Winter storm warnings have been issued for parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine ahead of what is expected to be a powerful nor’easter that will bring rain, wind and possibly a lot of snow to New England this weekend .
The National Weather Service alert is in place for Middlesex and Worcester counties in Massachusetts between 7 am on Saturday and 7 am on Sunday. Various warnings have been issued for parts of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine; varies in length but generally from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon.
The warnings refer to expected snow totals of at least 6 inches, and in some cases over a foot. See all the active weather warnings in our area here.
TIMETABLE: An Hour-at-a-Time View of Nor’easter this Weekend
The storm is coming together to our south, with rain turning to snow along with wind in the forecast Saturday, and into Sunday in Maine.
In the short term, rains, not snowflakes, Friday and overnight, are projected to slowly expand through Southern New England by Saturday morning.
This weekend’s nor’easter is proving difficult to predict, says NBC10 Boston and NECN Chief Meteorologist Matt Noyes, but he has all the data on what to expect throughout New England.
There are sources of uncertainty in the forecast, including the delicate merger of northern and southern unrest close to New England that needs to happen just fine for a major event in southern New England (but it looks like it should, and almost will certainly be for Maine).
The frigid temperatures for snow start in the 40s and then drop through the 30s from noon to afternoon in central and eastern New England as the storm strengthens and draws cooler air from northern and western New England.
As long as the storm comes together as we think, the rain itself will be effective on Saturday morning, with over an inch falling through Saturday morning for large pools and water pools on roads.
Of course, as rain changes to snow in the highlands of central Massachusetts and across much of northern and western New England, roads will deteriorate, with still water being pounded by wet snow causing slips and icing on roads. Add snow accumulation on top of that and plowing and handling are likely to be needed.
Further east, the worry is not so long in hours, but can be intense for a short time on Saturday afternoon. As the storm raises rapidly in the east, a burst of heavy precipitation Saturday afternoon on the west side of the storm will move directly over eastern New England, guaranteed to dump heavy snow over much of Maine and eastern New Hampshire , and likely to produce at least a burst of a few hours of heavy snow Saturday mid afternoon to night in eastern Massachusetts (though not southeastern Massachusetts), which would also cause road conditions to deteriorate rapidly.
If it all comes together absolutely right, that burst of snow will drop two to four inches an hour of snow from northeastern Massachusetts all the way into Maine on Saturday night – and if they came together in formerly, that potential would extend to South Beach.
That’s why, while our First Alert Team recognizes some uncertainty and the need to follow our updates, we’ve also been encouraging all residents as far south as South Beach to put in the drive poles, get ready ‘ snow blower and plowing and be prepared for hard travel and road treatments. That way if the burst of snow makes it south through Plymouth County, it’s all ready.
Winds will howl on the coast Saturday afternoon and evening, first going 60 mph out of the south on Cape Cod if the center of the storm moves directly over the Cape, then swinging to blow from the north and the northwest, shortening to 60 mph short at Cape Ann and gusting over 45 mph for many others.
The wind could trigger some power outages where the heavy snow falls and put extra strain on power lines.
The storm leaves Saturday night, leaving a rainy but dry Sunday except for chilling pockets of snow and snow showers in the North Country, where over a foot of snow will fall in Maine and New Hampshire.
They will get a natural boost to the start of the ski and snowmobile season while Vermont will see lighter amounts of snow, but everyone is in for a cold week next week, perfect for ski areas to blast snowballs and continue to build on a snow base nature, quickly opening up trails in the coming week.