2-28-2018 – Early March Storm Update #1

Good evening! A quick update about the Thursday night/Friday/Saturday storm…. I will not be releasing a full snowfall map yey due to the high uncertainty and instead will release a map tomorrow morning. With that in mind, I do have some initial thoughts on that snowfall as well as general storm info below:
Early Friday (Midnight – 6 AM):
Precipitation Type – Rain
Overall Confidence – High
More Info – Rain should begin early in this time frame. Lows in the mid 30s but precipitation should stay as all rain; however, a brief mix with snow is possible if temperatures are a degree or two cooler than expected. However, this is quite unlikely, and even if this were to take place, there would almost certainly be no snow accumulation.
Friday Daytime (6 AM – 5 PM):
Precipitation Type – Rain
Overall Confidence – High
More Info – Rain for the entire day, and often heavy rain. Strong winds out of the northeast over 20 mph with gusts to 50 mph at times, meaning isolated power outages are possible. Street flooding could be an issue with a few inches of rain expected. Highs will be around or just above 40.
Friday Evening (5 PM – Midnight):
Precipitation Type – Rain and Snow
Overall Confidence – Very Low
More Info – Strong winds continue to the same magnitude stated above. A wide variety of scenarios are in play for this time period, and it depends on when exactly rain flips to snow and how quickly temperatures cool off (and how much they cool). Travel is going to be a mess during this period with either heavy rain or heavy snow, but that and the winds are the only things settled with this part of the forecast. If snow falls during this time frame, it would significantly increase the snow total, as well as the risk for power outages as any snow will be very heavy and wet. Impacts from rain would continue with minor urban and street flooding if this time frame is mainly rain.
Early Saturday (Midnight – 8 AM):
Precipitation Type – Snow
Overall Confidence – Low
More Info – Snow will fall – heavily at times – during this time frame. The exact amount is a big wild card, however, with a major spread in exactly how much precipitation falls in this time period. Minor accumulations of up to 3″ are likely at a minimum, unless temperatures are warmer than expected and rain mixes in (a mix is not looking likely during this time frame, though). Even a moderate snow event in the 3-6″ range – which is certainly possible – it could be quite impactful because of the weight of the snow. A warning-level snow (6″ or more) is less likely, but possible if enough snow falls Friday evening or this period is heavier in terms of overall precipitation but just as cold vs. current expectations. 2-5″ of snow sounds reasonable for now, but if the storm is warmer than expected it could fall below that. A colder Friday night is a more likely wild card scenario though, as heavy precipitation could result in dynamic cooling. Temperatures will be hovering right around freezing. Strong winds continue with similar parameters as Friday, which would obviously exacerbate power outage potential. Stay tuned for more on this time period.
Saturday Daytime (8 AM – 4 PM):
Precipitation Type – Snow to Rain
Overall Confidence – Medium
More Info – Snow likely changes to rain early in this time period, but the jury is still out on the whole snow scenario and how it plays out. Rain winds down during the early afternoon. Strong winds continue, perhaps a touch weaker than Friday and Friday night.
There is a lot of uncertainty with this system so stay tuned for updates.

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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