A significant to major winter storm is expected to affect parts of Western and Central Mass beginning on Wednesday night and continuing into the day on Thursday. There are still a couple of big unknowns with this storm – The first is the exact track of this storm system. At this point, I think that this storm will track near Nantucket around midday Thursday and if this actually occurs, it would focus the highest snow amounts near and south of the Mass Pike. Now, should we see a track closer to the Cape, it would lead to a widespread heavy snowfall across the entire area. On the other hand, a storm track well to the south of Nantucket would mean the highest snow amounts would remain across central and southern Connecticut into southern Rhode Island. The second big unknown is how far north will the shield of snow move in relation to our area. A large area of high pressure is expected to be in place across southern Quebec, Canada and northern New England. This will lead to an Arctic air mass to be pushed into our area on Tuesday. This means that Tuesday will be partly sunny, but cold with high temperatures between 30 and 35 Degrees. This Arctic air mass will also be dry, so it will try to “eat” the snow on its northern side. This is partially why we are seeing such huge differences in the model guidance. The model guidance members (GFS model) that are showing much more influence from our Canadian high pressure system pushes much more dry air into Western and Central Mass leading to a light snowfall. On the other hand, the model guidance members (Canadian model and the UKMET model) that are showing less influence and more moisture influx show a major snowfall across the entire area. Here Are My Latest Thoughts: Snow is expected to overspread Western and Central Mass between about 8 pm and 10 pm Wednesday evening. The snow is then expected to continue throughout Wednesday night and all of Thursday morning. A period of heavy snow is expected from about 3 am to about 9 am Thursday morning. Snowfall rates upwards of 2 inches per hour are possible during this time frame, especially across areas that are along and south of the Mass Pike. The snow will gradually come to an end from west to east during Thursday afternoon. In addition to the snow, north to northeast winds are expected to gust up to 20 to 30 mph at times during Wednesday night and Thursday leading to the snow to blow and drift in some areas. Also, this is going to be a “cold” storm with temperatures remaining in the 20 to 25 Degree range throughout the storm. This also means that this will be a light and fluffy snow. I think the lowest snow amounts of 4 to 8 inches can be expected along and north of Route 2 and the highest snow amounts of 12 to 16 inches are possible south of the Mass Pike. You can find my latest forecast snow total map for this storm attached to this post.
I continue to watch this storm extremely closely and will have additional updates as needed.