Snow To Mix With Sleet Then Change To Rain Later Tonight

Evening Update
The blog from the morning is below. Currently snow has overspread most of the region and I’ll now start watching the sleet and rain line continue to move north. I expect the change to rain in Boston by 11PM give or take a bit. There will be an hour or two of mixed precipitation before the complete change. The image below shows where the snow, mix and rain will be around 11PM according to one of the latest models.

11PM1315.png

Morning Entry
When I was a kid in Portland, I remember this one storm when it was 13 below zero when I got up in the morning and the forecast was for snow to change to rain later that same day. I couldn’t imagine how the temperature could rise over 40F in just a few short hours, but indeed, that afternoon, when the snow started mixing with sleet and then eventually turned to rain, I realized just how much influence the relatively warm ocean has on our weather. That storm was one of those that helped solidify my awe of New England weather.

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Today, snow is back in the forecast and will overspread the area this evening just after sunset. While it wasn’t below zero anywhere last night, our temperatures will be going from near 20F earlier this morning into the 50s tomorrow.

Since roads are cold, the snow will quickly stick and make driving hazardous. The start time for the snow is between 4PM and 7PM with areas southwest of Worcester seeing the snow earliest and the outer communities of Cape Ann getting snow last.

How Much Snow
Snowfall totals will not be very big. The map below puts most areas in the coating up to 3 inches of snow. Those of you living along the coastline will see the least amount of snow with areas north of the Massachusetts Turnpike and west of Route 495 seeing the most. Ski country will pick up from 4-8 inches of new snow before a change to sleet and freezing rain.

snowfall1315mass.png

I expect the snow to change to sleet between about 9PM and 12AM Sunday and then transition to plain rain afterwards. There will be a period of freezing rain over the interior. The most likely areas to see any accumulation of freezing rain will be northern Worcester County west to the Berkshires, but I am not expecting a problem with downed trees or power outages.

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Freezing Rain
The map below gives an idea where freezing rain might be an issue. An area needs to see at least a quarter inch of ice before major problems start to occur and we call it an ice storm. I don’t see this happening in tonight’s situation. There could be some scattered power issues out in the Route 91 area of Springfield and points north.
When you awake Sunday morning it may or may not be raining, but it will be cloudy. Temperatures will have warmed well into the 40s and even 50s along the coastline and later in the day there will be another period of showers and even some heavier downpours.

freezing rain1315.png

Colder Air
Drier and colder weather arrives for Monday, but it’s the end of the week when the arctic air really takes hold and we see the coldest air of the winter so far and perhaps of the entire winter at all. I don’t expect any issues with a flash freeze Sunday night when the colder air arrives. The reason is wind will help dry the roads so as to remove the chances of ice. However, if there is slush left on your driveway or walkway after the rain ends Sunday it’s a good idea to remove it because it will freeze solid Monday night.

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