Weather

Blizzard Watches Posted For The Coastline, Heavy Snow Possible Inland

Some snow is crossing the area this evening and could leave a coating to an inch in some spots, but the theme of this weather system is underachiever.

Cold and windy weather is headed for New England overnight with a wind chill advisory posted for Worcester County west. Wind chills will fall below zero during the night and remain there tomorrow. If you are doing roof work Friday it’s going to be very cold and you will want to take the wind seriously. The added momentum of the wind will make it harder to work on a roof.

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Friday is bright, sunny and cold. Highs will only reach between 10F and 15F in the afternoon for one of the colder day of the winter.

It continues cold Friday night and Saturday with dry weather holding through the morning Saturday and into the early afternoon.

All the focus is on piece of energy moving down from the arctic regions of the globe. This energy will move to the coast Saturday evening and spawn a new storm just off the New England coastline. This system will rapidly gain energy and therefore bring more heavy snow and wind to the area.

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Snow Amounts And Type
Like most of our storms lately this one will occur with very cold air in place. This means more snow that is less dense and easier to move. The wind will be able to blow the snow into drifts, but this will also make it easier to move and keep some of it off the roofs.

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Power Issues
Since the snow will be light in weight we shouldn’t see power issues. However, the strong winds along the coastline can always create power outages.

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The map below shows predicted winds for Sunday afternoon.

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Coastal Flooding
The storm will bring the chance of minor to perhaps moderate coastal flooding. The greatest risk will be from Salisbury to Cape Ann and this includes Plum Island. Beach erosion is going to be an issue for Cape Cod Bay and from Dennis to Sandwich. High tide occurs around 7:30AM Sunday. It’s not an astronomically high tide. Since the storm is moving quickly the Sunday evening high tide should be less problematic.

Timing
The snow should start during the afternoon Saturday and continue into Sunday. I expect the bulk of the storm to end by evening, but could linger through midnight.

Blizzard
There are blizzard watches posted for parts of New England. A blizzard means wind and snow will combine to create whiteout conditions. Visibility will be at or under a quarter mile for 3 or more hours. A blizzard brings conditions where driving is nearly impossible. A watch means there is a chance these conditions could develop, but confidence isn’t high enough for a warning.

I’ll be updating on the storm here and on Twitter @growingwisdom.


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Airlines

Once again delays and cancellations are going to be problematic this weekend. The actual storm won’t be underway until Saturday night, but some airlines always cancel early. Heavy snow and wind Sunday morning will likely prevent most flight activity. Depending on the exact track of the storm and when it intensifies and moves into the Gulf of Maine will determine if Logan and other airports are able to resume activity Sunday night or wait until Monday.

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Changes In The Forecast
The storm is still 48 hours away and the snow totals and timing will change. If the storm intensifies a bit closer to the region I’ll have to increase the snow amounts. The highest snow amounts are most likely over Essex County and the Sea Coast Region of New Hampshire and into Maine.

Next Storm
There is another storm potential for Tuesday or Wednesday with more snow. I do see the first signs of the cold finally relaxing, even for a few days around the 22nd. Hang in there.

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