BOSTON (CBS) – A spring storm sandwich is on the way over the next 48 hours. The seasons are changing and the storms are beginning to take on a much different “flavor”. I like to call these type of storms “kitchen sink events” — in other words, we get everything but the kitchen sink falling from the sky. This one will look like a layer cake or perhaps a piece of your favorite Tiramisu. We start with a layer of wet and heavy snow, add in a slice of sleet, followed by some freezing rain, then plain rain and finally top it off with another layer of snow on top. Not exactly the type of sandwich you wanna take a bite out of, in fact, this one will make you downright queasy.
No big changes from the forecast yesterday. Here is the breakdown, flake by flake, pellet by pellet, drop by drop.
4PM-8PM The snow begins. Fairly lightly to start.
First Flakes Forecast:
4PM Berkshires, Western Connecticut
5PM Hartford and Springfield
6PM Worcester, Fitchburg, Providence
7PM Boston, Lawrence, Brockton
8PM Rest of Coastline, Cape and Islands
8 p.m.-Midnight: Most significant period of snow accumulation, warming begins.
Snowfall rates up to an inch per hour will occur in this timeframe and a widespread 1-3” will fall in all of Southern New England. After 10PM, the snow will begin to mix with sleet and freezing rain along the South Coast, Cape Cod and Islands. By midnight, the icy mix will be nearing Boston and Worcester. Temperatures will have warmed at ground level enough for plain rain in southeastern MA. The snow will continue north of Boston and Worcester for a few more hours.
Midnight-5 a.m.: The warming continues and the precip begins to taper off.
Snowflakes will become a thing of the past in all of Southern New England by about 2AM. Sleet and freezing rain will be the primary forms of precipitation north and west of Boston and plain rain will be falling in the city and all points south. At the same time, the back edge of this first wave of precip will make steady progress from west to east. By 4-5 a.m. there will be very little left falling from the sky. Just a few rain showers south of Boston as we near dawn.
Wednesday: By the time of the morning commute, very little will be happening. A fresh 2-4” of snow will be on the ground, severely flattened by the change to sleet and rain overnight. Some breaks of sunshine will appear during the mid-morning hours and temperatures will rise well above freezing in all of Southern New England. This will likely be the first 40 degree day in Boston in more than 6 weeks! Significant melting on Wednesday!
Wednesday Night: After 7 p.m. some light rain showers will return to the South Coast. At the same time, colder air will once again begin to drain southward, dropping our daytime mild temperatures back into the 30s. By midnight, temperatures will have cooled enough to change the rain back to snow along the South Coast.
Thursday Morning: The shield of snow will gradually edge northward overnight, climbing to about Providence and Plymouth by 7 a.m. Between 7 a.m. and noon, the snow will make its farthest northward progress, reaching Boston, Worcester and nearby suburbs. The snow intensity will be mainly light north of Plymouth, steadiest along the South Coast, Cape Cod and Islands.
Thursday Afternoon: The snow continues during the afternoon hours, again steadier and heavier the farther south you travel. By the evening commute, this second wave of snow will begin to exit the area, tapering off from northwest to southeast. After 6pm, there will just few a final few flakes over Cape Cod.
Total Snow Accumulations
North of Plymouth to Providence line, all areas north of the Mass Pike, including Worcester, Boston and points northward through Southern New Hampshire: Tonight- 2-4”, Thursday- C-1”, Total- 2-5” (isolated 6” amounts).
South of a line from Providence to Plymouth including South Coast, Cape, Islands: Tonight- 1-2”, Thursday- 3-6”, Total- 4-8”.
Boston currently stands at 104.1” of snow this season, #2 on the all-time list.
We will make a serious run at the 107.6” record set in 1995-1996 in the next few days. There is about a 1 in 3 chance that we will eclipse that mark by tomorrow. With a little more snow possible on Thursday, I would put chances at 50-50 that we will have a new record by the end of Thursday. While I think most of you would agree that we have had enough snow at this point, my feeling is, we have come this far, what’s a few more inches to say we made history.
The good news is that after this storm, the pattern looks like it will relax for several days, perhaps well into next week. By the Weekend, we should enter a stretch of days with high temperatures near or slightly above freezing. Combine that with a much stronger March sunshine and the melting will commence in earnest. With Daylight Saving Time starting this weekend and Astronomical Spring a little more than 2 weeks away, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter.
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ