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Breaking Down Snowstorm Chances This Weekend for New England

Updated: Jan 2

A weak disturbance will cross to the north of New England on Thursday. This disturbance will drag a cold front across the region. This will kick off some scattered, light snow showers, mainly in northern New England. A spot snow shower or flurry will still be possible in southern New England.

This front will help push an ocean storm well out to sea, so impactful precipitation and wind will not occur. The northern edge of the storm could bring some rain/snow showers to New England's south coast. This front will bring colder air into New England for the weekend, potentially setting up a more impactful snowstorm for the weekend.

A storm system will move across the country, likely diving into the south before riding northward up the coast for the weekend. The system is looking to pass New England offshore to the south of New England, possibly near the benchmark.

With these current trends, southern and central New England will see the greatest chance for an impactful winter storm. As of now, the setup would favor the storm being pushed more south than north with an area of high pressure to New England's north and a sharp ridge forming ahead of the storm.

There is still quite a bit of spread in models on where exactly the storm will track, which will play a major role in both the type of precipitation and also the amount. This spread in models is expected as the storm complex is currently over the Pacific Ocean. Models usually trouble figuring out what a storm will do until it gets into the upper-level flow over land.

This spread in the models can be seen by looking at a couple of the major models. The Euro model is currently showing the storm passing New England to the south, near the benchmark. This would allow southern New England to see several inches of snow with a potentially sharp northward cutoff in amounts.

Euro's current model run (Tuesday morning):

GFS shows the storm passing south of the benchmark, leading to lighter snowfall. CMC shows the storm tracking slightly north of the benchmark, allowing milder air into eastern and coastal areas of southern New England. This would dump the heaviest snow on interior southern New England as well as southern Vermont and southern New Hampshire.

GFS (1st image) and CMC (2nd image) current model runs (Tuesday morning):

So, those are basically the potential outcomes at this point. Which one comes to fruition will be sorted out in the coming days once the storm enters land. As for timing, there's (naturally) some discrepancy on this as well. It does look like the storm will come through starting Saturday night and continuing through Sunday. When the peak of the storm would be still needs to be worked out. The storm does look progressive, leading to a 12-18 hour window of snow rather than a longer-duration storm.

As for the potential amount of snow, several inches would be possible under the right circumstances, possibly a jackpot zone of 5-8 inches with some areas seeing more. The fact that the storm likely won't stall out will help limit the potential for really large amounts. How strong the storm gets will naturally also play a role in snowfall. Where the jackpot zone sets up will be determined by the track.

The most amount of snow from this storm will likely land somewhere in the blue area above. This is an early trend and subject to change. How much the "most snow" would be does remain a large question mark. As stated above, under the right circumstances, a half foot or more is possible. If the storm takes a less favorable track, the most snow could just be a couple inches.

Those are the early trends, we'll continue watching to see how everything evolves the rest of the week. The rest of this week will be generally quiet and seasonable leading up to this potential storm.



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