Tuesday’s wintry mess hasn’t been a textbook evolution in New England: rather than a slug of organized snow and mix, we’ve instead seen bursts of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain akin to summertime showers and thunderstorms, cropping up quickly, remaining localized and exiting just as quickly.
The result has been a tremendous difference between communities, from snow-covered winter driving in one town, to hardly any snow at all in the next town over.
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By the end of the day, the storm will have dealt a more-typical swath of accumulation across the area, with the greatest amounts of snow expected in the higher terrain of central and western Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and southern Vermont, and much lesser amounts to the southeast, where sleet and freezing rain have created icy and at times dangerous conditions on the road.
Mixed showers will continue all the way into the overnight and change to mostly snow showers before ending from west to east, though far eastern New England may find at least flurries lingering all the way into early Wednesday morning.
A fair sky affords some melting Wednesday, aided by a southwest wind, but a strong cold front approaching from the northwest will cross New England from northwest to southeast, Wednesday afternoon to evening, respectively, sparking snow showers and heavier squalls on the leading edge of a wind shift that will open the flow of arctic air that drives wind chill values below zero late Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
Thursday’s sunshine won’t be very effective, with highs only in the 20s and 10s and wind chill values about 10 degrees colder, and while the wind will ease a bit Friday, the temperature only slightly climbs.
Moderation is expected for the upcoming weekend, with increased clouds both days, but the jet stream wind – the fast river of air high in the sky that steers storms – will remain flat and fast into next week, leaving little chance of a big storm through Christmas Day in our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast.