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January 15 – Latest model trends on Sunday forecast

The 4-5 day cold snap eases just a bit on Tuesday with highs in the mid to upper 30s after a very cold start. It stays dry and chilly Tuesday night into Wednesday. Lows will be in the teens and 20s, and highs will be closer to 40° Wednesday afternoon. A cold front swings through and brings very cold air back for Thursday. Expect lows near 20, but highs may not get much above 30 in the afternoon. There should be a decent dose of sun.

Nuisance system early Friday

A weak system moves through Thursday night into Friday. It’s a nuisance system that could bring slippery travel for the Friday morning commute. It does not have the potential for more than 2-3″ of snow at most, and I think it’s more likely to get a coating to 2″ of snow from this Alberta Clipper. The wind will be out of the southeast near the coast, and that may draw in enough mild air to change snow to mix/rain early Friday. I will have a snowfall accumulation map for event by noon on Wednesday. It does not look like much.

Friday 4 am simulated radar (Euro model)

The temperature climbs to near 40° Friday afternoon before it turns cold again Friday night into Saturday. It will stay dry through the day on Saturday before a stronger storm arrives after dark.

Weekend storm trending warmer

A strong storm system will move up the East Coast Saturday night through Sunday. The track of the storm is favorable for much more mix/rain than snow in most of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts. A period of snow and sleet is likely Saturday evening before the warmer air arrives. There are two big x-factors with this storm.:

  1. How quickly will snow change to sleet/rain Saturday evening? At this point, it looks like it will happen before there is plowable snow near the coast, in the I-95 corridor, and in all of Southeastern Massachusetts. The inland counties in CT, and north/west of I-95 may pick up more than an inch of snow before the changeover. Because the precipitation is expected to be moderate to heavy, a 1-3 hour shift in the changeover time could lead to an additional 2-5″ of snow. Obviously, this is something I’ll be watching closely.
  2. Will rain change back to a burst of sleet and snow before ending Sunday evening? Many times, the models predict the change from rain back to snow before it ends, but so often it does not happen. Right now, many models show either a change back to snow/sleet briefly before ending or a very quick shot of cold air that could lead to a flash freeze Sunday evening or overnight. This definitely bears watching.
GEFS members showing more rain than snow in SNE by dawn on Sunday

So, as we sit here on Tuesday still 4-5 days before the storm, the main points of emphasis on the forecast are:

  • A significant storm with 1″ or more of precipitation is likely Saturday night through Sunday
  • The storm’s track favors snow/mix changing to rain pretty quickly Saturday night for most of CT, RI and SE MA
  • Rain will be heavy at times on Sunday
  • Strong winds are possible, especially near the coast
  • A change back to snow/sleet with a flash freeze is possible Sunday night as cold air returns quickly
  • It’s still only Tuesday, and there is time for the storm to shift to a colder or even warmer scenario.
EPS members are clustered on a track that is too close to the coast for mainly snow in CT, RI, and SE MA

Fred Campagna

President and Chief Meteorologist - Right Weather LLC AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist #756 AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist #126

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