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Clouds increase by sunset, snowstorm still coming Wednesday

Posted by David Epstein  February 4, 2014 05:00 PM

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This is the blog from earlier today.

It’s a quiet day afternoon with a lot of sunshine. I updated very little from the morning blog and the maps are the same. There will be some late day clouds, but enough sun to help boost temperatures into the lower and middle 30s. Tonight clouds are going to increase tonight and snow breaks out between 3AM and 5AM on Wednesday. This is a front loaded storm. In other words, it snows hardest from about 7AM until around 1PM. During this time most of the accumulation will occur. In the afternoon there will be lighter snow still falling, but clean-up will occur and I expect roads to slowly for the latter half of the afternoon. This doesn't mean smooth driving, just not as bad as the morning.

Across Cape Cod and the Islands the snow will change to rain and cut down amounts significantly. For the last couple of hours of precipitation from about 4 to 6PM, the rain should end as a brief period of snow.

That's the overview of the upcoming storm and the specifics follow. I will update here and on Twitter throughout the day and during the storm. I think one of the biggest impacts of this next storm is to our collective psyche's. Unless you love this stuff, you are probably over winter. Remember, it's been cold since before Thanksgiving, that's a long haul. Think positive, we are gaining light fast and the cold isn't as cold as January. Baseball practice season isn't too far away either!
baseball.png

When does the snow occur?
This is a bit risky for me to do because it’s impossible to do this for the entire area. This will give you a generally feeling for the intensity of the storm and what to expect. For the Boston metro area this is what I am thinking.

Between 5 AM and 9AM look for 2-4 inches to fall.
Between 9AM and 1PM look for 3-6 inches to fall
Between 1PM and 5PM look for a 1-2 inches to fall

Wednesday storm1pm.jpg
Type of snow
The snow will be heavy and wet south of Boston and become increasingly less heavy the further north you travel. North of the Massachusetts Turnpike the snow will be much lighter and therefore able to pile up to higher amounts.

Power issues
While I am not expecting widespread power issues, the heavy wet nature of the snow across the South Shore could take down some tree limbs and in turn hit wires. This isn’t something easy to predict, but be aware the possibility is certainly there in this storm.

Wind
There won’t be much in the way of wind with this system. Winds will come from the east at 10-20 miles per hour at the coast, certainly nothing even close to those storms which bring strong winds.

Commutes
The Wednesday morning commute is going to be a mess. Snow will be falling at heavy rates throughout the commute. I would recommend, if you can, take work home and work from home tomorrow. There will be widespread cancellations and those of you in the areas with the heavy snow predicted will certainly have your kid’s home to help you enjoy your snow day. The evening commute will take place with the snow ending and road crews trying to get things back to normal. Since the snow will be very heavy in some places, the evening commute will be better, but still slow.

Coastal issues
The good news is this storm is not going to create any coastal flooding.

Changes to the forecast
Here’s what can go wrong with this forecast. The biggest potential change will be areas south of Boston. If the storm tracks further north or south the snow amounts will change dramatically. This afternoon, if the new data shows a colder storm, I will need to “up” the amounts for Cape Cod/Islands. If the new data shows an even warmer system and a change to rain earlier the amounts will drop. Remember, the map of snowfall is based on the best data at the time. It will change as more information comes available this afternoon. I update the forecast on Twitter throughout the day and feel free to ask me any questions there as well.


Extended forecast
The weather turns calmer for a few days Thursday through Saturday with a blend of clouds and sunshine and highs in the upper 20s to near 30F. It will be nice to get outside and enjoy the new snow. The next storm threat is Sunday afternoon through Monday. There will be a big storm developing. However, the amount of snow could be near zero if the storm stays hundreds of miles off the coast or a much more significant storm if the track takes the system closer to the region. It’s still 5 or 6 days away and impossible to know at this stage.

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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