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Boston weather, metro north and west: 2014 starts cold, snowy to even colder

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Low pressure moves out of the Rockies into the Plains States and eastward toward the lower Ohio Valley on Wednesday. Another low will emerge out of the Gulf of Mexico and move toward the Southeastern States. By Thursday morning a sprawling area of low pressure will be draped across most of the eastern half of the country and will eventually evolve into a powerful storm southeast of Nantucket Island by Friday morning. High pressure to our north will continue to supply the area with very cold arctic air keeping this an all snow event in the local area.

New Years Day will bring cold temperatures and some early sunshine, courtesy of a bubble of high pressure. During the afternoon clouds are on the increase and by evening they are thickening and lowering as snow quickly approaches.

The first flakes may start to fall during the pre dawn hours Thursday morning. Snow is expected to be on the light side through a good part of the day. Heavier pockets of snow arrive Thursday night into early Friday morning and this is when the bulk of the accumulation will occur. At least 6 inches of snow is expected and could approach 10 or 12 inches for some. Besides the potential for at least a moderate snowfall there are concerns with regard to coastal flooding at time of high tides both Thursday and Friday around midday and Thursday night close to midnight. Astronomical high tides are very high for this cycle and with strong winds off the ocean widespread minor flooding is likely with the possibility of some areas of moderate flooding during these high tide cycles. Those of you that live on the coast and in the usual susceptible areas, or have marine interests in those areas be aware of the coastal flooding potential there.

Winds are likely to ramp up and gust to 40 mph or higher along the coast during the height of the storm. With the very cold air in place we can expect a powdery type of snow which is much easier to blow and drift from the winds. This will impact visibility and driving as well.

Much below normal temperatures and gusty winds lead to bitter cold and low wind chills. The National Weather Service has already commented that Wind Chill Advisories are likely for wind chill values of 15 to 25 degrees below zero, especially late Thursday night through to early on Saturday.

Windy and cold conditions follow Saturday and then another storm system could impact the region later Sunday into Monday. You could say that 2014 gets off to a nasty stretch of weather when you consider the arctic blast to start the new year, potential for significant snow later in the week, then the coldest air and wind chills of the season and finally more wintry weather on Sunday.

72 Hour Outlook:

New Years Day: Sunshine early with clouds increasing through the afternoon. Cold, high temperatures in the mid 20s. West winds 10 to 20 mph.

Wednesday night: Clouding up with a chance of snow developing after midnight. Lows in the mid to upper teens. Light winds.

Thursday: Light snow through early to mid afternoon, occasional periods of moderate snow by evening. Accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible by evening. Quite cold, highs in the low 20s. Northeast winds increasing and gusting to around 40 mph along the coast.

Thursday night: Snow at varying intensity. Several inches additional accumulation likely. Windy and very cold. Lows near 10 degrees.

Friday: Snow through the morning, diminishing in the afternoon. Windy and bitterly cold. Near steady temperatures in the low teens.

Friday night: Partial clearing, windy and dangerously cold. Lows 5 above to 5 below zero, with wind chills to 15 below zero possible.



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