Good Evening From Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca….
All the ingredients coming together for moderate to major snow fall across southern New England. Storm will also bring strong winds and some of the coldest air we have seen in several years. In fact wind chill temperatures expected to be well below zero Thursday night into Friday. Data that I have been looking at continues to increase confidence on a significant winter storm..a moderate to major snowfall
Plenty of cold air means all snow. An area of Artic high pressure anchored over Canada will act as the cold air “delivery system”. The combination of this strong high pressure to our north… and developing storm (low pressure) to our south will create a strong ” pressure gradient” …This is essentially the reason for the expected strong northeast wind set up. A long duration of northeast winds will transport Atlantic moisture and send it over the dome of very cold air…The net result brings enhancement to the snow amounts, especially across southeastern Massachusetts.
Colder air results in more snow. …snow that is created in a much colder enviorment (provided we have ample moisture), will tend to be dry and fluffier. .thus the snow accumulation depth is higher. If the storm were to occur with just marginally cold air, the accumulation efficiency is lower. This is not the case with this storm, the air is plenty cold.
Since confidence is high with the large scale features (meaning, “yes” a storm is coming)…what we will do the next 12 to 24 hours is continue to fine tune the “small scale structure” of the storm ..such as specific snow amounts, locations, ..timing…duration. However, at this point we don’t anticipate to make significant changes to the forecast we already have out. Can things change? …yes, so I would still recommend checking back with us. Eyewitness News continues live at 10pm on FOX Providence and again on channel 12 at 11pm…you can follow us on Twitter and my Facebook page. Of course, there is a wealth of weather info at wpri.com.
1. Snow overnight thru Thursday “Day” will be light with only small accumulations, coating to 1″ by morning…1-3″ by evening. Much more after 8pm Thursday
2. Heaviest snow and wind Thursday night into early Friday morning. Travel looks difficuly
3. Lets not forget the cold temperatures and wind…exceptional cold air by Thursday night into Friday with wind chills well below zero.
Strong wind gusts at coast 40-50 mph will produce “blizard like” conditions Thu. night into Friday AM
4. Power Outages? Possible, especially across coastal Massachusetts where strongest winds are likely to occur
5. Schools?? Some cancellations Thursday…better chances of cancellations Friday. This is decided by individual towns and cities so check our cancellation links before bed Tonight, and again early Thursday morning
Another blog update later this evening…
Some important forecast links:
Winter Weather Page