Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wet Snowstorm Threatens to Bring Power Outages

FIRST CALL (1/16/10): Hello guys. I know I haven't posted since 1876, but I just had to throw out my ideas on this potential snowstorm for MLK Day. I have been watching the news and they are all out butchering this potential storm and not giving it any justice. This storm has been progged on the models for over a week and it started as a potential out to sea storm. However, since then, we have seen this become more of a changeover threat. The computer models did have this storm come very far north and bring the changeover line well into central NH, but since then, it has cooled considerably. Therefore, the heaviest snow axis is much closer to the big cities of SNE, including Hartford, Providence, and especially Boston. Elevation will help with this storm, but latitude is equally as important in this setup. I am being bold with my forecast totals, but I will stand by them.

HEAVIEST SNOW (6-12") - Area outlined in the darker blue. This includes the cities of Worcester, Lowell, Fitchburg, Nashua and as close to Boston as Cambridge. This is where I think we will see the heaviest QPF and coldest air for the duration of the storm. The 12" amounts are generally reserved for the higher elevations of ORH County, but I would not be surprised to see a lollie of 10-12" closer to the coast as well. The snow will be extremely wet, especially closer to the coast and unelevated areas. This brings the threat of power outages for most. All it takes is about 2-3" of heavy, wet snow to start breaking tree limbs and once the limbs start breaking, they can easily bring down some power lines. So, the power outage threat remains high in this outlined area.

MODERATE SNOW (3-6") - This includes the cities of Hartford, Providence, Brockton, and Boston. Central VT and NH are also in line for a moderate snowstorm as they are removed from the heaviest QPF. South, the snow will start as rain and then mix with snow towards midnight before changing to all snow overnight. Most of the accumulation will fall between 2AM-10AM.

LIGHT SNOW (1-3") - This includes the South Coast and Cape. Most of the storm will fall as rain (up to 1") and then they may squeeze out an inch or two at the very end of the storm as the rain/snow line collapses towards the SE. It won't be a major player down here and the plows likely will not be needed here. Wet roads should be widespread.

So, it starts around 4-7PM tomorrow night from southwest to northeast. It should start as a mix north of the Pike and NW of 95. South and southeast of here, it should start as rain, but soon turn to a heavy, wet thumping snow later in the evening. It should start as snow and end as snow in southern NH and VT, but you will see less precipitation, so lighter amounts are forecasted there. All of this wraps up from NW to SE mid to late Monday morning. We will likely see light snow and flurries until early afternoon Monday, but for the most part, the storm will be over.

That's all for now. Enjoy the 45+ degree weather we have out there today!

2 comments:

WebsiteOwnerNick said...

Hey !

yeah was getting worried you'd never update your blog. Nice post overdone snow map for Eastern MA though.

E.H. Boston said...

Hey...been busy with school and work this past year. But I think you are right. Well, sort of.

I think I busted too high in areas south of the Pike. I don't see the South Coast or Cape getting 1-3" as forecasted. Maybe a slushy coating at the end as this wraps up tomorrow.

But NE MASS into SNH will jackpot with this storm. The cold air is deepest to the northeast uncharacteristically as we are draining in the cold air from Maine. This means that Wilmington will receive more snow than most towns in far southern Worcester County and the hills of NE CT.

That said, Boston is still a wild card. It will be tough to cool the surface, even if all other levels support snow. The sun this morning spiked temps into the lower 40s and it will take time to cool the 'boundary layer'. But after midnight-2AM, this stuff will be coming down HEAVY, so even Logan will see a changeover to a thump of heavy wet snow. I would think they are closer to 3-5", possibly 6".

Move away from the city to the north and west (including Essex Co) and you will see those numbers quickly inflate to 8-10" with locally 12" in places like Westford, Princeton, Ayer, maybe even as close by as Billerica and Lexington.

Should be an interesting storm. It will start as rain for the majority of SNE, so we will have to nowcast the r/s line. Should be fun tracking!