The uncertainty with exactly when the rain will change to snow and how much snow may accumulate during Saturday and Saturday night remains very high. One big reason why there is so much uncertainty is because this storm is going to have to produce its own cold air from its rapid strengthening and the amount of energy it produces. This is something that the weather forecast guidance struggles with most times. There are three ways that this forecast could go “south”. The First Way is that the temperatures don’t fall quick enough during the day on Saturday leading to either the rain not changing to snow at all or not occurring until the very end of the storm. The Second Way is if the precipitation shield from this storm moves out just as the rain is changing to snow. This would lead to the rain changing to snow on Saturday morning, but ending quickly around early afternoon Saturday. It would also lead to the heaviest snow amounts occurring in Maine with very light accumulations here in Western and Central Mass. The Third Way is if we change from rain to snow during Saturday morning and then see several hours of moderate to heavy snow on Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening as a band of particularly heavy snow sets up from the eastern Hilltowns of Western Mass into much of Worcester County. Should this occur, it would mean upwards of a foot of snow could accumulate in this region. With that said, Here Are My Thoughts: Rain will overspread all of Western and Central Mass this evening and then continue throughout the rest of the night tonight. The rain, I think, will change to snow fairly quickly across Western and Central Mass by mid to late morning Saturday. Snow then continues through Saturday afternoon and I think that a band of heavy snow with snowfall accumulation rates upwards of 2 inches per hour may set up from much of Worcester County westward into the eastern hilltowns of Western Mass. This heavy snow is expected to occur throughout Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening and travel may be extremely difficult during this time due to the heavy snow rates. The snow will continue through Saturday evening before coming to an end just after midnight Saturday night. Our latest snowfall total forecast map is attached to this post. This is going to be a wet, sticky and very heavy snow and I do have considerable concerns that we may see snapped tree limbs and downed power lines due to the wet, heavy snow accumulation across Worcester County into the eastern hilltowns of Western Mass. North winds are also expected to gust up to 30 to 40 mph at times and this will add to the threat for snapped tree limbs and downed power lines from the eastern hilltowns of Western Mass through Worcester County. Please be aware that the forecast of this storm continues to be VERY uncertain and additional changes to the forecast may be needed.
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