A plowable to moderate snowfall will begin in Southern New England late this evening and early tomorrow morning as low pressure re-develops off the New England coast. The re-formed low will track near or over Cape Cod, which will cause a change to rain in Southeast MA. The heaviest snow totals will be north and west of Worcester, where it will be colder and snow will begin earlier. A *Winter Storm Warning* is in effect from 1 AM to 6 PM tomorrow north and west of the Providence to Boston line.
The Weather Channel has named this storm “Inga”. I’m not against the naming of Winter Storm’s because I feel it helps raise awareness. That said, the Weather Channel has to come up with better names than “Grayson, Hunter, and Inga”. Inga is the latest winter storm to impact the South, the 3rd of the season. Winter storm warnings are posted deep in the heart of Texas and they extend into Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The current radar is marvelous to look at. Snow from Texas to the doorstep of New England.
Strong, Canadian high pressure is driving a cold front all the way to the Gulf Coast. It is tapping into some warm moist Gulf of Mexico moisture which is allowing for snow to fall deep into Dixie. Low pressure is also tracking through the Great Lakes which is helping fire off snow in the Ohio Valley and eastward into PA and upstate NY.
By tomorrow AM, the new low-pressure center will be taking over while just off the New England coast. Cold air will be locked in across interior New England while a wind off the ocean will bring some milder air across SE MA, the Cape, and Islands. Depending on how close the low tracks, Boston may also change to rain. When the change over happens has big implications to the forecast and to the morning commute.
This will be a weak storm as the upper atmospheric set up is not favorable for rapid intensification (or a “bomb cyclone” if you will). Still, it will bring some moisture with it into a relatively cool interior so 4-8″ of snow is certainly possible from Hartford to Worcester to Manchester, NH.
Timing and Impacts
It will take awhile for the snow to start flying tonight. Some flakes will reach Berkshire County this evening and perhaps Franklin and Hampshire County by 11 PM but snow won’t start to stick in Northern Worcester County until around 4 AM. Snow will start to stick around 7 AM in Southern Worcester County and Northern RI.
The snow will continue throughout the afternoon, lingering until around 6-7 PM in Central and Eastern MA. The heaviest precipitation will fall between 7 AM and 1 PM, with just light snow in the afternoon. Because of the weak nature of the storm, winds will not be a factor and neither will coastal tides. I’m really not impressed with the snow totals. I am not going to make any changes to my map.
Whatever accumulates will happen in the morning in Eastern CT, RI, and Central/Eastern MA. Temperatures will be near 32 in the afternoon. Combine that with the light snow intensity and accumulation will be hard to come by on the roads. Snow will change to rain keeping totals low in Bristol, Plymouth, and Barnstable Counties. Temperatures will fall tomorrow evening so everything will re-freeze, creating hazardous travel conditions.
So will there be a snow day? The timing works in favor of those who want a snow day but I honestly don’t feel one is necessary. Road crews will be able to keep up with the snow and it won’t really get bad until after the kids are in school. 20 years ago it wouldn’t be a snow day. It probably will be a snow day tomorrow and I think people will say “they could have had school.” But, thankfully, it is not my call. If any school superintendent’s are reading this you should wait until tomorrow AM to make the call.
In case you missed it, I was on Worcester News Tonight yesterday talking about the recent weather.
Warmer temperatures are on the way for the weekend. I’ll have an update tomorrow AM.