Region anticipated to get 8-12″ of snow
By James M. Arnold, Weather Specialist
Region – So far, the impending storm is behaving almost exactly as portrayed several days ago. Snow will begin in the Shrewsbury area around 2:00 to 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, becoming moderate to heavy just before dawn, likely around 6:00 A.M., and continue for the rest of the morning. By or shortly after noon the heavy snow will begin to taper off, but will continue as light snow into the evening hours Wednesday. Temperatures overnight will hold in the low to mid 20s, rising only to the mid to upper 20s Wednesday. This promises to be a disruptive event, and the morning commute will likely become a nightmare. The afternoon commute will be a bit better, but still a very rough drive as snow will continue to fall into the evening. Right now it looks like a general snowfall of from 8 to 12 inches can be expected across central Massachusetts, with the higher amounts along and north of the Mass Pike. South of the Pike some sleet and freezing rain will hold accumulations down, but at a price…the likelihood of some ice accumulations in addition to the snow is a possibility, especially nearer to the coast where ice accretion could reach a tenth of an inch. Snow will end Wednesday night before midnight and Thursday will see partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 30s.
South of the Mass Pike snow depths will be around 8 to 10 inches with less closer to the coast. The coast, Cape Cod and the Islands will see about 2 to 5 inches before a change to rain curtails further accumulations. Fortunately, wind will not be an issue, reducing the potential of tree and wire damage, but some scattered power outages are possible. The lack of any strong winds will also hold down any potential beach erosion along east facing beaches.
In the area north of the Mass Pike and west of Route 495 including the Shrewsbury/Worcester area, more snow will fall as there should be little or no mixing with any sleet and freezing rain. Here, accumulations look to be in the range of 8 to 12 inches with a few local amounts of 15 inches likely. The higher ground to our north and west will likely see accumulations of 10 to 14 inches with some local amounts of up to 18 inches. These amounts could still move around a bit depending on where the heaviest banding occurs and how the temperature profile sets up.
Following this storm, our weather will become quite nice Thursday, Friday and into Saturday with high temperatures around the mid-30s and overnight lows in the mid-teens under partly cloudy skies.
Regarding the late weekend storm, I have not spent a lot of time on that today. Once past this storm, I will shift my attention to that one and the possible invasion of frigid arctic air early next week.
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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