Thursday, 4:30 PM
Celebrating Valentine's Day with snow, sleet, rain, and more snow
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
The truck laden with equipment that left Fenway Park today heading south to the Red Sox home in Fort Myers, Fla., is a sure sign that spring is almost here.
Almost, but not quite.
New England may get to celebrate Valentine's Day on Wednesday with a winter storm that could dump up to seven slushy inches of snow in Boston in what would be the first major storm of the season. The mix of snow, rain, sleet, and wind should complicate the commute Wednesday morning and cause problems throughout the day as temperatures warm in the afternoon before plunging into the teens by nightfall.
"Boston: Enjoy the nice weather tonight," said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
The Coast Guard is warning boaters to prepare for 50-knot winds and seas over than 20 feet high. A low pressure system across the southern United States is expected produce a nasty storm off the New England coast. The further the storm stays out at sea, the more snow could fall on land, Dunham said.
Snow totals could hit up to 10 inches west of Boston, with up to 15 inches falling in northwestern Massachusetts and southwestern New Hampshire, forecasters predict.
The first flakes are expected to begin falling after 10 p.m. on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, there may be two to four inches of snow on the ground with northeastern winds gusting up to 35 mph.
In the afternoon, temperatures are predicted to creep into the mid 30s, changing snow into sleet and then rain, Dunham said.
When the sun goes down, the temperatures are supposed to drop as low as 16 degrees, causing the snow and sleet to refreeze. An additional two to four inches of snow may cause even more headaches.
Then, again forecasters have had a tough year predicting snow, with less than two inches of the white stuff falling so far this season.
"There's still time for things to go wrong, if you are a snow lover," Dunham said.
On Valentine's Day in 1940, some 14 inches fell on Boston.