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January 16 – Ugly weekend storm likely

A weak storm system late in the workweek will be followed by a potent one over the weekend. The Alberta Clipper moving in late Thursday night into Friday morning does not have much precipitation to work with, and will likely bring light snow to most of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. The best chance of 1-2″ of snow is in CT for the Friday morning commute. It’s not much, but it may be enough to slow down travel early in the day. The threat of snow ends by late morning into the early afternoon from west to east. The snow should be even lighter in RI and SE MA where it’s more likely to be a coating-1″ event.

Nuisance event early Friday

Quiet weather is likely Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon in advance of the next storm system which looks like a big headache for Saturday night through Sunday evening. Expect highs in the low to mid 30s at best on Saturday with clouds streaming in during the day.

Storm track shifts a bit colder from one run to the next

Messy winter storm Saturday night – Sunday

The overnight computer models trended just a bit colder with the Saturday night through Sunday storm system. The storm is bringing a lot of precipitation with it (1-3″) and the precipitation type is of course very important in determining how it will impact your weekend. It looks like a thump of snow followed by sleet and rain Saturday night. There’s a decent chance that snow will accumulate in most places before sleet arrives. It could be a plowable snow for most of CT, RI, and MA before the milder air gets involved. The warmer air arrives from the south, so as we have seen so many times the change from snow to sleet/rain happens at the coast first. Therefore, your best bet for several inches of snow is the farther inland you go, and particularly into the higher elevations.

The consensus storm track is still close enough to the coast that most of Southern New England changes from snow to sleet and/or rain early Sunday through the midday hours. This is when some of the heaviest precipitation is likely and street flooding is possible because of snow/ice clogged drains. Very mild air in the 40s may not make it into Southern New England, and I expect a flash freeze with some snow possible at the end of the storm late Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. It’s unclear how much snow/sleet will fall at the end of the storm, but the temperature will nosedive through the 20s and 10s Sunday night, and anything wet will freeze quickly.

New FV3-GFS paints an ugly picture for Southern New England on Sunday
  • Significant long-duration storm starts Saturday evening and ends Sunday night
  • Heavy precipitation likely (1-3″ liquid equivalent)
  • Snow likely Saturday evening, and may last until late at night – especially inland
  • Several inches of snow possible before the change to sleet/rain
  • Heavy sleet/rain/freezing rain (inland) likely Sunday morning with street flooding possible
  • Strong winds near the coast – gusts over 40 mph possible
  • Change back to snow/sleet possible from northwest to southeast Sunday afternoon/evening. May get very icy after sunset as colder air returns very quickly on a strong northwest wind.
  • Brutally cold Sunday night – lows at least in the low teens, and possibly single digits to near zero in some spots
  • Wind chills below zero early Monday morning

There are still a few days before this storm arrives and the most important details (how much snow?) are still uncertain. The bottom-line is a significant winter storm is on the way for this weekend, and it’s very likely to have an impact on your plans from late Saturday evening through Sunday night. I’ll keep you posted on any forecast changes as we go along.

Fred Campagna

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

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