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


BOSTON (CBS) – I’m sure you’ve all heard the old saying April showers bring May flowers. I think we may have left a line out though – what does April snow bring?

I think we are about to find out.

First, let me get this out of the way, this is not an April Fools joke. So, if you’re thinking of scrubbing to the end of this blog looking for the “just kidding it’s going to be 70° for the rest of the month” let me stop you right here. The cold is coming and along with it, two chances of snow in the first week of April.

Let me assure you, we aren’t talking about another April Fools Day-type storm.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

I’m sure many of you still have vivid memories of that one in 1997 when Boston received 25.7 inches of snow.

Neither one of these snow “storms” will be major, but nonetheless any snow in the month of April can be somewhat jarring to the system. Snow in April actually isn’t all that strange. In fact, measurable snow has fallen in just about half of our recorded Aprils in Boston. Most of the time it is a meager amount and nearly all of the time it is gone within a day or two.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

So what does this April have in store? Let’s start with storm one Sunday morning.

SUNDAY

This will be a quick but powerful punch of snow. A vigorous piece of atmospheric energy is diving south out of Canada along an Arctic boundary which will be crossing our area late Saturday night.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

We have about a 3-to-6 hour window (early Sunday between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m.) during which some very heavy snow squalls are possible. It is tough to accumulate snow in April, but on Sunday morning it may be coming down so hard in some areas, a few inches may rapidly accumulate in just an hour or two.

In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if we had some reports of thundersnow! Then, right after the storm zips through, a brief period of ferocious winds, gusting to 50 miles per hour or a bit higher.

In summary, a very quick burst of snow, on average just a coating to an inch, but in some localized areas where it comes down hard, a few inches could rapidly accumulate.

MONDAY

A second storm on Monday has the potential to dump a bit more snow over a wider area. While it is still too early for details, exact snowfall amounts and a storm track, I would say that chances are fairly high for a widespread, plowable snow event on Monday.

Snowfall map (WBZ graphic)

Snowfall map (WBZ graphic)

Timing:

Snow is likely to arrive during the morning (probably very little effect on the a.m. commute). The steadiest and heaviest snow and most accumulation occurs during the afternoon and evening on Monday. It tapers off after dark and by midnight it is mainly over.

Snow vs Rain:

Temperatures will be borderline for snow versus rain on Monday. The highest threat for all snow would be north and west of Boston and the Massachusetts Turnpike. Some mixing with rain is likely south of the Pike.

(WBZ-TV Graphic)

(WBZ-TV Graphic)

How Much:

As you would expect with any April snow event, the consistency is likely to be heavy and wet. Like I said, it’s a bit too early to call snow amounts but just to give you an idea, early thinking would be for a 2-to-4 inches or 3-to-5 inches type of event. Lower totals are likely where the snow mixes with or is mainly rain (south of the Pike). This will be a fairly small band of plowable snow, perhaps only 50-to-100 miles wide, so any shift in track will have a significant effect on location of “jackpot” snow totals.

ANY GOOD NEWS?

Well, we have a quiet couple of days following Monday’s storm.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Temperatures will remain cool, but will moderate some from the early week Arctic blast. Late in the week, perhaps around Friday, it looks like we may be dealing with another storm, but this one more likely to be wet, not white. There will be different concerns with this event, as there may be some very heavy rainfall and tides are also extremely high astronomically.

As always, stay with WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and CBSBoston.com for updates all weekend!

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ

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