3-7-2018: Major Storm Today and Tonight

Good morning!

The high will be 35 degrees or so, at around midday. Tonight will get down to 30 degrees. Here are new details on our storm, which shifted a bit to the east overnight, requiring a snowfall total upgrade.

Timing:
Snow begins mid-morning today, with a steady but probably not too heavy rate of snowfall by midday. The heavy snow starts at some point in the mid afternoon to early evening frame, with the height of the storm being this evening and first half of the overnight. Falling snow will also heavily impact the Thursday morning commute, but due to a nearby dry slot, things likely won’t be as bad past 1 AM or so (but northeast MA, including Dracut, is favored for the possibility of additional moderate heavy precipitation as the storm begins to wrap around the area while moving north, in addition to being less prone to the dry slot than southeastern MA). Snow will be tapering off by mid-morning Thursday and be completely done by around noontime on Thursday (note that a very brief mix with rain is possible right around midday Thursday if precipitation is still falling.)
Uncertainty / Precip Type:
All snow is likely, with a low possibility of a brief mix with rain midday Thursday as the final precipitation exits the region. Regardless, the location of the primary rain/snow line will determine just how heavy and wet our snowfall is. The snow will be heavy and wet regardless, but how far we are from the line will determine just how heavy and wet the snow is. However, the east shift in guidance has thus meant a slightly east-shifted rain/snow line, thus requiring a slight increase in snowfall amounts for most areas.
Other Hazards:
Northeast winds to 15 mph with gusts up to 35-40 mph will be possible. This will result in reduced visibility and the potential for blowing and drifting snow. This, combined with the weight of this heavy wet snow and weakened tree limbs from our last storm, will result in a risk of power outages. Make sure your electronics are charged!
Snowfall Totals:
Dracut is now in a 12-16″ zone for snowfall.
snow map 2018-03-07 515A.png
Elaborating on the precipitation type discussion from earlier in the post, I expect all snow in the red zones (12-16″+ and 16-20″), mostly to perhaps entirely snow in the light pink zone (8-12″), a mix of rain/snow (to varying degrees) in the dark pink and dark blue zones (3-5″ and 5-8″), and mostly rain in the light blue zones (0-1″ and 1-3″).
I might do a full update package around midday or early afternoon, depending on how the forecast is unfolding. Have a great day!
-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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