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Rain To Ice To Snow From Late Sun Night Through New Year’s Eve Across Western & Central Mass

For The Rest Of Today: A generally cloudy rest of the day is expected across Western and Central Mass as a frontal boundary slowly approaches us from the Great Lakes. High temperatures this afternoon will be near 40 Degrees.

Tonight: Even though the region will be underneath an upper level ridge of high pressure tonight, enough moisture from the slowly approaching frontal system will cause some spotty light freezing rain and freezing drizzle to impact parts of Western Mass after about 3 am tonight. Not every town will have freezing rain or freezing drizzle and in fact, most areas will probably stay dry tonight. With that said, the towns that do see some light freezing rain/freezing drizzle may wake up to some slippery conditions for the Friday morning commute.

Low temperatures tonight will be in the low 30s.

Friday: Very spotty light freezing rain and freezing drizzle will continue for the first half of Friday morning across Western and Central Mass. Temperatures by late morning and midday will be well above freezing, so I expect scattered rain showers from late Friday morning through Friday afternoon.

That frontal boundary pushes through during the late afternoon and evening hours of Friday.

High temperatures Friday will be between 40 and 45 Degrees.

Saturday Through Sunday: A decent weekend for weather is expected as an area of high pressure will control our weather.

Saturday is expected to be sunny to partly sunny with high temperatures between 40 and 45 Degrees.

Sunday will be sunny to partly sunny in the morning with clouds increasing during the afternoon ahead of a storm system approaching from the southwest. High temperatures Sunday will be between 44 and 49 Degrees.

Rain To Start With Late Sunday Night That Changes To Freezing Rain & Sleet Monday & Monday Night & Then To Snow On New Year’s Eve: A strong storm system is expected to head into the upper Great Lakes region early next week. As it does so, it will bump into a strong high pressure system over southern Canada. This interaction could do a couple of things – one, it could cause the development of a second low pressure system near the southern New England coast and two, it could cause colder air to funnel southward into our area leading to a potentially icy precipitation event for early next week.

The uncertainty as to how this storm will evolve and what type of precipitation will fall from the sky is quite high right now. The possible scenarios laid out by the weather forecast guidance range from a significant snowstorm north of the Mass Pike & a rain to snow event south of the Mass Pike to a significant ice storm across a large part of Western and Central Mass to a rain storm across the entire area. Yeah, it’s that tough of a forecast!!

A couple of things to consider – the first is that the signal for colder air to drain down into Western and Central Mass looks strong, even on the rainy, warm guidance. So, we need to strongly consider that at least some ice and even some snow could occur at some point during this storm. The second thing to consider is that Sunday looks quite mild across the region and I think it may take some time for the colder air to push into the region.

Bottom line though is that this is going to be a moisture packed storm system and if we do see ice and snow instead of all rain, then significant accumulations are a possibility.

For Now, This Is What I’m Thinking: For Sunday Night - I do think that the precipitation will initially start as rain across much of Western and Central Mass by about midnight Sunday night and remain as mostly rain through sunrise Monday morning. The exception may be along and north of Route 2 where enough cold air may be around for rain to change to freezing rain late Sunday night.

For Monday – Rain may gradually change to freezing rain and sleet from north to south across Western and Central Mass as the day progresses.

Along and north of Route 2, freezing rain may occur for much of the day with areas along and north of the Mass Pike changing from rain to freezing rain and sleet by afternoon. South of the Mass Pike, the rain may occur for much of the day before changing to freezing rain and sleet late in the afternoon or early evening Monday.

For Monday Night – Icy precipitation in the form of freezing rain and sleet may continue through Monday night across much of Western and Central Mass. A changeover to all snow may occur along and north of Route 2 at some point Monday night.

For New Year’s Eve – If we do see a distinct low pressure system move into the Gulf of Maine, it cause a changeover to all snow across all of Western and Central Mass during New Year’s Eve. This storm will end on New Year’s Eve night.

As I already mentioned, this storm has a high amount of uncertainty to it and the forecasts with it will change in the coming days. Given the potential for long duration ice storm to impact the region Monday right into New Year’s Eve, it is a storm to watch extremely closely. Thank you for reading my latest forecast for Western and Central Mass.

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