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February 10 – More sleet than snow on Tuesday

Dry and cool weather continues on Monday before a messy storm system arrives on Tuesday with the promise of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain for Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Southeastern Massachusetts. It’s a song we’ve heard a few times this winter, and once again I expect snow to not be the predominant precipitation type with the storm. Look for snow to develop from southwest to northeast from late Tuesday morning through the early to mid afternoon. A hard-charging layer of mild air a few thousand feet up in the sky will change snow to sleet from south to north within a few hours of it starting.

A mostly minor snow accumulation is likely before the change to sleet. I think the change to sleet happens within 2-3 hours of snow arriving at the coast, and within 3-4 hours of it arriving inland. The sleet arrives well ahead of the warmer air near the surface, so there could be several hours of sleet, and then some freezing rain (especially inland) late Tuesday afternoon and evening. My snowfall map may be lower than some you see on TV and from other outlets, but I think the track of the storm is conducive to a fairly quick changeover before more than 2-3″ of snow accumulates in most of CT, RI, and SE MA. In fact, it would not surprise me if it went to sleet before an inch of snow accumulated in some spots.

Freezing rain changes to rain Tuesday night, and it will be above freezing everywhere by dawn on Wednesday as the storm winds down. Expect gusty winds near the coast. Look for peak gusts near 35 mph at the coast Tuesday into Tuesday night, and 25-30 mph inland. Wednesday looks breezy to windy and mild early before turning colder in the afternoon. The temperature dips below freezing after sunset.

In terms of school impact, I think some schools will factor in the wintry mix on Tuesday when making a decision about closing or early dismissal. I honestly have absolutely no idea what they’ll do. They don’t consult me! As far as Wednesday goes, I have to figure it will be business (and school) as usual.

The weather looks fairly quiet Wednesday through most of Friday. The next storm arrives late Friday and lasts through at least the first half of Saturday. It looks like mainly or all rain, with strong southerly winds. Temps could spike into the 50s if the storm center tracks west of New England. It turns colder and dry on Sunday into early next week.

Long-range projections continue showing snow chances in late February. There could be at least 1-2 more chances of snow in the last week of the month.

Fred Campagna

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

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