For This Afternoon: A sunny to partly sunny afternoon is expected with gradually decreasing winds. Temperatures this afternoon will fall into the low 30s by mid-afternoon and then into the upper 20s by sunset. Winds this afternoon will be west to northwest 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Tonight: An area of high pressure will briefly build into the area tonight bringing with it clear to partly cloudy skies. Low temperatures tonight will be between 13 and 18 Degrees. Saturday: After a quiet morning of weather with partly sunny skies expected, Saturday afternoon looks potentially “very wild” in terms of weather as a line of potent snow squalls move through. A cold front is expected to push through the area during Saturday afternoon. Along and ahead of this front, it appears that there will be more than enough unstable air to produce a line of convection (similar to what we see in the summer with thunderstorms). This line of convection will be in the form of a line of snow squalls. The big important question is when will the snow squalls move through Western and Central Mass and there are some differences in the weather guidance regarding this. The high resolution HRRR model forecasts that the snow squalls will move across Western and Central Mass between 2 pm and 4 pm Saturday. The high resolution NAM model, on the other hand, forecasts that the snow squalls will move through between 4 pm and 6 pm. At this point, I'm going to take an average of these two models and go with the squalls moving through between 3 pm and 5 pm.
My Saturday Afternoon Forecast For Western & Central Mass Is For widespread snow showers overspreading the entire area between 11 am and midday and lasting until about 1-2 pm or so. These snow showers will produce less than an inch of snow. This will be followed by a line of potent snow squalls are expected to affect Western Mass between 3 pm and 4 pm and then affect Central Mass between 3:30 pm and 5 pm Saturday. These snow squalls will produce very heavy snow with snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour, zero visibility and wind gusts of up to 45 to 50 mph. It's expected that these squalls should last for about 30 to 45 minutes at any one location with a quick 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation expected. Be aware and be ready for extremely poor travel conditions during these squalls due to very heavy snow, rapid snow accumulation on roads, zero visibility and whiteout conditions. If you can, plan your travel so that you aren’t out on the roads between 3 pm and 5 pm Saturday. Sunday & Presidents’ Day: An area of high pressure will build into the area for Sunday and Monday. Sunday is expected to be sunny to partly sunny with high temperatures near 35 Degrees. Partly sunny and milder weather is expected for Monday. High temperatures Monday will be near 50 Degrees. Tuesday Through Next Friday: A stretch of active weather is expected next week as two storms are expected to affect the area. The first storm system looks to affect the region on Tuesday and Tuesday night with mostly all rain expected. The exception to this may be across the far northern Worcester Hills where some freezing rain may occur at the onset of precipitation Tuesday morning. Even here though, any freezing rain should change to rain. High temperatures Tuesday will be near 45 Degrees. Temperatures on Tuesday night may rise to near 50 Degrees. Wednesday is expected to be a cloudy day with scattered rain showers around. High temperatures Wednesday will be near 55 Degrees. A return to much colder weather is expected for Thursday under a mixture of sunshine and clouds. High temperatures Thursday will be between 35 and 40 Degrees. A second much more wintry storm system is expected to affect Western and Central Mass starting late Thursday night and continuing through next Friday. This is a storm system that has been consistently shown by the various weather guidance members for several days now and it appears possible that this could be a storm to really watch. At this point, it’s possible that this storm could bring heavy amounts of snow with sleet and ice mixed in as well. High temperatures next Friday will be near 30 Degrees.