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

BOSTON (CBS) — March. The month of broken promises and false hopes. Like a bad marriage or a Sox team from the pre-championship years, so much optimism for something greater, but in the end, it’s just another let down. Too harsh? Maybe. . . but these late-season snowstorms and frigid temperatures are for the birds. Actually, I’m sure even the birds are making a massive U-turn for a prolonged winter down south.

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OK, so by now you have heard, New England is suddenly in Old Man Winter’s crossfire. After a winter of big snows to our north (see Caribou, Maine) and storms missing to our south, you had to know it would catch up to us eventually. And here we go. . . a one-two winter punch this weekend to get the party started.

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Storm #1

First flakes:

Just after midnight along the south coast, around 4 a.m. in Boston and in southern New Hampshire by 7 a.m.

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Peak of the storm:

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4 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday. . . snow showers and flurries thereafter.

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How Much:

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6”-9” From Boston southward to the Cape Cod Canal. Snow in this area will be heavy and wet, nothing like the fluff we had earlier this week.

3”-6” Areas north and west of Boston including Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence and extreme southern New Hampshire. A more typical type snow here, not nearly as heavy.

1”-3” The rest of central and western Mass. and farther north into New Hampshire and Maine. A fluffier snow consistency.

Also 1-3” On the Islands. . . mixing with rain down there.

Other Concerns:

Not much. There may be some gusty winds on the Cape and Islands (to 40 or 45 mph). And with the heavy, wet snow in southeastern Mass., any amount of wind could create some power issues.

Storm #2

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Still lots of unanswered questions with the late weekend storm. Likely will take until after Saturday’s storm passes before we get a solid read and higher degree of confidence. In short, stay tuned for updates!

As of now, there certainly appears to be more potential for storm #2. More precipitation than storm #1, a stronger wind field and perhaps, with the right track, more of a nor’easter-type feel.

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The storm track is key. Solutions right now range from a track over Cape Cod (warmer solution) to a track 100 or so miles offshore (a more typical nor’easter path).

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Scenario 1: A track tighter to our coastline would bring in much more warm air. Much of the coastline, including Boston, and southeast Mass. would flip from snow to rain. The “all snow” area would be shoved well north and west, perhaps as far as 495. Granted, those who got all snow would get a bunch. There could easily be a foot or more somewhere northwest of the city.

Scenario 2: A “benchmark” track (slang for the center of the storm passing over 40N 70W, the prototypical nor’easter location) would be a much colder solution for southern New England. Bringing that heavy snow area farther south, perhaps even into Boston. Being on the northern side of the storm would mean gusty northeast winds along the coastline. Thankfully, astronomical tides are low this week, so coastal flooding would be minor.

Either way, odds favor storm #2 being the bigger, more disruptive event. Combine that with the timing (arriving after 7 p.m. Sunday night and raging through Monday morning’s commute) and we have a mess on our hands. Perhaps our first widespread school cancellations of the season!

And if you were hoping for a quick melt. . . next week looks quite cold. Highs will be mainly in the 20s and low 30s, but the higher March sun angle will at least make things feel a bit better. Old Man Winter got you down? Well maybe this will help: Daylight Saving Time starts next Sunday, March 10. Sunset that day will be at 6:45 p.m.

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ


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