Partly sunny skies are expected for This Afternoonwith partly sunny skies also expected all day Wednesday across Western and Central Mass. Temperatures this afternoon will be near 65 Degrees and high temperatures Wednesday will be between 65 and 70 Degrees. On Thursday, an area of low pressure is expected to take shape near the Maryland coastline. Rain is expected to begin by mid to late morning across Western Mass and by late morning to early afternoon across Central Mass. Rain will then continue across the entire area throughout Thursday afternoon. Temperatures on Thursday will be much cooler with readings between 40 and 45 Degrees expected. Snow Is Likely For Thursday Night Into Friday Across Western & Central Mass: That low pressure system is expected to strengthen to the south of Long Island on Thursday night and then move slowly to the east on Friday. As this low pressure system strengthens, it will cause colder air to be pulled southward into Western and Central Mass. This is a setup that will need to be watched with extreme scrutiny as it’s quite possible that accumulating snow could occur across all of Western and Central Mass, both in the hills and in the valleys. A changeover from rain to snow looks to occur first across the Berkshires, the Worcester Hills and the Hilltowns of Western Mass during Thursday evening with the rain then changing to snow across the rest of Western and Central Mass, including the Pioneer Valley and the Blackstone Valley after midnight Thursday night. Depending on how quickly this low pressure system strengthens and how much dynamics are involved, there could be a period of moderate to heavy snow across the entire area from about 2 to 3 am to about 8 am Friday morning. Snow then continues for a while on Friday morning before it lightens up intensity and mixes with rain during Friday afternoon. The snow-rain mix with then come to an end during Friday evening. As I mentioned yesterday, this is going to be a very tough forecast in terms of precipitation type and how much snow actually accumulates. One factor that could lead to a few to several inches of wet, heavy snow to accumulate is the fact that it will be night when much of the snow accumulates and there will be no solar insulation involved that would otherwise melt the snow on contact. Also, any periods of moderate to heavy snow would also “override” any melting involved due to the warm ground leading to the snow to accumulate rather quickly. Here Are My Thoughts On Total Snow Accumulations For Thursday Night Into Friday: The highest snow amounts are probably going to occur in the Berkshires, the northern Worcester Hills and the western hilltowns of Western Mass with 3 to 6 inches of wet, heavy snow possible with higher amounts possible. Elsewhere across Western and Central Mass, the rest of the Worcester Hills and the eastern Hilltowns of Western Mass may end up with 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulations. As for the Pioneer Valley and the Blackstone Valley, 1 to 2 inches of snow accumulation is currently possible. With that said, we will have to watch for the possibility of higher amounts across all areas of Western and Central Mass, especially where this will be a wet and heavy snow that could lead to tree damage and power outages in areas that see 4 inches or more of snow accumulation. I am monitoring this storm extremely closely and will continue to keep you updated.