By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer
BOSTON (CBS) – This one’s gonna be a nail-biter. It would be easy to sort of dismiss this weekend’s storm, given it is coming on a Sunday and on the heels of a blizzard just a few days ago. But don’t sleep on this one, there is potential for a nor’easter-type event for parts of our area on Sunday.
So why all the consternation?
This is a very familiar setup. A storm comes racing out of Canada and digs its way through the Ohio Valley before transferring its energy to the coastline. Classic “Alberta Clipper” definition. This one looks like it will dig just a bit deeper and farther south than what we would look for in an Ideal, classic New England storm setup.
So initially, Saturday night, it will look as though the brunt of the storm will be too far south and out to sea to bring any significant consequences to Southern New England.
Problem is, the storm doesn’t just keep chugging east. Instead it appears as though it will slow down and nearly stall, then begin to drift northward, toward our region. The main question that remains unclear is how close does the storm come on Sunday? Every mile counts!
Right now it appears as though it will track just a bit farther east than a typical nor’easter and therefore will clip Eastern Massachusetts (and southeastern Massachusetts especially) with some decent snow and wind.
Saturday Night: Clouds thicken, there may be some rain or snow showers late in the day, but nothing all that disruptive.
Early Sunday, Midnight to 7 a.m.: Shield of snow pushes north and envelops the South Coast and most of southeast Massachusetts. A few inches of accumulation possible in extreme southern New England.
Sunday Morning 7 a.m. to Noon: Shield of snow pushes farther north and west, likely now covering most of eastern MA, areas inside of 495. There could be some mixing with rain on the Outer Cape/Islands. Temperatures will be very close to 32 degrees across the area. Given that the snow is falling during the daylight (and in March), it could have a hard to accumulating unless it comes down fairly hard. Nevertheless, a few inches may accumulate in eastern Massachusetts during these hours.
Sunday Afternoon/Evening: Snow progresses north and west is halted and by late afternoon it begins to pull east and lighten in intensity. A few more inches are possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, especially on grass, as the precipitation lightens, it may flip to a mix or to light rain.
Sunday Night-Early Monday: Just some light rain or snow showers in eastern Massachusetts, no additional accumulation expected.
A coating to 2 inches in likely around Interstate 495 (north and west of Boston) from Worcester to Marlboro to Lowell and Lawrence.
Two to four inches will likely fall closer to the coast, inside Route 128, including the North Shore and Boston, also on the Outer Cape and Nantucket due to some mixing with rain.
Southeast Massachusetts, Bristol and Plymouth counties and all of the South Shore are likely to see 4-6 inches or more.
Winds ramps up Saturday night out of the Eastern New England, gusts 25-35 MPH, a bit higher at the Coast.
During the day on Sunday, northeast winds will increase steadily. By late morning and afternoon, gusts could reach 45-55 MPH along the coast and over all of southeastern Massachusetts. Some wind damage is likely and a few isolated power outages also cannot be ruled out.
High tide on Sunday is around 5 p.m. but it is very low astronomically (about two feet lower than during the blizzard on Tuesday). No significant coastal flooding is expected.
As always, stay tuned to WBZ-TV and CBSBoston.com. There is more uncertainty than usual with this event and snow totals could easily fluctuate (up or down) in the next 48 hours.
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ