Thursday, January 22, 2015

About That Weekend New England Snowstorm You Might Have Heard About

Wet snow like this is likely in interior
southern and eastern New England this weekend
but the storm won't be a blockbuster blizzard.  
Yes, a coastal storm will affect the New England coast and part of the Mid-Atlantic states this weekend, but don't get your hopes up for a big blockbuster blizzard.

It ain't happening.

Yes, a storm system, now bringing a winter storm to the southern Rockies and western Texas, will move east through Texas, through the northern Gulf of Mexico then turn northeastward up the East Coast by Saturday.

(By the way the storm has already dumped more than a foot of snow around Amarillo, Texas, so somebody is getting a good snow dump out of this.)

But the storm will stay mostly offshore, maybe barely offshore, but still out over the water.

It looks like the storm will come close enough to the coast to drop a swath of at least moderate precipitation from Virginia to coastal Maine.

Not all of that will be snow, however.

To get a decent snowstorm in the Northeast from a coastal low or nor'easter, you want a chilly area of high pressure off to the north. This isn't happening here.

That means the temperature will be marginal for snow.

As it stands now, it seems like a stripe of wet snow will run from eastern Pennsylvania, then through southern and eastern New England just to the northwest of Interstate 95. At least that's the thinking at the moment from the National Weather Service, which usually has a good handle on such things.

That prediction could change a little by the time the storm gets going, as there's still quite a few question marks as to what its exact path will be.

But there could be six inches or so of wet snow later Saturday and Saturday night in interior southern New England.  Parts of Maine, just inland from the coast could get six to 10 inches of snow out of this thing.

Areas near the coast from Maine southward will probably get mostly rain.

Interior areas, like central and northern New England, and western and central New York will get little if anything from this thing.  A separate more moisture-starved storm to the north in Quebec will result in light snow showers across the northern New England mountains Saturday night and Sunday

In interior New England, it will be warm on Saturday with highs getting up into the low and middle 30s.

Enjoy it, because you'll be freezing your butt off for a long time after that. Arctic air is going to blast in on Sunday. Unlike past cold waves this winter, which only lasted a day or two, this one is going to hang on.

As I see it now, anyway, I expect subzero lows nightly in much of northern New England, with perhaps one or two exceptions, for at least a week and a half, starting next Monday. High temperatures during that period will be well below normal as well.

Another nor'easter could spin up for next Monday or Tuesday, but it's too soon to tell if it will snow anywhere in the Northeast, and if so, how much will fall.

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