Mixing Limits Coastal Snow

Expected Snowfall for February Vacation, Saturday and Sunday on South Shore, Boston, HinghamThe stage is set for yet another weekend storm to impact Southern New England, but this one will lack one thing: a dominant source of cold air.

Timing– This upcoming storm will spread precipitation into the area beginning mid to late Saturday afternoon. While snow will fall in most spots north and west of Boston, snow will mix with rain for areas right around and south of the city. That battle of rain and snow will continue into the overnight around Greater Boston as easterly winds gusting to around 40 MPH at the coast keep temperatures very near freezing.

As the night wears on, however, winds will become more northerly. That will allow temperatures to drop, resulting in a switch to all snow from northwest to southeast. The precipitation will remain steady through midday Sunday before gradually tapering off during the afternoon.

Through the entire storm, as I mentioned, temperatures will be near the freezing mark. That means what snow does fall will be of the heavy, wet variety. Naturally that increases the risk of power outages. It will also take a little while for the snow to start sticking because the ground will be relatively mild.

Snow– Areas along and outside of 495 north and west of Boston will see primarily snow from this storm, which is why 6-10″ of snow are expected there.

Meanwhile a general 3-6″ is expected for areas between 495 and 128, including Metro-West. Inland Boston neighborhoods also fall into this range.

Along the immediate coastline, where rain and mixing will last the longest, 1-3″ is expected. That includes us here on the South Shore and in Hingham. Keep in mind that there may be some areas of street flooding before the transition to snow, as many storm drains are still clogged.

Mostly rain is expected south and east of Plymouth, with limited snowfall at the tail end of the storm. As on the South Shore, pockets of street flooding are possible in response to the rain and still clogged storm drains.

Winds– While winds will become gusty along the coast Saturday night and Sunday morning, they will not be as strong as we’ve seen in other recent storms. Gusts in the 30-40 MPH range will be common, primarily along the coastline.

Coastal Flooding– Minor coastal flooding is likely during the Sunday morning high tide. That 10 foot tide occurs at 10 AM, and will come with up to a 1′ storm surge. Like the winds, this will not be nearly as bad as what we’ve already seen in prior February storms.

Of course I encourage you to check back for more updates, as any changes to the rain/snow line location will shift the forecast.