Reporting Barry Burbank
BOSTON (CBS) – The weather will be cooperative for shoppers and travelers around New England on this day before Christmas.
Temperatures will top out in the upper 30s to lower 40s with much less wind than the past couple days. The sunshine will be bright before some streamers and filaments of feathery clouds arrive during the afternoon. A weak ridge of high pressure will sponsor today’s calm before the storm.
A weak storm exiting the Tennessee Valley this morning will deliver the gift of a White Christmas across much of our region tomorrow. There will certainly be some snow in the air much of the time in many areas and the ground should be whitened.
However, it will not be deep white but white enough to make many even happier on the holiday.
Most signs indicate 1 to 2 inches north of the MA Pike except along the immediate coast of the North Shore where some rain may mix in. Amounts will decrease going southward from the MA Pike toward the New England South Coast ranging from near an inch to a coating to nothing at all as some rain or drizzle may fall. There could be a period of icing across northern CT and most of Rhode Island and southeastern MA excluding Cape Cod so the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory down there from 10 p.m. tonight to 10 a.m. tomorrow.
The snow should commence after midnight so untreated roads anywhere will likely become slippery in the early morning hours. The precipitation will taper off from west to east tomorrow afternoon. The storm will remain meager so the wind will be light.
There should be a break during Wednesday with some sunshine in the morning and clouds returning in the afternoon. The next impending storm will be tapping a rich moisture supply from the Gulf of Mexico and there will be ample atmospheric energy to produce a potent storm.
It will track northeastward from the lower Mississippi Valley toward the Ohio Valley in the next 24 hours creating severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes down south. The system will redevelop over Delmarva Wednesday afternoon and track toward Cape Cod Wednesday night into Thursday.
On this course, rain is inevitable for much of southern New England but it could be cold enough to support a start of snow or a mix near the MA Pike late Wednesday. The mix/rain line will proceed northward to northern MA or perhaps southern NH then stall. There is a potential for several inches of snow perhaps near or over a foot in the all snow zone up north especially over the mountains.
This storm will produce strong, gusty east to northeast to northerly winds to gale force late Wednesday night and Thursday. The precipitation will decrease in tempo Thursday afternoon. The wind will remain gusty into Friday.
After a break Friday, the next weather maker will arrive Saturday afternoon and this has the potential to intensify into a Nor’easter. It is too premature to release specifics but the stage may be set for the snow line to be much closer to Boston out in the I-95 corridor.
This system will also unload copious amounts of precipitation with strong, gusty winds. Once this one passes early Sunday, gales will linger into Monday with gusty conditions to start off 2013. It will tap some frigid air in Canada so it is destined to be very cold and windy as we ring in the New Year.
Updates coming later today.
You can follow Barry Burbank on Twitter @BarryWBZ