Winter returns with widespread snowfall across much of Massachusetts
BOSTON – The WBZ Weather Team has issued the following Weather Advisory for severe impact weather headed our way Tuesday.
The National Weather Service has also issued winter storm warnings for much of inland Massachusetts.
Winter is about to make a serious comeback. After a record warm weekend and widespread spring fever, we now turn our attention to an approaching winter storm.
Tuesday’s storm timeline
Rainfall will arrive after midnight on Monday. Surface temperatures will initially be fairly mild, so it will likely start out as rain in far eastern and southeastern Massachusetts. By 5 a.m., snow will fall across much of southern New England, and the rain will gradually turn to wet snow along the immediate coast.
Once the rain turns to snow, it will fall very heavily Tuesday morning. The brunt of the storm and most of the snow accumulation will occur between 7am and 4pm on Tuesday. Snowfall rates of up to 1-2 inches per hour are likely in some of the heavier bands that develop. Highways will quickly become snow-covered, and travel will be very slippery/treacherous during Tuesday morning and evening commutes.
The snow will taper from west to east late Tuesday afternoon and evening. The final flakes fall in western and central Massachusetts between 1 and 4 p.m. In eastern Massachusetts, the snow will taper off between 4 and 7 p.m
How much snow will we get?
- 8-12 inches along and west of I-95, most inland areas of Massachusetts. The further north and west you live, the lighter/fluffier the snow (Worcester County specifically)
- 4-8′ direct shoreline from Boston down through the Plymouth Coastal District to the Upper Cape and South Coast. Temperatures will be around freezing or just above in these areas during most of the first half of the storm, so they will not build up easily.
- 4-8 inches also in southern New Hampshire, southern Vermont and southern Maine. These areas will be no more than 8 inches from the center of the storm.
- 2-4 inches from mid to outer Cape Cod and islands. Lots of early mixing/rain and high temperatures make it difficult for snow to accumulate until very late in the storm
The highest wind gusts will be over the Cape and Islands on Tuesday. In these areas, northeast to north winds will reach 45-60 mph. Along the rest of the coast, we expect wind speeds to reach between 30-45 mph. Winds will be lower inland with gusts between 20 and 30 mph.
We do not expect widespread power outages. However, with the weight of wet snow and strong winds, there may be some power loss in eastern Massachusetts.
Winds peak from midday until approximately Tuesday evening. There will be a gradual decline Tuesday night, however, winds will remain brisk/gusty through Wednesday.
During Tuesday afternoon, winds will shift further north, pulling cold air across eastern Massachusetts. Temperatures will drop by 5 to 10 degrees within a short period of time.
Coastal areas that were above freezing Tuesday morning will drop below freezing, causing any untreated surfaces to freeze. This will occur from north to south in the early afternoon along the North Shore and across Boston and in the late afternoon/evening along the South Shore and across the Cape.
There is a coastal flood watch posted for the high tide session Tuesday afternoon. We are currently in one of the highest tidal cycles of 2024. They will emerge from peak levels on Tuesday but will still be very high.
Combine this fact with strong northeasterly winds on Tuesday and we expect widespread minor to moderate coastal flooding. There will likely be 1-2 feet of flooding on all typical coastal roads that are prone to flooding. These floods will reach their peak between Tuesday noon and 4 p.m.
Finally, we expect some additional coastal flooding again during early morning high tide on Wednesday (between 1 and 4 a.m.). The winds will have moved outward by then, so most of the flooding on Wednesday should be minor.
It looks like winter is here to stay for a while. Temperatures will be below average for the rest of the week. Wind chills will be in the single digits Wednesday morning and air temperatures will remain below freezing throughout the day in most areas.
There may be some additional snowfall later Thursday or Friday. Right now, this doesn’t look like a major storm but should be monitored over the next few days.
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