FIRST ALERT: Timing and Impacts of Wednesday's Storm, Bringing Snow, Rain and Wind

Slicks roads are likely to develop Wednesday, as another winter storm sweeps through the region

NBC Universal, Inc.

No two storms are alike, and that will be on display Wednesday. It’s human nature for us all to worry: another storm arriving in the second half of the day — does this mean a repeat of the rapid deterioration of road conditions like we saw Monday? 

The answer for most is a resounding no, for a few key reasons:

  1. The first is that New England doesn’t see rain before the snow begins, meaning pre-treatment of roads can be done and will be effective, this is a huge difference from Monday when heavy rain rapidly changed to snow.
  2. Mostly light snow will fall before turning heavier, so not all of the snow comes at the same time in one heavy burst like Monday.
  3. The snowflakes won’t be as ideal for accumulating quickly, like they were Monday.

When Will the Snow Develop in New England?

These are all reasons our forecast is certainly more tempered than it was Monday. That’s not to be interpreted that slick roads won’t develop, because they will. A narrow band of light snow with little impact for most of southern New England around midday will settle into the northern half of New England and western New England during the afternoon, making roads slick as a coating to an inch accumulates through sundown. Further east, as snow increases Monday evening from 5 p.m. onward, roads will slicken, particularly between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. and especially north and west of Boston.

How Much Snow Will Fall in New England?

The Route 2 corridor of northern Massachusetts and points north see a longer period of snow, and therefore increasing snow totals, with much of Vermont to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and interior Maine, away from the coast (immediate Maine coast changes to rain after 1 to 3 inches), receiving 4 to 8 inches of snow, and another 8 to 12 inches of snow in the northern New England mountains.

How Bad Will the Wind Gusts Be in New England?

The change to rain overnight Wednesday night marches all the way up to the mountains, where snow turns to sleet before ending, but all of this will mean messy road conditions with around an inch of rain and melting snow causing big puddles into the early morning Thursday. Meanwhile, wind gusts will increase for the coast to over 35 mph overnight, then reach over 45 mph in southeast Massachusetts and perhaps even briefly gust over 60 mph on Cape Cod predawn Thursday, resulting in isolated power outages before the rain moves offshore during the morning, opening the sky for breaks of sun. 

Although the south wind shifts to blow from the west-southwest, gusts will still reach 45 mph or higher in spots through the day, but temperatures starting near 50 degrees predawn will likely stay close to that through the day in southern New England, with 30s in the North Country where scattered snow showers will crop up.

What's Coming Ahead After the Storm?

Friday and Saturday will bring dry and cool – but not cold – conditions to much of New England, with a quieter wind Friday and Saturday snow showers expected in the mountains, where the breeze will be busy from the west Saturday but not likely enough for chair lift holds at ski areas. Clouds thicken Sunday ahead of a fast-moving system that may deliver a bit of light snow overnight Sunday night, then another storm system will pass close to New England at the middle of next week, raising the chance of some snow or rain in the exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

Early Dismissals at Schools in New England

Many school districts in New England have planned for an early dismissal on Wednesday because of the expected impacts from the winter storm.

An updated list of school impacts can be found here.

Contact Us