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Moderate snowstorm for tonight

Posted by David Epstein  December 29, 2012 02:40 PM

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You knew this was going to happen eventually. There was no way our climate had changed so fast that it wasn't going to snow again. So here we are a few hours away from the start of the first significant snowfall for Boston in nearly a year. The last time Boston saw a major snowstorm was February 1-2 2011 when we saw over 10 inches. There will be a few flurries before the main part of the storm arrives tonight. warnings tonight.pngYes, inland areas have seen some snow already, but not the biggest city in the state. This won't be a memorable storm in terms of cold, snow or wind. The storm will also move and out rather quickly with just over 12 hours of accumulating snow. There will be some sunshine very early today and the sun is back my mid-morning Sunday. The storm will be quite pretty to look at and, since it will fall mostly overnight during the weekend, will have minimal impact to the area.I'll be giving regular updates about the storm on Twitter at @growingwisdom

Snow and rain is current breaking out to the south and will move into the New York area this morning. I expect the snow to make steady progress northeast and reach southern New England this afternoon. If you don't like driving in the snow, get your errands done by 2 PM and you will beat the bulk of the storm home. There will be a few snow showers earlier than that based on current radar trends.rad_ne_loop.gif The snow will start lightly and become heavier and steadier after dark. The most intense part of the storm will be from 8 PM until about 2 AM, although it will snow for a few hours either side of those times.

How much
I am expecting a general 6 inch snowfall across the region. There will be less than that to the north west of Boston and more to the southwest. Cape Cod is the trickiest forecast and the snow amounts will change significantly depending on where you are along the Route 6 corridor. Closer the canal will see more snow, and further east will see less. There is the potential for me to be wrong with the outer Cape forecast. If the precipitation changed to snow quicker then the amounts would be higher.
snowfall ne.png
snowfall closer.png
Where is the storm?
Our storm is gathering strength in the North Carolina region right now and will move northeast along the coast tonight. Because the storm is moving so quickly this will limit our area from receiving a major snowstorm. surface map now.png The storm has a lot of moisture will it, but it won't hang around long enough to have a big impact. Winds will be a factor tonight but not too strong and not nearly as intense as the last storm.

Fluffy or heavy?
This won't be a heavy wet pasty snow. However, at the coast, including Boston the snow will be wetter and heavier as it begins and tend to dry out throughout the evening. As you move southward to Cape Cod, the snow will have even more water content and will be quite slushy to start but even there the snow will end lighter as it turns colder.
First Night
2013 will come in under clear skies and typical cold for early January. There won't be any arctic blasts nor will the ice sculptures melt. I expect temperatures to be around 32F in the afternoon, 30F at 6pm and 25F at midnight.
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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