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Spring Snowstorm Incoming for New England: Impacts, Timing

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATES ARE IN BOLD


This weekend storm is looking likely to be a quintessential early spring New England storm, with snow and sleet to the north and a wintry mix and rain to the south with all snow in higher elevations and northern Maine. Northern areas, especially Maine, will likely be digging out from moderate snowfall. Elsewhere will see minor accumulations with a lot of sleet and plain rain mixing in. Freezing rain is looking less likely as the warm air layer is looking much more supportive of sleet.


Models have remained in agreement about this storm's setup. The setup being that a primary low will track to our north with a secondary low forming along New England's south coast. This low will move into the Gulf of Maine and strengthen. This secondary low then becomes the primary low.



Our snowfall forecast has not changed since yesterday. The best chance for a plowable snow will be across the higher elevations of Vermont, New Hampshire north of Lake Winnipesaukee and interior Maine. Northern Maine will likely be the jackpot zone as up to 8 inches of snow is expected. Some areas of Maine along the Canadian border could see up to 10 inches.


The storm will start off cold for all of New England, leading to a burst of snow Saturday afternoon, however, a warm air layer aloft will rush through the region from southwest to northeast during Saturday evening into the overnight. This means that what is falling on Saturday afternoon will be the coldest precipitation.


Areas of New England that start as plain rain will remain rain for the entire storm. Areas that start off as a wintry mix will likely change over to plain rain Saturday night. Areas that start off as snow will likely change over to a wintry mix Saturday night. Higher elevations of New Hampshire and central and northern Maine are the only places that will likely see snow from beginning to end.


DOMINANT PRECIPITATION TYPE:


A big question from the past couple days has been answered. This question being how deep the warm air layer would be. This would determine whether the mixed winter precipitation would be more sleet or freezing rain. It's looking very likely that the warm air layer will be supportive of sleet, not freezing rain. Some light glazing of freezing rain is possible in the White and Green Mountains.



Much of New England will see a burst of snow Saturday afternoon, but most of southern New England will quickly change over to a wintry mix or rain. The northern Green Mountains, Central New Hampshire and much of Maine will hold onto the snow longer. These areas will likely see plowable snow before changing to a wintry mix. It will be hard to accumulate the snow during the day, so a question for snowfall will be how long it takes for the mix to arrive.


The White Mountains and into the higher elevations of Maine will likely start as snow and stay snow. These areas will likely see upwards of 4-8 inches. A big question in these areas will be how strong the storm gets and how intense the snowfall rates will be. Northern Maine is looking at spots picking up 6-10 inches.


Southern New England, southern New Hampshire and the valleys of Vermont will likely see a wintry mix and/or plain rain after a burst of snow. Very little accumulations are expected in these areas. Southern New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and the low elevations of Vermont could see a coating of wet snow and sleet, mainly falling Saturday afternoon. New England south of the Mass Pike will be all rain from beginning to end.



TIMING


Saturday afternoon: Burst of snow for much of New England.


Saturday evening: Snow switches to mix and rain across southern New England, southern New Hampshire and the lower elevations of Vermont. Maine gets into the snow.


Saturday night: Steady snow across Maine and the White Mountains, mix/rain showers continue in southern New England and southern New Hampshire. Snow switches to a mix in central New Hampshire and the Green Mountains.


Sunday morning: Much of New England begins to dry out. Steady snow continues in Maine. Snow showers linger in White Mountains.


Sunday midday: Storm gone for most of New England. Snow continues in northern Maine, snow showers continue in White Mountains.


Sunday afternoon: Heaviest snow over in northern Maine, snow showers continue. Valleys amid the White Mountains switch to a mix of snow and rain showers.


Sunday evening: White Mountains begin to dry out, scattered snow showers in northern Maine.


Sunday night: Storm pulls away from New England.



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