By Todd Gutner WBZ-TV

Mother Nature is offering up a perfect opportunity to get some holiday shopping and errands done this week with dry, sunny and seasonably cool conditions.  However, this current pattern will breakdown by the end of the weekend and much of next week is looking stormy.

A coldfront will slip through New England from north to south on Saturday, behind the front cold air will slide down from Canada.  The cold air looks pretty shallow, not completely establishing itself, this will set the stage for a wintry mix Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.  A weak wave of low pressure will develop on the boundary between the warm and cold just south of New England.  Precip will overspread Southern New England Sunday afternoon and with just enough cold in place, it will likely start off as some light snow.  Cold air near the surface this time of year is always hard to dislodge so I expect it to remain in place for much of the event for the interior…along the coastline and throughout SE Mass it may be a different story and depends highly on the surface wind direction.  Any kind of easterly component to the wind will advect milder air in off the ocean while a true northerly wind will supply reinforcing cold locking it in.  Another complicating factor is that the atmosphere may not warm at the surface but it will be warming a bit aloft this will result in a change from pure snow to a mix or even plain rain.  For those reasons, this is obviously a very tricky forecast and giving specifics this far out is still premature.  But my thoughts at this juncture are that we will see a burst of snow at the start.  Then Sunday night, as the atmosphere begins to warm aloft, a change to sleet and freezing rain will occur for interior New England while some plain rain will likely result at the coast.  Another variable will be when the precip comes down hard, especially at the onset, it would likely make it down as snow but when it is lighter we would probably see a freezing drizzle.  While this sounds like a high impact event causing lots of problems…at the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of precip.  Thus, max snow amounts won’t be that overwhelming…just a few inches with a thin coasting of ice on top of that.  Things can still change, and we’ll keep you posted.

Also of note is a bigger storm potential for the middle of next week…signs are pointing to a larger, Nor’easter type storm, with wind, some coastal flooding issues and heavy rain or snow.


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