12-24-2017: Storm Update #1

Good morning and Merry Christmas Eve!!!
With partly sunny skies, expect a high around 38 degrees today, and a light wind. The timing of the forecast snow is still on track: expect snow to start either side of midnight; the low will be around 26 tonight, with a northeast wind of 5-10 mph gusting to 15-20 mph at times. The heaviest snow will come mid-morning tomorrow before wrapping up at around noontime; tomorrow’s high will be 32 degrees, with a blustery northeast wind at 5-15 mph with gusts to 35-40 mph possible.
I am still forecasting a general 6-8″ for #Dracut and nearby, but have cut back on amounts to the south and southeast as the rain/snow line is looking to be a little more to the west with last night’s data. Again, I am thinking all snow is the precipitation type in the pink, deep blue sees some mixed precipitation especially in its southern and eastern areas, and the lighter shades of blue are mostly rain with some snow.
snow map 745a 2017-12-24.png
Now, the tough part: 6″ is warning level snow, and the National Weather Service is simultaneously putting us right along the 6″ line [they have it running directly through Dracut, I have it a little more south] and having us in a Winter Weather Advisory, which is a bit confusing. Basically, for winter weather, wind, and basically any other non-thunderstorm weather alert, they use warning zones based on portions of counties, and our warning zone’s northeast edge is along the Dracut/Methuen border, the southeast edge runs along a line from about Reading and Woburn to about Wayland and Weston, then going west to a southwest point to the southwest of Framingham, then running north-south and ending just east of Pepperell at the NH border. That is an area where the weather can be diverse, and slapping one warning or advisory type for that whole area makes no sense. The people at the NWS in Taunton do a fantastic job, even though I disagree with them on some elements of this forecast [I disagree with the exact location of some of their lines and their assertion that Boston will be completely rain, though I do think that Boston will be *mainly* rain.] It isn’t exactly their fault that this zone is like this: warning zones are hard to change and they are following the letter of the NWS warning rules by their own forecast, which is an advisory level snow for most of the zone.
With that said, have a great day! I will try to get an update out this afternoon.

Published by Nathan Coram

Hello! I'm Nathan Coram, a 20 year old meteorology student and weather geek, and am in my junior year at UMass Lowell as a meteorology major. I am the current Vice President of the UML American Meteorological Society Local Student Chapter. Prior to at UML, I attended the Dracut school system for my K-12 years, having graduated from Dracut High in 2018. I first got into weather with the December 2008 ice storm, which knocked out my electricity for 4 days. I had no idea how it could be raining and becoming ice immediately, and how rain can knock out power. (Now I do - warm layer aloft, cold air at surface). But I didn't really get into it until the heat of July 2010 and specifically a few severe weather events during that month, followed by the year 2011, which featured several high profile weather events. Since then I have had a growing interest, and am hoping to make it into the meteorology field, preferably with NOAA/NWS. But for now, I'm blogging here on Dracut Weather (also on Twitter and Facebook), helping with the UML Weather Center social media, and tweeting about the weather on my own account as well. Thanks for visiting!

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