Region braces for snow, frigid temps
By James M. Arnold, Weather Specialist
Region – New Year’s Day will see increasing cloudiness and continued cold, with high temperatures struggling to make it into the low teens. Snow flurries can be expected from mid afternoon on. Wednesday night will see continuous light snow develop after midnight with temperatures around 5 degrees. Thursday will see snow, increasing northeast winds and very cold conditions, as temperatures will hold in the single numbers. Snow will continue Thursday night and end Friday morning. I am still expecting a significant snowfall, likely in the 8 to 12 inch range unless more southern moisture gets entrained into the storm circulation, in which case amounts would be higher. This will be a windy storm with northeast winds at 15 to 25 mph gusting to perhaps 35 to 40 mph. The snow amount bullseye now appears to be somewhat to our southeast, where 12 to 18 inch amounts are likely in the coastal plain, Cape Cod and the Islands. There, winds will be somewhat stronger, at 30 to 40 mph gusting as high as 60 mph. There is the threat of some minor coastal flooding but the bigger threat in my opinion is in the form of moderate to severe erosion of east facing beaches.
There is no question about the severity of the cold that will follow this system. Friday will be very cold as temperatures will struggle to reach the lower teens, and there will still be a strong wind from the northwest. Friday night/Saturday morning we hit the jackpot so to speak, as temperatures will sink to 8 to 12 degrees below zero in the usual cold spots, but winds will be light and variable. Saturday will show some moderation as temperatures begin to recover to the middle teens to maybe as high as 20 degrees. That is when we turn our eyes to the next system in line for us and the arctic shot that will follow in its wake.
James M. Arnold is a Weather Specialist working with Shrewsbury Emergency Management Agency; town of Princeton; Worcester Emergency Communications and Emergency Management Agency; Southborough Emergency Management Agency; town of Grafton and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
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