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Snow at various intensities tonight, coastal flooding for morning

Posted by David Epstein  March 7, 2013 10:30 PM

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The snow has been falling since it got dark and will continue to fall at various intensities overnight. The map below shows about how much more snow on average will fall in general areas the rest of the night through sunrise. Figure anywhere from 2 to 5 more inches with less on the shore. I expect the heaviest amounts to be in the same areas that saw heavy snow this morning. Sharon, Brockton, Walpole, Foxboro and surrounding towns will end up with the most amount of snow from this two day storm. I'll be updating my weather forecasts on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me there.

Snow will continue to fall through the night as the rain/snow sits around the Cape Cod Canal. I expect the intensity of the snow to be strongest from about 1 AM to 6 AM The rain/snow line could move even further east giving part of the mid-Cape some slush after midnight through sunrise Friday. There will be highly variable snow totals from our two day storm when this ends later Friday morning. Since temperatures have been so marginal, some of the snow that fell last night has already melted. If this storm had come just two weeks ago and it was in the 20s, we would be forecasting 14-20 inches of snow. The only reason this isn't a bigger storm (snow-wise) is that the snow is wet, heavy and compacting. We also had many hours of snow today that never accumulated.

Away from the immediate coast temperatures are about 2 degrees colder than expected; the snow is slightly less heavy. Wind have not been as strong as last night and the snow is drier so power issues will not be a big player in this storm through morning. Winds can increase a bit towards sunrise, but I still don't expect most of you to lose power.

Snowfall totals will end up with huge ranges. I often get comments about the fact that what is predicted isn't what you see in your backyard. It’s impossible to predict the exact amount of snow that is going to fall in hundreds of cities and towns across the area. Take a look at the snowfall totals below. Notice how Foxboro got nearly 7 inches but Millis had less than 3 inches. The computer information we use to make forecasts can’t predict that sort of difference, yet. In time, I suspect our computer models will be able to see better these small scale features of storms. Right now, they are like a camera taking a picture of your face, it can see you have eyelashes but you can’t count them. We can see blobs of snow, but not the subtle differences between each town.
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I put together one final map for the night to show how much more snow can fall until about 8 AM Friday. After 8 AM it may still snow, but like today, the snow will no longer accumulate. Some schools are going to cancel or delay tomorrow. I would recommend delaying and not cancelling since the roads will become increasingly better not worse during the morning. By the time the kids are let out in the afternoon, roads will just be wet. The very outer parts of Cape Ann will have slightly less snow as they stick out into the water. The same appears to be happening right along the water including Logan Airport and points south.
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The coast
There is a coastal flood warning up for much of the southern New England coastline. Erosion and some flooding continues to a big issue with this ocean storm. There will be road closures and basement flooding along some coastal communities again overnight and tomorrow morning.

There are 2 more high tides that will create some problems during this storm. Each of these will see a surge of water bout 2.5 to 3 above normal. The next high tide is around 8 AM tomorrow. The high tide Friday night could also be a problem, but not as severe. Seas very high and some waves are exceeding 25 feet just offshore. Overnight, in some areas, the tide may not retreat completely between tide cycles exacerbating the erosion.

The town of Scituate is one of the most vulnerable places during this storm. Just like earlier today some road closures will take place this evening and again tomorrow. There have also been some evacuations.

Tides Friday.png

The weekend looks quite nice with temperatures reaching for the 40s and lower 50s with sunshine. That is just a break in the pattern, not a change. There is another round of rain showers early next week, but I don't see any snow from that situation. Remember, we set the clocks ahead Saturday night we will have a later sunrise on Sunday, but more light in the evening.

Gardening this week
Depending on how aggressive you want to be in the garden, March does begin planting season. Fava beans, peas, lettuce, radish, carrots, and other cold weather crops can be planted by the end of the month. Inside, you can start many of your seedlings this month. I generally start my tomatoes in the first couple of weeks of March, which is about 8 weeks before they will go into the ground. Early this month is also the time to prune your blueberry bushes. In this week’s video I show you how to keep your blueberry bushes healthy and yielding big, juicy berries.

I'll be updating my weather forecasts on Twitter at @growingwisdom please follow me 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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