By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

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I hope everyone had a nice relaxing holiday with loved ones today. The light fallen snow could not have come at a more perfect time! Personally, I am glad it is over. The whole thing is just exhausting.

I just want life back to normal again. Well, looking at the weather coming up…it will be anything but normal! Severe storms in the Gulf states have been triggering tornadoes and this storm will gather steam as it tracks into the Northeast, bringing it’s energy and moisture along with it.

One low will be tracking towards the Ohio Valley or up the Appalachians Wednesday morning spreading a swath of snow and rain up into the mid-Atlantic states. But tomorrow afternoon a secondary low will form over Chesapeake Bay. Energy will be transferred into this low which will track towards the Cape Cod Canal Thursday morning.

Wednesday will start off dry, cold and sunny…but clouds will be quickly advancing during the afternoon. Highs will remain in the lwr-mid 30’s with light NE winds. Skies will be turning mostly cloudy by afternoon. The first flakes should begin to fly by sunset. Snow will begin to fill in rapidly by Wednesday night. A strong low level jet will be directing the moisture into New England directly into the cold air, so expect conditions to go down in a hurry with roads becoming snow covered with reduced visibility. The cold air should hold onto the first part of the night, before warmer air will start to push inland thanks to strengthening east winds. By dawn on Thursday, winds could be gusting to 40-50 right at the coast. This east wind will help to push the snow rain line farther inland around midnight or during the early morning hours Thursday. The snow rain line will be pushing up to the Rt 2 Corridor and just outside 495 Thursday morning. This will make for mainly rain at the coast with gusty winds. Where it rains..there is the potential for 1-3″ and localized flooding.

After picking up several inches of snow Wednesday night there will likely be a change over to sleet and freezing rain from Northern CT to Southern Worcester County up to the 495 belt. A light accumulation of ice will be possible on top of the 3-6″ of snow which will have fallen during the evening hours. The Farther north you go there is less of a chance of that snow rain line reaching you and remaining cold enough from Wed night through Thursday for mostly snow. The immediate coastlines will be the exception and more of a wet mix will keep accums down from Essex to Portsmouth….but just 10 miles inland we could be seeing very heavy wet snow.

The snow across the north and the rainy breezy mix at across eastern MA will continue through Thursday morning before winding down as the low pulls off the coast. Where the low ultimate tracks will be critical in determining how much warm air will be brought into this storm and how far north it can penetrate. Models have been trending colder with low heading to the Cape, so there is greater confidence for a significant winter storm for Central and Northern New England. Winter storm warning and watches are in place for this time frame. I urge you to use caution and avoid travel if at all possible Wed night into Thursday morning as this will be the worst part of the storm. Of course at the coast, eastern MA should be in better shape, but big puddles with heavy rain and wind.

Where it remains all snow across Northern New England we will be seeing snow totals ranging from 10-14″ of snow. Major travel impact which will really slow your Thursday down. Heavy amounts of snow close 8-12″ will be found in the Berkshires and Northern Worcester Hills. Where the snow rain line backs to and changes snow to freezing rain or sleet, lesser accums will be found around 495 southern Worcester county, up to the Merrimack valley. The combination of 3-6″ of snow with a glaze of ice will make for tricky travel. This storm will be winding down Thursday afternoon with dry weather to end the week.

The weekend is still a bit up in the air for the chance for another batch of snow and wind for the coast. A lot of our guidance is taking wave #3 well south of New England…but our two primary models are showing the storm coming close enough for an accumulating snow fall…so will will have to see where that trend goes.

Stay tuned to WBZ for future weather updates as we will be tracking the storm every step of the way. Merry Christmas everyone! Expect a much colder start to the New Year!


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