Those dreaming of a white Christmas may have been disappointed by Tuesday’s light and brief dusting, but much more snow could soon be on the way.
On Christmas morning, a few flakes clung to grassy areas and cars, but rain washed most of it away quickly, said Charlie Foley, meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Taunton. Much of the state saw an inch or less of snow, which doesn’t exactly meet the criteria of a white Christmas, a phenomenon defined by the Weather Service as an inch or more on the ground.
But Portland, Maine, officially made the cut this year, said Margaret Curtis, meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Gray, Maine.
“We had about an inch throughout Portland, just enough to make it a white Christmas,” she said.
Another round of snow is expected to stomp into New England on Wednesday night. With blustery winds and pellets of rain, it will not be as pleasant as Tuesday’s picturesque dusting, but is welcome news for some ski resorts.
The storm will be stronger than Tuesday’s system and is predicted to move west to east, Foley said. Boston should see snow by 8 p.m., but the precipitation will change to rain during the overnight hours.
Communities near Route 128 could see two to four inches of snow, which will wash away once the area is hit by 1 to 1½ inches of rain Thursday morning. The rain could cause minor coastal flooding and splashover in areas prone to urban flooding, including Morrissey Boulevard in Boston, Foley said.
In addition to the expected rain and snow, strong winds will whip across the state, gusting at 35 to 40 miles per hour in Boston. Winds across the Cape and Islands could gust near 60 miles per hour, Foley said.
“With the winds and the rain, it’s not going to be an ideal Thursday,” Foley said.
A winter storm watch is in effect Wednesday night into Thursday for areas west of Interstate 495, Foley said.
Interior New England will see a mix of snow, rain, and sleet, while the Monadnock region in New Hampshire, including Jaffrey and Keene, could see six to eight inches of snow.
“That will be the jackpot area,” Foley said. “The Thursday morning commute could see some snow and icy patches.”
A foot of snow will be dumped on much of southern Maine and New Hampshire by Thursday morning, Curtis, of Maine, said, though communities within 10 to 20 miles of the coastline will get less snow and might see the precipitation transition to rain, she said.
Chris Farmer, general manager of the Saddleback Maine ski resort in Rangeley, said the predicted snow will be great for the ski season.
He said he has been told to expect as much as 18 inches of snow Thursday, but that other reports suggest seven to 12 inches.
“The skiing should be top-notch, as good as the best we saw last year,” Farmer said.
The mountain got a dusting of snow Christmas morning, enticing a number of families to the slopes, he said. Farmer got some time on the mountain as well, clad in a Santa suit and fake beard. He skied with his 10-year-old daughter, Lulu, who was dressed as an elf.
The resort had 41 trails open Christmas Day, and Farmer expects to have at least 50 open within the next day or so.
After battling wind, rain, and snow Thursday, New Englanders will get some much needed relief Friday and Saturday. Both days will be sunny with temperatures in the mid-30s.
But, because it’s that time of year, another system will be right around the corner, poised to move into the region Saturday and bringing more wet weather, Foley said, though that storm may only brush the Bay State, staying to the east.
However, much of Maine and Southern New Hampshire could get more snow during Saturday’s storm, but it is too early to predict how much, Curtis said.Melissa Werthmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.