Updated at 2:03 p.m. on March 7:
The snow forecast changed. Again.
For days, meteorologists have emphasized how unpredictable the nor’easter will be in Boston because the city sits on the rain-snow line. As a result, accumulation projections have remained volatile even as flakes grow more imminent my the minute. The latest projections put Boston in the 6-8 inch range, and a winter storm warning has been issued in the Hub from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.
UPDATE: Snowfall totals nudged upward near I-95 in Providence & Boston; Winter Storm Warnings posted for both metro areas. pic.twitter.com/TlkEXgOwiz
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 7, 2018
Updated at 10:32 a.m. on March 7: The snow forecast remains in flux in greater Boston as the nor’easter approaches Massachusetts. Frank Nocera, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, says because the city is on the rain-snow line, it’s very difficult to predict accumulation totals. Right now, it looks like Boston is in for 2-4 inches of snow, but the western part of the metropolitan region could get up to a foot.
“Boston is right on the line. It could be one of those storms where the airport gets 2-4 inches, but the west side of the city could be 4-6 inches,” Nocera says. “Fifty miles could separate very little snow from 6-plus inches of heavy snow.”
Snowfall nudged slightly higher BOS-PVD corridor but still high uncertainty! Most of accumulation 6 PM-Midnight. For BOS, around 2″ in the city & 4-6″ western suburbs. Expect further adjustments this afternoon. HIGH confidence in totals for CT, western/central MA & N RI. pic.twitter.com/nWgPUR504t
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 7, 2018
Downed tree limbs resulting from strong winds and wet snow remain a storm hazard. Though Nocera says power outages are a concern, electrical failures are unlikely to be as widespread as they were after last week’s nor’easter.
Updated at 4:22 p.m. on March 6: Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Taunton have updated the snow totals expected during Wednesday’s storm. They predict Boston will get 1-2 inches of snow, while communities in western Massachusetts will see 19 inches of snow.
Previously: A slushie at the movie theater is great. A slushie falling from the sky, less so.
The mid-week winter storm forecasted to hit weather-weary Massachusetts is set to dump a slush-like mixture of rain and snow on metro Boston, while communities north and west of the city could see up to two feet of snow. A winter storm watch is in effect across most of the Bay State from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, and snow is forecasted to roll into Boston around noon tomorrow.
The heaviest precipitation is expected to hit the city just in time for the evening commute (oh, happy day!) and then turn over to rain later Wednesday night. Boston is near the meteorologists’ expected rain/snow line, so precipitation totals for the city are uncertain. Currently, the National Weather Service predicts Boston will see between 6 and 8 inches of snow.
[Heavy, wet snow] Considered for all of S New England, a pasty-nature on top of weakened trees from the recent storm, forecast gusts 25 upwards of @ 50 mph for the Outer Cape, Cape Ann, Nantucket, the threat of downed limbs, power outages does exist pic.twitter.com/uSCuPRNmb9
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 6, 2018
Forecasters anticipate wind gusts could reach 41 miles per hour in the Hub, and they’ll top out at 52 miles per hour in Provincetown. According to the National Weather Service, the “potent” storm’s heavy snow and winds will pose “very hazardous travel conditions,” and could cause power outages due to tree and wire damage. The system also brings the threat of inland flooding in coastal Massachusetts, and a coastal flood watch goes into effect late Wednesday night in the northeastern part of the state.
Southeastern Massachusetts, where some people still don’t have power after last week’s storm, is expected to avoid the full impact of this winter system. Wind gusts—though still significant at above 40 miles per hour—are predicted to be less potent than the hurricane-level blasts that ripped through the Cape last week. Communities from Plymouth to Chatham are predicted to see less than 1 inch of snow from this storm, according to the National Weather Service.
In anticipation of the storm, Keolis and the MBTA refilled fuel and salt stocks, re-inspected rail infrastructure, and examined wooded areas near commuter lines for trees that could fall on the tracks, according to a press release.
On Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker said he “absolutely” expects to ask for federal disaster aid following last week’s devastating nor’easter, according to the Boston Globe. The storm left hundreds of thousands of people without power and caused significant structural damage to communities in southeastern Massachusetts. Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo both said the state government needs to do more to protect coastal residents from extreme weather, the State House News Service reports.
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