It's been since January 21st 2012 that Boston saw one inch of measurable snow, nearly a year. Our long absence of snow in the city is about to come to an end starting later tomorrow and running throughout Saturday night.The storm will end early Sunday. While this won't be a memorable storm for wind, cold, or snow amounts, it will break the streak of bare ground we have seen since the beginning of the year. When the storm winds down Sunday morning about 5 inches of snow should be on the ground around the Boston area. Some of you over interior sections of Bristol county will see a bit more and those of you north of the Massachusetts turnpike will see less. This is not a storm for ski country, they will only see a few flurries at best. Once the storm leaves typically cold air will remain for the rest of the weekend and for First Night festivities. I'll be updating regularly the progress of the storm and any changes on Twitter at @growingwisdom
Our weekend storm is currently taking shape in the southern tier states. You can see the rain and snow now beginning to move north on the radar image above. Overnight will be clear and chilly with temperatures falling into the teens and 20s across the region. When you get up Saturday clouds will have already overspread the area although there could be a bit of dim sunshine for a few hours. I expect the snow to break out after noon and become heavier and steadier towards dark. Travel Saturday night will be typically difficult as it would be during a moderate snow event. Those of you who live on Cape Cod and the Islands will see mostly rain. (more on that below) However, as the night goes along the rain will change to snow even on the Cape so there could be a slushy coating to up to 3" depending on your exact location and time of changeover. The further west and north you are on Cape Cod, the more snow you will see.
Could we see more or less snow?
The obvious answer is to the above question is, "of course". What we are dealing with is a storm coming out of the Gulf of Mexico and some energy being absorbed into this system as it moves towards New England. The key to the forecast is that the storm becomes energized in time to produce accumulating snow, but not so much that we get more than I am forecasting. The upper limits to this storm would be 9-12 inches of snow southwest of Boston if the storm intensified much earlier. This is not the forecast, so please don't go tweeting that Dave Epstein said we are getting a foot of snow. The lower end would be a couple of inches of snow if the storm waited until it passed further east. Tomorrow, I will closely watch the radar and strength of the developing storm to see if snow totals need to be lowered or raised based on what is happening. We also get a new computer run later this evening and tomorrow morning before the storm starts.
Cape Cod dilemma
Those of you on the Cape know the weather there is different. With this storm, if it did intensify rapidly tomorrow night the rain-snow line would collapse to the coast and you would quickly change to a heavy wet snow. I will be closely watching temperatures tomorrow afternoon as I feel the biggest potential bust to the forecast could be Cape Cod.
The snow will end quite quickly in the morning and if you got rain Saturday night it will end as snow. Most of Cape Cod should end up with white ground for Sunday as the storm pulls colder air in while it departs and there is some snow at the end. Temperatures will be in the 30s and winds will be brisk early in the day, but not nearly as strong as they were during the last storm.
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.
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