New England

Major Winter Storm to Bring Up to a Foot of Snow, Damaging Winds and Flooding

Showers, thunder, coastal flooding and power outage snow/wind all on tap for New England

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New England has been close to the jet stream winds aloft this week – the fast river of air, high in the sky, that steers storm systems and separates cold air to the north from warm to the south. 

Being close to the jet stream doesn’t always mean stormy weather, as the last two days have proven, but it does mean the chance of unsettled weather is higher as energetic atmospheric disturbances move through the sky above. 

One such disturbance delivered Wednesday morning showers to New England with thunderstorms in the Mid-Atlantic, but the other aspect of disturbances carried by the jet stream is they tend to move fairly quickly, and sunshine is expected to break out from midday Wednesday onward with only a renewed sprinkle possible during the afternoon. 

After a quiet overnight, Thursday will dawn with rapidly thickening clouds as the next disturbance approaches New England in the jet stream winds, and rain will develop in western New England by mid-morning Thursday. As precipitation quickly expands east Thursday late morning, air in the mountains of northern New England will be cold enough to support snow, instead, while winds increase for southern New England from the southeast and south, pushing temperatures there into the 50s. 

The result of this kind of cold/warm clash will only fuel the ongoing rain and downpours, likely breeding some thunderstorms in southern New England where a storm with damaging wind gusts given the already fast wind won’t be out of the question in southeast Massachusetts. Farther north, snow will expand out of the mountains later Thursday and particularly by Thursday evening and night, when a heavy, wet, pasty snow will accumulate from northern New Hampshire to interior Maine, with around a foot of snow possible in the Maine mountains. 

Even in areas along and north of the Maine Turnpike, from Augusta to Bangor northward, four or more inches of wet snow raises the likelihood for a swath of power outages, particularly when coupled with a gusty wind. The wind won’t just be gusty, but could be downright fierce from Penobscot Bay, Downeast, where gusts to 60 mph will take already-high tidal levels from this week’s Supermoon and push them high enough for areas of coastal flooding. 

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.

Minor coastal flooding is anticipated along all of New England’s vulnerable spots for four tide cycles from Wednesday midday through overnight Thursday night, regardless, thanks to that higher level driven by the moon. 

The big storm ships out Friday, leaving mountain snow showers, a rain shower or sprinkle at times amidst breaks of sun elsewhere, and a busy wind for all. 

The weekend looks excellent: high temperatures generally in the 50s and dry weather with sun. Monday, on the other hand, a strong storm comes calling – consisting of strong energy aloft, deep moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and driven by the jet stream winds aloft, this storm has the potential to deposit two to four inches of rain, depending on how it comes together. 

Behind it, a few more showers are possible around midweek with drying toward the end of our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.

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