, the ground may remain below freezing for an hour or two leading to some icing issues.

This means that some icing is possible from about 7-8 pm to about 10 pm this evening across areas near and south of the Mass Pike and from about 9-11 pm to about midnight-1 am or so across areas north of the Mass Pike.

Once the precipitation changes to all rain, the rain intensity will be quite heavy. This heavy rain is then expected to continue until about dawn Wednesday morning. Also, a thunderstorm or two is also possible during the after midnight hours of tonight. Any thunderstorms will be capable of producing 60 mph wind gusts and extremely heavy rainfall.

All rain will come to an end just after sunrise on Wednesday morning.

Total rainfall amounts from this storm looks to average between 2 and 3 inches.

The combination of the heavy rain and substantial amounts of snow melt will lead to significant flooding tonight, especially during the after midnight hours of tonight into the early morning hours of Wednesday. This flooding will include river, creek and stream flooding. Flooding of low-lying and flood prone areas is also likely. Also, flooding is also expected in poor drainage and urban areas.

The other threat tonight will be the potential for strong south to southeast winds, especially during the after midnight hours of tonight.

Winds this evening will be south to southeast at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. During the after midnight hours of tonight, south to southeast winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 to 50 mph are expected. These strong winds may lead to some downed trees and tree limbs leading to isolated to scattered power outages during the after midnight hours of tonight.

One thing that needs to be watched very closely is the thunderstorm activity as any thunderstorms could pull down some 70 mph winds that will be present at just 1000 to 2000 feet above the ground. This is something to keep very close tabs on, just in case.

Temperatures this evening will be in the low to mid 30s, but will rise substantially into the 45 to 50 Degree range during the after midnight hours of tonight. Temperatures during Wednesday morning will be in the 45 to 50 Degree range, but will fall back to near 40 Degrees by mid to late afternoon Wednesday.

An Extremely Active Weather Pattern Is Expected To Persist Well Into Next Week: It looks like there are at least two more storms that will affect us.

Storm Number 1 is expected during Friday night and Saturday morning. This storm is very similar to this current storm. It appears we’ll have snow to start with Friday evening that’ll become heavy rain late Friday night and Saturday morning. At least 1 to 2 inches of rain looks possible with the Friday night and Saturday morning storm and this rain will only exacerbate the flood issues.

One this storm ends, it looks likely that some pretty cold air will push into the area leading to a freeze up of any standing water. Something to keep in mind for sure.

Storm Number 2 - There is some pretty strong evidence in the data that suggests we may see a winter storm with moderate to heavy amounts of snow around next Tuesday (January 16) and next Wednesday (January 17). This is a storm to definitely keep an eye on if you have plans on either of these days.

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