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!

Comments (84)
  1. Mazza says:

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

  2. Steve says:

    Which storm this one or next weekend’s?

  3. Scott says:

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

    1. southshoretom says:

      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.

  4. JimmyJames says:

    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?

    1. RMB says:

      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…

  5. WeatherWizard says:

    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.

    1. Hadi says:

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

  6. Cat966G says:

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

  7. southshoretom says:

    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.

    1. southshoretom says:

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

  8. BaileyMan says:

    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!

  9. BaileyMan says:

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

  10. Mazza says:

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

    1. southshoretom says:

      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.

  11. philip says:

    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!

  12. italo says:

    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

  13. benllovell says:

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

  14. Scott says:

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

  15. BaileyMan says:

    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

  16. BaileyMan says:


  17. mazza says:

    Well after looking at the radar im about to get nailed

  18. RMB says:

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

  19. wantoplow says:

    could westborough get anything out of this??

  20. says:

    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

  21. benlovell says:

    where you live mazza?

  22. Rocco Pompeo says:

    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!

  23. Scott says:

    Hardly a flake now on the north shore

    1. southshoretom says:

      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.

      1. Scott says:

        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?

  24. frank says:

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

  25. JimmyJames says:

    RMB I consider a long duration event 24 hours plus. The track is going to have to monitored closely because if it tracks to close to the coast mild air will be drawn into the system and then you don’t have a straight snowstorm.

  26. snowyman says:

    Scott i live on the north shore too and i dont see a damn thing no more :(

  27. Justin says:

    Still snowing here in Tewksbury moderately! This storm surely backed in further than what they expected in presume! There’s about 1.5-2″ on the ground out there and it’s still falling! I hope everyone stays safe tonight as the roads are very slipper.. just got in from some last minute Christmas shopping and the roads are a mess! Stay safe everyone!!

  28. Mazza says:

    just walked outside in waltham and couldent see 2
    feet in front of me

    1. southshoretom says:

      yup, I believe that…kind of what we had for about 45 minutes. snow has stopped here.

  29. Tsal says:

    Light covering on grass and roads in Framingham Steady light blowing snow

  30. Mazza says:

    My street was treated 10 min ago and now its covered

  31. philip says:

    Jimmy, I couldn’t agree with you more about that storm tracking too close to the coast…I just checked the temps at Boston Buoy and they jumped up ONE degeree since the last time I looked a couple or so days ago. I suspect that current storm has churned up the waters causing the temps to rise again.

    We were very fortunate today that the winds didn’t back into an easterly component.

    1. philip says:

      correction…TWO degrees since the last time I looked.

  32. Charlie says:

    Wow there’s 2 inches on ground in foxboro and it is nearly a white out

  33. Mazza says:

    3.5 inches in waltham

  34. Mazza says:

    check that 4 inches in waltham

  35. metking says:

    yes, there will most certainly be mixing at least inside 95 given the water temps…any kind of easterly wind and you will see one hell of a coastal front set up that next system…needless to say not much margin for error for snowlovers

  36. Scott says:

    I don’t think it will snow again tonight for most. Hopefully we can pick up another few inches tomorrow and Wednesday

  37. Omegablock says:

    Finally, it feels a bit more like Christmas. I had a chance to take the 3 year old out for a walk in the snow here in Wakefield and then have some delicious hot chocolate. Now cannot wait for the “cross my fingers” big one this weekend!

  38. Snowlover says:

    Looks like it stopped snowing in Medford for now. Does anyone see anymore more snow bands heading my way?

  39. Ron says:

    storm winding down now,pulling up into the maritimes

  40. Mazza says:

    SNowlover yes there is one more band heading your way

  41. philip says:

    Snow was coming down fast and furious here in Boston awhile ago, but now just about stopped for the night.

  42. Topkatt88 says:

    The heavy snowband just moved out of my area. It was fun to watch moderate to heavy snow shut off almost instantly from east to west across the city.

  43. Ed says:

    as good as barry burbank is this storm was a low point in his career,barry caved into media pressure and got away from his experience.this caused him to fail big time with this event,im shocked at how he handled this storm.

    1. southshoretom says:

      Hi Ed.

      I respectfully disagree with your idea about caving into media pressure and in my opinion, you can look back just a few months ago to his performance during Hurricane Earl. As you may recall, he wrote a blog that detailed why he believed the Hurricane was going to miss and not impact us when most every other forecast was raising the stakes……. As for this storm, in spite of what I’ve been reading on the blog, not one person totally got this right.

  44. Earl says:

    is that it topkatt for lexington woburn area,how much did we get?

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      That’s it for the “big” stuff. Just some scattered snow showers possible later. Still some other episodes of snow showers the next 2 days as well.

      I’m going out to measure in a moment.

  45. RexRyan says:

    topkatt, what are your thoughts on the potential this weekend? EURO, GFS, DGEX all show monster storms right near the benchmark. Are you buying this? you have been quiet on this one…..are you waiting until we get within a couple of days to comment? what are you current thoughts based on the set-up

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      This far out, it’s the most favorable setup so far. But you don’t wanna see the storm too intense or too close or mix/rain gets involved in a situation like that. Loooong way to go before it gets here.

  46. BaileyMan says:

    hey rmb sorry too early to speculate on the weekend storm needless to say it is seemingly set up to become a major east coast storm as long as phasing and timing of phasing correlate we all know that song and dance anyway i will say this far out it looks promising for snow lovers! but, no one should feel bold enough to throw around any kind of specifics in terms of intensity and precip amounts until at least thursday am! so i will defer that inquiry to others who are so bold as to speculate for now!

  47. RMB says:

    just what the doctor ordered for some of us, the ground is covered where i live, still snowing, now onto the next, i hope this pans out just right!!!

  48. Snowlover says:

    Mazza Thank you. Looking forward for another heavy band of snow. :)

  49. shotime says:

    Thrilled to see the snow tonight. Great timing all the way around for my son’s arrival home. He made it out of Chicago before the snow began there, and arrived in Boston before the snow got too heavy here! Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!!!!!

  50. rick says:

    noticing a band of heavier precip head inland toward the worcester area, any chance this could be enought to at least coat the ground around here?

  51. RMB says:

    BaileyMan a 975mb low i would say is a dangerous storm if it happens, I would love to know the wind and beach erosion it would cause!!

  52. Paul52 says:

    Thus far only about a tenth of an inch has fallen here in Pepperell since the light snow began late this afternoon! I think my area is totally jinxed this year! The weather pattern seems to be doing everything possible to keep the snow away from this area. This has to be the most incredibly frustrating start to the winter snow season that I have ever experienced! Unless we can get one of those heavy spiral bands to survive to this area; there will be no white Christmas here unless the next storm pans out!

  53. haterain says:

    Rick, if the band holds together it should coat the ground in Worcester. Keeping it together will be the tough part were the dynamics are not is good that far inland. I think you will see at least a dusting soon.

  54. Bill says:

    weekend looks to stay south now just watching channel 25 fox

    1. Longshot says:

      Bill, at this stage no one knows. What you see and hear on TV right now is just a function of what model they’re looking at. At this point, they’re forecasting a storm that doeasn’t exist.

  55. rick says:

    thanks haterain… was hoping for more from this storm but just not central ma’s turn.. maybe the next one…

  56. David Fielding says:

    For the weekend storm, my prediction is 1 to 12.

    Tonight’s storm should set a good snow base for it, if the snow doesn’t melt before Christmas.

  57. Chris says:

    Wow. that last heavy band of snow just arrived in Framingham. All the roads were down to pavement about 10 minutes ago, but now are snow covered. It feels great to see it snow like this. its been way too long.

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      It looks like a backward-moving line of snow squalls on radar. :-)

      1. David Fielding says:

        will these bands continue?

  58. rick says:

    hoping the snow band makes it to sutton

  59. cirrus says:

    I wish Melissa had been clearer on the lunar eclipse rarity factor…she should have clarified that it is extremely rare to have one occur on the winter solstice. Lunar eclipses are quite common. We get to see one every couple of years.

  60. Topkatt88 says:

    That band is really the only strong one. Only a few snow showers should be around during the next 24 hours.

    Should see some form of a repeat of today on Wednesday, but not sure to what degree yet. I may pay a little more attention to the NAM this time around. I discounted it the last couple of days, and I was only partly right. It did overdo thet precip a little but not nearly as much as I thought it did.

    A forecasting error on my part, from which I will try to learn and improve. :-)

    And I’m not going to make an excuse and say “well this was a tough one”. They’re ALL tough one way or another. It’s just part of it.

    1. Longshot says:

      Topkatt, are you saying just as much snow on Weds as there was today?

      1. Topkatt88 says:

        I’m saying that some places may get as much as today, but that doesn’t mean the Cape gets another foot. I’m thinking a more generaized 1 to 2 inches perhaps?

  61. Charlie says:

    2.1 inches in N.Attleboro, snowing lightly, just got that band, lasted about 20 min and got a quick .4,, looking at the models, the set up is in place for a moderate to major snowfall but like topkatt said to early to know details, which will heat up tomorrow and Wednesday, by Thursday we should know what’s on hand

  62. Flipflopper says:

    Drove from hopkinton to natick and wow! Hardly anything in hopkinton/upton, yet 1.75 inches in natick with AWFUL road conditions. 60 miles west and it’s a direct hit. 60 miles east and it’s a miss. I hope this storm teaches a lesson to all that even this you want to know the weather 5 days out, sometimes mother nature is going to surprise you.

  63. Topkatt88 says:

    2.0 inches in Woburn through 1145pm, though snow did stop a while ago. Also, the MOON is visible through the clouds. I hope it stays thin enuf that some of the eclipse is visible. As of the moment in the NW suburbs, it’s thin enough overcast to be able to view at least the start of the event.

  64. jack says:

    It looks like one hell of a band coming down from ME and CANADA.

  65. Plow Ski says:

    FINALLY! Thank you Todd Gross for the heads up this morning that the storm was backing in. Been out since 1pm working the storm heading back out now for some more fun

    1. Topkatt88 says:

      I think you ARE Todd Gross.

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