Another round of unsettled weather moves in to southern New England, and this time, the storm track favors mostly snow for our area.
Today is a “catch your breath” day with dry skies and diminishing winds in the afternoon. It will be chilly with highs in the mid to upper 30s. By late tonight, clouds start to roll in ahead of an area of low pressure developing off the NC/VA coastline. The storm looks to track south of our area, with light snow starting to fall by about mid-day. The snow will pick up in intensity late afternoon and evening before tapering off overnight. Along the immediate coast, Cape and Islands the snow may mix with or change to rain for a time.
The storm system is a fast mover… and there’s a few variables in play for determining how much snow we will get. One is the storm track…. right now it looks like the storm will be just outside of the 40N/70W “benchmark” for southern New England snow storms, keeping the heaviest of the precipitation just off the coast. Only a slight shift in the track northward would bring heavier amounts into RI/SE MA. Another factor is when the storm intensifies. Latest guidance has the storm intensifying AFTER it’s made it’s closest pass to us… again, sparing the area a blockbuster storm. If the storm intensifies a few hours earlier, our amounts could be heavier. A third factor is the rain/snow line. Right now, the guidance I’m looking at keeps most of our area cold enough for snow… but if the rain/snow line creeps north and we see more of a rain/snow mix, then our amounts would be lower.
The overnight computer model guidance were all in good agreement with the track of the storm and QPF (quantitative precipitation amounts) between .25 and .42″… which brought me to my 2-5″ snowfall forecast.
The bottom line is that we are still trying to iron out some important details, and you’ll want to check back on the WPRI website for additional updates. Most likely, our area will see a plow-able and shovel-able snow… probably the heartiest snow event of the season so far for most of RI/SE MA, except perhaps for northwestern suburbs.