Powerful Winter Storm Headed In - NECN

Powerful Winter Storm Headed In



    Forecast: Cloudy, Breezy with Afternoon Shower

    Patchy dense fog to start. Clouds stick around with a spotty afternoon shower. Breezy with highs in the low to mid 40s. (Published Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017)

    A subtle change in the weather is happening today, colder air is slowly feeding in from the north, this sets the stage for a powerful winter storm later tomorrow into Tuesday.

    With mostly cloudy skies today, a bit of drizzle or light snow is possible, but most of the time we are dry, with a high temperature in the 30s north and 40s south.

    The Patriots game is mostly cloudy with a chance of a few sprinkles, temperature in the lower 40s, wind from the northeast 10 to 15 miles per hour.

    Roads may start to become a bit slick in higher elevations of central and northern New England tonight, with patchy light snow and freezing drizzle possible.

    Tomorrow starts off quiet, but clouds thicken up and a mix of rain, sleet, and snow will advance into southern New England during the early afternoon.

    By 7 p.m. we have a full on nor Easter in progress. Rain will be heavy along the coast in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts with temperatures close to 40°.

    Move inland about 20 miles and temperatures are closer to freezing with a mixture of sleet and snow during the evening gradually changing over to rain during the night as temperature slowly rise.

    The boundary between the heavy rain and the heavy sleet/snow mix will slowly advance northward and into the higher elevations as the night goes on.

    The worst of the wind with this storm is going to occur at the time of low tide, during the middle of the night, especially around midnight.

    A storm warning over the ocean means winds gusting past 60 miles per hour from Block Island sound to Massachusetts Bay, with Cape Cod and the islands getting hit the hardest.

    Seas of 12 to 18 feet will cause minor to moderate coastal erosion.

    We also may have minor coastal flooding at the times of the high tide during the evening tomorrow, and just after sunrise on Tuesday.

    We are fortunate that the period of strongest wind is happening at low tide.

    Low-pressure centered near Cape Cod on Tuesday morning will slowly weaken as it meanders into the Gulf of Maine during the day.

    So even though clouds and a mixture of precipitation will linger Tuesday, the worst of the storm will have passed for most of us. Snow may continue heavy in the state of Maine otherwise precipitation slowly diminishes, with a high temperature in the 30s north, to 40s south Tuesday afternoon.

    Timing of the storm is such that roads will be in tough shape anywhere that got the sleet and snow, so there are likely postponements and cancellations Tuesday morning.

    In areas where it is plain rain, wind gusts may result in tree damage and local power outages.

    Also, in areas that stay mostly wet snow, we may have power outages due to the weight of snow on tree branches causing them to break over the powerlines.

    At this time I do not anticipate a widespread freezing rain situation, I think most of the precipitation will be either snow, sleet (small ice balls) or plain rain. Sleet happens when there is a warm layer high in the sky that causes snow to change to rain, but then there's a colder a layer below that, that causes the rain to refreeze, and land in the form of little ice balls. That makes for a really tough driving.

    Following this storm (that last week at this time we thought would be rain) we are anticipating a warm Wednesday, with a high temperatures close to 50°. So there will be plenty of melting going on.

    We are also watching another system arriving on the California coast, that will push a cold front into New England Wednesday night and Thursday.

    Snow showers are likely in the mountains, with the possibility of a sprinkle or a flurry toward coast during that time.

    It is behind the Thursday front, a more wintry pattern returns to New England.

    It is rather fascinating that even though we are in a warm pattern, we are still getting these snow and sleet storms once a week.

    There's a chance that the weather does quiet down next weekend, with the seasonable chill, but I have suspicion something else is going to form.

    For now, we'll take them one at a time.

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