Snow, Ice & Rain Expected Tonight Through Tuesday Morning: An area of low pressure is expected to track from the Southeastern United States this afternoon and tonight and then across some part of Southern New England during Tuesday morning. This storm system is expected to bring a wintry mess of precipitation to the entire area beginning around midnight tonight and continuing through Tuesday morning. It looks like initially freezing rain will move in around midnight tonight across the entire area as warmer air aloft bumps into cold air near the surface. The big question and kind of unknown with this storm is whether or not the freezing rain will change to rain or not, and if so, when. This is extremely important because if we do change to rain like some of the weather forecast guidance suggests, we will prevent ourselves from seeing a significant ice storm (Great News!!). My concern is that the surface winds tonight and Tuesday morning are expected to be from a north to northeast direction and this could lead to a situation where the sub-freezing air near the surface has a tough time being scoured out leading to a prolonged freezing rain event. Based on everything that I’ve looked at today, here are my thoughts: For The Lower Pioneer Valley & Southern Worcester County, Including Springfield & Worcester: Freezing rain begins around midnight tonight and continues for a few hours late tonight. A gradual change from freezing rain to rain is forecast near sunrise Tuesday morning. During Tuesday morning, it may just be barely warm enough for the precipitation to fall as rain across the lower Pioneer Valley and across southern Worcester County, but I think it could be close (33 to 35 Degrees). The rain is expected to come to an end around midday on Tuesday. For The Upper Pioneer Valley, The Berkshires & Northern Worcester County, Including Fitchburg, Gardner, Deerfield & Blandford: Freezing rain is expected to begin around midnight tonight and the freezing rain is expected to continue through the rest of the night tonight and into Tuesday morning. There is the potential that the precipitation across the Berkshires, the upper Pioneer Valley and northern Worcester County remains as freezing rain with temperatures staying in the 29 to 31 Degree range. This could lead to around one-half of an inch of ice accumulation. This significant amount of ice is likely to lead to extremely hazardous travel conditions, power outages and tree damage. The freezing rain is expected to come to an end around midday Tuesday. My latest forecast ice accumulation map is attached to this post.
Another Significant Winter Weather Event Looks Likely From Thursday Afternoon Through All Day Friday: If one storm to try and forecast wasn’t enough, another storm system looks likely to impact Western and Central Mass beginning on Thursday afternoon and continuing through Thursday night and Friday. It is possible that this storm could be even more impactful than the one expected for tonight and Tuesday morning. An area of low pressure is forecast to head from the Southeastern United States on Thursday to near Nantucket by Friday afternoon. This storm looks colder in nature than the one that is expected for tonight and Tuesday morning, this means that this second storm looks to bring mainly all snow to the area. It appears that snow will overspread Western and Central Mass just before midday Thursday and then continue through all of Thursday afternoon, Thursday night and a large part of Friday. It is possible that some freezing rain and sleet could mix in with the snow near and south of the Mass Pike late Thursday night and Friday morning. The snow with this second storm system looks to come to an end early Friday evening. My first thoughts for snow amounts from Thursday afternoon through Friday look to range from 4 to 6 inches or so across the lower Pioneer Valley and southern Worcester County to 6 to 8 inches or so of snowfall across the upper Pioneer Valley and across northern Worcester County.