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Windswept rain and inland snow arrive tomorrow

Posted by David Epstein  February 12, 2014 09:00 PM

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Iím feeling the pressure of getting this forecast correct with so many people speaking about the upcoming storm. The nor'easter is going to hit and itís going to produce a lot of snow in the western and central parts of the southern New England and much of northern New England. This is going to be a fantastic storm for ski country where well over a foot of snow will fall and some areas could see 18 inches of snow. If you are headed skiing for the school vacation week itís going to be one of the better ski weeks of the season.

Back here we have storm with multiple parts to it on the way. Itís going to depend exactly where you are as to how much snow you actually end up with on the ground. I highly recommend trying to shovel as frequently as possible since the snow will be so wet and heavy, especially within 30 miles of the coastline.

I update the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom. I will answer your questions there as well.


Summary
This is a very high level overview of the storm.


  • First part of the storm starts as snow, changes to rain. 7AM to 4PM Thursday. This is when the bulk of the snow falls west of Boston. Very heavy rain causes urban and basement flooding Boston and points south.

  • Second part of storm is light freezing rain/sleet/rain. Precipitation is least significant during this time. 5PM-11 PM Thursday

  • Final part of storm is a quick burst of snow or snow showers 2AM-9AM Friday. I will update the snow amounts for this part of the storm late tomorrow afternoon.

The details
The snow begins tomorrow morning overspreading the area between 6AM and 9AM. If you are heading into work, do so early to avoid the poor driving conditions which will develop later in the morning and afternoon.

The snow changes to rain very quickly over Cape Cod where little or no snow is expected. As you move up Route 3 towards Plymouth the snow will last a bit longer and these areas see a slushy inch or two. The snow amounts increase from a few slushy inches in Boston to increasingly higher amounts as you move west towards Route 128, and further west beyond Route 495. Boston itself will likely see a nice range of snow totals from Logan Airport to West Roxbury, from up to an inch in Eastie to perhaps 3 or 4 in Rosi.
storm latest close2.png

If the rain/snow line moves even faster than expected the amount of snow will be even less than predicted.
ma wider2.jpg

The snow accumulation map has zones on them. You need to do a little deduction to estimate the predicted total for your specific town. The closer you are to the next zone either higher or lower, the closer you are to the higher or lower end of the estimated totals. For example, within the 8 to 12 inch zone, the 12 inch amounts are most likely going to be found closest to the 10 to 15 inch zone.

Winds from this storm will increase Thursday and be especially gusty along the coast. I am not expecting coastal damage at the time of high tide Thursday evening. One reason for this is the tide itself isnít astronomically high and the storm will be just passing by the area at this time. The winds may actually relax somewhat Thursday evening as the center of the storm heads northward along the Maine coastline. There is a high wind advisory for Cape Cod and Cape Ann during this storm as it is a potent weather maker.
Travel is going to be disrupted all night tonight and through Friday morning as a result of this storm. Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York will all receive more snow than Boston with 6 to 12 inches of snow a good bet in those cities.

Ice and sleet
As the rain snow line pushes westward tomorrow I expect it to reach the Route 495 belt early in the afternoon. Between the area of snow and rain, where there is mixed precipitation, there could be some ice accumulation on trees and power lines. This may create some power issues.

Rain
There is going to be at least an inch of rain in a short period of time Thursday late morning through late afternoon from Boston south. The rain will cause street flooding and some basement flooding as well. Since the ground is frozen, the water has no place to go and ends up take the path of least resistance which could be into your window wells or basement. Try to clear a path for the water if you have had issues with basement flooding before. Also, check your sump pumps before you leave for work Thursday.

Winds
Winds are going to be very gusty and quite strong along the coast. There won't be much in the way of coastal flooding and I am not expecting an damage, but the strength of the wind along the coast could be enough to cause a few power outages and downed trees.
winds thurs.jpg

Backlash
Tomorrow night, as the storm moves away, there will be some backlash snow pushing through the region. The highest accumulation of snow will be north and west of Route 495 and heading into southern New Hampshire. There is likely going to be 1 to 3 inches of snow even as close as Boston. The snow total map includes the backlash snows.
coastal now.png

Finally the whole thing moves away and skies partially clear Friday afternoon. A fast moving system brings some light snow on Friday night and into early Saturday before it turns blustery and cold for the remainder of the weekend.

It still appears the core of the cold and stormy weather departs sometime next week and we could see a few days hitting 40F or more. This isnít a sure bet just yet, but it does appear possible.

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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