A late-March superstorm will develop in the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday and move east of Southern New England Wednesday morning before pounding Nova Scotia. The storm will come close enough to bring snow and strong winds to part of Southern New England, and the impacts will vary greatly between western and eastern Southern New England. Cape Cod and the islands will be hardest hit, with more than 6″ of snow, and wind gusts up to 75 mph. RI and interior SE MA are on the edge between the big impact and much lower snow totals. Our forecast is for a few inches of snow in most of this area. Winds may gust over 40 mph Wednesday morning. Western CT and Western MA will be spared the brunt of the storm, with little snow and less wind in western CT and MA.
Car Travel Impact Potential – Car travel will be slow, especially in Eastern MA on Wednesday morning. It’s a good idea to stay off the roads on Cape Cod and the islands from late Tuesday night through Wednesday morning. Snow-covered roads are likely in SE RI and near Buzzards Bay. The impact on car travel lessens as you get farther away from the coast.
School Impact Potential – There will likely be a snow day on Cape Cod and the islands. It’s a close call for most of RI and interior SE MA. Although there will likely not be an awful lot of snow, the timing of the steadiest snow and strongest winds coincides with the start of school on Wednesday.
Air Travel Impact Potential – The storm will not have a big impact in the Mid-Atlantic, and that should help to limit residual delays at Southern New England airports. The wind will likely be strong enough to cause delays at Logan and TF Green Wednesday morning.
Snow totals – 2″ or less well inland, a few inches in the I-95 corridor, more than 6″ on Cape Cod and the islands.
Winds / Power Outages – Peak wind gusts near hurricane strength (73 mph) should be enough to cause at least scattered outages on Cape Cod and the islands. The wind will gust to 45-55 mph near the coast of RI and Buzzards Bay. Isolated downed trees and branches are possible. The wind impact will be lower away from the coast. A storm track closer Southern New England would not only increase snow totals, it would bring strong winds farther inland.
Storm Duration – This will not be a long-duration storm, even if it comes closer than forecast. The first flakes are likely late Tuesday evening or just after midnight. It will be winding down by noon in RI on Wednesday. It will last until late in the day along the Eastern MA coast.