Snow coming, finally

The weather pattern is shifting and becoming much more active into next week. A storm Sunday evening into Monday, Jan. 22-23, looks to have a warm signature to it (rain ☹) but the storm after this — on Wednesday to Thursday, Jan. 25-26 — looks to pack a punch and have much more snow.

But first, the storm this week, Thursday night into Friday, Jan. 19-20. The snowfall totals have increased from yesterday to today, as shown in the map at right. The duration of the storm has changed significantly. Initially, the storm was supposed to be a quick hitter — roar through late Thursday night into early Friday morning and be gone by the Friday morning commute. But things have changed . . .

So, what has changed? A (weak) coastal low will in fact develop. This coastal low will deliver a health wallop of heavy, wet snow late Thursday night into early Friday morning. The first few hours of the storms will be rain and/or mixed precipitation. This will shrink the snowfall potential a little bit. Snowfall rates overnight could be up to an inch per hour.

Weakened trees are susceptible to this type of snow and no one wants to hear the phrase power outages after the period of darkness many experienced around Christmas. Alas, the potential is there for isolated power outages where the heaviest of the snow falls.

Why has the timing changed? The area of low pressure moving across the Great Lakes and into New England will not fully transfer all of energy and moisture into the coastal low. A weakened low pressure center will remain to the west of the coastal low and move across the area Friday.

This will provide light to at times moderate snowfall throughout the entire day on Friday. The majority of the snowfall accumulation will occur with the first wave with another 2-4 inches of snow falling throughout the day on Friday.

The winds will be a bit of an issue will this storm blowing from the northeast at 10-15 mph with gusts of 25-30 mph. The wind coupled with the heavy, wet snow could lead to some issues.

The fresh blanket of snow will be great for those who want to cut through it on the ski hills or the fields but be quick! The next storm that comes ripping through Sunday into Monday may wash most if not all of it away . . .