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Boston weather: Fair skies through Wednesday, winter storm arrives Thursday

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Metro Boston, North Shore and Metro West: Many of you are probably getting a bit tired of the same four letter words in the weather headlines so often the past two months. Cold and snow. With another winter storm expected here Thursday those two words will come up again in the latest weather details over the next several days.

After a couple of sunny, breezy and yes “cold” days to start the new work week we do squeeze in one more dry and unseasonably cold day on Wednesday before high pressure gives way to an approaching coastal storm.

Ice and snow is blanketing portions of the south and will cross into the Carolina’s and mid- Atlantic through Wednesday. This storm will be our weather producer Thursday and it is shaping up to be a significant storm with many impacts to the Boston area and northeast Massachusetts. It will come with snow, then a good chance of a mix then change to rain along and near the coast, possibly intruding west of Route 128/95 for several hours. The rain could get heavy at times and this would cause quite a bit of street flooding given the snow that is expected to accumulate before the changeover along with the snow pack from previous storms. Strong gusty winds are expected along the coast, minor coastal flooding is also a possibility and power outages are possible as well. The only reason the coastal flooding is not expected to be more significant is due to the tides are not running as high as in past storms so folks along the coast probably dodge a worse case scenario there.

The onset of snow is expected during the pre dawn hours Thursday morning, becoming steady and heavier at times during the day. The storm track is always critical in these situations as to where the snow/rain line sets up and when. Although there still remains some uncertainty on pinpointing the storm track it has narrowed to somewhere between Cape Cod and Nantucket. If the storm center in fact tracks closer to the mainland then a better chance for a change to rain not only along the coast but perhaps 20 or 25 miles inland. A track close to Nantucket and a mix to some changeover to rain along the coastal locations, perhaps a mix of rain and snow to about Route 128/95 for a time. Along and west of Route 495 it probably remains all snow and therefore the best chance for highest accumulations in either scenario.

Whatever the final outcome on who gets what the precipitation will likely change back to snow all the way back to the coast as the storm pulls away Thursday night. An early idea on snow accumulations are in a range from 8 to 12 inches along the Route 495 belt, 5 to 8 along Route 128/95 and 3 to 5 along the coast. Again, the lesser amounts are in consideration of a mix and change to rain. If that does not occur you can expect higher totals along and east of the Route 128/95 belt. There is some bust potential on this and I am sure it will be tweaked as we go forward.

72 Hour Outlook:

Tuesday and Tuesday night: Mostly sunny and cold today. Highs about 25 degrees. Icy cold under mainly clear skies tonight. Lows near zero across the interior to 10 degrees in Boston. Diminishing winds tonight.

Wednesday: Sunny to start with late day increasing clouds. Cold, highs near 25. Light winds.

Wednesday night: Becoming cloudy, chance of light snow toward daybreak. Temperatures remaining fairly steady with lows in the low 20s. Light southeast to east winds of under 10 mph.

Thursday: Snow likely, possibly changing to rain along the coast in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 30s coast, low 30s inland. Increasing east to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts possible along the coast.

Thursday night: Rain and snow along the coast is expected to change back to all snow overnight. Snow inland. Lows falling into the mid to upper 20s after midnight. Windy, especially along the coast.

Friday: Slow improvement in the morning as clouds give way to sunshine. Highs in the 30s.

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