Weekly Outlook: March 13-19, 2017

Spring is almost here. Just keep reminding yourself of that. Red Sox Opening Day is 3 weeks from today. Marathon Monday is 5 weeks from today. Before you know it, we’ll be walking around in shorts and enjoying warm weather. Got those thoughts in your head now? Good, because this week will feel like the middle of winter. In case you haven’t heard and thanks to the relentless TV and internet hype, everyone has heard, the “Storm of the Century of the Week” is going to paralyze the region for the next 6 weeks. OK, we got caught up in the hype for a second. Seriously though, we’ve got ourselves a significant snowstorm heading our way for Tuesday.

GFS model forecast for the progression of the storm from Monday evening through Wednesday evening. Loop provided by Pivotal Weather.


The week starts off with the proverbial “calm before the storm” on Monday, as high pressure keeps us dry and chilly. Low pressure will be moving across the Ohio Valley while a second area of low pressure starts to take shape off the Southeast coast. As the Ohio Valley system weakens, it will transfer its energy to the coastal storm, and then things really start to happen.

It’s gonna blow on Tuesday. The wind that is. NAM model forecast for wind gusts Tuesday afternoon. Image provided by WeatherBell.

The low will move up the coastline Monday night into Tuesday and rapidly strengthen. Snow will break out across the region towards daybreak Tuesday, and will fall heavy at times from Tuesday morning into Tuesday evening. When we say heavy, we mean HEAVY, as in 2-3 inches per hour at times. The snow will be accompanied by winds gusting to 40-50 mph at times, even higher near the coast, and especially across Cape Cod. This may create blizzard conditions at times. If you’ve got plans for Tuesday, either get there by daybreak, or wait until evening to get there, because driving won’t be fun during the daytime hours, and could be quite hazardous. The good news is that the storm will be moving relatively quickly, so the snow will taper off in the evening, and end at night. The other potential good news is that the snow will likely change to rain for a time across Cape Cod. That changeover could make it into southeastern Massachusetts as well, but how far inland is still a big question. Obviously, that will have a big impact on snowfall totals.

So, how much snow are we looking at? You’ve probably heard the apocalyptic forecasts out there of 1-2 feet, or 15-30 inches, or some other crazy ranges. The fact is, with a storm moving as quickly as this one is (it’s only going to snow for about 12-15 hours), it’s tough to get amounts that high. Our preliminary numbers are:

Cape Cod: 3-6″ on the Outer Cape and Islands, 5-10″ closer to the Canal
SE Mass: 6-12″ where it mixes with rain, 10-16″ where it doesn’t.
Southern NH/ME: 10-16″
Eastern/Central Mass: 12-18″, with some isolated heavier amounts.

GFS model forecast for snowfall through Wednesday evening, This model most closely matches our thinking for snowfall right now. Image provided by Pivotal Weather.

Things will slowly improve on Wednesday, but with an upper-level low moving across the region, we can expect some occasional snow showers, and winds will remain quite gusty as the storm gets cranked up over Atlantic Canada. High pressure starts to build in on Thursday, but it will likely be another blustery and cold day. For the holiday on Friday (it is Evacuation Day after all), it’ll be another sunny and chilly day, but winds will start to diminish as high pressure continues to build into the region. Clouds return on Saturday, then a weak cold front moves through Saturday night, bringing some snow showers in. An upper-level low may hang around into Sunday, possibly producing more snow showers.

Monday: Plenty of sunshine to start, clouds increase during the afternoon. High 26-33.

Monday night: Becoming cloudy, snow developing towards daybreak. Low 16-23.

Tuesday: Hazy, hot and humid. Windy with snow, heavy at times. High 26-33, except 33-40 across Cape Cod.

Tuesday night: Snow tapers off and ends, winds gradually diminish. Low 15-22.

Wednesday: Partly to mostly cloudy and breezy with a few snow showers possible. High 24-31.

Thursday: A mix of sun and clouds, still breezy. High 23-30.

Friday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 28-35.

Saturday: Sunshine fades behind increasing afternoon clouds. Chance for light snow or snow showers at night. High 30-37.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a few snow showers possible. High 31-38.

We will have an update on the storm Monday afternoon. Hopefully, things will be a little clearer by then. Remember, spring is just around the corner. If you keep telling yourself that, you might even start to believe it.


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