BOSTON (CBS) -- You knew it was bound to happen at some point, right? Winter seemingly has arrived. Cold air has been streaming into New England and will be with us through the upcoming weekend. On top of that, the wind will add a bite to the air as it gusts to 35 mph Friday afternoon and 25 mph Saturday. Expect wind chill values to hover in the teens and lower 20s for much of that time frame. At least it won't be snowing. . . yet.
Our next disturbance, which is currently still out over the Pacific Ocean, will come ashore on the West Coast later today. The energy associated with it will spread east across the country this weekend bringing a swath of snow from the Northern Plains to the Great Lakes and then yes – here at home.
We're still nearly three days away from the onset of this event, so uncertainty exists in the exact track of the storm, along with precipitation type and timing. Let's break down what we know right now.
TIMELINE: Much of the day Sunday will be dry as weak high pressure moves over southern New England and shifts offshore. Sunday evening, some flurries and light snow showers will break out ahead of steadier snow arriving by midnight Sunday. Snow will fall moderately at times Sunday night before a changeover to sleet and then rain starts to occur from south to north by pre-dawn Monday.
How quickly we transition will determine how much snow falls across southern New England. Precipitation should wind down Monday afternoon as main storm center slides through, allowing for partial clearing as we head into Monday evening (perhaps in time for Monday Night Football at Gillette).
AMOUNTS: While it's still too early to give amounts or an accumulation map with high confidence, I will say that a general 2-4" of snow seems possible in much of southern New England, perhaps with the exception of southern MA (Coating to 2") where mixing occurs soonest. IF the flip from snow to rain takes just a few hours longer, we could be talking amounts more in the 3-6" range. IF we change over quicker, 1-3" with little if any along the south coast.
WIND & COASTAL CONCERNS: While there may be a brief period of strong to potentially damaging wind gusts on Cape Cod early Monday morning, the storm comes through quick enough that the wind shifts around pretty quickly on the backside of the front Monday afternoon. So the good news is there doesn't appear to a be coastal flood or beach erosion threat.
So, what can you take away from all this? Monday morning's commute will likely be impacted by snow and rain – which may even result in some school delays and/or cancellations. Are you a part of our WBZ School Closings list? Do you need a refresher on how to login? Email our executive weather producer, Terry Eliasen directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.
Now I know what your question is: What is the rest of this winter going to be like? How much snow? How many storms? Our WBZ Weather Team gives you OUR take on this upcoming winter season in our half hour weather special Saturday night at 7:30 PM. We'll also highlight an important and hot topic…climate change. You won't want to miss it. Tune in tomorrow night or set the DVR!
Stay tuned for updated through the weekend on WBZ-TV and online at CBSBoston.com.
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