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Weekend Storm to Bring Mixed Bag of Precipitation

This weekend storm is looking increasingly likely to be a quintessential early spring New England storm, with just about every type of precipitation possible. Northern areas, especially Maine, will likely be digging out from moderate snowfall. Elsewhere will see minor accumulations with a lot of sleet, freezing rain and plain rain mixing in.

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. The primary low to the north decays and transfers energy to the strengthening secondary low to the south. The secondary low then becomes the primary low.

Snowfall potential has been dialed back over the past day or so. The best chance for a plowable snow will be across the higher elevations of Vermont, New Hampshire north of Lake Winnipesaukee and interior Maine. Chances are increasing for even these areas to see a changeover to a wintry mix after an initial burst of snow Saturday afternoon.

The storm will start off rather cold for all of New England, 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.

The big question, especially for high elevations of southern New England and central New England, will be how deep the warm air layer is. A shallow layer would produce more sleet while a deeper layer would support freezing rain. In any case, there will likely be a mixture, the warm air layer will decide what the dominant precipitation type in the mix is.

The northern Green Mountains, Central New Hampshire and much of Maine will start as snow. These areas will likely see a few inches of 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. Much of interior Maine may stay in the snow for a while, leading to higher amounts.

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 5 inches. A big question in these areas will be how strong the storm gets and how intense the snowfall rates will be.

It's looking more likely that northern Maine will be the jackpot for snow, with 6 or more inches possible by Sunday evening.

Southern New England, southern New Hampshire and the valleys of Vermont will likely see a wintry mix and/or plain rain. 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, sleet and/or a glaze of ice overnight Saturday. New England south of the Mass Pike will be all rain from beginning to end.



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