March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, or so the old saying goes. Well, it certainly came in like a lion, but now it’s also going to go out like a lion too. Don’t worry, a repeat of the April Fool’s Blizzard in 1997 is not coming, but we do have some snow to worry about across parts of the region.
The storm that we’ll have to contend with Friday into Saturday is moving into the Midwest today, with plenty of severe weather expected ahead of it. This system has already produced a lot of severe weather from the Southern Plains and Texas into the Mississippi Valley over the past couple of days. Don’t worry, we won’t have to contend with severe weather up here. As the storm heads into the Midwest, it will eventually redevelop off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and pass south of New England late Friday into Saturday. Meanwhile, high pressure will move into eastern Canada, keeping some marginally cold air in place, setting the stage for a return of wintry weather to New England.
We’ll have some snow or rain showers developing Friday morning, but with temperatures in the 30s to lower 40s, we won’t see much, if any, accumulation during the daytime. The sun angle is getting relatively high, so even with the cloud cover, it still is strong enough to prevent much accumulation, at least on paved surfaces.
After the sun sets, things get a lot more complicated. Without the sun, and with temperatures dropping into the lower to middle 30s, along with the heaviest precipitation moving in, we’re looking at a changeover to snow for most places, especially away from the coastline. The problem is, some warmer air looks like it will move in aloft for a while. With a warm layer aloft, the snow that’s falling melts, then starts to refreeze as it moves back into the colder air below that layer. The result is sleet, and possibly a lot of it well inland. This will significantly cut back on snowfall accumulations.
Once we get into Saturday morning, a change to rain is likely for much of the region, but even where it stays mostly snow, we won’t have much additional accumulation, at least on paved surfaces. A few showers may linger into Sunday as an upper-level storm system moves across the region, then high pressure brings sunshine and seasonably cool temperatures in for Opening Day at Fenway on Monday.
So, how much snow are we looking at? We’ve bumped up amounts a little since yesterday, but nothing significant:
South of the Mass Pike: A coating at most.
Metro Boston: 1-2″
128 Belt: 2-4″
Merrimack Valley: 3-5″
NH Seacoast/North Shore: 3-6″
Southern NH: 4-7″
Worcester Hills/Monadnocks: 5-10″
Before you ask, no, this is probably not the last time we’ll see snowflakes this season. It may be the last “snowstorm”, but even that’s not a definite. Remember, we’ve had snowstorms around here into late April and early May before.