BOSTON (CBS) – Ready for the second round?
The parade of storms and active weather continues on the first weekend of 2021.
We started the year with a wintry mix from Friday evening to Saturday as a low pressure area pushed through New England. Most snow / sleet totals were at 2 inches of coverage before switching to rain on Saturday morning.
Boston took 51 inches of rain from the event. It wasn’t a big impact but allowed some slippery roads during the night hours.
In dry weather we only take a short break, as our next storm system approaches the area on late Sunday and slippery conditions threaten again on Sunday evening until the rush hour on Monday morning.
A winter weather report has been issued for parts of all of Connecticut, western and central Massachusetts, east to west Middlesex, and west Essex. If the roads are covered with snow, an impact on the journey can be expected.
A worsening coastal storm will emerge off the mid-Atlantic coast on Sunday afternoon and pass near the benchmark south of New England on Monday morning. This rather classic Nor’easter setup provides a scenario with inland snow and gusty rain on the coast. However, this does not seem to be a blockbuster event with extremely high amounts of snow on the current route. Temperatures are marginal, which means that some spots are just cold enough for heavy, dense snow to accumulate.
There may be a certain degree of compaction and even melting of the snow, with surface temperatures being close to or above freezing point at times. There are also concerns about how closely the system tracks intensity, which will ultimately determine where the highest totals are, and how far south that rain / snow line will collapse when the storm subsides on Monday afternoon.
The showers move from west to east on late Sunday afternoon and evening. Probably starts as snow for areas west of 495 and rains closer to the coast. Precipitation will increase overnight with steady snow, which is likely to apply to Monday morning commuting in areas near and west of I-95.
We have yet to determine the placement of the exact rain / snow line, but it looks like it will be set up in this setting. Further north, there can be a significant drop in precipitation, which is typical as you move away from the center of the storm.
On the immediate coast, a windswept rain is likely for the morning drive. The rain / snow line will then attempt to collapse towards southeast Massachusetts in the morning / noon hours as the storm pushes east. However, temperatures are in the mid to upper 30s, making it difficult for snow to accumulate at this point. The showers will continue over the south coast and the cape and islands on Monday afternoon, with dry conditions expected by evening.
Rainfall ranges from 0.5 to 1 inch for parts of southeast Massachusetts as well as the Cape and Islands. The highest sums are closer to the center of the storm.
With the current route, most of the area will be a widespread 1 to 4 inch area, with patchy coatings along the immediate coast of the North Shore and parts of southeastern Massachusetts. If you mine it a little better, 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected west of the rain / snow line. This includes Metro-West through the Merrimack Valley to south New Hampshire, Worcester Hills and the 495 Belt to north Rhode Island and northeast Connecticut.
There may be some cities that are overcrowded in this area, reaching 5 to 6 inches, especially on the higher ground. The consistency of the snow is heavy and wet, which makes it difficult to move. Expect muddy / slippery roads and untreated surfaces. Isolated power outages are possible.
The northeast winds increase and become gusty from Sunday evening to Monday. Gusts likely range from 20 to 30 miles per hour, with the strongest gusts over the Cape and islands. There is no evidence that noxious winds are not anticipating this event.
One thing to be aware of is that this storm doesn’t start quickly on Monday night. There will be some sort of atmospheric congestion preventing the system from drifting away from the Gulf of Maine early next week. The clouds persist for Tuesday and Wednesday with the occasional rain / snow showers before improving later in the week.