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Two Storms Down, One to Go: Latest on Impact, Timing

We have one more storm to go before getting a break. Not even 48 hours after the last storm dropped over a foot of snow in spots, broke trees and knocked out power to over 100,000 customers across New England, another storm is going to bring heavy snow, rain and powerful winds. Here is the latest on the next storm.


ALERTS


SNOWFALL


The impact of heavy snowfall will be further north than the last storm. This is because the storm will be taking a more northerly tack. The center will likely track right through northern New England, the last storm's center tracked along New England's south coast. This more northerly track will keep the precipitation all snow from Lake Winnipesaukee north.


After starting as snow, areas south of Lake Winnipesaukee, with the exception of the higher elevations of the Green Mountains, will see a mix of rain and snow. Areas south of Boston will see mainly rain.


The northern areas that stay all snow will see intense snowfall rates for much of Wednesday afternoon through the overnight hours. This will lead to accumulations of up to a foot in spots. Areas of southern Vermont, New Hampshire and coastal Maine will see snowfall rates of up to an inch an hour in the afternoon before the switch to a mix and rain. This will lead to accumulations of several inches.


SNOWFALL MAP


ICE


As snow begins to mix with rain in southern and central New England, there will be a time of freezing rain and sleet. The NWS of Gray, Maine states:


"A brief period of sleet and freezing rain is likely during the transition period. Warmer air continues to spread northward aloft across interior areas, but the warmth at the surface will be much slower to progress inland. Across these areas, an extended period of sleet and freezing rain is expected. Temperatures are expected to be only slightly below freezing, so the ice accretion efficiency will likely be limited. The greatest ice accretion amounts are expected to be around a quarter inch, with the best chance for this to be across the foothills and Lakes region of Maine, and the Lakes region of New Hampshire."

The ice accumulation will not be significant, especially as the freezing rain will transition to plain rain during the overnight hours and melt away any ice accretion that occurred quickly. Still, the ice will add to the mess of precipitation during the evening hours.


RAIN AND FLOODING


After a brief burst of snow at the start on Cape Cod, the south shore and Rhode Island, the precipitation will turn to rain, and it will be a soaking rain. one to two inches of liquid is possible, and along the south shore of Massachusetts, a majority of that liquid will be rain. There are some hints at a possible three inches of rain along the south shore and Rhode Island.


This, combined with snowmelt, could lead to localized flooding. Rivers could hit minor flood stage and some street flooding is likely. A flood watch has been issued from Boston heading southward to Providence and to the Cape Cod Canal. The heaviest rain will strike overnight, but should end rather quickly as a dry slot develops in the early morning.


RAINFALL MAP


WIND


Strong winds will affect much of the region. Gusts as high as 40mph are possible across the entire region. This combined with snow covered trees could lead to more power issues for the areas with the highest snow accumulations expected.


The wind will be strongest in downeast Maine and the south shore of Massachusetts, including the Cape and Islands. A high wind warning is in effect for coastal areas of Washington and Hancock counties in Maine. The strongest of the winds look like they will remain offshore, however, isolated gusts up to 60mph remain possible. This could lead to power outages and tree damage.


There is a wind advisory in effect for the Massachusetts south shore, southern Rhode Island and southeast Connecticut. Winds are not expected to be quite as strong in these areas as in downeast Maine. Gusts from 45-55mph are possible. This will lead to some outages.


COASTAL FLOODING


A coastal flood advisory is in effect for the south coast of New England. Since the storm is not coinciding with astronomical high tides, effects from surge should be limited, however, some inundation is possible. This will most likely occur during the high tide early Thursday morning. The NWS states:


"Strong southeast/south winds will result in a storm surge approaching 2 feet across the south-facing coastal areas per available guidance, including the Stevens Institute ensembles. Given astronomical tides are not at their highest, and that the peak surge (along with peak winds) is not expected to coincide exactly with high tide, this amount of surge should not pose any significant issues."

TIMING


Wednesday Afternoon: Snow begins to overspread the region.


Wednesday evening: Snow coming down steadily in northern New England. The rain/snow line begins to push north through Massachusetts.


Wednesday night: The rain/snow line is likely in northern Massachusetts, heavy rain south, heavy snow north.


Around midnight: The rain/snow line pushes into southern New Hampshire and Vermont. Heaviest rain and snow at this time. Strongest winds begin.


Thursday morning: Steady snow north, rain south begins to slowly wind down around sunrise.


Around noon: Beginning to dry out, lingering rain/snow showers continue in Maine.

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