A significant winter storm that could impact New England is looking more and more likely for Saturday, although some key factors are not set in stone.
In the next few days, we will be watching a developing storm over the southwestern United States that will become an upper level cut-off low over Texas. Our computer models are in fairly good agreement that as the storm makes its way east, a steering piece of energy will pull it up the eastern seaboard and northeast toward New England.
As the center of the storm approaches our area, the storm will deepen into a 975 to 980 low and rapidly intensify. There are a few issues with the key players needed for a good snowstorm, however.
First of all, there is no ideal cold high pressure system draining cold air toward New England ahead of the storm. That means no injection of cold air and temperatures will be marginal regarding snow/rain. However, as the storm deepens and departs, it could generate its own cold air.
Another factor preventing me from calling an all-out snow storm is the track of the storm. With marginal temperatures, a slight shift in track can make a huge difference between rain versus accumulating snow.
Another question is how far north and west the precipitation shield will go. There could be a sharp cutoff. Current track indicates the best chance for heavy wet snow near the Interstate 95 corridor. A shift in track toward the west would mean more rain around I-95, while a shift of the track east would increase the risk for more in the way of wet snow across the Cape and Islands.
At this time, if you are traveling late on Saturday-Sunday morning, expect major delays due to rain, snow and strong winds.