Tuesday had a messy start with snow and sleet north, freezing rain and rain south, that caused a rash of morning car crashes. Temperatures gradually warmed in southern New England and precipitation ended from west to east regionwide.
Last to see the exit of the wintry mix is central and eastern Maine Tuesday afternoon. While New England sees only a few isolated showers in the second half of the day Tuesday, we may be hard-pressed to find quick drying on the region’s roadways. That becomes important Tuesday night.
A cold front will cross New England late Tuesday evening between 9 p.m. and midnight. The front opens the door to west and northwest wind gusts of 35 mph and a flow of cold air that will send overnight temperatures into the 20s east and 10s west. Any moisture that remains on roadways will freeze into areas of black ice, particularly after midnight into early Wednesday morning.
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A fair sky Wednesday will take care of any slick spots on treated roads but temperatures won’t exceed 30 degrees in southern New England or 20 in the North County. A steady northwest breeze will hold wind chill values in the teens and single digits, respectively, at the warmest time of day.
This cold air becomes an important player by Thursday as a strengthening storm out of the Southern Plains reaches the Eastern Seaboard and draws north. Capturing both Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic moisture, the storm center will spread its moisture northward into New England on Thursday, colliding with the cold air in place. This combination creates a broad swath of snow that will develop from south to north, Thursday late morning to late day, respectively.
There's enough cold air to keep at least the start of the storm with snow for all of New England and perhaps most for the interior. Even spots like the South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands may see enough snow to plow at the onset.
Our exclusive, built-in-house NBC Forecast System is predicting a broad 6-12” for much of New England by the time the storm exits Friday, and our First Alert Team of meteorologists sees no reason to doubt that estimate.
We do think the storm will pull away Friday – perhaps after the morning hours – and give way to a cool but fair weekend for New Englanders to, yet again, push around and clean up snow.
Another disturbance is forecast by our team to cross New England on Monday. While it doesn’t look to be quite as potent or quite as moisture-laden, it still brings a chance for rain and accumulating snow to New England before a few quiet days around the middle of next week.