Nor'easter to Drop Double Blast of Snow on New England

Snowfall totals could wind up being even higher than originally expected

Welcome to December! We’re in the grips of phase 1 of the nor’easter Sunday night. Snowfall has come on strong across southern New England and is inching to the north across southern Maine.

Hot on its heels is the changeover to mix/ice across Connecticut. No sooner did we see 1 to 2 inch snowfalls before the sleet started pinging on the windows, pavement, decks, etc. Continued northward progress of the “mix line” can be expected overnight as the pacing of the snow lets up.

As the storm slows to a crawl Monday, the mid and upper atmosphere continue to warm above freezing. That brings in the specter of ice and mix. All the while, the warmer air creeps in along the coast. This is a recipe for a messy, wet morning commute. Leftover slop, puddles and wheel spray can be expected all morning long.

During the day, the storm throws mix, wet snow and rain at us intermittently. There may even be times when the precipitation comes to a screeching halt. As the storm reconstitutes itself Monday night, it gears up for its final act Tuesday morning.

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This is the trickiest part of the storm. What part of it will clobber us in southern New England? What part of it pivots harmlessly offshore. I’ve personally been burned by this scenario before, and it’s a fickle thing for the models to try and comprehend. That said, it could shift to Midcoast and Downeast Maine on Tuesday and barely graze us with snow in southern New England.

With such a small moving target, all options are on the table. And for that reason, I’m playing the snowfall amounts a bit conservatively in eastern Massachusetts. I may need to adjust up if the bands of heavy snow seem imminent.

Gusty winds are expected as the storm deepens Monday. We could see gusts top 40 in Greater Boston and 50 on the Capes from Monday afternoon into Tuesday. This may cause isolated power outages on the Cape, but isn’t expected to create a huge hassle for the remainder of eastern Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire.

While the winds will pile water up along the north/northeast facing coasts, astronomical tides are at a low point, so nothing more than high water and minor splashover is possible for the next two days.

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