Here's What Could Change With Sunday's Nor'easter - NECN
Weather New England

Weather New England

Meteorologists' Observations on the Weather

Here's What Could Change With Sunday's Nor'easter

We know New England's ski country will see lots of snow, and there will be a wintry mix for Southern New England, but there are still some details we don't know with this weekend's nor'easter

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Here's What Could Change With Sunday's Nor'easter

    As with any storm, particularly in the winter, details become more clear as we approach the actual event.

    The two things we are most confident in right now:

    1. Ski Country

    Pretty much any way you slice it, Northern New England does great with this storm. Most spots see a foot or more of snow.

    2. Wintry Mix South

    We have high confidence that Southern New England will flip from snow Saturday night and early Sunday, to a wintry mix of rain, snow, sleet and potentially freezing rain during the day Sunday.

    What we don’t yet know: just how much, or just where, mixing occurs.

    With that in mind, let’s dive into some of the factors that we are still sorting out, and will impact the final forecast.

    1. Storm Track

    It’s a simplified way of looking at it, but the final storm track really is key to what happens on Sunday.

    Shooting at 2nd Wisconsin High School Leaves Community in Shock

    [NATL] Shooting at 2nd Wisconsin High School Leaves Community in Shock

    A school officer and a student were injured at Wisoonsin's Oshkosh West High School Tuesday morning, when the student was shot after attempting to stab the office with a sharp object. The shooting comes just one day after a school resource officer at Waukesha South High School shot a 17-year-old armed student who refused to drop his weapon.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019)

    If the storm passes south of New England, more cold air will remain locked across the area. This would allow more snow, including around Boston.

    By contrast, a storm that comes farther north, or through New England, would draw in slightly warmer air that would result in lower totals in Southern New England than we currently anticipate.

    2. Sleet vs. Freezing Rain

    Key Findings of Fact from 'The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report'

    [NATL] Key Findings of Fact from 'The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report'

    The House Intelligence Committee released a report outlining evidence for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019)

    This, arguably, is one of the biggest questions to figure out. Who in Southern New England sees snow versus sleet versus freezing rain when we do flip to the "wintry mix."

    Sleet, the small balls of ice, accumulates much more slowly than snow. And freezing rain doesn’t accumulate at all—it just coats everything in ice. So, nailing down what falls in any given spot is tremendously important.

    If cold air remains locked at the surface, but a lot of warm air rushes in at higher levels of the atmosphere, we’ll see more freezing rain. This would cut down on the expected snow, but it would make travel even worse.

    If the cold air at the surface is a little more intense, and less warm air surges in aloft, we may end up seeing a good deal of sleet around Greater Boston. That would also cut down on totals to some extent and be a little less menacing than freezing rain on the roads.

    The extent of the warming aloft comes back to the first point—the storm track. The farther north the storm comes, the more warm air comes along with it.

    As I said before though—we are confident that we go over to a wintry mix, we just have to nail down what type of mix it is, and how far north it goes.

    Man Shoots 7-Year-Old With Real Gun During Nerf Battle

    [NATL] Man Shoots 7-Year-Old With Real Gun During Nerf Battle

    A Florida man is accused of shooting a 7-year-old child in the knee while intoxicated. Anthony Knuth, who happened to be in a home while a group of children were playing with Nerf guns, was accused of shooting one of the children with a real gun. 

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019)

    All of these questions will become better answered as we get closer to Sunday.

    Get the latest from necn anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android