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Heaviest of the snow will be over between 12 and 1PM in Boston

Posted by David Epstein  February 5, 2014 10:50 AM

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The back edge of the heaviest snow is now pushing through the Connecticut River Valley and will continue to push eastward the rest of the morning. In the Boston area I expect 1-3 more inches after 1PM with most of that occurring before 5 PM. There may be a coating of snow after 5PM until 9PM.

When this storm is over, it won't be in the major (over a foot) category for most of you. The reason this storm will have so much impact is because of the timing. It's hitting just as a commute is underway. Although snow/drizzle will still be occurring this afternoon and evening roads and travel should dramatically improve late today.

The number of hours of snow will be longest north of the Massachusetts turnpike and least over Cape Cod and the Islands.


  • Between Now and 1PM look for 2-3 inches to fall, sleet and freezing rain south of Pike will start to mix.

  • Between 1PM and 5PM look for a coating to 3 inches (north) and some freezing drizzle.

  • After 5PM until 11PM there will be some light snow falling with little accumulation. However, roads could become icy again as temperature fall into the 20s.

Across Cape Cod and the Islands most of the accumulating snow will fall before 10AM.
Wednesday snow3.jpg
Type of snow
The snow will start on the lighter end of the spectrum and be quite easy to move. It will grow increasingly heavy late in the morning as warmer air starts to flow northward. The snow could remain light and fluffier west of the coastline for much of the storm. If you can clean up the snow in shifts, you will be able to move the lighter snow before the heavier snow, sleet and even freezing rain in some areas arrives.

Sleet and freezing rain
Sleet is going to mix with the snow during the morning south of Boston. The exact time when the sleet starts to mix is critical to final amounts. If the entire storm were sleet then the 12 inch amount would be cut to 4 inches of sleet or by one-third. Freezing rain will be an issue through parts of interior Connecticut and the immediate south coast. The rain will create a glaze of ice in areas staying just under 32F.

Power issues
Any time you get heavy wet snow or ice there is possibility of power outages. While this storm won’t cause major power issues, I would have my phone fully charged prior to the storm in the morning just in case. At least if you did lose power there will snow outside to keep things cold.

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 and Cancellations
Many schools and some businesses are closed for today. This evening conditions will improve so some event will likely not be cancelled. Of course check with your school, business etc. to see if they are still open.

Coastal issues
There are not major coastal issues with this storm. During the time of high tide around 3PM today, some waves could splash over a few sea walls, but that would be the extent of any concerns from this storm.

Changes to snow amounts
Sleet is the big unknown with this system. If the sleet starts before 9AM in Boston snow amounts would end up just under the low end of the total. If Boston stayed all snow and never mixed with any sleet, the city would be close to the higher end of my range.
I will be watching the sleet line closing all morning and into the afternoon. I would love to hear from you and what you are seeing as well. You can tweet me an update @growingwisdom.


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 several 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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