Still Sticking With It

By Barry Burbank, WBZ-TV

From midnight’s subzero temperatures to the morning’s 1 up to 3 inches of snow, we watch for bright spots and breaking clouds some places this afternoon as the burst of snow ends over southeastern MA.  A nice recovery is underway leading to afternoon highs of the middle 20s well north and west to near or slightly over 30 in Boston to the lower to middle 30s over southeastern MA. With any substantial clearing, it will easily chill off to the teens in many outlying areas tonight with 20-25 closer to Boston.

Upon digesting the latest output from the various models, I have elected to hang tough on most of my earlier expectations regarding the upcoming storm threat. There are a few tweaks here and there worth noting. I am revising the projected amounts slightly greater for areas in northwestern Worcester County into interior southern New Hampshire where 1-3 inches are probable with a slight widening of the 3-6″ ribbon north and west of Boston. I think the city will reap closer to 5 to 6″ or so with a slight widening of the swath of more than 6″ just south of the city through Plymouth and Bristol County into Rhode Island. Jackpot areas within that band may gather up to 8 or 9 inches. The lower amounts of 3-6″ near the Cape Cod Canal remain untouched and 3 inches down to 1 from west to east on the Cape still stand as the rain flips over to snow there late tomorrow night. I reiterate that the precise path of the southern stream vortex is paramount in accurately forecasting the snowfall across the region. A more east-northeastward trajectory for this feature is key. This is entirely dissimilar to two weeks ago when massive dynamics were available to crank out a blockbuster. Nevertheless, a period of good lift happens for about a 4-6 hour period yielding moderate to perhaps heavy snow releasing up to 1″ per hour in the Boston area southward. The northeasterly wind will freshen and back to northerly later tomorrow night as speed ramp up to 15-35 mph. It’s a done deal around dawn on Thursday and clearing will follow. The caveat is that minute shifting of the steering currents can produce a much different outcome in places. It still bears watching because in the weather world, it’s never over until it’s over! LOL.

Looking ahead, a weak upper level disturbance could release a few spotty flurries on Friday but a stronger upstream short wave will arrive for a spell of light snow or flurries on Saturday then sunshine returns on Sunday with highs this weekend mostly in the lower 30s Saturday to upper 20s on Sunday.

Todd Gutner will be examining fresh data later this afternoon and will post his thoughts this evening.

Have a good night.

  • Blizzard1

    Thanks for the update Barry, I’m sure this storm has given you mets plenty of headaches so far!

  • WHY?

    I just dont understand why the NWS would issue a “Winter Storm Warnings” for ares that your predicting could only get a dusting? We shall see!!!

    • matt

      they had put up a watch which means there is a possibillity of 6 or more inches
      not locked in on that though we just need to watch and wait.i am going to look at the models and post my predictions later

  • Hadi

    This winter has given the mets a headache to say the least!!

    Thanks Barry

  • Old Salty

    Thanks Barry and Good luck.

    Sure is a tricky one. Your experience just might win out here. It shall be interesting to see.

  • snowluva

    I know this is going to be intersting!!!. Someone will be wrong. Bailyman said 12-18. Barry is a D-6+, Topack is OTS except the cape, and the NWS has a winterstorm warning with 10+WHOS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

  • john f

    barry, if you are correct, you will be a hero. if not, you will take a lot of heat. i give you credit for sticking to your guns when it would be very easy to just follow everyone elses consensus. big gamble, we will see.

  • john

    bloggers I got the answer to my question, like barry said earlier plymouth county looks to be the jackpot.

  • Scott

    Barry did leave room for error in his amounts, which i think is considerably high.

  • Old Salty


    Officially the NWS has a Winter Storm Watch up and not yet a warning.

  • JimmyJames

    Thanks for the update Barry and will see how this unfolds.

  • Old Salty
  • Old Salty

    Well, that was a bust. Sorry

  • Old Salty

    Channel 5 snow map. Let’s see if this is better:

  • manowx

    The relaxation of the arctic air allows for a more gradual slope of isentropic lift which means a more widespread area of potentially moderate snowfall. The potential problem for barry is the the amount of moisture depicted on the models. The saving grace here is a comparatively weaker cylone and shorter duration. I am sticking with 6-8 inches Boston area

  • Scott

    does anyone else get website errors on when trying to look up the models?

  • Old Salty

    I got a few when clicking on some of the hourly results. Reclicking then yielded the proper results.

  • TTSutton

    We are talking about a system that is still 24+hours away. Just because Barry and others give the forecast “as they see it now” doesn’t mean that it is set in stone and can’t change. Sometimes we just have to wait until these storms start making the trek up the coast to see what will happen exactly.

  • Old Salty

    18Z NAM coming out now.

  • squat

    you do not need complete phasing to get a significant snowstorm. We are not going to get blizzard everytime. Does everyone see those clouds overhead that is the northen portion of the trough. About 1/2 .65 of that slug of moisture is going to ride right up the trough . With ratios of probably 12-1 we should end up with about 7-11″ Not a Bizzard or blockbuster simply a good quick slug of moisture passing over the BM and hitting the cold air. I am not smart but just sticking with the pattern and using common sense.

  • Boston20

    Hey all, I just wanted to say thanks for the discussion here (minus the few clowns that just come here to complain or rant) I just started following a couple weeks ago and have found this to be extremely interesting. I had always thought that mets should just look at the data being spit out, and it should be clear cut what would happen.
    The discussion here has given me a much better understanding of the complexities and different scenarios that each storm poses.
    As a lawyer, a lot of the technical science stuff goes over my head, but I am picking up on it thanks to the insightful discussion here.
    Thanks again and keep up the great discussion

    • i knowyou


  • Hadi

    Let’s see what the NAM has to say::))

  • Charlie

    How is Barry holding ground, I give credit to Barry as he is the best most of the time for sure, but he could be right that most of the moisture goes out to sea, this morning Barry was really downplaying with the lowest totals, now he has gone from 3-6 to 6-9 in my area in just 7 hrs, I think that’s significant, now if he jumps up anymore it will be a bad day for Barry, Barry ur the best

  • manowx

    Barry had one execrable forecast last year on a Jan 19 storm. he said it would be a miss. It was a hit with several inches of slushy snow. That forecast was several days out. This forecast is only 24 hers out. I would not want to be Barry if he’s wrong on this one! I suppose he’s taking a slight risk. He’s a weekend met anyway. He can’t be demoted any more than he has. Seniority has him in a relatively no-risk situatuion. If he’s right with this one, he should go down in met hall of fame!

  • Scott

    should be a nerve racking 20 mins from waiting for the hours to come out.

  • Charlie

    Nam looks a bit closer early in cycle by maybe 25 miles

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