Winter Storm Watch, Wind Chill Advisory Issued

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for at least a half-dozen counties in Massachusetts, including Suffolk County, and five in Rhode Island ahead of a storm brushing the region on Thursday. Meanwhile, a Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for many counties across New England that will see wind chills to range from 5 degrees below zero to 30 degrees below zero.

It’s been a nasty stretch of record-breaking cold across New England. Another bitter night turns to another frigid day.

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With the frost running deep into the ground (over 15 inches in the coastal town of Marshfield, Massachusetts for example), water mains are breaking and pipes continue to freeze in some homes. We’re not out of the woods just yet.

Another surge of cold is coming for the weekend. But before we get there, the cold will relent a bit by midweek... thanks to a storm.

As you might have heard, the storm is a whopper. We don’t need a direct hit to see snow and wind. A mere glancing shot will be enough to get a half foot of snow (or more in Downeast Maine) and damaging wind gusts. Right now, the storm is in its infancy in the Bahamas. Yes, the WARM Bahamas.

New England is no stranger to piles of snow being dumped onto the region each winter. Take a look at some of the worst storms to hit in modern history.

Because of its origins, a huge part of the storm will be rain. Obviously, we won’t be on that side of the storm, but it will peel back some of this numbing air as soon as Wednesday. Highs should approach 30 in Southern New England and low 20s north.

First effects from the storm will be seen very early on Thursday morning as the storm makes its move north. The rapid deepening and intensity by Thursday night are what have us concerned for damaging winds, coastal flooding and perhaps brief white-outs.

All told, snowfall should be manageable, with amounts near or less than 6 inches. That said, power outages are possible, and with the cold surging back in by Friday morning, this could cause some serious problems for those without heat.

The next airmass is as cold as this one leading into the weekend, and combined with a howling wind through Saturday, we could have wind chills reach the very dangerous -20 to -30 range. Thankfully, some of the wind will ease by Sunday.

And long term, the cold will too. A thaw (of sorts) will come by the beginning/middle of next week. It will be accompanied by a weaker storm – one that could spell rain for parts of Southern New England.

Wonder what that feels like.

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