Snow Backs In…Heaviest at Coast

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

Mother Nature throws a mean curve ball doesn’t she? I told you I was waiting for the curve. I just knew this storm was going to find away to bite us in the end. And So it has. 10″ Wellfleet, 9″ in Orleans and Chatham…with the National Seashore likely to see upto a foot before this over. Wow. It is amazing what just a few miles in track to the west has done. 6-12″ of snow on the Cape with winds upto 40-45 mph tonight. Near Blizzard conditions with numerous power outages being reported. Yep..did not see that happening. S now we are in nowcasting mode..doing play by play.

As we track a significant deformation band backing into towards the coast this evening. This band will provide snowfall rates upto and 1-2″ per hour along the coast producing whiteouts and blowing snow thanks to gusting winds which have been confined to the coast. Cape Ann  has seen 3″ of snow and they could very well see another 3-4″ before the night is all over with. Winter weather advisories have been expanded north into Essex county

This band of snow will hit the coast and stall, then weaken through the evening hours. Advisories have been extended by the National weather service until 5 AMWinter Storm warning now extends up the South Shore to now include all of eastern Plymouth county where up to 4-8″ of snow will fall…heaviest at the coast…

Steady snow through midnight…but a lesser intensity through the overnight with snow showers. It could very well still be snowing at the coast for the morning commute…in areas which are seeing the heaviest snow tonight. Expect more delays/accidents and spin outs as people practice their winter driving skills. A definite learning curve is involved! Cold air at the surface is allowing for snow to stick on the pavement with most roads snow covered now. Slippery!

Warm air wrapping around the deepening low offshore will cause for warm advection snow showers through Tuesday morning. Winds will continue to wrap around this low tomorrow out of the NW with gusts to 30-40+ mph at the coast.

Timing the periodic wrap around snow showers seems a bit futile at this point..but scattered snow showers will still be possible through Tuesday night and Wednesday…mostly in the north and at the coast as our storm pulls away. Seas will build up to 10-15 feet off the coast by midweek so the big waves will cause some beach erosion with these high astronomical tides.

We will catch a break with some fair weather Thursday-Christmas with below normal temps…but the potential for a significant nor’easter is still very much on the table for the day after Christmas the 26th. Once again it will all depend upon phasing of the northern and southern streams. We have seen several model runs showing this storm now. It is loaded with energy as it will cross the nation creating travel problems where ever it goes. It will track across the southern US before the Polar jet will infuse a new piece of energy into the trough which will merge together across the Mid-Atlantic and help form as strong storm once it hits the coast and moves towards the benchmark.

It looks plenty cold for a very heavy snowfall across New England…but it is still 6 days away…timing and track are still up for grabs…some ensembles show the storm missing south…so every possibilty needs to remain on the table. As we saw with this current storm…we will have to watch the changes to the very end…and then even during the storm.. there will be changes and challenges to adjust to. I think I am going to be very very busy over this Christmas. Stay safe out there!

  • Mazza

    Joe witch model do you trust more the EURO or GFS because the euro shows the storm nailing us

  • Steve

    Which storm this one or next weekend’s?

  • Scott

    Heavy snow now for the north shore, nearly whiteout. Hopefully we can tack on a few more inches

    • southshoretom

      Scott…that same band is clobbering us in Marshfield. As I just wrote on the previous blog, I think this intense band of snow is going to require even the most recent snowfall totals to be increased one more time. Unbelievable. I offically apologize to the NAM.

  • JimmyJames

    Updated SNOW INDEX
    The warning areas I am giving a 2 meaning MODERATE Snowfall and the advisory areas I am giving a 1 meaning MINOR Snowfall over 4 inches or less. Could this be the appetizer before a POTENTIAL Noreaster this weekend?

    • RMB

      JJ, the 18zgfs looks like a big hit as well, if these models hold up then we may be talking about people like us were i have very light snow getting dumped on, and coastal area with a nasty mix, i just think the 195 belt will have mixing issues for a time, then back to snow, what do you consider a long duration event, this has about 30hrs or so from what the model runs show…

  • WeatherWizard

    Thanks Joe for the update.
    The biggest difference we have going into this storm for next weekend is a monster low that will setup over the Gulf of Alaska. If you compare last weekends storm to this one you will note that the Pacific block is much further north than last weekend. Look at this upper level low feature because it dictates what kind of ridging vs troughing will occur down stream. So for example we have a sub 960 ULL over GOA. That produces a monster trough over the eastern Pacific which will setup massive height falls on one side while stronger ridging will exist over the center of the country. Ridging out west is important in that it will then produce stronger troughing over the East. Think of a roller coast with these wild swings UP and DOWN..DOWN and UP.
    The reason you want this in play is to allow for more connection between the jet streams which would essentially produce the phase needed to allow for a storm to “hook” up the coast. Phase also pump enough low level jet support coupled with a jet max producing a stronger system.. Another key to coastal development.
    The GFS is now on it’s 3rd run in a row of a storm developing off the coast early Sunday morning. I like what I am seeing with the pattern, phase, and features in the Pacific.
    The EURO goes a step beyond the GFS and puts out a MONSTER sub 975 low at the benchmark by Sunday Afternoon. This suggests a massive snow event taken verbatim off the model (which isn’t saying much since we saw the same solution as last weekend). The only thing we see differently is a trend. And sure enough.. The EURO has locked on a solution for 3 plus runs!
    The only other important model in my eyes that I watch for trends and solutions is the Canadian Model.. GEM. The 12z Run is a tad concerning because it has all the major players of the EURO and GFS minus a Block at 50N-50W. The 50-50 low and placement is a key to the evolution of a coastal tracking storm. Well, there lacks a 50-50 low which would essentially put the Jet on a SW NE positioning. This ultimantly would suggest an ENE moving system ( IE fish storm or out to sea solution). Does the GEM have a hiccup in the way it’s handling the dynamics? Possible! But only future runs would tell it’s story.

    • Hadi

      Whu do you thing the gem is showing that? It’s seems odd that all models are going against it?

  • Cat966G

    Even though its not snowing at my house still enjoying reading the blogs of people who are . Go weekend noreaster

  • southshoretom

    8 to 12 inches on the southshore (within 5 miles of the ocean) is my prediction. Already 6+ on the ground. Its coming down at 1 inch per hour at least and right now the intense band is sitting over us and not losing its intensity.

    • southshoretom

      Marshfield official ob has had visibility of 1/4 mile last 20+ minutes…..

  • BaileyMan

    my forecast starter 2 days ago is pretty much on mark! As a avid snow fan i love it!!! As a forecaster im grateful i was pretty much on mark! I did not the difficulty with the computer models depicting the intensity and evolution of this storm and indicated for nearly 50 hours that this storm would SUPRISE MANY! and most SNE communities from central mass east and southeast would see Significant Snows!!! It was me against most computer models and most mets but i did not a couple who argued in favor of my forecast of a much more significant snow even for much of SNE especially eastern sections! Scroll back to previous blogs to see my snowfall predictions on this one. actually it is currently snowing lightly in worcester ma now and the wind is picking up Big time here! radar and satellite continue to see a explosive and sluggish storm nearly stationary in fact, wobbling its circulation slightly northwest and looping perhaps about 160 degrees through its circular path again this is the surprise i warned of when everyone was calling it a day!?!!!!! enjoy! expect snow through the am tomorrow at the very least and perhaps off and on banding through early thursday am in some sections of NE esp northeast ma and north and east of there too!

  • BaileyMan

    started not starter note not not surprise not suprise sorry all typos

  • Mazza

    Southshoretom is it really that intense of a band because its heading my way

    • southshoretom

      yes, it was an intense band. About the only thing missing was a little thunder and lightning. Snow has just dramatically lessened in intensity. Sitting with a little over 7 inches of snow.

  • philip

    The winds are a bit “frightful” out there…I’ll shovel first thing in the morning!

    I’ll spend the evening indoors listening to old time Christmas music mostly 50s and 60s…Good night, everyone!

  • italo

    This is my Christmas snowstorm type of present…not too much, not too little…just enough for just a while, here just north of Boston. ;) Italo

  • benllovell

    a nice surprise to see our first snow!! a white christmas is coming true. :-)

  • Scott

    I hope I’m not seeing the back edge of the snow for the north shore.

  • BaileyMan

    i am thankful i was right on this one!


    Topkatt there is no doubt you have incredulous forecasting skills but, on this one…i am equally confident that it will surprise mets so much that it will be an example and case study for future analysis towards improving computer depiction of storm evolution when the environmental dynamics are beyond precise rendering! i am a semi retired met but i am confident this storm will end up significant for some and lead to more snow then would typically be expected at this late point in time. the models are not handling it well however the nam this late in its run does have a good track record! and take a look at the radar echo build up and satellite depiction of cloud formation and movement. its at least interesting to note. as for snow lovers? i say a white christmas looks good for most

    December 19, 2010 at 10:09 am | Reply | Report comment

  • BaileyMan


  • mazza

    Well after looking at the radar im about to get nailed

  • RMB

    BaileyMan i have not heard on your prediction for this upcoming weekend?? Your thoughts.. Monster>>No Monster>> A good hit>> No hit????????????????

  • wantoplow

    could westborough get anything out of this??


    Heavy snow here in Hull at the moment…temp 26F with estimated wind gust near 30mph at times…plows are out….2″ on the deck…but affected by the strong winds…Euro buries Eastern Mass Christmas night and Sunday…cool stuff! and btw..we are under a Winter Storm warning till 5am
    Updates at from Hull Mass

  • benlovell

    where you live mazza?

  • Mazza


  • Rocco Pompeo

    Hi…what does anyone expect for Weymouth, not there right now but heard there is about 3 inches and not too sure how much more to expect..thanks!

  • Scott

    Hardly a flake now on the north shore

    • southshoretom

      our weather conditions are really similar. Amazing cutoff in precip from intense snow to almost nothing. But, it was worth it !!!! I have to give you credit, you were talking about that NAM model yesterday and it really ended up having good accuracy.

      • Scott

        It did seen odd to throw out the NAM when it continuingly showed more snow. Does the radar show snow for you, and it’s hardly snowing?

  • frank

    storm winding down,can not believe joe joyce is saying he called this storm,he should be fired

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