BOSTON (CBS) – Could it be? Finally? Our biggest winter storm of the season MAY be on its way later this week. Right away I want to tell you that this is NOT a lock yet. We still have a variety of possible scenarios from a foot of snow somewhere in our region to nothing at all. But confidence has risen over the past few days that a plowing snowstorm may be on its way in parts of southern New England.
This season has so far been notable for its lack of snow. Boston has only recorded 0.4 ″ total snow to this point. For reference, the city averaged about a foot of snow through the first week of January, and last year we had already recorded 17.5 ″.
This is not just a Boston problem either. Worcester, the unofficial snow capital of southern New England, has only 3.8 “to this point, almost 16” below average to date and more than 2 feet below last year’s total at this point!
Can it all be about to change?
But here’s the thing, the storm we’re talking about is not even on the map yet. The energy that we expect will be the driving force behind its formation is now stretched across the North Pacific. So it’s hard to make a final prediction before models have even had a chance to try the pieces in the puzzle adequately.
Here’s what we know right now:
- A storm system is likely to form in the deep south on Thursday.
- It will begin transferring its energy from the Carolina coast Thursday night.
- A new coastal storm will form and likely pass to the south of New England early Friday.
- It will be a fast movement, nothing downstream to slow it down.
- Given the speed of the system, we do not expect a major / blockbuster storm, any more in the moderate range.
The first flakes arrived sometime after midnight Thursday night. It will be a gradual process where the radar fills up with light snow between kl. 1 and 6 Friday.
The constant and accumulating snow would arrive between 5 and 7 in the morning
The bulk of the storm and most of the accumulation is likely between 6 p.m. 05.00 and dinner on Friday, again, a quick move.
The snow would subside in the afternoon with very little further accumulation after 6 p.m.
So in light of this, the most negatively impacted commute will obviously be Friday morning.
It is too early to find out where the heaviest snow and highest snow accumulation will occur. To give you an idea, I think we could look at a moderate-type snow event. Think of intervals as 3 to 6 inches.
I would prefer Cape and the islands as an area with a lower risk of a lot of snowfall given the chance of a mix down there.
I do not foresee any major concerns about wind or coastal floods at present. The tide is very high astronomically right now, but will slow down to some extent on Friday. The highest tide on Friday also occurs in the middle of the afternoon, well after the peak of the storm.
Looks like another system on Sunday, but it will be weaker and to the west, which might mean a rain and snow mix. It is followed by a blast of Arctic cold early next week. Right now, it looks like this Friday’s storm would be our best shot at a significant snowfall in the next seven days or so.
Stick around! We want frequent updates on WBZ-TV, CBSBoston.com and CBSN Boston.