BOSTON (CBS) — Another week, another storm. Our busy December is rolling on!
With 10.1 inches of snow thus far in Boston this month, it is already the snowiest December since 2013 (11.7 inches), and we are only halfway done.
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Next up, a messy mix of snow, ice and rain on Tuesday, fouling up both morning and evening commutes.
Snowfall arrived between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. across southern New England. It is coming generally from south to north, so those folks in northern Massachusetts, particularly in Essex County, and also in Southern New Hampshire, were the last to see the flakes flying.
Through 10 a.m., a few things happen. The snowfall intensity picks up quickly, and areas around and north of the Mass Pike could see one inch per hour snowfall rates. At the same time, milder air in the upper layers of the atmosphere starts to creep in. Snow will change to rain over Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast, erasing any evidence of the early morning snowfall. Between the South Coast and Mass Pike, snow will change to a mix of sleet and freezing rain, compacting the snow on the ground and producing a coating of ice in some areas. It only takes a small about of ice to make this slippery. A glaze to up to a tenth of an inch of ice possible along and south of the Pike, including the Worcester area
Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., the warming continues. Most of southeastern Massachusetts flips to plain rain, and the same fate is likely in Boston. Parts of Rhode Island and Connecticut could be in line for several hours of dangerous freezing rain. Areas north and west of Boston will change from snow to mainly sleet in this timeframe, slowing the accumulation quite a bit. By early afternoon on Tuesday the majority of the snow accumulation will be done.
Between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., the precipitation becomes lighter: light rain along the immediate coastline and over southeastern Massachusetts, and light sleet and freezing rain north and west of Boston. Very little additional sleet or snow accumulation. Time to start cleaning up!
After 7 p.m., colder air returns to all layers of the atmosphere, and any leftover light precipitation turns back to snow. This happens first to the north and west and finally, around or just after midnight, down to the South Coast. There could be additional coatings overnight, perhaps up to an isolated inch.
Areas with the highest snow and sleet amounts from this storm will be in areas north and west of Boston. They will see three to six inches of snow. Essentially all areas north of the Pike and northwest of Boston will fall in this category. This includes southern New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. Most folks will likely fall within the three to five inches, but there could be a few isolated areas with up to six.
Boston to Providence and most of southeastern Massachusetts will see one to three inches of snow. This will be severely compressed, and in some cases washed away by ice and rain.
Only a coating to one inch of snow is expected for the South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands, all coming in the first hour or two early Tuesday morning, then washed away.
FRIGID TO FOLLOW:
By early Wednesday morning, the entire region is subfreezing, and any untreated surfaces will ice up. So use caution when stepping outside early Wednesday, and throw some ice melt on the steps.
Later on Wednesday, an arctic cold front pushes through, bringing the threat of a few snow squalls around the evening commute. The air behind that front will be the coldest of the season thus far.
Temperatures on Thursday morning will be mainly in the single digits with wind chills below zero.