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Major storm to hit New England Wednesday night and Thursday

Posted by David Epstein  December 25, 2012 10:00 PM

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I hope you had a nice Christmas break. The weather also took a break Christmas afternoon and that break will continue much of Wednesday before a major storm hits New England. This is a very large and intense storm. There are blizzard warnings up from Arkansas to Ohio and winter storm warnings from Texas to Maine. winter storm warnings.png Across the south tornadoes are an issue with juicy tropical air being sucked in the core of the storm. There have already been over a dozen tornadoes today making this the most on Christmas since 1969. As this storm moves north from the Appalachians, it will transfer to the coast and then pass east of Cape Cod Thursday before heading into the Canadian Maritimes. In our area we have winter storm watches posted inland and high wind watches for the south coast. I'll be updating this storm often on Twitter at @growingwisdom Please follow me there.

Rain vs snow
The big forecasting issue with this storm is going to be the rain snow line. We know that the rain will push inland from the coast after the precipitation begins around or just after dark Wednesday. The challenge for me is to figure out how far west and north the rain area moves. Also, the exact time of the changeover will determine how much snow falls before it changes. When this storm is over there could be bare ground along the coast and a foot or more of snow just 50 miles inland. The increase in snow depth will be dramatic. This is not going to be an historical storm, but it will be significant.
storm boxer day.gif
Amounts
From the Route 2 area west of Route 495 and points north, a foot of snow is likely. In Boston, a slushy accumulation could occur early in the storm before much of it washes away. From Haverhill to Wilmington to Wayland south to Framingham and Milford the amounts could vary few miles of that line by 6 inches. Putting this another way, between Route 128 and Route 495, I wouldn't be surprise to see a slushy inch on the ground in at the close of the storm or as much as a foot. I know this doesn't help you to make a forecast with such a wide range and I will fine tune this later Wednesday.
snow amounts boxer day.png

Timing

I expect the precipitation to overspread the region early Wednesday evening and continue much of the night. During the night the rain-snow line will slowly try to creep inland. The exact wind direction and temperature profile of the atmosphere is going to be critical in determining how much snow you see at your home. I can't stress enough how dramatic the line is going to be with the storm between rain and very heavy snow. The storm will wind down later Thursday with a return to cool and dry weather Friday and Saturday. Another storm may affect the area Sunday with snow. Where you get all rain, there could be as much as 3 inches of water. This could cause street and small stream flooding. Also be sure to check your gutters if you can tomorrow before the heavy rain moves into the region.

Wind
Strong winds will also be an issue late Wednesday night and Thursday. These winds will be especially strong at the coast and might cause a few power outages or minor damage.

Gardening
This weeks video talks about soil compaction. If you have an area of your lawn that won't grow grass very well or a tree that isn't performing, the issue might be soil compaction. Take a look at this video and see how soil compaction can be fixed.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please 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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