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Windy rainstorm for much of southern New England

Posted by David Epstein  December 26, 2012 09:34 PM

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During the past few hours I am watching warm ocean air continue to move westward. There was little chance anyone inside of Route 128 was going to see any snow with this system. Tonight it is becoming clearer that you will have to go at least to Route 495 to see an significant snow. The map below shows the position of the rain snow-line this evening and this line is slowly moving westward. To the left of where the front stops will see the heaviest snow. The front can wave a bit back and forth changing the snow to rain and back to snow again, but it appears that the trend is leaning warmer not colder with this system so far and that means the heaviest snows will most assuredly be confined to well north and west of Worcester.
coastal front.png
I will give more updates on Twitter at @growingwisdom I would love to hear from you.

Our storm is edging closer this evening and the radar above shows snow now entering the region. Storms have two sides to them, one is warm and one is cold. If a storm stays over the ocean we end up on the cold side, if a storm moves to our west we end up warm. This particular storm is going to allow enough of its warm part to move up along the coast. This air will then spread inland quite far changing the snow to rain. I am confident that along the coast and about 20-30 miles inland there will be little accumulation of snow. The challenge continues to be as you get further west and north as to how much snow will fall before any change to or mix with rain. In order to estimate how much snow falls, I have to calculate the time of the change to mixed precipitation. The snow will become heavy late tonight. For every hour you stay all snow, it will be about an additional inch of snow that accumulates. The accumulation map you see below assumes the change to rain moves fairly steadily west and north overnight and by morning has pushed to the Route 495 belt. As of mid-evening, the front has pushed in the Framingham area and continues moving westward. You might notice your own thermometer rising above freezing. Once you warm-up to about 35F, there is little chance for any snow.
snowfall new england.png
Snow and rain is about to enter the eastern half of Massachusetts. If you start as snow, it may snow very hard at the start of the storm and you could have moments when you see near whiteout conditions. To the east rain will become heavy and winds will increase.
The worst of the storm will be from about 11 PM tonight until about noon Thursday. The winds will also be strongest during that time and the morning high tide around 10 AM could see some minor coastal flooding. I am not expecting any major flooding along the coast.

Winds will be strong enough that there may be scattered power outages and minor tree damage. Also, with the very heavy rain and frozen ground, basement flooding can be an issue. I would check the basement occasionally during the storm to be sure water is not coming in.

We will see 1 to 3 inches of rainfall with this storm. This is a lot of water on frozen, fairly saturated ground. I suspect street flooding and some small stream flooding to be a bit of a problem. The morning commute tomorrow will be slow, wet and messy.

The storm ends later tomorrow afternoon and skies will clear for Friday leaving a mostly sunny breezy and chilly day to end the week.

Next storm
You might have heard there may be a storm this weekend. There isn't going to be another storm. The jet stream will take that storm out to sea well to our south. The weather will turn cold for First Night 2013 and highs on January 1st will stay in the teens much of the day.
This weeks video talks about soil compaction. If you have an area of your lawn that won't grow grass very well or a tree that isn't performing, the issue might be soil compaction. Take a look at this video and see how soil compaction can be fixed.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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