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Spring Begins With A Wintry Blast

BOSTON (CBS) -- It has been a frustrating 24-36 hours dealing with the gyrations of the guidance from the various meteorological models.

Yet, having some sense of the complexity of the fluid atmosphere, I am amazed at how good the model solutions are much of the time. However, they are not infallible, and small changes in just speed and direction of upper air disturbances will throw a wrench into the works.

2016 Storm Headlines
(WBZ-TV graphic)

It is important to avoid jumping to conclusions without first understanding and studying the whole picture. At times, that is tough when new data is pouring in and we are facing deadlines to present updated graphics and appear on-air with confidence and authority. Last night, I hurriedly jumped on the bandwagon and lowered my snow totals based upon quick glances at fresh incoming guidance. When notable changes stand out, it is hard to ignore them.

The same situation applies early this morning as I compose this fresh blog. Some initial guidance has swayed to the opposite direction and is now delivering the potential for a significant snowfall. I am not going to fall into the same trap without having perused a full suite of models. Consequently, I am not going to pull out all of the stops at this juncture. So I will reserve judgment until I have further researched new information. Therefore, I opt to maintain my thinking of the past evening.

TIMING:

It looks like a new storm will be developing near the VA/NC coast this morning. Its expanding precipitation shield should not arrive in the Boston area until near or just after midnight.

2015 RPM Timeline Temps Local
(WBZ-TV graphic)

The tempo of snow is expected to increase through the early morning hours of Monday with the heaviest snow falling between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.

2015 RPM Timeline Temps Local1
(WBZ-TV graphic)

After that, it will become lighter and taper off from west to east by late morning.

2015 RPM 12KM
(WBZ-TV graphic)

Temperatures will be marginal over the islands so rain or a mix of rain and snow will greatly reduce accumulations there. Additionally, some sleet may occur over parts of southeastern MA for a period of time.

SNOWFALL:

Nantucket may have little or no snow because of the rain and mix with amounts building up to 2-4" on the lower Cape then climbing into the 4-8" range near the Canal and South Coast northward to just northwest of a Providence to Boston line. Some spots in Plymouth County and Bristol County could receive over 8".

2016 Snow Map
(WBZ-TV graphic)

Lower totals will exist farther northwest on the outer fringe of the snow shield. Please note that a slight shift in the storm track will alter the snow bands as depicted so check updated, forecasts, blogs and follow the WBZ AccuWeather Team on Twitter.

The storm will be in its developmental stages as it passes by our region. It will become more greatly energized as it approaches the Canadian Maritimes, so that area is expected to be clobbered by a more powerful storm. We will monitor the situation closely because a quickening intensification could mean a more robust snowfall for us.

Clearly, the greatest impact on travel will occur during the early morning hours through the Monday morning commute. Allow much extra time for travel in these wintry conditions. Traveling will be hazardous and the crews will be out there plowing and treating. Road conditions will improve greatly by late morning, and the p.m. commute should be in pretty good shape.

Weather Blog Snowstorm
(WBZ-TV graphic)

WIND & COASTAL CONCERNS:

Later tomorrow night into Monday morning, the northeast-to-northerly wind will increase to 20-40 mph over southeastern MA up through the South Shore and North Shore as well. Less wind is likely inland. Due to the heavier, denser, wetter snow in the windy areas, some scattered power outages are possible.

The greatest storm surge should occur before the late morning high tide on Monday. The scheduled height of the tides this time of the month are lower, so only splash-over on the more vulnerable shore roads is possible. Any widespread coastal flooding is unlikely.

Updated information will be provided by the WBZ AccuWeather Team as conditions warrant.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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