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A Messy Nor’easter to start April

Atmosphere ‘Juiced Up’ For Spring Nor’easter

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

Anyhow, to the matter at hand…we’ve got ourselves a full-fledged spring nor’easter filled with all kinds of precipitation. The atmosphere is juiced up in a major way for this one, most areas will receive a total of 2” or more of liquid precipitation…good for the drought, bad for spring morale. No major changes to the forecast from the last few days, highest snow totals still well to the north and west of Boston and in elevated areas. Some wind and minor coastal flooding, but neither are expected to be a major concern this time around. The biggest “X factor” with this event is clearly the amount of warming that will or will not push in at upper levels of the atmosphere. With a significant push of mild air, we get more sleet than snow and final snow totals are on the lower side. With a degree or two less “warming”, snow becomes the predominant precipitation type and anything over 6” of heavy, wet snow could lead to tree damage and power outages.

warnings Atmosphere Juiced Up For Spring Noreaster



Friday Night – Early Saturday
When the sun goes down, things get interesting. The precipitation will come down harder and it will likely stick to the ground and roads much more readily. At the same time, a nose of milder air will push up from the south and southwest, changing the snow to sleet and rain. By Midnight, many areas south of the Mass Pike will be mixing and changing. By dawn Saturday it will be raining everywhere south of the Pike while north of the Pike through the MA/NH border, the snow will be mixing with sleet and even some rain. The winds will also be increasing out of the east-northeast, especially along the immediate coastline. Gusts 40-50+ are likely over Cape Cod and the South Shore.

sat7a Atmosphere Juiced Up For Spring Noreaster


Saturday Mid-Morning-Afternoon
The storm will linger for most of the day on Saturday. The snow will actually start to wind out again and push back to the south. In fact, the snow will likely come down fairly heavily across northeastern Massachusetts including Essex county, Middlesex County and in the City of Boston. A few inches of heavy, wet snow will likely accumulate between late morning and mid-afternoon in this area. The precipitation finally tapers off from west to east Saturday evening, but the winds remain gusty, 20-40mph in Eastern MA and stronger (40-60) over Cape Cod.

wind1 Atmosphere Juiced Up For Spring Noreaster


sat2p Atmosphere Juiced Up For Spring Noreaster


How Much Snow?
Nada – Most of Cape Cod and the Islands…just too warm down there. Plenty of rain though.
Coating to 1” – Plymouth to Providence and points south to just about the Canal and South Coast. Washed away by rain in the end.
1” to 3” – City of Boston down the Pike to Worcester and areas south of the Pike down to Plymouth
3” to 6” – From 128 to 495 (north and west of Boston and north of the Mass Pike), including most of Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties
6”-10” – Extreme northern MA, right along the MA/NH border in Worcester county and Essex county and most of Southern New Hampshire, Green and White Mountains

snow2 Atmosphere Juiced Up For Spring Noreaster


Coastal Flooding
The tides are fairly high astronomically and a persistent onshore wind will likely lead to some splashover and flooded vulnerable shore roads. Times of highest concern are the high tide in the early morning hours on Saturday (3-4am) and moreso Saturday afternoon (3-4pm).

2017 coastal concerns 002 Atmosphere Juiced Up For Spring Noreaster


Looking for a light at the end of the tunnel? Temperatures will reach near 50 degrees on Sunday (let the melting begin) and Monday! If you are lucky enough to have Sox tickets for Opening Day on Monday, it will be sunny and dry, just a tad chilly in the upper 40s.

The stormy pattern will likely continue next week though with two more chances of rain/mix, Tuesday and again late week.

Click here for Westford snow storm data and past totals or select “Winter Snowfall“ under “Pages” on the left hand side.

For more up to date forecast information follow me on Twitter (@terrywbz) or follow the WBZ weather team on Facebook, search WBZWeather

4 comments to A Messy Nor’easter to start April

  • Al

    Well, a pretty decent snow winter for me. I haven’t lived that long in the Westford area. I’m obviously a snow lover. I looked at your chart for the prior five years snow totals. I’m just wondering what is the annual average snowfall in Westford?
    Great site.

  • Al

    Hi Terry..
    What are your thoughts on the Friday/Saturday event? Too early to get a good grip on it? TWC keeps waffling back and forth on accumulations.

    • Tough call…need another 24 hours or so of new model data before making any sort of detailed forecast…potential is there for some heavy, wet snow accum…more to come shortly!