By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) — Twenty-five days until pitchers and catchers report, 47 days until daylight saving time begins, 164 days until the 4th of July!

Just a few things you can think about as you are shoveling, snow blowing, and sitting in traffic over the next few days. We all signed up for this right? I mean, to live in New England you have to take the good with the bad. In order to enjoy those beautiful crisp autumn days and summers on the Cape you have to endure some tough winter days. Between the snow and the cold, this winter has had plenty already. Our latest batch of cold arrived on schedule this morning and the snow is right on its heels.blizzard comparison

First, some general headlines with regards to this upcoming storm.

-It’s going to be real cold… No rain/snow line, no ice, no mixed precipitation, just straight snow. Very much like our Nor’easter in early January, this will resemble a snowstorm in the Arctic: light, fluffy and frigid. Easy to clean and move around but no fun to play in with wind chills well below zero.

-Unlike the early January Nor’easter, there will be very little if any coastal flooding with this storm. Tides are actually at their lowest point of the month over the next few days, about 3 feet lower than their levels in the early January.

-Blizzard conditions will likely occur in many areas over southeastern Massachusetts. This essentially means that the wind and snow will combine to produce whiteout conditions at times tonight.

-Another benefit to the light and fluffy snow, power outages and tree damage should be minimal.Tuesday PM Snow Totals

Now, here is your inch by inch, hour by hour breakdown:

The snow will begin as early as 1 p.m.…the first to see flakes would be areas well to the South, along the South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands. While the actual storm would still be a good distance away from Southern New England, there will be a long “arm” extending outward, starting the snow show a bit early. By the evening commute, the snow will be expanding in coverage, now enveloping a good portion of southeastern Massachusetts, creeping northward toward Boston. Just a dusting to an inch or two of snow is forecast by 5 p.m. and this would be mainly south of the Mass Pike.

Between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. this evening, the snow will overspread the entire region and begin to ramp up in intensity. Winds will pick up out of the north-northeast, especially along the coastline, gusting 20-40 mph. You can expect about 2-4” on average by 11 p.m., the highest totals being south of Boston where it would have been snowing the longest. Along the South Shore and South Coast, we may reach blizzard conditions during this time frame.

Overnight, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., the storm will hit its stride and be peaking. Snowfall rates could reach an inch per hour at times. Winds will easily gust to 50 mph along the coast, again, inducing blizzard conditions in parts of Coastal Plymouth County and over Cape Cod. By 5 a.m. on Wednesday, most cities and towns should have about 4-8” of light and fluffy snow on the ground. This would likely cause many schools to delay or close and certainly will make for a very slow and challenging Wednesday morning commute.

Between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesday, the snowfall intensity will gradually diminish and the back edge of accumulating snowfall will move from west to east, tapering off in the Worcester area between 7-9 a.m., in Boston between 9-11 a.m. and over Cape Cod after 11 a.m.

Final snowfall totals are expected to be 6-10” over most of the area including Boston and all of Metro West. 10-12” is a possibility along the South Shore and over Cape Cod, in the Blizzard Watch zone. Far to the North and West in Vermont and up in New Hampshire Ski Areas, lesser amounts (about 3-6”) are expected. Unfortunately, the one place that they could actually use some snow is expected to get the least.

And this likely will not be the end, an active Jet stream/pattern is setting up over the next couple weeks leading to several more chances at snow. One thing is for sure…there will be no lack of cold air, temperatures will remain well below normal for the foreseeable future.

25 days ‘till pitchers and catchers…

You can follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ


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