After Some Light Saturday Snow, More Impactful Storm Early Next Week | NECN
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After Some Light Saturday Snow, More Impactful Storm Early Next Week

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    (As always, click on images to enlarge) Light snow and snow/rain mix is in the forecast for this coming Saturday - with high temperatures 35 to 40 degrees, impact is likely to be fairly minimal, though if snow begins around or prior to dawn, when roads are still cold, some slick spots may start the day.  Nonetheless, the storm will be poorly organized and moisture-starved, meaning even areas with greatest accumulation would likely be on the order of a coating to an inch.

    WEEKEND_PRECIPAttention turns to early next week, and a more organized, moisture-laden storm system that will be intensifying as it passes very close to New England's coastline.  The pre-storm setup is one that favors snow - cold air well in place, and a strong high pressure dome to our north.  High pressure represents fair weather, but, in this case, also represents the center of a chilly Canadian airmass that will produce high temperatures only in the middle to upper 30s for most New Englanders Sunday afternoon.  There are two keys to storminess early next week that have a big impact on what transpires: 1) do we get two, successive shots of energy and moisture, Monday and Tuesday, or all at once, and 2) how long can the cold air hold on.

    WEEKEND_PRECIP2The answer to the first question of timing and organization appears to be that we get two shots of energy - one disturbance late Monday into Monday night, and another Tuesday.  This is important because, in this pattern, the first actually represents a burst of warmth and moisture heading into New England - if you could get both disturbances to combine, the cold air would hold firm and more snow would occur, but if the current, stronger indications of a leading late-Monday disturbance followed by a second shot Tuesday verifies, the most likely scenario is a burst of Monday evening/night snow (perhaps rain near the coast with a developing southeast wind), then slowly warming temperatures into Tuesday that would probably mean mostly rain in Southern and Central New England, as well as the coast of Maine, with snow in the mountains and North Country.

    WEEKEND_PRECIP3Notice that the second question of how strong cold air holds on is, essentially, answered by the first: two disturbances beats up the cold more, mostly because a southeast prevailing wind is present for a longer period of time, allowing the ocean to moderate our airmass.  Though this seems most likely, a trend toward stronger high pressure would be another factor that would allow for more snow, even in a dual-disturbance scenario.  Though I don't see that happening right now, with several days until the forecast period, I'm certainly open to the possibility that trend may show up in coming days.

    For now, I think Monday night through Tuesday represents a great chance of accumulating snow in the mountains - further driving home the point that March means snowy business in Northern New England - with a burst of snow to rain or mostly rain more likely farther south, dependent upon proximity to the coast.

    -Matt