Storm Unwinding

Barry Burbank
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There certainly has been a variety of weather across the region in the past 12-18 hours. The precipitation started last evening as snow except over southeastern MA. It quickly turned to rain along the coast with not a trace of snow on the ground all the way up into York, ME. The rain line gradually shifted west-northwestward as the wind rapidly strengthened and hauled warmer air in from the Atlantic. Peak winds occurred from about 3 to 9am except closer to midday on the North Shore. Max gusts in the range of 40-75 mph occurred with the highest spikes happening at exposed coastal locations.  Consequently, the seas ramped up to high waves which have been battering the beaches and causing road closures due to splashover and flooding. Some structural damage occurred at vulnerable shore locations like Plum Island. Some tree damage and power outages have resulted from the gales. The snowfall amounts increased farther and farther west of Boston ranging from 1-3″ in MetroWest to 3-6″ in northwestern Middlesex County and much of Worcester County into interior southeastern NH building up to 6-12″ over most of western MA into northwestern Worcester County into western and central NH and southern VT. Final totals should exceed a foot in some spots in the Berkshires into portions of VT, NH and ME. On the flip side, copious amounts of rain have occurred in eastern MA with totals in the 2-3″ range. That produced lots of flooding in poor drainage locations during the morning. So obviously there has been a huge spread in temperatures across the area with lower to middle 30s in the snow zone ranging up to the middle 40s in eastern MA except up to the lower 50s over southeastern MA including Cape Cod where the storm center is passing early this afternoon.

As the afternoon progresses, the colder air north and west of Boston will spread back toward the coast so expect temperatures to fall from the middle 40s into the upper 30s from west to east with lower 50s backing into the 40s from Plymouth County onto Cape Cod. Precipitation is dwindling to spotty showers and it will change from rain to snow showers from west to east as well. The strong winds on the North Shore will decrease while the wind elsewhere closer to Boston and ponts south will freshen up to 15-30 mph as they shift into a north to northwesterly direction. Partial clearing is possible late tonight with some moonshine taking over. That leads me into tomorrow’s weather which will feature a mix of clouds and sunshine with a brisk west-northwesterly wind at 15-25 mph and high temperatures in the middle to upper 30s.

Looking ahead, the potential still exists for some accumulating snow on Saturday afternoon into a portion of Saturday night. It appears the storm will cross GA and move to the outer banks of NC then northeastward with the center passing far enough south of Cape Cod to prevent a major dumping. Nevertheless, its shield of snow should overspread the area and amount to a few inches of snow in southern New England with some rain possible on outer Cape Cod. The storm will eventually deepen rapidly but that probably will not materialize until the system is offshore. It definitely bears watching since a small shift in the steering currents will make a difference between little or no snow to a big nor’easter. Going way out on the limb with my forecast for the rest of the year, I see some sunshine on Sunday with highs in the lower to middle 30s but dropping into the 20s for the Pats Game as the wind will be gusty and cold. On the last day o 2012, it will be partly cloudy with highs in the 30s. A cold front will be approaching so there could be a flurry or two on New Year’s Eve with the numbers dropping into the 20s as we ring in 2013.

Todd Gutner delivers his latest WBZ AccuWeather Forecast later in the day and I shall return early tomorrow morning.

Have a good night.

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