Snow is expected to hit parts of New England
One of the most reliable weather forecasting models — the European model — continues to show that this storm will miss us, moving about 200 miles south. If this guidance turns out to be correct, predictions of heavy snow and winds will not come true. We will see little to no snow across northern Massachusetts cities and perhaps 1 to 4 inches closer to Boston, with 4 to 7 inches further south. This possibility must be taken into consideration even at this late date, with less than 24 hours remaining until the storm begins.
The European model group forecast below has almost no chance of heavy snow — 6 inches or more — falling in the most populated areas of southern New England. There’s another set of data that we’re going to get this evening, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest forecasts and if you’re the superintendent of schools and you can hold off on making the call, I will.
The GFS model shows that the greatest amount of total precipitation is expected to be south of Mass Pike. The numbers you notice are either rain or the total water equivalent of the snow itself. That’s a lot of precipitation, and for those areas that receive the most snow and the most water equivalent, there’s going to be a lot of it.
Snow accumulation expected
I made some changes to my snow maps. Once more information is available later today, we could see more of a southward shift in snow intensity or it may end up staying the same.
Right now, we’re looking at:
• 8 to 14 inches – Boston area, southern Mass Pike, most of Rhode Island and Connecticut.
• 4 to 8 inches – north of Mass Pike and western Massachusetts.
• 2 to 8 inches – along the coast and on the headland.
• 2 to 4 inches – southern Maine
• Coating up to 2 inches – New Hampshire and Vermont.
A winter storm warning has been issued for central, eastern, northeastern and western Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island starting at 1 a.m. Tuesday and continuing until 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Rain is expected to arrive Tuesday morning. If you need to get to work, you’ll be able to travel quite easily for the first part of the trip, but once we get past about 8am, conditions will deteriorate.
I believe the most intense part of the storm will come during the mid to late morning and afternoon. During times of heavy snowfall, it can fall at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour, making travel very difficult due to reduced visibility.
Boston Mayor Wu on Monday declared a snow emergency in the city starting at 10 p.m. Monday and canceled classes in Boston Public Schools.
The wind will be noticeable but not excessive. A high wind warning is in place across Cape Cod and the islands where winds will reach more than 50 mph in some locations, causing intermittent power outages, especially as rain turns to heavy wet snow.
Some parts of the outer Cape could experience blizzard conditions Tuesday afternoon for a while, meaning visibility of a quarter-mile or less and frequent wind gusts over 35 mph.
There will likely be minor to moderate coastal flooding at high tide, certainly nothing widespread. A coastal flood warning has been issued for Massachusetts Beach and the Cape.
The good news is that the entire system is moving very quickly. After dark on Tuesday, it will all be over and people will have a chance to clean up in preparation for the morning commute on Wednesday. With no snow on the ground or snowbanks, there is plenty of room to put everything even if you receive more than a foot.
Sunshine returns on Wednesday with cool air typical for February and highs reaching the 30s.