Tracking A Major Winter Storm

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

What a week it has been! What a Christmas present this could become for Snowstorm lovers! The Back and forth has been maddening. Glad to see the models finally starting to catch on and handle the energy involved in this pattern. A concern was how , when and where the northern stream and southern stream would merge. Things seem to be falling in place not for the pattern to develop a major winter storm for the Northeast.  Check out the upper low at 500 tomorrow morning.

gfs 500 036l Tracking A Major Winter Storm

The streams have merged. The upper low has shifted west from earlier runs and is in a perfect place for the storm to explode once it reaches the coast and be directed towards New England.

Watching the 850 temps for warm air advection into the storm. Depending on the eventual track ..There could be some boundary layer issues over the Cape and Islands with a change to rain. The snow rain line may try to push up to Plymouth..but that is as far north as it is going to get. There will be a coastal front which will become a convergence zone for enhanced snowfall which I think will set up south of Boston. Look for the -4 to -8 C lines on the 850 map. That is where we will see the best snow growth with ratios of 15 to 1.

850t f054 bg na Tracking A Major Winter Storm

We are always trying to find out where the band of heavy snow is going to occur….which I believe will be just on the other side of the coastal front…likely from the Attleboro /Taunton area to Boston. Snowfall will be coming down at 2″ an hour at times and I fully expect blizzard conditions to develop as winds really start to howl with this deepening storm south of Boston.

The Heaviest snow band tends to occur about 90 to 120 nautical miles to the NNW of the 850 mb low. What does it look like to you?

8502 Tracking A Major Winter Storm

That patterns looks like Eastern MA is going to be crushed with heavy snow overnight Monday. I will be live in Scituate Monday morning at 4:30. That could be pretty intense huh?

How much snow are we expecting? This storm is loaded with moisture. Significant overrunning will take place . Here is the QPF from the 00Z GFS. My apologies if some of this is hard to see. Printing over 1.5″ of liquid Boston south. My concern this morning is some of my numbers could be underdone…but there is time to fine tune. There is the potential for 12-18″ of snow if this storm verifies the way it looks this morning. Where there is colder air inland away from the coast…there will be better snow ratios…so despite less moiture..snow will continue to pile up…that is why I am expecting a foot of snow from Worcester to Manchester NH. The potential for a foot even near Plymouth…with amounts totaling over 1 foot in between.

gfs p60 072l Tracking A Major Winter Storm

The Winds are another major part of this storm. This storm is going to bomb south of New England as energy rounds the base of the trough and shoots off the coast. Howling winds at 850 to 70-80 kts will have a chance of mixing all the way down to the ground. Sunday Night into Monday morning will be the peak of the wind at the coast where there is the potential for wind damage and power outages. Check out the surface winds around Sunrise Monday out of the east. Incredible.

gfs 3 2010122506 f48 wspd 10 m above ground Tracking A Major Winter Storm

Winds will be gusting easily over 50. There is the potential for even a few hurricane force wind gusts. This could get really nasty. Onshore winds with high tide around 3:30 AM during the peak of the storm could mean minor to moderate coastal flooding for eastern facing beaches. Expect full whiteouts. Travel should be avoided Sunday night through much of Monday. This has the potential to be a major possibly historic winter storm…Certainly there will be more adjustments to track, snow totals, ect in the coming hours. I am here for the rest of the day. Barry “The Legend” Burbank takes the wheel tomorrow! Todd Gutner Tomorrow Night. See you in Scituate! Let’s hope this time the forecast sticks. Merry Christmas to everyone. Thank you so much for your interest in weather and WBZ news. We so appreciate your support and value your viewership and input in tracking these storms!


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