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Significant Winter Weather Is Expected Monday Night & Tuesday Morning Across Western & Central Mass

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, but dry conditions are expected tonight across Western and Central Mass. Low temperatures tonight will be near 25 Degrees. Monday: Monday is expected to be a very changeable weather day across the area. A southwesterly moist wind flow ahead of an approaching storm system from the southern United States will lead to a period of light snow that may mix with some sleet and freezing drizzle. The timing for this period of wintry weather looks to be from about 11 am to about 3-4 pm. A second period of light snow and freezing drizzle is possible from 5 to 7 pm Monday evening. All-in-all, it looks like snow and ice amounts will be very light with a dusting of snow possible and an extremely light glaze of ice also possible. With that said, even a very light glaze of ice could lead to some slick conditions at times on Monday, so use caution if you are out and about. High temperatures Monday will be around 30 Degrees. Significant Winter Weather Expected Monday Night Through Tuesday Morning: An area of low pressure is expected to track from the Southeastern United States on Monday night to across the Cape during Tuesday morning. I am becoming increasingly more concerned that we are going to see significant ice accumulations across a large part of Western and Central Mass late Monday night through Tuesday morning. Let’s break down the risks: Snow: Periods of light snow is likely to be occurring during early Monday evening, This light snow should end for a while with heavier precipitation moving in by about midnight Monday night. I think initially the precipitation will be in the form of snow and sleet north of the Mass Pike, but freezing rain mixed with sleet along and south of the Mass Pike. The precipitation looks to change to all freezing rain across much of Western and Central Mass by sunrise Tuesday morning. The exception looks to be near and north of Route 2 where sleet is expected by Tuesday morning. Right now, it looks like the upper Pioneer Valley, the Berkshires and the northern Worcester Hills will see 1 to 2 inches or so of snow accumulation before it changes to sleet. Elsewhere across Western and Central Mass, it looks like it could be all ice with this storm! Significant Ice Accumulations Possible: The big issue with this storm is going to be the ice accumulation potential as milder air moves northward into the area while sub-freezing air remains near the ground. I think that we will see snow and sleet north of the Mass Pike initially starting around midnight Monday night with freezing rain possibly mixed with sleet along and south of the Mass Pike. This should transition to all freezing rain by sunrise Tuesday morning across most of Western and Central Mass. The exception may be near and north of Route 2 where the precipitation may be more sleet than freezing rain. During Tuesday morning, I think that we’ll probably see sleet near and north of Route 2 with freezing rain expected across the remainder of Western and Central Mass. All wintry precipitation with this storm is expected to come to an end by early Tuesday afternoon. My forecast ice accumulation map is attached to this post.

I definitely think that the area from the lower Pioneer Valley eastward to southern Worcester County and southward into northern and central Connecticut have the highest chance of seeing significant amounts of freezing rain of up to one half of an inch. This area includes Springfield, Worcester and Hartford. This significant amount of ice is likely to lead to extremely hazardous travel conditions, power outages and tree damage. This is a storm that I am watching extremely closely and I will continue to have at least once a day updates for you. Another Significant Winter Weather Event Still Possible From Thursday Afternoon Through Friday: Yet another storm system is expected to reach Southern New England by Friday morning. To be honest, I really didn’t take a thorough and in-depth look at this second storm as I have my hands full with the first one. From what I did look at, there are no changes to my thinking. At this point, I think that a mix of snow and sleet is possible along and north of the Mass Pike and a mix of freezing rain and sleet is possible south of the Mass Pike from Thursday afternoon through Thursday night and most of the day on Friday. This storm could bring six inches or greater of snow and sleet along and north of the Mass Pike and the possibility of significant ice accumulations south of the Mass Pike.

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