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Stormy weekend, but not a big storm

Posted by David Epstein  February 21, 2013 08:31 PM

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As I review the afternoon suite of data, the trend is for a slightly milder and weaker storm system for Saturday night and Sunday, in other words, no massive blizzard. We will certainly still have a storm to watch with some wind and accumulating snow, but we are not looking at a blockbuster system. I'll be updating the forecast regularly on Twitter at @growingwisdom please send me your reports there.
Coastal Feb 24th snow tot.png

Tonight will be clear and cold with diminishing winds and temperatures falling back to the 20s. There wasn't much melting today so I don't expect much in the way of icy patches to develop overnight. The northerly winds blowing over the mild water north of Cape Cod could bring a few snow showers there overnight. I wouldn't be surprised to hear some towns there get a coating of snow tonight.

Friday is going to be a great day to get outside and enjoy any winter activities. Temperatures will be approaching 40F in the afternoon and with light winds and stronger sunshine it will feel quite comfortable.

If you are driving around the suburbs you might notice buckets on the maple trees. It's that time of the year when the sap is beginning to run and tomorrow will be an ideal day to collect one of nature's best treats.

Saturday clouds will thicken and rain and snow will arrive towards dark. It's impossible to predict exactly where the rain snow-line will set up Saturday night, but I expect mostly rain on Cape Cod and northward along the coast into Boston. The outer parts of Cape Ann will also likely start as rain or rain mixed with very wet snow. As the night goes on the rain will trend towards snow and there will be a period of steady, perhaps even heavy snow Sunday morning. The good news, if you don't want a big storm, is that the snow won't last all that long and I expect skies to partially try to clear by sunset over western areas of the state.

The weather pattern will remain quite unsettled for nearly all of next week. I expect to see several periods of snow and rain into next weekend. The driest days next week will be Monday and Tuesday. The type of pattern that appears to be unfolding for late next week is very complicated and will be even more difficult than usual to forecast. It appears that the atmosphere appears is about to go into blocking mode. When this happens, the jet stream gets all jammed up and depending on what side of the block you are on, the weather can be radically different. This is also quite typical for early spring.

As far as the weekend storm, right now I am thinking a general 4-8 " snowfall west of Route 495 with less as you approach the coast. The least amounts will be over Cape Cod, the Vineyard and Nantucket. Most of the accumulating snow will fall at the coast Sunday morning until just after noon.

Saturday night the precipitation type could be flipping back and forth between rain and wet snow east of Worcester to Boston. This is going to make for some heavy snow on trees and power lines. Even though this isn't a big storm, the weight of 4 inches of snow can cause problems.

There are still of course uncertainties especially along the coast where the exact amount of rain will determine just how much snow those areas receive. Some of these details will be ironed out tomorrow and early Saturday. For now, plan on a messy night Saturday night and the first part of Sunday.

Gardening this week
With another storm on the horizon for the weekend you might feel like spring is still very far away. The reality is that in just a few weeks, many of you will be able to get into your gardens and start growing for another year. Earlier this month I went to New England Grows which is a trade show for those who work in the industry. Although not open to the general public, in this week's video I share some of the latest trends and newest plants for 2013.

I'll be updating the forecast all day on Twitter at @growingwisdom please send me your reports there.

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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