WBZ-TV Weather Alert: Intense Snow Squalls Possible During Quick-Moving System

By Terry Eliasen, WBZ-TV Executive Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) — An Arctic front is racing towards New England, bringing with it some of the coldest air of the season and some potentially vicious snow squalls.

Snow squalls are very similar to summertime thunderstorms.  They typically are very brief, most of these will last less than 30 minutes, but they can be very intense.

In some occasions, snow squalls can be some of the most dramatic winter events, given their ferocity.  Couple an intense snow squall with a morning or evening commute and you can quickly get numerous accidents and pileups.

Tonight’s line of squalls will arrive in central Massachusetts between 5-6 p.m., around the 495 belt close to 7 p.m. and in Boston around 8 p.m.

Again, like most squalls, the intense snow will only last about 10-20 minutes, however, if you find yourself underneath one of the heavier cells, visibility could briefly drop to near zero.  If you happen to be driving when one of these whiteout-producing squalls hits, best to find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.

Accumulations will be light given the short lived snow event, but there could be a quick inch or so in some locations.

Coldest days so far this winter. (WBZ-TV)

Coldest days so far this winter. (WBZ-TV)

Following the squall line, intense cold. Some of the coldest air of the entire winter season will pour in over the next 24-48 hours. With winds gusting 20-40 mph tonight, it will feel sub-zero at times through Saturday morning.

Real feel temperatures Saturday morning. (WBZ-TV)

Real feel temperatures Saturday morning. (WBZ-TV)

While the sun will be out Saturday, it will be rather ineffective. Daytime highs will struggle to reach 20 degrees. In fact, we may break a few records for lowest maximum temperature on Saturday!

Record highs forecast for Saturday. (WBZ-TV)

Record highs forecast for Saturday. (WBZ-TV)

Amazing given that one week ago we were breaking records for the warmest February temperatures ever recorded! The coldest reading come on Sunday morning. Most of the suburbs will fall into the single digits. What month is this again?

Where temperatures are headed next week. (WBZ-TV)

Where temperatures are headed next week. (WBZ-TV)

Believe it or not, the cold won’t last long. We are currently forecasting highs in the 50’s to near 60 degrees by next Tuesday and Wednesday. Up and down we go.

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