By Todd Gutner WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – We are getting closer and closer to another stormy weekend and while we know it’s going to snow, how much is a little more difficult than the last two storms.  The biggest problem we are looking at is how much warm air works into the storm both at the surface and aloft.

For starters, there won’t be much cold air present at the start of the event…temps will climb into the upper 30’s on Saturday as the storm works in.  So even with snow overspreading the area Saturday evening I don’t see it accumulating well for the first half of the night and we are only looking a slushy coatings for the first few hours.

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Normally with a big snowstorm in New England I am always looking for a strong area of high pressure to our north in Southern Canada…there won’t be one this time around and that will lead to a couple of problems.  The first, when you have a strong high to the north of a developing coastal low, air wants to travel directly from high to low and more of a northerly wind is created draining and locking in cold air for ample snow.  But without that high, when the low pressure center starts strengthening a strong easterly wind will flow off the milder ocean water, this will keep surface temps above freezing throughout much of Eastern MA and a rain/snow line will form, again making it difficult to accumulate.

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Once the storm starts swirling east of New England on Sunday morning, the wind will begin backing to the north and temps will start dropping but without that frigid Arctic high the air coming down from the north still isn’t ideal.  This all adds up to less snow in Eastern MA…either side of 6″ with just a few slushy inches in SE MA.  Farther inland…where the air will stay cold enough for all snow and a drier, fluffy snow accumulating will be much more efficient and amounts could reach 8-12 inches especially west of Boston and north of the Pike.

Again, this rain/snow line may continue to shift around so check back for additional updates…

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