This discussion and outlook cover metro Boston, North Shore and metro west: Old Man Winter will bring his full fury over the next few days. A developing storm near the North Carolina coast on Thursday will move northeastward and bring significant snowfall and numerous other impacts to the area Thursday and Friday. This storm will pack quite a punch to the area both days. Then, some of the coldest air we have seen in recent years will deliver another punch Friday into early Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning and Coastal Flood Advisory for our area.
After a tranquil New Years Day the action slowly begins later tonight. The first flakes begin to fall during the predawn 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 9 to 12 inches of snow is expected, possibly locally higher amounts near and along the coast, before this long duration event winds down and ends later Friday.
Besides the potential for a heavy 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.
Thursday morning we likely wake to light snow with a coating on the ground. By late afternoon a general 2 to 4 inches of snow should accumulate. The intensity in snowfall and gusty winds begin to pick up early Thursday night and the worst of the conditions carryover into at least midday Friday.
Winds ramp up and gust 40 to near 50 mph along the coast during the height of the storm. With very cold temperatures we can expect a powdery snow which is much easier to blow and drift from the winds. This will impact visibility and driving as well. Near blizzard conditions may exist for several hours Thursday night into early Friday.
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 late Sunday into Monday. Lets get by this storm first.
Wednesday night: Clouding up, chance of snow developing toward morning. Low temperatures in the mid to upper teens. North winds around 10 mph.
Thursday: Light snow and cold. Accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible by evening. Highs in the low to mid 20s. Northeast winds increasing and gusting to around 35 mph late in the day.
Thursday night: Snow, becoming moderate to heavy at times. Several inches additional accumulation likely. Windy and very cold. Lows near 10 degrees. Northeast to north winds gusting to near 45 mph along the coast.
Friday: Snow through the morning, diminishing in the afternoon. Windy and bitterly cold. Near steady temperatures in the low teens. Strong winds continue gusting to near 45 mph.
Friday night: Partial clearing, windy and dangerously cold. Lows 5 above to 5 below zero, with wind chills to 25 below zero possible.