Weather Blog: Winter storm closing in Wednesday night

SkyTracker Blog

Good evening!

There’s a lot to break down, so let’s jump right in…

We’ll start with timing. A coastal storm moving through the mid-Atlantic Wednesday evening will take aim at southern New England overnight. On the northern outer fringes of that storm, snow will spread north into our region between midnight and daybreak Thursday. Before midnight, light snow pops up on the radar, but there is a lot of dry air in place overhead that will prevent those early snowflakes from reaching the ground. They evaporate as virga between the bottom of the clouds and the top of our heads. As more and more of those snowflakes evaporate, the air will become saturated enough to the point that they evaporate no more and the storm will get underway for us.

Click through the slideshow to see the snow’s timing.

The Thursday morning commute will be a tough, treacherous one for areas along and south of U.S. Route 2. The absolute worst will be areas along and south of U.S. Route 4. Here, snow rates may hit and potentially exceed 2″ per hour. This will leave motorists facing snow-covered roads, even moments after the last plow pass, and reduced visibility. While not slushy, sticky snow (thus, avoiding widespread power outages) it is fluffy and powdery with ratios approaching 15:1. This means snow will pile up quickly!

Click through the slideshow to see regional forecast snow totals maps.

Avoid white-knuckle moments by staying off the roads Thursday morning, if possible! If you must venture out, leave plenty of extra time and extra space when it comes to following and stopping distances.

As with most coastal storms, this one is a fast-mover. By midday, the areal coverage of snow will start to decrease and snow fall rates will drop. Light snow showers linger into the afternoon before coming to a close in most areas by sunset.

The temp tonight holds steady in the low to mid teens, before inching into the 20s tomorrow with a north wind of 10-15 mph. Then, under a clearing sky Thursday night, the mercury drops back into the upper single digits to low teens. Friday, our warm-up slowly starts. It’s a partly to mostly sunny day with a high in the low to mid 20s. By the weekend, we jump back into the 30s with a high approaching 40° Sunday to Tuesday. At this point, no major blockbuster storms are on the radar Christmas week, though several weaker waves and fronts swing through with scattered, light rain or snow showers likely.

Have a great Thursday! Stay safe!

-Skytracker Chief Meteorologist Amanda Thibault

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