Winter Storm Watch Issued For Thursday

TUESDAY MORNING (1/2/18) UPDATE:  Confidence is growing that an ocean storm will bring accumulating snow and strong winds to southern New England on Thursday.  In response, a “Winter Storm Watch” has been issued.

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An area of low pressure will form over the Bahamas on Wednesday and rapidly strengthen as it moves north, passing off-shore of southern New England as a large and strong ocean storm. 



The first flakes of snow are expected to fall before dawn on Thursday.  While initially light, the snowfall is expected to increase in intensity throughout the day. In addition to the snow, we’ll see strong northerly winds through the day, leading to the potential for blizzard-like conditions at times.

While it looks like an “all snow” event for most of us, a period of rain is possible on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard before changing to snow by evening.

Snow tapers off from west to east Thursday evening and night. 


This is the most uncertain part of the forecast. While there is likely to be at least some snow and wind, how much southeastern New England ultimately sees will depend on the storm track.  Right now, our forecast guidance shows the storm just far enough away to spare us of the worst of the storm.  However, it wouldn’t take much of a shift to the west to change that.


The map below is an early call on snowfall amounts. Please check back for updates. If the storm were to track closer, amounts of 1ft+ would be possible.  A track farther away would mean less snow than currently forecast.


North winds will strengthen through the day, with the potential for frequent gusts greater than 30mph.

The strongest winds will be over Cape Cod and the the Islands which could see gusts 45-55mph.


  • TRAVEL: Difficult travel is expected with snow-covered roads and blowing and drifting snow leading to near whiteout conditions
  • SCHOOLS:  It is possible that there will be school cancellations.
  • POWER OUTAGES: Power outages are possible, especially over Cape Cod and the Islands. At this point, widespread outages are not anticipated.
  • COASTAL FLOODING:  High tide Thursday could bring moderate coastal flooding to north and northeast-facing beaches in eastern MA.
  • MARINE IMPACTS:  Wind gusts as high as 50kts on the outer waters are possible with seas building to more than 15ft.



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