As models are coming in they are showing a very heavy period of snow between 7AM and 11AM Monday. Snowfall rates could approach 3 inches per hour during this time. This will make travel virtually impossible. Snow will lighten up and mix with or change to sleet or even rain late morning and early afternoon before changing back to snow and ending in the evening.
All the models bring some sleet or freezing rain north during the storm tomorrow. Even if there is a 2-4 hour period of mixed precipitation it will change back to snow before ending. There will be wild swings in temperatures from Route 495 east with a cold start, a burst of 20s to lower 30s and then a return to cold. The push of the mild air inland is still the biggest forecast challenge.
I’ll be watching to trend of the mix/freezing rain line on the models this afternoon. When you look at the snowfall map below don’t focus on the upper range only. If mixing occurs more lower ranges more likely. Even with the mixing, greater Boston remains in the 8-12 inch range.
Early Morning Entry
Although it was cold the first part of January it seemed like we were all managing winter pretty well and then the pattern shifted. Boston saw 34.3 inches of snow this January and this makes last month the 6th snowiest January on record. 2005 was the snowiest with 43.3 inches of snow.
Onward we march into February with longer days and climatologically, a slow rise in average temperatures. However, you can forget about temperatures rising for a while.
It’s 6:30 AM as I write this and I can see light on the horizon. The birds will soon be at the feeder and the sky is crystal clear. I will go snowshoeing later today with the dogs and although temperatures will only reach the 20s, it won’t feel so cold with the lack of wind and increasing strength of the sun. February can be a month you get through, or walk with, choose the later if you can and it’s not so bad.
We have another snow event on the way. This will bring a good slug of snow to the area especially north of a Hartford to Providence to Plymouth line. South of there, the snow will be heavier and mixed with sleet and freezing rain. On Cape Cod and the Islands the precipitation may change to rain for a time as well.
Super Bowl Impact
It’s Super Bowl Sunday and a lot of us will be watching the game or going to a party with the game on in the background. If you need to get up Monday to plow our roads, thank you and you might want to go easy tonight. The first inch of snow is down between 5 and 7AM, west to east.
I’ll update the timing and more on Twitter @growingwisdom, please follow me there for the latest.
First Storm Of The Month
You might hear the term “front end thumping” with this storm. This is because the bulk of the snow will during the first half of the storm although the snow and mixed precipitation will linger for 4-6 hours after most of the snow has already fallen.
This isn’t a long duration storm. It will last about 12-15 hours. Let’s go over a timeline. This gives a general idea of what you can expect. The time and amounts will vary north to south, east to west.
Snow is overspreading southern New England. There is light accumulation west of Route 495, but not enough to plow yet. The intensity of the snow is picking up and roads are becoming slick. You are likely listening to or reading about all the cancellations for the day.
It’s been snowing for 4 to 5 hours in many places including Boston. On average there is 6 inches of snow on the ground with a bit more in some areas. The weight of the snow is very light over interior areas, but heavier and wetter along the coast. There is some mixing south of Boston and on Nantucket the snow has changed to rain after a couple of inches. Winds are increasing at coastal locations, but not enough to cause issues. The high tide didn’t bring any issues along the coast.
Most of the snow has fallen. Boston has received about 7-9 inches of snow in a short period of time. There are a few spots closing in on a foot of new fluffy snow. It’s still snowing, but sleet is mixing in especially east of Route 495 and the intensity has lessened. Temperatures are in the 20s to lower 30s along the coast, but still in the lower teens in Worcester County.
Gusts of wind over 30 miles per hour occur on the coastline, but winds are much lighter inland. (above)
1PM to 5PM Monday
This is when the mild air may have pushed all the way back past Route 128. This is the most unsure part of the forecast and when we could see freezing rain or rain depending on location. The cold air will quickly flow back to the coast at the end of this period creating a flash freeze in areas that did have any liquid.
The precipitation changed to all snow and is winding down while the back edge pushes up from southwest Connecticut. There was another 1-3 inches of snow during the afternoon, but roads are starting to improve. Secondary roads have snow on them, but are OK to drive. The main highways are in better condition, but slow. The evening commute was almost non-existent due to the number of you that stayed home. There could be another inch of snow before it ends.
Logan Airport had hundreds of cancellations and is open a few flights resume after a period of no flights during the height of the storm.
Temperatures have fallen back into the single numbers and teens. The slush over the south coast and on Cape Cod is about to flash freeze.
The driveway is clear, the stoop is shoveled, its 9 degrees outside, but at least the house is settled for the night. The snow banks grew even higher and we all wonder, where can we put any more of it? The bright moon isn’t officially full but you notice, as it peaks through the clouds, how brightly it shines on the freshly fallen snow.
Congratulations, you made it through another New England snowstorm.