Area weather forecasters continue to struggle with this weekends storm forecast. Everyone is talking about how they have downgraded the storm and thus reduced the expected snow accumulations. Computer guidance now suggests the storm track will be farther south, the storm will be weaker and the surface low and upper level energy will not link up to create a monster nor’easter. A storm will develop along the mid-Atlantic coast today and spin up toward the waters south of New England taking up a position southeast of Nantucket Island by Sunday morning.
Precipitation is still expected to overspread the local area this afternoon, with snow north of the city and a wintry mix in and around Springfield and points south. This scenario continues overnight, although slightly colder air will begin to collapse into the area, changing the precipitation to all snow by Sunday morning. As the surface low pulls away the upper level low follows during Sunday. This will energize the atmosphere to produce another bout of precipitation for Sunday afternoon. Light snow with a wintry mix at times is possible through the afternoon hours. It should remain all snow north of Springfield and through the hilly terrain.
A couple of other items to remember. Since the storm is now farther offshore and weaker the concern for minor coastal flooding, gusty winds and power outages have diminished, although still not completely ruled out. The biggest concern locally would be the possibility of scattered power outages since this will be a heavy wet snow, not the fluffy texture we shoveled in earlier storms this month.
When all is said and done Sunday night we think snow accumulates 1 to 3 inches around Springfield and points south, with 3 to 5 inches possible north of the city and in the hills.
The National Weather Service has a Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties from 3 pm this afternoon through midnight Sunday night.
Short Term Forecast:
Today: Cloudy, a few flurries possible with light snow developing this afternoon north of the city. Rain and perhaps sleet mixes in throughout Springfield and points south. High temperatures 35 to 39 degrees. Light east winds.
Tonight: Snow north of the city, wintry mix elsewhere, changing to snow all locations by morning. Lows 29 to 33. Winds northeast 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday: Light snow through the afternoon. Highs 33 to 37. Winds turn north to northwest 10 to 15 mph.
Sunday night: Snow tapers to flurries. Lows 24 to 28.
Monday: Partly cloudy and seasonably cool. Highs 36 to 40.