Here is an update on the incoming storm.
Snow and sleet. Some freezing rain possible, mainly well inland. Rain possible near the coast.
Spotty precipitation enters tomorrow morning, mainly as snow; although except well inland at higher elevations, anything that falls will not accumulate much until the late afternoon hours. Friday afternoon is where things get widespread, and the evening is where things get messy. There is high forecast uncertainty about exact precipitation types, but whatever the case, it will be a total mess from Friday evening all the way through Saturday morning in terms of travel. The majority of snow and sleet accumulation will be in the overnight hours Friday night. Things gradually wind down during the day Saturday, with snow likely until the early evening.
Hazardous travel Friday evening into Saturday. Heavy wet snow and sleet will cause the potential for power outages, especially if a colder solution verifies. A warmer solution would increase the ice risk, adding to travel issues. Those shoveling snow should be conscious of how much they can physically handle in a safe manner.
Snow and Sleet Totals
These are subject to very major and possibly abrupt change. This is the MOST LIKELY SCENARIO:
The bust scenario would be a few inches of snow/sleet well north and west and mainly rain or ice elsewhere. The boom scenario would be a widespread 12 or more inches of heavy wet snow. Both of these scenarios are unlikely, but there is definitely a higher than usual risk of something going wrong here.
This is a high uncertainty forecast.
A colder solution means widespread heavy wet snow, including possibly well over a foot in spots. This is a risk that must be watched, as is the risk that a warmer solution brings rain to the coast and rain and freezing rain elsewhere along with a little bit of snow and sleet. Both scenarios worry me. The boom scenario would lead to widespread power outages due to the wet nature of the snow as it stands with any solution. The bust scenario has a bit more uncertainty to it as to where the freezing rain line would set up and how much snow and sleet would be involved, but it also freaks me out as there could be significant ice for many in that situation.
Stay tuned for later updates, as we may not have clarity until just prior to the storm.