Mar 17, 2016 12:03 AM
NH1 Chief Meteorologist
OK, I could go on and on about the subtle changes in the upcoming weather, but I am just going to focus on what we all want to know...Is it really going to snow later this weekend?! You didn't really think it could be this easy did you? Luckily, it is still far away and plenty of changes to the data and the forecast can still occur. But I am going on today's trends of a storm coming closer to New England for a chance of snow, and less of a trend of this storm staying out to sea. If we are lucky we may just see a little bit of light snow..BUT, there is the potential for a stronger storm to impact the region. It is one of those times where track will be critical to determining amounts of snow. Just a few miles either way will be the difference between being hit hard or being grazed. So let's get to it!
High pressure building south from Canada will provide the necessary cold air in place this weekend. Temperatures will be cold during the overnights in the teens and lwr 20's and chilly during the days in the 30's to near 40. We will be tracking moisture coming out of the Gulf and directed up the east coast with a trough in place across the eastern seaboard. Cold air will spill into the base of the trough with the storm developing off the Carolina coastline and tracking Northeast. Spring officially begins 12:30 AM Sunday morning and here we are talking about a return to winter. Not a shocker. Snow in March in New England is very common. But this winter has been different. It would be odd to get our biggest snow on the tail end? We'll see how it all plays out..
There are a variety of ways this could turnout and it is impossible this far out to know what will happen and how much snow we could get. What we do know is there is potential for a big storm if everything comes together just right. We are seeing good model consensus/agreement of a storm staying closer to the coast which gives us some confidence on predicting a snow storm. The model below is just one of the many we look at. I have posted it as a guide to show you some of what we are looking at in the weather office. If this model scenario were to verify, the storm would track far enough off the coast away from Nantucket to only graze New Hampshire with a light accumulating snow with the potential for a few inches of snow. Sun-Angle will play a big role in keeping accumulations down with the incoming radiation this time of year and time of day.
If the low tracks a little farther east, we will be talking about an even less amount of snow. The potential for a few snow showers Sunday night-early Monday and that would be all she wrote. If the storm tracks closer to Nantucket, we are talking about a more sizeable storm which could deliver up to a foot of snow in spots with gusty winds at the coast, and could end up being one of the bigger storms of the winter. Again, very tough to say what will happen this far out. It really could go a variety of ways and it is just going to be a matter of miles with the storm track. It's once again a game of high stakes meteorology!
There will continue to be question how this will play out for the rest of the week as we continue to watch for slight shifts in trends of our computer models. Sometimes what we watch for is activity up stream which will determine what happens downstream over us. How strong the ridge is in the western states will play a big role in how strong the trough is on the east coast and if this storm will hug the coast or get kicked farther out to see. It's a close call for Sunday night into Monday. We will be keeping you aware of any future changes you may need to know.
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