Your tolerance for snow and cold is going to be further tested over the next week. We have more snow this weekend through Monday, followed by an increasing chance of near record cold for the Presidents Day Weekend.
The snow doesn’t really get underway until late tonight or early Sunday. This first batch of snow brings a light to moderate snowfall. There might be something like an inch or two on the ground when you get up tomorrow morning, with another 1-3 inches during the day. If you have plans today or tonight go ahead and enjoy them. Those of you on the south shore will see somewhat less snow.
There won’t be travel delays from the weather through Sunday morning. There might be a bit of a lull in the snow during Sunday, but the trend will be for the snow to increase during the second part of the day and overnight.
There will be snow Sunday, but I don’t expect it to prevent travel as some other storms have done this winter. You’ll have to allow extra time to get from point A to Point B, as roads won’t be dry and bare, but this isn’t going to be like many of our other storms this winter that have come in hard and fast with heavy snow.
Overnight Sunday into the Monday morning commute 3-5” inches of snow will fall . The snow continues all day Monday bringing another 3-5” through the evening. There might be another 1-3 inches overnight Monday into the Tuesday morning commute.
Travel Delays and Cancellations
The period with the greatest chance of delays is Monday from about 7AM to 7PM. Yet, even during this time, the snow won’t be very heavy. Some of our storms this winter have brought snowfall rates of 1-3 inches per hour. We are looking at rates that are closer to a quarter to half an inch per hour. This means roads can be cleared easier and delays and cancellations potentially fewer. Of course it’s up to the individual institutions what they are going to do. By Tuesday morning the snow will be ending or over with little no additional accumulation.
Further Impact And Overview
It’s a bit subjective for me to convey what this storm is going to be like for you. Some people don’t like to drive in any snow while other can manage with a few inches. This storm won’t be like the two biggest storms we’ve seen this winter. There will be periods when it’s snowing quite steadily, but I don’t see a widespread period when it’s snowing at an inch an hour.
I’ll give updates during the storm about radar trends and accumulation totals during the next few days here and on Twitter @growingwisdom.
Another way to forecast this upcoming snow event is to look at probability. The map below gives shows where there is about a 50% chance of reaching the given totals of snow. This is just a probability map, not a specific forecast.
Why The Long Duration Snow?
The map below shows a frontal system south of the region. This front will act as the focal point for small areas of low pressure or energy on which to ride. The final low pressure system to pass the region will be the strongest and bring with it the greatest accumulation, that occurs Sunday night into Monday evening.
With all the deep snow cover any cold air moving south from the arctic will not have a chance to modify. It’s like putting a bunch of cold air in a refrigerator, it stays cold. Late next week or next weekend the upper wind flow is forecast to bring a large amount of arctic air south. This might bring several days when the temperature goes below zero with afternoon high temperatures in the single numbers to lower teens, perhaps colder than anything we have seen this winter.
While the winter of 2014-2015 got off to a slow start, it has become a winter you’ll be talking about for decades to come.