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Some snow likely overnight

Posted by David Epstein  March 30, 2012 04:07 PM

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Overnight tonight a storm will pass to the south of New England. We will be on the northern half of this storm system. As precipitation falls in the early morning of Saturday, it will take the form of snow across the region. Many areas could awaken tomorrow to up to 1" of snow mostly on the grass or car tops. While I wouldn't even call this a storm, it's a reminder we have had some major snowstorms in late March and April.


This weekend

The storm responsible for putting snow back in the forecast will stay just south of our area tonight and Saturday. However,as precipitation falls, it will be cold enough for snow in many places. I would not be surprised to see the ground turn white across much of the region by Saturday morning. Any snow that accumulates should be confined to the grass, cars and sidewalks. In terms of amounts, up to 1" could occur but that would be the exception not the general rule. Timing on the snow looks to be well after midnight and end in the morning on Saturday. We are looking at 5-7 hours of possible snowflakes from this system.

Temperatures Saturday will be chilly remaining in the 30s for the morning and into the 40s during the afternoon. If you like warm weather, it won't be the kind of day to get out and do chores or take a nice walk in the sunshine.

Sunday looks a bit milder with more in the way of sunshine. There may be a few showers Sunday night but no major rain event is expected. Temperatures will get back to the 50s Sunday afternoon and it will feel a lot better outside. The new week will be mild on Monday, but a chilly pattern seems to be the overall trend for the first part of April.

april blizzard.jpg

This weekend marks the 15 year anniversary of one of the largest spring snowstorms on record to hit southern New England. In 1997, snow fell from the 31st of March until the 1st of April. The storm produced 22.4" of snow in 24 hours, the second highest amount in a day on record. The total amount of snow for the entire storm in Boston was 25.4 inches. The April Fools blizzard, as it has come to be called, produced copious amounts of snow, wind and cold for much of the area. The storm came on the heels of relatively mild winter overall with not a lot of cold or snow. The temperature in Boston the day before the storm was in the 60s. I remember my flowers had already bloomed and ground was warming.

The storm moved up the coastline during the 31st and became somewhat stalled over the area. The storm was incredibly intense and produced a tremendous amount of wind in addition to the record snowfall totals for the day and month. Atop Blue Hill Observatory, the winds during the storm gusted over 70 miles per hour, nearly hurricane force. While we won't see any major accumulation of snow or strong winds this weekend, there may be some snow in the air Friday night and Saturday morning.

sfc april  blizzard.jpg

During the storm in 1997 there were many reports of thunder and lightning along with the very heavy snow. Thunder can occur during a snowstorm if the storm is intense and there is enough warm and unstable air being pulled into the system. Unstable air, is air that can easily be lifted up higher. This type of air produces those big thunder clouds, cumulonimbus, that you often see in the summer months. During the height of the storm, Boston got a foot of snow in just 4 hours! I remember looking out the window in West Roxbury and seeing the snow come down as hard as I have ever seen it snow.

Some of the amounts of snow from the 1997 blizzard are below.

37 Inches at Jewett ............. in East Central New York State
35 Inches at Platte Cove ........ in East Central New York State
33 Inches at Milford ............ in Central Massachusetts
30 Inches at Hopkinton .......... in Eastern Massachusetts
30 Inches at Shrewsbury ......... in Central Massachusetts
30 Inches at Ski Windham ........ in Southwestern Vermont
29 Inches at Prattsville ........ in East Central New York State
28 Inches at Broome ............. in East Central New York State
28 Inches at Burrillville ....... in Northern Rhode Island
28 Inches at Gilboa ............. in East Central New York State
27 Inches at Jaffrey ............ in Southern New Hampshire
26 Inches at Berne .............. in East Central New York State
26 Inches at West Townsend ...... in Eastern Massachusetts
25 Inches at Westerlo ........... in East Central New York State
24 Inches at Christiana ......... in Central Pennsylvania
22 Inches at Worcester .......... in Central Massachusetts
20 Inches at Taunton ............ in Southeastern Massachusetts
18 Inches at Brewster ........... in Southeastern New York State
18 Inches at Carmel ............. in Southeastern New York State

The April blizzard, while highly unusual, was not unique. There have been major snowstorms in other years as recently as 1982 when a similar storm dumped up to 2 feet of snow on April 5th-7th. April of 1996 gave Boston 7.3 inches of snow capping off the 107.6 inches that fell that winter.

Gardening tip of the week

If you are looking for a great plant to create some screening this plant is one of my favorites. Check out the video.


Follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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