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Classic Nor'Easter Headed For New England Next Week: Latest Trends

As a storm passes to New England's south tomorrow morning (3/11), another storm will enter the west and move across the country. This storm looks to exit the east coast near the Carolinas. We are still far out and confidence remains shaky, but here is how things are trending today:


The storm then moves up the coast and could undergo cyclogenesis, blowing up into a powerful nor'easter as it arrives in New England Monday night (3/13). Models are yet to come into focus at this time, especially with the track, but the general trend continues to be a track closer to the coast.



While there is still a spread in the track from ensemble models, the general trend continues to be a track that lands between Cape Cod and the benchmark. This track will allow mixing and rain to envelop southern and eastern areas while snow will fall across the interior. This storm looks to get quite potent, with a forecast central pressure in the 970-980 millibar area.



SNOW


The way everything with this storm is currently trending, this will be a high elevation and interior snowstorm. The higher you go and the further you get away from the coast, the more snow will likely fall.


Right now, it looks like the highest snowfall will occur in a zone that stretches from the Berkshires, through the southern Green Mountains, into southern New Hampshire (minus the coast and immediate interior) and western Maine. A slight shift in the track could pull this zone further south, so this is very far from being locked in. I have pushed the snow line down on the map below further south than it was yesterday.



While heavy snowfall is possible, there are several factors that are working against very large snowfall amounts. For one, this will be a heavy, wet snow, which compresses. This makes it difficult for snow to pile up. Another issue is that there's just not that much cold air around. There will be nearly no cold air damming in New England. With temperatures in the mid 30s in areas, snow will be melting as it lands.


There could be an extremely sharp cutoff in snow totals. While the coast and immediately inland may see rain and mixing, you may not have to go very far inland to get into mostly snowfall, especially in northern New England. Areas that see mostly snow could see at least 6 inches of snow, with more possible. Again, massive accumulations remain unlikely at this time anywhere in New England despite a strong nor'easter.


One last point to make about snowfall is timing. The storm continues to look like it will hang around for a couple days, creating a long duration event. While southern and coastal areas may see rain and mixing Monday night and Tuesday (the peak of the storm), colder air and snow could filter into southern New England, possibly all the way to the coast Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday. Depending on when and if this happens, areas that saw heavy rain at the start could pick up a little to some snow on the back end.



RAIN/MIX


Rain will be the name of the game at the coast, the south shore and Cape, Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut. These areas could see a widespread half inch to inch and a half of rain, with the most falling on Cape Cod and the south shore.



There will likely be mixing across much of interior southern New England (minus the Berkshires), as well as southeast New Hampshire. The Worcester Hills will be interesting to see what falls. This area is particularly uncertain at this time on whether this event will be mostly snow or a lot of mixing.


WIND


Regardless of the precipitation type, there will very likely be strong winds. As the storm strengthens rapidly, the winds will ramp up big time. Much of eastern and coastal New England could see very strong winds. Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island have the possibility of damaging winds, with gusts upwards of 50-55mph possible. The strength and track of the storm will determine wind strength, so the wind threat may increase or decrease as time goes on, it will be something to keep a close eye on.


COASTAL FLOODING


While major coastal flooding is not expected, some minor flooding will likely occur on Tuesday. The entire coast will be battered by large waves, so splashover is possible throughout the storm. Coastal flood advisories could be posted for Cape Cod and the islands.


TIMING


This could be a long duration event. The storm will likely begin Monday night with the peak coming during the day Tuesday. Snow and rain showers could hang around Tuesday night and continue through Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday night, the storm should finally begin to pull away.



CHANCES


Snowstorm for areas of northern New England: 70% (+15% from yesterday)


Snowstorm for southern and coastal New England: 25% (No change from yesterday)

Snowstorm chance for Berkshires: 60%


Rainstorm/mixing for areas of northern New England: 35% (-5% from yesterday)


Rainstorm/mixing for southern and coastal New England: 75% (+15% from yesterday)


This forecast is still in the early stages, so stay tuned to New England Storm Center as the forecast becomes more refined.




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