As arctic air began filtering into the region earlier today it helped produce a few hours of snow, some of it quite heavy for a short time. Boston only received about an inch of snow, but those numbers went up to 2 inches along the Route 128 belt and increased to over 7 inches by the time you got to northern Worcester and Franklin counties.
As the evening progresses, cold and wind will be the weather variables most notable. I expect wind chills to be well below zero this evening and if you are out for any extended period of time this is the night to wear your warmest stuff.
Sunrise Friday brings one of the coldest mornings of the winter. If Boston hits 2 below that would tie the coldest morning we had back in early January. Of course anything under that sets a new benchmark for the entire winter this year. There is a wind chill advisory posted for the areas in light blue.
I do expect some sunshine tomorrow, but also an increase in clouds. Highs won’t get out of the teens for most of us. It won’t be as cold tomorrow night or over the weekend, but as you likely have heard we do have more snow.
Still More Snow
The snow this weekend will be caused by impulses of various sizes riding along a temperature gradient to our south. If that gradient would somehow lift north, which it won’t, we’d be looking at a big thaw with temperatures in the 40s. The fact that it is so mild south of this boundary will only add fuel to the snow event, which is going to last a long time.
Between February 22nd and February 28th 1969, a slow moving system brought 100 hours of continuous snow to many areas of southern and central New England. While the set-up for the upcoming snow event is different, the 1969 storm illustrates just how long it can snow. Much of the snow that fell during that event was heavy and wet.
Notice Boston had a high of 36F the day they saw nearly 14 inches of the 26.3 that would fall during that storm. The NESIS Scale measures how much impact a winter storm has on a region. The 1969 storm had about the same impact as our blizzard 10 days ago.
I think we will see snow falling much of the time from Saturday through Tuesday. While there will likely be a break in the snow, we will witness close to 85 hours of snowfall. If you add all this up, there is the potential for a lot more snow on the ground by the time we get to Tuesday night. The chart is just a guide, some of those periods might see less snow and others could see a bit more. The theme is some snow for many hours, but I don’t see a period with heavy snow lasting very long.
These types of events are notorious for not being forecast very well. I highly recommend checking back here and on Twitter @growingwisdom because the timing and amounts of the snow is going to change.
When Does The Pattern Change?
There is some small sign the storm track could shift a bit further west after next week. This could shift the heaviest snow from these storms back into Vermont and New York. This is just an early evaluation; don’t get your hopes up too quickly. The map below is for the 17th of February.