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Major Snowstorm Coming, Up to a Foot in Places

Despite now being a day and a half away from the storm's arrival, there continues to be discrepancies in how this storm will play out and potential snowfall amounts. What is becoming more clear is that the storm will bring a good thump of snow to northern New England. Here's the latest on what we do know right now.


The setup for this storm remains on track. The primary low will track north of New England while a secondary, coastal low develops just to New England's south. Where the secondary low tracks will determine how much snow falls, how much mixing occurs in southern New England and where the jackpot zone for snow will set up.



NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND IMPACTS


Somewhere in Northern New England will get crushed by very heavy snow. The million dollar question is where exactly this will occur. In yesterday's update, I was thinking that it would set up in central and Northern New Hampshire and western Maine. Today, I'm shifting the jackpot zone a bit further south.

Now I'm thinking it will set up for Lake Winnipesaukee southward to near the Massachusetts border. This includes southern Vermont and York and Cumberland counties in Maine. Some sleet could mix in with the snow in southern New Hampshire, which would lower amounts slightly there, which is why I don't have the 8-12 inch zone all the way to the Mass border.


Somewhere in the 8-12 inch zone will likely see locally higher amounts, with 13-15 inches not out of the question. I'm not confident enough in this to add a 12-18 inch zone to the map at this time. An area to watch for potentially over a foot of snow will be the Green mountains, the USGFS model is showing an 18-24 inch zone in the Greens, but this is very likely an overestimation.


There will likely be a sharp cutoff in snow totals as you make your way further north toward the Canadian border. Northern Vermont and New Hampshire are possibly looking at just a few inches. The northern half of Maine may see very little to no snow at all. Friday night and Saturday is looking at just overcast skies in Caribou. There remains a lot of uncertainty about how far north the steadier snow will get.


NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND TIMING


Friday night: Snow moves into Vermont in the late evening.


Around midnight: Steady snow falling in Vermont, snow falling in New Hampshire and western Maine.


Saturday morning: Bulk of the snow. Heavy snow falling across Vermont, New Hampshire and the southern half of Maine, minus downeast.


Around noon: Steady snow continues.


Saturday afternoon: Snow very gradually lightens up in Vermont and New Hampshire, steady snow still falling in southern Maine.


Saturday evening: Light snow showers continue.


Saturday night: Stubborn snow showers hang around.


Around midnight: Finally drying out region wide.



SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IMPACTS


The storm gets complex and uncertain in southern New England. The highest level of uncertainty is just how much snow will fall across eastern Massachusetts. Snow is looking to mix with sleet and rain across most of Massachusetts. There will be snow and sleet inland with snow and rain near the coast.


Areas that see snow mix with sleet will have lower amounts, with moderate accumulations expected. Coastal areas that mix with rain will see much lower amounts. While some outlets have trended snowfall amounts upward for Boston and the east coast of Mass, I'm thinking it will still be lower, with a couple inches falling in the city.



Once again, elevation is looking to play a big factor in snowfall with the Berkshires, Worcester Hills and even the Litchfield Hills seeing bigger amounts. These areas, along with areas near Massachusetts' northern border will see mostly snow with very little mixing.


After an initial thump of snow at the beginning, much of Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Massachusetts south shore will see a switchover to rain. The initial burst of snow may leave an inch or even 2 in these areas before the switchover occurs.


Another issue for southern New England will be strong winds. The strongest gusts will occur across eastern Massachusetts, particularly over Cape Cod and the islands. The winds will be at their strongest Saturday morning, with wind coming out of the east. The winds will diminish when the winds shift to a northerly direction in the afternoon.


Yesterday I wrote that it would be interesting to see if the National Weather Service issues a wind advisory or a high wind watch for the Cape. Today, I'm thinking it will be a wind advisory. Tides are astronomically low and coastal flooding will not be an issue.


SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TIMING


Friday night: Snow moves in from west to east starting around late evening.


Around midnight: Steady snow across most of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, mixing begins in Connecticut.


Saturday morning: Mixing begins in Massachusetts, switchover to rain in southern Connecticut. Raining on Cape Cod.


Around noon: Snow showers continue west, steady precipitation falling east.


Saturday afternoon: Light precipitation continues.


Saturday evening: Storm begins pulling away, scattered snow showers around.


Saturday night: Drying out.



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