The extreme cold of Monday is now easing, and even though some readings were still near zero Monday evening, temperatures have started to rise as clouds have moved in. These clouds are associated with a weak storm system that will bring a period of light snow to MA & southern NH from the early morning to midday hours of Tuesday. Accumulations will range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch, with a spot 2 inch amount possible, especially in the hilly terrain. Once this system departs Tuesday afternoon, we may see breaks in the clouds and even a little sun before the day is through. Temperatures will continue to moderate and may approach 30 in some areas Tuesday afternoon.
Partly cloudy skies are expected Tuesday night with low temperatures falling back to around 20. Clouds will return and thicken during the day Wednesday ahead of the next storm system, which is currently developing near the Gulf of Mexico. This system will have plenty of moisture with it, and one might be tempted to think it’s set to unload all of it over New England since it is forecast to move up the East Coast by most of the computer models. But I still feel that this may not quite be how it plays out. If you read recent blogs you see that I have been concered about a boundary southeast of New England causing the Gulf of Mexico storm to start getting pulled further east, rather than coming north. I still think this scenario will play out. However, the moisture from the storm should still get far enough north to make it into much of southern and parts of central New England.
A last punch of energy coming along will cross CT & RI as well as south central to eastern MA. This area will be responsible for most of the snow that falls, which will occur early Thursday morning. I don’t think any snow will make it into Boston from the south until after sunset on Wednesday.
Somewhat warmer air aloft and at the surface may result in mixing and a possible change to rain over Cape Cod & the Islands and a portion of southeastern MA. But I think the immediate Boston area & points north and west will see snow from this system. The question then becomes, how much snow?
I think it will break down this way in terms of snow amounts: A general 2 to 5 inches over most of eastern MA, and I’m leaning toward the lower half of that range (2 or 3) being the rule. The first burst of snow after dark on Wednesday evening should be responsible for a coating to 1 inch, with some mixing possible well SE of Boston. There should then be a lull in the precipitation toward midnight, with a second area of snow moving through and peaking during the 2am to 8am timeframe. This would be when most of the remaining accumulation would take place. Mixing to the southeast should go back to snow as colder air works southeastward across the region. As you head to the northwest, snow amounts may drop off very quickly, so that by the time you get to northern Worcester County you may see very little snow. Places like Springfield may sit on the fence as well but should be in on the Thursday morning snow enough to pick up a few inches.
Keep in mind, there is still a chance that this system is surpressed even further south, and much of the area misses out on precipitation.
By Thursday night, partial clearing & colder weather can be expected, and Friday should be a brighter, chilly, but dry day.
Looking ahead briefly, a couple of weak weather systems may bring a few periods of snow showers or light snow to the region over the weekend. We may see another shot of very cold air by later Sunday or Monday, as we close out the month of January.
The next blog update will be about 4pm Tuesday.