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Winter Storm Watches Issued Ahead of Thursday Night storm

As anticipated, the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine has issued winter storm watches for much of New Hampshire and western Maine. Winter weather advisories have been posted for interior Massachusetts, northwest Connecticut and Vermont minus the Champlain Valley. Forecast models are beginning to align, meaning the impact of the storm is coming into focus pretty clearly now.


NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND


Snow will begin falling across the region late Thursday afternoon and pick up in intensity as the evening progresses. The snow shield will spread from south to north. The storm may begin as rain showers across southern New Hampshire and Vermont, but is expected to quickly transition to snow.


In the areas where the snow will begin as rain showers, the snow will be the wet and heavy variety. This snow will stick to tree branches and after several inches, the branches could break. Scattered power outages are becoming a growing concern for southern New Hampshire due to the weighted branches.


A trace of ice accumulation is also possible in southern New Hampshire before the switchover to snow. The National Weather Service of Gray, Maine states:


"Guidance also brings the max wetbulb freezing line just about to the MA/NH border. So I do think there is some potential to mix sleet in across southern NH. I have added sleet wording and reduced snow ratios further for those zones. Also some indications that dry slot will just sneak into southern NH Fri morning...so I have added a slight chance of freezing drizzle and trace ice accumulations. Snow should remain the biggest impact there however."

A widespread 5-8 inches of snow is expected across New Hampshire and Vermont, with lesser amounts near the Canadian border and along the Massachusetts border. There is a pocket of 8 plus inches possible in south western New Hampshire, this area will likely be the jackpot for the region.


Moving into Maine, snow will come down heaviest across the southwestern part of the state with amounts gradually tapering off as you move north and east. Snow will begin across Maine in the evening.


This is a snow only event for northern New England. There will be very little to no mixing, very little rain and light winds. The biggest concern other than snowy roads will be the scattered power outage potential across southern New Hampshire, although outage numbers should stay relatively low.


The snow will continue through much of the day Friday, with the heaviest occurring in the early morning. A dry slot could develop later Friday morning, bringing a lull in snowfall. Snow showers will gradually taper off into Friday evening. The snow is expected to transition from the heavy, wet variety to the more light and fluffy variety on Friday morning.




SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND


In southern New England, the biggest change to the forecast from this time yesterday is the snow line has moved southward. This will remain a rain and messy mix story across much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. This is due to the fact that a secondary low will form off the coast, which will help lock in colder air across northern Massachusetts. The National Weather Service of Norton states:


"While primary low remains in tact as it moves into the Gt Lakes increasing height falls will result in secondary low developing near of just south of the south coast. This will help to lock in the colder air to the north across northern MA."

This will allow northern Massachusetts, particularly Essex county, to pick up some more snow. Massachusetts will see a widespread 1 to 2 inches of snow, with a potential 3 or 4 inches across Essex county. The exception will be Cape Cod, which will see all rain. There will likely be mixing across much of Massachusetts in the beginning of the storm on Thursday evening.


An inch of snow is also possible across northwestern Connecticut, otherwise Connecticut and Rhode Island will see all rain for Thursday evening and the daytime Friday. All of southern New England could see light snow showers on Friday evening, no accumulation is expected.


TIMING


Thursday night: Snow from northern Massachusetts and points north. Mixing across the rest of Massachusetts. Steady rain Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts.


Around midnight: Steady snow in northern Massachusetts and point north, heaviest of the storm, near 1" an hour rates possible in New Hampshire, southern Maine. Rain continues across Southern areas.


Friday morning: A likely break in precipitation across the region. Some light snow showers still possible, especially in Maine.


Around noon: Snow picks back up, likely not as heavy as overnight Thursday to Friday.


Friday afternoon: Snow north and rain south gradually tapers.


Friday evening: The last of the storm. Light snow showers across New England possible.


Friday night: Clouds begin parting overnight.




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