Long duration storm will bring snow, rain, sleet to Massachusetts Wednesday

Published: 2 months ago

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A highly disruptive, long-duration storm system is on our doorstep set to bring a wide variety of precipitation types and impacts.

Storm System Expected to Bring Disruptive Weather to Boston Area

A highly disruptive and long-duration storm system is approaching the Boston area, which is expected to bring a wide variety of precipitation types and impacts. The storm is set to arrive on Wednesday and continue through Thursday, making the next few days quite challenging weather-wise.

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for northern Worcester County and extreme northwestern Middlesex County for Wednesday and Thursday. Additionally, Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for all of southern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. These areas have a higher risk of significant snow accumulation.

Coastal Flood Advisory

The NWS has also issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for the Thursday morning high tide cycle. This advisory indicates the possibility of minor to moderate flooding along the coastline.

Timing of the Storm

The start time of the storm has been pushed a bit later on Wednesday. Most of the morning is expected to remain dry, with rain intensity picking up in the afternoon and evening. The overnight timeframe through Thursday is of particular concern, as it is expected to bring strong winds, flooding, and wintry precipitation.

Precipitation Types and Accumulation

Wednesday morning is expected to be mainly dry, with a few light showers possible around midday. Rain will become more widespread in the afternoon, with some mixing of sleet mainly northwest of 495. Overnight, colder air will move in, causing the sleet to change over to snow. By Thursday morning, snow is expected in most areas north of the Mass Pike, while rain continues to the south.

Accumulation of snow will be challenging due to several factors. Temperatures will be above freezing, generally between 33-36 degrees, making it difficult for the snow to accumulate on roads. However, snow may stick on grassy surfaces and areas with elevation. The amount of snowfall will vary greatly over short distances, and even within one town with variable elevation, there could be several inches of variability in accumulation.

Snowfall Expectations for Massachusetts and New Hampshire

In the Boston area and inside the 128 belt, no snow accumulation is expected, although there may be some wet snow in the air from time to time. Southeastern MA and areas south of the Pike will experience mostly rain. North and west of 128, including the area through about 495, there may be some sticking of snow to surfaces, with scattered coating up to an inch possible. Northern Middlesex and Essex counties, as well as higher elevated areas of northern Worcester County and far northwestern Middlesex County, could see 1-3 inches of wet snow, primarily on grassy surfaces. The higher peaks extending into southwest New Hampshire may receive as much as 6-12 inches of snow.

Potential Power Outages

Due to the heaviness of the snow, any accumulation on tree limbs could be dangerous, especially when combined with the forecasted strong winds. Power outages are a possibility in the areas with higher snow accumulation. The storm is expected to linger over the region, bringing off and on showers through Friday and Saturday.

Wind and Coastal Flooding Concerns

Winds will gradually increase during the afternoon and evening on Wednesday, with the strongest gusts expected overnight into Thursday morning. Frequent easterly gusts between 30-50 mph are expected across the entire region. Along the immediate coastline, there is a potential for gusts as high as 60 mph, leading the National Weather Service to issue a high wind watch.

As the storm's center crosses over southern MA on Thursday, the winds will decrease significantly in southeastern MA but ramp up once again over northeast MA and the New Hampshire and Maine coastlines. Areas from Cape Ann to Salisbury to Hampton, NH, which have experienced repeated battering from recent storms, are of particular concern. Minor to moderate flooding and beach erosion are possible in these areas.

Stay updated with local weather forecasts and heed any warnings or advisories issued by the National Weather Service.


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