This morning we find the big ocean storm intensifying rapidly as predicted. I think itís a good thing this storm is so far offshore, as had it come a hundred miles closer Iíd likely have no power and be stuck inside all day. The size of this storm is dangerous and while I love a good snowstorm, this one had the potential to do some real damage and bring southern New England to a standstill. But, the storm isn't close to us so it's really a non-event for almost everyone.
Across Cape Cod and the Islands the system is close enough to be bringing snow and wind and prompting blizzard warnings to be issued. A blizzard is issued when visibility is going to be less than one quarter mile for three hours or longer. The reason for the low visibility must from falling or blowing snow with winds of at least 35 miles per hour.
As of this morning, several towns across Cape Cod have reported blizzard continues and the warning remains until 2PM. The snow is not making it very far to the north and Boston may not see more than a few flurries. The highest snow totals are going to be over the southern elbow of the Cape perhaps even in Chatham itself.
The radar image from just before 9AM finds the heaviest snow over Cape Cod.(below) The snow shield itself is trying to push north and west, but is having a hard time making it into the drier air. The snow likely makes it to around Boston with a coating or an inch possible. Obviously the further south you travel the more snow you will receive from this storm. West of Route 95 there may be a few flurries or nothing at all.
The outer tip of Cape Ann looks to be into the heavy snow in this image.
The high winds over Cape Cod are going to cause power outages and make travel very difficult the first part of the day. I suspect weíll see some great pictures of very interesting snowdrifts from this storm.
How much snow?
Many of you won't even see a flake of snow, while others over Cape Cod see a moderate amount of snow. I don't expect widespread areas to exceed 10 inches of snow so that is the upper limit on my maps below. The extreme outer tip of Cape Ann could also pick up 1 -2 inches of snow as the storm rotates a band or two of steady precipitation into this area.
There is a coastal flood warning this morning until 10AM for areas on green on the map. The warning is issued anytime the waters will reach flood stage, even one inch over that stage. In todayís case, I am expecting very minor coastal flooding so there is no need to be concerned about this aspect of this storm.
Winds will be brisk for Thursday and although highs will be around 40F, itís still going to feel quite chilly. Friday and Saturday bring a milder flow of air with more in the way of clouds and the chance of a period of showers. I am not expecting a steady rain for very long. Highs will reach the lower 50s both days and this will bring about more melting of the old and new snow.
Sunday Iíll be watching the track of a new coastal storm. It should be warm enough for any precipitation we do see to be rain, but it could be wet snow north and west of Boston. The storm could miss us altogether as well. There will be more on this next weather system later this week.
Iíll be updating the forecast on Twitter @growingwisdom.
As we get into April the weather will warm. If you look at Aprilís that follow cold winters and a cold March they too tend to average chilly. This doesnít mean the whole month is going to be cold, but it does mean the atmosphere may have some trouble warming up as fast as you may want or like this spring.