Snow Will Impact The Morning Commute

Look for snow to end between 10AM and noon Thursday. Generally 1-3 inches will cover most of the area, but more that that over the hills west and north of Worcester and less over Cape Cod.

Evening Update 8:15PM
Radar this evening shows a line of snow showers and light snow moving east. This is the area of snow that will impact the area during the morning commute. I don’t expect more than an inch or two, but since it’s coming at the morning commute it will impact travel.

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Morning Blog

I love numbers and there are a lot of them being thrown around right now. Some of these numbers are about snow already on the ground, others are about what’s coming. Let’s look at them both. I want to start up to Maine where the snowfall numbers are quite impressive.

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Eastport, Maine Sets Record For State
Since January 24th, this far eastern spot on the Maine coast has gotten 76 inches of snow, nearly twice what Boston would have in an entire winter! This new record is about double previous records for the area, putting an exclamation point on the unusual nature of this period. Bangor, Maine received a much less total of 44.5 inches during the same time, but still record breaking.

In Portland, Maine 38.5 inches of snow fell in the 7 day period ending on Monday. This breaks the old record set in January 1979. I can clearly remember that month. I watched a planter outside my house disappear under all that snow.

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Here in southern New England the numbers are equally as impressive. In Boston, the 40.2 inches of snow that fell from January 27th until Monday broke the old record by 9 inches that was set during the incredible 100 plus inches of snow winter in 1996. In Worcester, there has been 72.6 inches of snow so far this season and that’s almost exactly double what average is for early February.

With all that snow in the record books, we turn our attention to what’s next. Tomorrow brings some accumulating snow to the area, but not much at all. Here’s the set-up for the snow.

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We have a mass of arctic air pushing south towards southern New England. Ironically, it’s this cold dense air which likely will prevent us from seeing a big snow event Thursday. As this arctic air moves south, it will bring a period of light snow showers or flurries. This is where a coating to an inch or two of snow will come from tomorrow.

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While this is happening, another area of moisture will be moving north from the southern states. This area of precipitation is much more intense and if it linked up with the cold air, we’d be looking at another major snowstorm. Meteorologists call this linkage phasing and I don’t see these two storm phasing. The lack of phasing is the reason the snow totals are low. If this changes, I’ll update on Twitter @growingwisdom and in this blog.

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You might wonder if these systems could still link up. The answer is they will, but it should happen too far in the ocean to bring any snow back to the eastern New England.
The latest probability map shows a low chance of very much snow from tomorrow’s event.

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Cold
What you notice on Friday is the cold. It will be close to the most frigid morning of the season, which so far was in early January when, in Boston, it went to 2 below zero. Back then I mentioned that day could very well be the coldest morning of the winter.

After the arctic-like start to the morning Friday, temperatures will rise into the mid to upper teens during the afternoon. It will be a day similar to yesterday. If you get out in the sunshine and out of any wind, it won’t feel that badly.

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The long range models have been showing the chance of even colder air arriving here around Valentine’s Day. If these models are correct, then it’s more below zero air for President’s Day Weekend.

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More Snow
Sometimes boundaries between air masses get stuck and when this happens areas of precipitation like to ride along the contrast. This is exactly what is going to occur later this weekend and the first couple of days of the workweek. As these impulses move along the boundary they will help create areas of snow. This means snow will be in the forecast for 3 days in a row.

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These set-ups usually don’t lead to one big storm, rather you end up getting a few inches each day and then when you look back at what occurred over an 84 hour period, there’s significantly more snow. I could see six or more inches of snow adding up by Tuesday night. Remember, it will take days for this to happen, the snow will settle and evaporate a bit while this happens so the impact won’t be nearly what it would be if this came in 12 hours.

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