Greater Boston, including the North Shore and Metro West:
Welcome to the first day of Spring but Mother Nature could care less as an ocean storm is expected to bring parts of the region a heavy wet accumulation of snow overnight into Monday morning.
The billing on this storm started almost a week ago. There were hints of a major coastal storm impacting the East Coast and New England late this weekend. Some weather outlets early last week even went so far as to state that inland sections could see a foot or more of snow or the possibility the storm may only bring a glancing blow with very light accumulations. So, there was a wide range of possibilities not just with the snow amounts but also with respect to how gusty the winds will get and the impacts of high tides along the coast. As the days went by the forecast fluctuated and this is not unusual given the complexity of the system that had to come together and the uncertainty of the storm track. Snowfall forecasts have waffled from moderate amounts of 4 to 8 inches, back to lighter amounts of less than 4 inches and now back to a moderate snowfall, as of Sunday morning, where the local forecasters consensus is now for a general 3 to 8 inch accumulation. With that also came variations in the wind and coastal impacts which now are not expected to be as severe as originally thought. About the only thing that is certain, so far, is that this storm will be all snow in the greater Boston area. It will be a heavy pasty snow as temperatures hover near the freezing mark throughout the storm duration.
The National Weather Service expanded the Winter Storm Watch into Essex and Middlesex Counties and upgraded the areas from Boston south to a Winter Storm Warning. As has been the case so often this Winter areas to the south of Boston are once again likely to receive the heaviest snowfall and in some cases accumulations may be upwards of 8 to 10 inches or so. This would generally be from Plymouth County southward where the bulls eye seems to be setting up for the highest snow totals. The snow forecast will be tweaked as the day wears on so you need to stay tuned to local weather outlets for the latest information. Keep in mind that if the storm takes a slight jog north then those heavier amounts of snow will expand north of Boston as well. A slight jog to the south of the current forecast track and we get light snow amounts north of Boston and the heaviest totals will be pushed toward Cape Cod.
Winds are not expected to exceed 30 mph along the coast. Coastal flooding is not expected either. Both impacts are lessened due to the storm not expected to intensify as much as was thought a couple of days ago. Gusty winds can still play a significant factor for some of you. As mentioned this will be a sticky snow and the weight on tree limbs and power lines might be enough in some areas, especially south of Boston, to bring down some limbs and lines if the winds kick up enough. This in turn could knock out power for some.
Unfortunately the Monday morning commute looks to be a very challenging one as the snow will be coming down quite hard at times. With the onset of snow expected near midnight it will have been snowing several hours before the commute gets underway. This means a slippery ride to work or school, if you have classes in your community on Monday.
By late Monday the snow is done, melting is occurring and the evening commute should not be as messy as the morning will be. As is very typical of early Spring storms there is no cold blast to follow behind the storm and the days after the storm should bring us milder temperatures and plenty of melting of the snow.
Stay tuned and stay safe. These early Spring storms are very tricky to forecast and so stay tuned to the latest available information throughout today and tonight.