Officials keeping cautious eye on approaching storm
By James M. Arnold, Weather Specialist
It is looking more and more like we will be seeing a major storm from Tuesday night through much of Wednesday. We still need to wait for more clarity on the exact track, but more pieces are falling into place. Model guidance has the east coast trough assuming a negative tilt, (see the graphic below, model data from WeatherBell) which argues for two things: First: that will enhance the moisture feed to the circulation, enhancing snowfall in all areas, and second: it will draw the storm further to the west and closer to the benchmark, perhaps even a bit inside of it. The ramifications of this are to bring an intense ocean storm closer to the coast, spreading its more severe impacts further inland.
This still looks to be a very intense storm, with a variety of hazards to consider. Here is a link to the National Weather Service web site and their discussion of expected impacts:
The coastal plain, Cape Cod and the Islands will likely experience some tidal flooding at the time of high tide along with the likelihood of moderate to severe beach erosion. It looks like a heavy snowfall will impact these areas as well, with near blizzard to full blizzard conditions likely Tuesday night into Wednesday. Impacts and snowfall depths will decrease further inland, but even in inland areas there is the likelihood of a disruptive snowfall with blowing and drifting complicating matters. We really will not know what the exact track will look like until Monday morning, and for that reason it is still too early to estimate snowfall accumulations. To me, the odds favor a major storm, but if it does miss us, our area will have dodged a big bullet.
I will have another update tomorrow after the mid day guidance is available.
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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