Weather

Boston could see 8-12 inches of snow; areas south under blizzard warning

Snow arrives in the area Monday morning, lasting through at least part of the overnight and perhaps until sunrise Tuesday. You shouldn’t expect a foot of snow on the ground when you wake up Monday morning, or even when you are leaving work Monday, but it will pile up by Tuesday.

This is a large, powerful ocean storm. As the storm progresses, travel will become slow and more difficult. Where blizzard conditions do verify, it may be impossible to travel for a few hours.

My snowfall predictions, below, are based on the storm’s western flank impacting eastern New England. As I always write, things will change in terms of the exact snow amounts. I wouldn’t be surprised if I need to lower actual totals from where the predictions are now. With all that said, here are my predicted snowfall totals for what will fall through Tuesday:

 

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This snowstorm won’t be a crippling one, there will be a lot of cancellations Monday and early Tuesday. There will be coastal flooding Monday at the times of high tide, which are around 11 a.m and again at 11 p.m. Moderate coastal flooding is expected south of Boston, with less of an impact north of the city, but still some flooding is still possible.

Snowfall will be heaviest in eastern areas, but even out through Springfield, where there is likely going to be a plowable snowstorm.

I’ll have a completely new update early Monday prior to the start of the storm. Enjoy the evening.

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Blizzard warning south of Boston:
As expected, a blizzard warning has been issued for areas south of Boston, including much of the South Shore, Cape Cod, and the islands. The blizzard warning is in effect for Monday and indicates the strength of the ocean storm we’ve been concerned about for a couple of days.

In these areas, where the wind and snow will be more intense, visibility could lower under one-quarter mile due to the snow and wind. If these conditions are sustained for three hours or more, some towns might register an official blizzard. The most likely counties for this are Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket. But it’s still still not a definite scenario.

 

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Monday morning commute:
I don’t think we will see many issues for the Monday morning commute. The snow will either begin after the morning rush, or if it’s snowing, there won’t be much accumulation.

 

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Monday evening commute:
The Monday evening commute is likely impacted. The snow will be coming down at a steady rate during this time, and roads will be snow covered in many areas. Travel will be most difficult from about Boston to the south, with less intense snow north and west of Route 128, further from the center of the storm.

Could this become a bigger storm?

As we all saw last week, the models haven’t been forecasting the western extent of the snowfield far enough inland. Again with this storm(s), some of the more reliable models have most of the heaviest precipitation staying out to sea, with the shorter range and higher resolution models bringing the heavier snow totals. I have leaned heavier with the snowfall prediction based on trends overnight. I don’t see this turning into a blockbuster snowstorm for Boston.

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What’s the weather like after the storm?
This pattern of unsettled weather will continue much of this week along with increasingly colder air by the weekend.

Behind these systems, colder air will rush into all of New England with the peak of the cold arriving Valentine’s Day morning. Temperatures will likely approach zero in many areas, and I suspect this will end up the coldest morning of the entire winter. A moderation in the cold begins after Presidents’ Day.

When you look back at this winter, you’ll likely remember the late start and the few weeks in February where it really felt like winter; otherwise, this winter still isn’t likely to show up on the record books for either deep snow or prolonged cold. I only write that to keep in perspective the fact it’s going to snow again and get cold. This is winter, this is New England, and this is what it does.

Please follow my forecast here and on Twitter @growingwisdom.

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