For This Morning: What a mess of a storm!! The radar imagery and weather reports from the region are not what I expected to see this morning. So far, only very light snow is falling across Western and Central Mass & the snow has already mixed with freezing drizzle across parts of northern Connecticut. In fact, Hartford is now reporting freezing rain. I really thought it would be snowing much harder than it is right now.
So, why aren’t we seeing the moderate to heavy snow? You actually have to look to the southern United States for that answer. It appears that a squall line, which produced numerous tornadoes yesterday afternoon and last night from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle has sapped some of the energy from this storm up here in Southern New England. Also, the push of moisture that was expected is much less than what was expected.
So, this is where we stand as of this morning – I think that an area of low pressure will move from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Maine over the next 12 hours. A warm front associated with this low pressure system will lift towards our area. This will lead to milder air moving in at the mid-levels of the atmosphere while cold air will be locked in near the surface with temperatures remaining below freezing across Western and Central Mass all day today.
This means that snow will continue through about 9-10 am across Western and Central Mass. The snow is expected to change to a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain along and south of the Mass Pike by about 10 am this morning. The changeover line from all snow to a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain will lift northward reaching about a line from about South Deerfield to about Gardner, Fitchburg and Lowell by about 1 to 2 pm this afternoon.
Even though we probably will see less snow than what was previously thought, we, unfortunately, will probably make up for it with sleet and freezing rain accumulations starting late this morning. This means that slick travel is expected throughout this morning across all of Western and Central Mass and in particular areas that change to a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain.
This Afternoon & This Evening: A mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected early this afternoon across a large part of Western and Central Mass. The exception may be along and north of Route 2 where it should stay all snow.
As our low pressure system begins to head for the Gulf of Maine, it will pull in some colder air into the region. This will cause the mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain to change back to all snow late this afternoon and this evening from northwest to southeast. The snow is expected to come to an end towards midnight tonight.
Freezing rain and sleet during this afternoon will lead to poor travel conditions across much of Western and Central Mass.
Updated Forecast Snow/Ice Amounts: Along & North Of Route 2 (Greenfield, Orange, Gardner, Leominster & Fitchburg): 3 to 5 Inches Of Snow. Little or No Ice Accumulation. Between Route 2 & The Mass Pike (Northampton, Barre, Rutland & Worcester): 2 to 4 Inches Of Snow. Less Than One Tenth Of An Inch (<0.10”) Of Ice. Along The Mass Pike (Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Sturbridge, Auburn & Millbury): 2 to 3 Inches Of Snow. Around One Tenth Of An Inch (0.10”) Of Ice. South Of The Mass Pike (Southwick, Agawam, Oxford, & Webster, Enfield & Windsor Locks, CT): 1 to 2 Inches Of Snow. One Tenth To One Quarter Of An Inch (0.10”-0.25”) Of Ice. Snow Showers & Snow Squalls Wednesday Afternoon Into Wednesday Evening: An Arctic cold front is expected to push through the region Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. Ahead of the front on Wednesday morning the weather remains quiet, with partly sunny skies and light west winds.
There is the risk for snow showers and snow squalls with the Arctic cold front that will move from west to east across Western and Central Mass between about 3 pm Wednesday afternoon and 7 pm Wednesday evening. The atmosphere parameters for snow squall development are favorable. These favorable parameters include low-level moisture and forcing from the cold front and an unstable atmosphere during Wednesday afternoon.
So, a line of scattered snow showers and scattered snow squalls are forecast to impact Western Mass from 3 pm to 5 pm Wednesday afternoon and then Central Mass from about 4 pm to 6 pm Wednesday. Any snow squalls will have the potential to drop a very quick 1 to possibly 2 inches of snow accumulation in under 30 minutes with gusty winds, leading to dangerous near-zero visibility conditions on area roads. Please keep this in mind for the Wednesday afternoon and evening commute.
Thank you for reading my latest forecast for Western and Central Mass.
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