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Looking Ahead to the Sunday to Monday Storm in New England

A coastal storm will be coming to New England late this weekend into early next week. This storm will bring portions of New England, mainly southern New England, a chance for accumulating snow. A moisture-rich storm system will move off the Mid-Atlantic coast and likely track to New England's south with signs currently pointing to the storm tracking near the 40/70 benchmark. Here are the latest trends:

In late January, this track would be a big indicator of a potentially large snowfall across most of southern and central New England, however, there are some factors that could hold back snowfall in places. The main issue is that there will be no cold air ahead of the system. This will likely allow the storm to begin as rain or a mix across lower elevation areas and along the coast.

This rain and mixing initially will naturally cut down on snow totals. Areas that see a quick transition or even start as snow currently have the highest chances of seeing at least a decent thump of snow (4-8 inches). These areas would be the Worcester Hills, Berkshires, southern Green Mountains and the Monadnocks. Areas further north are currently too far removed from the storm center to see much snow.

The lower elevation areas of southern and central New England (Merrimack River Valley, Connecticut River Valley, coastal Massachusetts and the seacoast of New Hampshire) remain rather uncertain due to that initial mix and rain as well as the chance for more wobble with the track. Over the past 24 hours, the track has trended further north. The further north the track ends up being, the further north mixing and rain at the onset would be pushed.

This northerly trend in the track follows the general pattern so far this winter. Storms have initially been forecast to pass well south of New England before trending back north. With this in mind, we wouldn't be surprised one bit if the track continues to inch further north, closer to New England's south coast today.

A more northerly track would lead to a longer time with mixing and rain for much of southern New England leading to lower snow totals while pushing the higher snow totals further north into northern New England. Should the track remain close to where it is now (near the 40/70 benchmark), the amount of snow seen would come down to how quickly the storm can strengthen.

The faster the storm can strengthen, the faster colder air can be manufactured, despite how little cold air is present at the start. A quickly strengthening storm would allow the rain/snow line to collapse southward quickly, allowing more snow in the lower elevation areas outlined above. A slower strengthening storm would be the opposite.

As far as timing, more precise timing will need to be worked out over the next 24 hours, but this is the general trend: All of New England will likely be dry Sunday morning. Precipitation will likely slowly spread into New England from southwest to northeast starting around midday Sunday. This initial batch of precipitation will likely be on the lighter side.

Potential weather early Sunday afternoon:

Throughout Sunday evening and into the overnight, the rain/snow line will likely collapse southward. As stated before, the speed at which the rain/snow line collapses will be key in snowfall amounts for much of New England.

Potential weather overnight Sunday to Monday:

The storm will likely through much of Monday, gradually shutting down from west to east Monday afternoon. As of now, the heaviest precipitation looks to be Sunday evening through Monday morning. This timing still has wiggle room to change.

There will also be the chance for some decent winds with 40-50mph gusts near the coast and gusts of 25-35mph further inland. With tides being astronomically lower, coastal flooding isn't much of a concern, though splashover may be possible in southern New England. Another item to watch will be the snow consistency. With a heavy, wetter snow possible, several inches could lead to some issues.

The item that's most certain with all of this is that temperatures will drop off by Monday with colder highs for Monday and Tuesday with lows in the single digits and teens.



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