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Snow continues overnight, several inches by dawn

Posted by David Epstein  March 18, 2013 11:00 PM

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Snow will continue to move north into New Hampshire and Maine the rest of the night. At times snow will come down at 1 to perhaps 2 inches per hour especially in the wee hours of the morning. Several inches of snow will be on the ground by 5 AM with a few more inches thereafter.heavy snow moves north.gif A winter storm warning is now posted for much of New England with the south coast under a winter weather advisory. I'll be updating all the latest information about the storm here and on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

new map of snow.png
A fast moving area of snow associated with a complex weather system is moving through the region. Along with the snow, mild air is moving northward. This mild ocean air will push the rain/snow line north and eventually change the precipitation to rain as it tapers off during the morning. At the same time warm is moving north at the ground, warm air at higher levels will change the temperature profile from enough to create sleet inland. The highest probability of that type of precipitation will be interior areas west of Route 495 during the middle of the morning Tuesday.

Several inches of snow has fallen around New York City and into Connecticut. Plows will be working to keep roads clear throughout the night and into the morning. As we approach sunrise I expect to see the back edge of the snow moving north and this will give a better idea of the end time for the first part of the storm.

Here are the two big challenges with this storm. The first challenge is just how far inland and north the snow changes or mixes to sleet or rain. I do expect areas north of the Massachusetts turnpike to stay mostly snow. The second forecasting dilemma will be what for the second burst of precipitation takes and how far south any heavy snow forms.

Snow bands
The snow bands represent how much snow falls not only tomorrow morning, but in the afternoon and early evening as well. I have Boston in a 4-6 inch band of snow right now, but the next higher band lies not to far to the west. In other words, a slight shift of the storm can move snowfall totals up or down by a few inches. Inside of the highest band the numbers could go a bit higher. That would be especially true occur across the higher terrain of New Hampshire and even some spots north of Route 2. I think the orientation of the heavier snow will be north to south as well as east-west with this storm. In other words, far northern Worcester county ends up with the highest totals.

Timing
Most of the snow in Boston will fall with the first burst of snow tonight and early tomorrow. The heaviest of the snow will be over in Boston by 7 to 8 AM. Many schools are closed for Tuesday and others are delayed.

After first round of snow or mixed precipitation winds down Tuesday morning, there will be a lull thereafter. We may just see some lighter snow or rain for a few hours during the mid-morning. In the afternoon, as the coastal storm gathers strength additional precipitation will resume.Tuesday radar.png The second batch of precipitation is most likely going to fall as rain in Boston, but snow or mixed snow/sleet inland. There is the potentials for a few more inches of snow with batch number 2. The wintry mix will linger well into Tuesday evening from the north shore of Massachusetts into New Hampshire and Maine even though it will have stopped south of the Turnpike. This second batch of precipitation will add several more inches of snow to northern areas. We will have to watch this area very carefully tomorrow to see where the rain/snow line ends up. Across Maine, this second round of snow will produce the majority of the snow with the mountains there seeing up to 16 inches of snow.

Wednesday will be a chilly and bright day with a blustery breeze and highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Our next forecasting challenge may come Thursday night. A storm will develop to our east and may throw a bit of snow back towards the coastline late Thursday. This doesn't look like big event. Another storm could impact the area Sunday. This winter isn't going to end easily.

Gardening this week

A very common problem with house plants is aphids. These sucking insects leave a residue on the leaves that can then cause a secondary infection on your plants. If you notice a black shoot-like coating on your houseplants, you probably have black sooty mold. This problem while not generally fatal to a plant can be an indication of an insect infestation. Check out this weeks video on black sooty mold and see if your plants have this issue.

I'll be updating my weather forecast for this week on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there. Feel free to comment or ask questions too.

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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