Terry Eliasen, meteorologist and WBZ-TV executive.weather producer
BOSTON – We are now in the NEXT Weather Alert for a prolonged and multifaceted winter storm.
Like previous storms, this one will bring rain, snow, and changing conditions throughout the 24+ hours of precipitation.
Perhaps Monday’s toughest decision will be whether to cancel school.Most of southern New England will see rain Monday morning.
But as cold air arrives, the rain will turn to heavy, wet snow during the day on Monday.
Finally, there are concerns about Monday’s winds, coastal flooding and power outages.
The winds aren’t as strong as a typical Nor’easter, but combined with heavy snowfall on trees and power lines, it can be strong enough to cause a power outage.
winter storm warning Northern Worcester and Middlesex counties are affected, as well as pink-shaded areas where the main precipitation type is likely to be heavy, wet snow. Untreated surfaces can be difficult to move.
winter weather forecast Valid for the city of Boston and areas shaded in purple. Expect a small amount of snow, but be aware of slippery road conditions, especially from Monday noon through Monday evening commute hours.
A mix of rain and snow will continue across the Bay State on Sunday night, with colder weather and snow mainly north of Pike.
Within the hours before midnight, enough calm air acts to push the rain/snow line northward and closer to New Hampshire. Worcester Hills only. Basically, for the rest of the region, this would just be a rainy night.
It’s raining everywhere, just like when I woke up Monday morning. Higher elevations in northern Worcester County may have wet snow mixed in.
This will be a very tough decision for the school. Closing based on the forecast for changes to snow? I think it depends a lot on a few key factors.
What time will the change occur? How much snow is expected on Monday? Finally, what is the risk of power outages? Let’s see if we can answer some of these questions.
Approximate change from rain to snow on Monday:
10am: North Worcester County, Northwest Middlesex County (towns like Fitchburg, Nashua, Townsend, etc.).
Noon: Northwest of Interstate 495: (towns such as Lowell, Lawrence, Amesbury), basically all of northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.
2:00 PM: By this time, all of the northern areas along Mus Pike will be snowing, including Worcester and Boston. Snow is also expected throughout Norfolk County and northern Bristol and Plymouth counties.
4:00 p.m.: Snow falls in southern New England except for the Outer Cape and Nantucket.
Thankfully, the snow begins to thin from west to east in the evening. Must finish between approximately 6-8pm in Central Massachusetts and between 8-10pm in Eastern Massachusetts.
The amount of snow is not easily determined. As with the previous storm, temperatures will be very close to 32 degrees Celsius in much of the lower atmosphere, with surface temperatures in many areas just above freezing on Monday afternoon with snow. So you’ll need a fairly high rate to get any kind of significant accumulation. It looks like it’s going to be long enough and heavy enough to get some snow in eastern Massachusetts. Monday afternoon and evening.
Coating up to 1 inch: Head to the South Coast and South Shore (both arrive on Monday). A few inches of snow can accumulate in the afternoon on unpaved roads, so this area needs to be closely monitored.
1 to 3 inches: Primarily east of Interstate 495 to the North Shore, Boston, and parts of Southeastern Massachusetts (all arrive Monday afternoon and evening).
3 to 6 inches: Around and west of Interstate 495, from northern Essex County to northwest Middlesex County, through most of Worcester County in New Hampshire, south to northern Connecticut. (Mostly Mondays from noon to evening).
6 to 10 inches and above: North Worcester County, Berkshire, Southwestern New Hampshire. 10+ is only at the highest elevation where the precipitation remains all snow (storm total, overnight, some during Monday).
Unlike the last few storms, this one has more wind concerns. NE gusts of 20-40 mph expected Monday morning/noon.
Then, as the storm converges and begins to dissipate, winds will turn north-northwest, with gusts of 20-40 mph Monday afternoon and evening.
Again, coupled with very heavy wet snowfall, this could be enough wind to bring down limbs and power lines.
Also, given the astronomical high tide levels on Monday, minor flooding is likely on the coast during the midday high tide cycle. Coastal roads, which are generally vulnerable, may temporarily wash out.
No rest for the tired! Another storm is heading towards us later on Wednesday!
Snow will begin Wednesday evening, turning to rain overnight and likely through Thursday.
It’s been a busy week for the Japan Meteorological Agency. More on that storm later.
Follow Terry on Twitter @Terry WBZ