BOSTON (CBS) — Ok, show of hands…is there anyone out there who wants another snowstorm this week? (cue crickets).
Who is that way in the back? Ah, yes the ski areas, you guys haven’t had enough yet? Are the plow drivers still in the house? Still praying for that “white gold?”
I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of folks are just about done with this winter. It’s time to get on the baseball field, clean off the grill and stow away the sleds, hats and mittens for a while don’t you think?
Well, you may have heard the news about a little storm this week, actually there will be nothing “little” about it. In fact, it looks like we may have to dust off our winter storm, weather glossary one last time. Nor’easter…Bombogenesis…this storm is going to be a classic. Question is, will it be an all-timer for Southern New England, a storm for the fish, or somewhere in-between?
Here is where we are at:
Right now there is a small little atmospheric disturbance in southwestern Texas. Over the next 24 hours, it will move into the Gulf of Mexico and bring some rain to parts of Florida, no big deal. At the same time, a piece of upper-level energy will be diving down from Canada, through the upper Midwest and begin digging a “trough” in the atmosphere near the East Coast. Our little Texan storm is going to want to just slide off of Florida and head out to the open Atlantic, and much of it will do just that. However, that piece of energy diving toward the Carolinas is going to give our little storm a shot of adrenaline. Think of it like a 5 hour energy drink, except this will be more like a 24 hour energy shot mixed with some illegal performance enhancing drugs. During the day on Tuesday, our little storm will undergo “bombogenesis” (a rapid intensification) as it is drawn northward thanks to a digging jetstream along the East Coast.
Here’s where it gets tricky:
What is becoming more clear with time, is that the track of this storm will remain a good distance off our coastline, outside the normal “benchmark” for most classic New England snowstorms. Therefore, the areas at greatest risk for significant impact from this storm will be those farthest east including the immediate coast, southeastern MA and most of all, Cape Cod and Nantucket.
Also fairly certain…this is going to be all snow, no ice or rain. Plenty of cold air in place (you will feel it Monday), so that even the Outer Cape and Nantucket will be plenty cold enough for snow.
This storm will also keep moving, like just about every other storm this winter, there is nothing to stop it, no blocking in place. It looks like no more than 12 to at most 18 hours of significant weather centered around early Wednesday from about Midnight through Midday/early afternoon Wednesday.
Commute of concern: Wednesday AM.
As much as I would like to give you an inch-by-inch forecast and place Southern New England into exact numbered bands of snow, it just isn’t possible quite yet. Truth be told, our weather models are not all that much different from each other. This is just one of those situations when a 50-100 mile difference is HUGE! There is going to be an intense band of blinding snow just offshore which may clip Eastern New England. Question is, how far west does this heavy snow band reach?
Cape Cod and Nantucket: Best chance in Southern New England for a significant snowstorm and severe impact. There is a potential for a foot or more of snow, perhaps even blizzard-like conditions for a time early on Wednesday with North-northeast winds gusting 50mph+. But again, it is still possible that the heaviest snow will literally be just offshore and this area *may* be spared.
Southeastern Massachusetts: After Cape Cod and Nantucket, this area would be the next in line for storm potential. I would say right now there is about a 50% chance of 6″ or more falling in SE MA. Winds also a concern during Wednesday morning, with gusts 25-50mph.
Boston, North Shore, Cape Ann, SE NH: On the edge…this area has been right on the edge of significant snow with most model runs in the past 24 hours. If you average all potential storm tracks together you would probably end up with about 3-6″ of snow in this area with about an equal chance of being on either side. Sounds wishy-washy I know but nailing down exact snow amounts on the fringes of a monster storm is tricky business!
North and West of Boston: Most inland areas will likely miss out on the brunt of this storm. Doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be a plowable snow around 128 and 495, but certainly seems like this area will be out of the most significant snow accumulation and wind. I would expect less than 6″ inland, perhaps less than 3″ for most.
Coastal flooding: The high tide of concern is around 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning…astronomically it is about average, so no major flooding is expected. However if the storm track is a bit closer, there may be some minor to moderate pockets of flooding at the north facing beaches, especially in Cape Cod Bay.
So that’s the deal for now. Obviously still some work to do with this storm. Clearly this is one to be watched, especially along the coastline. Stay tuned for updates here on CBSBoston.com and on WBZ-TV.
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ
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