For This Afternoon: Cloudy skies are expected to begin the afternoon with skies gradually becoming partly cloudy by mid and late afternoon. High temperatures this afternoon will be between 35 and 40 Degrees. Tonight: Colder air will begin to work into the region tonight. Skies tonight will be clear with low temperatures near 10 Degrees. Wednesday: An area of high pressure will push yet another round of Arctic air into the area on Wednesday. Skies on Wednesday will be sunny with high temperatures near 20 Degrees. Northwest winds gusting up to 20 mph at times will produce wind chill temperatures of between Zero and 10 Degrees throughout the day. Wednesday Night & Thursday: Clear skies with very cold and windy conditions are expected on Wednesday night. Low temperatures Wednesday night will be near Zero. Northwest winds will gust up to 20 to 30 mph at times with wind chill temperatures of 10 to 20 below zero expected. A sunny and cold day is expected on Thursday with high temperatures near 25 Degrees. Friday: An Arctic cold front will push through the region on Friday bringing with it some snow shower activity during the afternoon. High temperatures Friday will be near 35Degrees. A Significant, High Impact Winter Storm Continues To Be Possible From Late Friday Night Through Saturday & Saturday Night: The potential continues to be there for a high impact significant winter storm across Western and Central Mass late Friday night and Saturday. An area of low pressure is expected to take shape near the North Carolina and South Carolina coast during Friday and then move northeastward during Friday night and Saturday. The big questions continues to be where will this storm track in relation to Southern New England and how intense will this storm be. First of all, I think that all indications are that this storm system will undergo rapid intensification during Friday, Friday night and Saturday. The question then becomes how close will it track to the Southern New England coast and that’s where we see a big increase in the uncertainty of the forecast. Some of the weather forecast guidance merge the northern and southern branches of the Jet Stream over the eastern United States leading to an intense storm system to track very close to, if not right over the Cape or Nantucket. This type of track would lead to major impacts in the way of heavy snow (1 to 2 feet of accumulation), gusty winds of up to 40 mph and blizzard conditions Saturday into Saturday night. Other weather forecast guidance forecasts that the northern and southern branches of the Jet Stream will remain separate and not merge. This causes the storm system to not come all the way up the coast, but instead track to the southeast of Nantucket. This sort of track would lead to a light to moderate snowfall (2 to 5 inches of accumulation). It should be noted that the guidance that are showing this type of scenario is in the minority and even they seem to be trending towards the much more major snowstorm. Here Are My Thoughts: I think there is a steadily increasing risk for a major, high impact winter storm across most of, if not all of Western and Central Mass. It’s possible that areas near and west of I-91 could miss out on the really heavy accumulations, but that remains to be seen. Also, I think Central Mass has a much higher chance of seeing heavy to very heavy snow accumulations than Western Mass due to the proximity to the track of the storm system. At this point, I think that we’ll see snow develop across Western and Central Mass by midnight Friday night and then continue right through all day Saturday and most of, if not all of Saturday night. This could be a prolonged snowfall that lasts 24 to 30 consecutive hours. The worst part of the storm looks to be from about late Saturday morning through all of Saturday afternoon. During this time, we may see heavy snow with snow rates of at least 1 to 2 inches per hour, gusty north to northeast winds (gusts to 25-35 mph at times) and the potential for quite a bit of blowing and drifting snow and blizzard conditions at times. My First Very Preliminary Call On Snow Amounts are for AT LEAST 4 to 8 inches of snow accumulation across Western Mass; AT LEAST 6 to 12 inches of snow accumulation across areas of Central Mass that are west of I-395 & west of I-190 and AT LEAST 8 to 14 inches of snow accumulation across areas of Central Mass that are along and east of I-395 and along and east of I-190. Be aware that my methodology with these types of storms are that I start low with the forecast accumulations and adjust upward as needed. I plan on posting the first snowfall forecast map for this storm tomorrow. My Recommendation To Everyone Is to prepare for a high impact winter storm that does have the very real potential to bring 1 to 2 feet of snow accumulation, blowing and drifting snow and blizzard conditions at times late Friday night through all day Saturday and all of Saturday night. I continue to watch this storm extremely closely and will continue to have frequent updates as needed.
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