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Significant Snowstorm Coming Friday Night: Impacts, Timing

New England has one more storm to go in this current active pattern. This storm may be the biggest one of this streak, and potentially the biggest snowfall since a storm in mid December dropped two feet in places of Northern New England. At the moment, upwards of a foot plus may fall across northern New England.


I write 'at the moment' since the trend this winter has been high snowfall amounts forecast initially with those numbers coming down as the storm approaches. We'll see if this trend continues or if we really see the kind of numbers on the current snowfall map.


This storm will follow the recent trend of what storms have been doing upon approach to New England. That trend being that a primary low will track north of New England with a secondary low forming off the east coast. With that said, here's the latest on timing and impacts.



NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND IMPACTS


This looks to be an all snow event for nearly all of northern New England. Southern New Hampshire may see some sleet mixing in, but at this time, that is expected to be minimal. This will likely be a 97% snow event for southern New Hampshire.


Significant snow is looking likely for areas of northern New England. At this point, it is hard to pinpoint exactly where the jackpot zone will be, but right now I'm thinking it will be in central and northern New Hampshire as well as western Maine. There are currently large discrepancies among models and news outlets on how much snow will fall and where the highest totals will be.


No matter where the biggest amounts will be, there will likely be a large area of northern New England that will see 8-12 inches. Amounts look to taper off as you get further north toward the Canadian border as well as heading into eastern Maine. The National Weather Service of Burlington, Vermont aligns with this as they are currently predicting a few inches in northern Vermont, 6-9 inches in the St. Lawrence Valley and up to a foot in Rutland and Windsor counties.


This storm appears to be poised to deliver a large sum of snow. The ingredients are coming together for a jackpot zone that could see over a foot of snow. The National Weather Service of Gray, Maine states:


"...but the most [precipitation] may be realized in areas that see precip the longest, and there may be an axis bisecting the county warning area that see snow both from the strengthening coastal low, and then longer duration snowfall through the day Saturday as the trailing parent low pulls east into the evening."

All of that means that whatever area sees the above setup will see a very large amount of snow. While this area remains uncertain, as I stated above, I am leaning toward it being in central New Hampshire and western Maine.


SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IMPACTS


As of right now, it appears that the coastal low will track right along New England's south coast. This will lead to a mix of snow, sleet and rain across much of southern New England. A layer of warm air aloft looks to make it all the way to the New Hampshire border, which will cause snow to mix with sleet, which, in turn, will limit accumulations in northern Massachusetts.



It is also looking like areas of New England south of Interstate 90 will rise above freezing for the event, which will lead to a mix of snow and rain, with a switchover to all rain near the coast. Areas of southern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are not currently looking at much snow.


In southern New England, it appears that total snowfall will end up being elevation based, like the last storm. The Berkshires, Worcester Hills and even into the Litchfield Hills will see the highest amounts in the area. These higher elevations will likely see little sleet mixing in with the snow overnight from Friday to Saturday. The National Weather Service of Boston states:


"...it will be a race against the clock to see how much snow/sleet can accumulate before sunrise, as warming surface temperatures will limit additional accumulations on paved/treated surfaces after 7-9am."

Another potential impact will be strong winds. These winds will be strongest across the Massachusetts south shore as well as the Cape and Islands. These areas could see gusts toward 60mph. The wind forecast is currently at the border between wind advisory and high wind warning. Something to watch as the storm nears will be whether the NWS issues a wind advisory or high wind watch.


TIMING


Friday evening: Leading edge of storm arrives in Connecticut and western Massachusetts.


Friday night: Snow spreads across New England except for Maine.


Around midnight: Edge of snow arrives in Maine, steady snow falling across most of Vermont, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts, mixing begins in areas south of I-90.


Saturday morning: Heavy snow in northern New England and higher elevations of southern New England, mixing in southern Massachusetts, raining in southern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts south shore.


Around noon: Steady snow in all of Maine.


Saturday afternoon: Precipitation begins to gradually lighten, steady snow continues in eastern Maine.


Saturday evening: Light precipitation continues.


Saturday night: Drying out.









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