[3/31 Morning Update] Today/Tomorrow Storm Update

Good morning!

Temperatures right now are in the mid to upper 30s and this will be as high as they go, very slowly falling but staying within the 30s for all but the high elevations until later this evening.

Here is the latest on the storm.

Precipitation Types

Snow and sleet. Some patchy freezing rain possible, mainly inland. Rain possible near the coast.

Warnings and Advisories

Winter Storm Warnings in effect for most of the area, with Winter Weather Advisories for the immediate Boston area and immediate coastal North Shore.

Timing

Spotty precipitation enters later this 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. Travel will be awful from this evening through most of Saturday. The majority of snow and sleet accumulation will be in the overnight hours tonight. Things gradually wind down during the day Saturday, with snow and sleet likely until the early evening.

Impact

Hazardous travel Friday evening into Saturday. Heavy wet snow and sleet will cause the potential for power outages. A warmer solution would increase the ice risk (as the core of the warmth would be aloft), 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, even though we have a little more clarity this morning.
This is the MOST LIKELY SCENARIO:
snow map 545a 3 31 17.png

 

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.

Uncertainty

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. This 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. Either extreme scenario is unlikely, and most likely any shifts would come in smaller shifts in terms of amounts and gradients rather than in a large shift in precipitation types. But the boom and bust scenarios must be watched.

Stay tuned for updates and stay safe!

-Nathan

Published by Nathan Coram

Hello! I'm Nathan Coram, a 19 year old meteorology student and weather geek, and am going into my junior year at UMass Lowell as a meteorology major. I am the current Vice President of the UML American Meteorological Society Local Student Chapter. Prior to at UML, I attended the Dracut school system for my K-12 years, having graduated from Dracut High in 2018. I first got into weather with the December 2008 ice storm, which knocked out my electricity for 4 days. I had no idea how it could be raining and becoming ice immediately, and how rain can knock out power. (Now I do - warm layer aloft, cold air at surface). But I didn't really get into it until the heat of July 2010 and specifically a few severe weather events during that month, followed by the year 2011, which featured several high profile weather events. Since then I have had a growing interest, and am hoping to make it into the meteorology field, preferably with NOAA/NWS. But for now, I'm blogging here, helping with the UML Weather Center social media, and tweeting about the weather on my own account as well. Thanks for visiting!

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