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Snow overnight heavy in some places, light to the north

Posted by David Epstein  January 21, 2014 09:00 PM

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As I look at the storm unfolding, a few things are being clear. First, areas north of the Massachusetts Turnpike and west of Route 495 are going to see 4 inches or less of snow.

Second, the southwest suburbs of Boston, which got into a heavy snow band Tuesday evening, will easily see the higher ends of their predicted totals.
MA snow 2.jpg
Third, while Cape Cod and the adjacent islands have seen snow, the heaviest occurred after midnight as the storm intensified. I have broken down the area into different regions since depending on where you are, will make a big difference how much more snow you see before it all ends.
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Cape Cod
I still expect a broad swath of 8-12 inches of snow with some higher totals where heavy bands set up in the early morning hours. The blizzard warning remains in effect and travel isn't recommended until mid-morning Wednesday.

Boston and the southwest suburbs
Overnight, the area of heavy snow running south of the Massachusetts Turnpike through central Connecticut moved east. I have circled this area on the image below. This band shrunk and moved towards the ocean as the night progressed. This means the snow will lighten up in areas that saw heavy snow Tuesday evening.
The result of all this is the suburbs west of Boston will have seen most of their accumulating snow before 1AM.

mid evening.jpg

Northern and Western Suburbs
The snow will be lightest here and end around sunrise. A heavy coating up to 3 inches is likely with the highest amounts the further south and east you are on the map.

The storm
Our storm is moving up and off the southern New England coastline. As the storm intensified, it pulled moisture from the Atlantic back into coastal areas. Since the track of the storm is far enough in the ocean, the heaviest part of the snow will stay over Cape Cod/Islands.
11 PM snow.jpg

Meteorologically, in any storm, the area of heaviest snow is always to the northwest of the low. The storm won’t be close enough for this area to move very far inland. This is why whatever has fallen during the first half of the night, in interior areas, will likely end up being the bulk of the totals. As the area crosses southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket blizzard conditions could occur there. Notice in the image below, which is a forecast for 4 AM, the heaviest snow is no longer over the Boston area.
4 AM Wed.png

Winds will increase as the storm intensifies off the coastline. I expect the winds to gust to near 40 miles per hour over the outer parts of Cape Cod, but will be much lighter inland.
The snow is so light it won’t take much wind to blow it around into drifts. Along the coast drifting of 2 or even 3 feet could occur, especially in open areas.
The accumulating snow ends around 9AM in Boston and by 1PM over Cape Cod.
8AM snow.jpg

Cold weather continues
It’s going to remain cold after the storm ends for several days. I expect a moderation in the cold readings for the weekend, but more cold weather is building in the arctic and will likely arrive here next week. There is also going to be several chances for more snow during this time as the pattern remains very active.

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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