By James M. Arnold, Weather Specialist
Region – By the time the next week is done, it is likely that we will be reminded of the old British?TV show, “That Was The Week That Was.”
Tomorrow will see fair weather with moderate temperatures reaching the upper 30s to around 40 during the afternoon.? Clouds will be on the increase during the afternoon as?yet another and much more important?storm heads our way.? Snow will break out across our area from southwest to northeast around or just after midnight Tuesday night.? Temperatures will continue to be moderate, holding?at?about?30 degrees.? There are a number of factors that will play a part in who gets what and how much from this storm, but it promises to be a disruptive event.? Right now it looks like a general snowfall of from 6 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.? The progression of precipitation changing from snow to sleet and freezing rain to rain may be truncated, as there are signals that cold air damming will occur south of the Mass Pike, holding cold air in place and creating an environment for freezing rain to continue for a longer period of time.? 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 4 to 7 inches, and as mentioned above, snow should transition to sleet and freezing rain?with some ice accumulation possible.? Fortunately, wind will not be an issue,?reducing the potential of tree and wire damage, but some scattered power outages are still possible.? Closer to the coast?there will be more rain and less snow, with somewhat warmer temperatures.
In the area north of the Mass Pike and west of Route 495 including the Shrewsbury/Worcester area,?more snow will fall as there will be little or no mixing with sleet and?freezing rain.? Here,?accumulations look to be?in the range of 6 to 10 inches with a few local amounts of 12 inches likely.???The higher ground to our north and west will likely see accumulations of 8 to 12 inches with some local amounts of up to 15 inches.? ?These amounts?could move around a bit depending on where the heaviest banding occurs and how the temperature profile sets up, but this seems to be a pretty good estimate right now.
Our weather will remain fairly peaceful Thursday, Friday and into Saturday, with seasonable temperatures, mostly in the 30s by day and around 20 at night.? Clouds will increase Saturday afternoon as the next system approaches us from the western Gulf of Mexico.? With plenty of Gulf moisture to work with, arctic air to our north and the likelihood of a negatively tilted trough along the east coast, there could be the perfect setup for a classic northeast coastal snowstorm.? Being nearly a week out, the particulars of this storm?are not yet available,?but I will keep you up-to-date on its progress.? Should this one come together the way I think it could, it would be a disruptive if not crippling snowstorm for most if not all southern New England.??I am anticipating a fairly intense storm to move along the coast and in the vicinity of the Benchmark.? This, coupled with an arctic high to our north, will create a strong pressure gradient, and as a result, gale force winds seem quite likely in addition to a heavy snowfall.
As this storm pulls away sometime late Sunday or early Monday, it will be followed by more arctic air with very cold temperatures likely early next week.? Yet another storm may?be threatening this area by mid week next week.
It is looking like the Ground Hog was right!
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