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Forecast

Quick-hitting nor’easter could bring 6 to 10 inches of snow Tuesday

Travel disruptions, power outages and school cancellations are expected with this storm

A fast-moving storm will become a nor’easter and impact Southern New England on Tuesday.TropicalTidbits.com

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It’s now been 715 days since Boston experienced a significant snowstorm, the last one occurring back on Feb. 25, 2022, when most places saw 6 to 8 inches of snow (Logan International Airport had 8.5). We will increase that streak to 717 days before it likely comes to an end on Tuesday.

There hasn’t been a 4-inch or greater snowstorm in nearly two years in Boston.NOAA

There is growing confidence that we are going to see a classic nor’easter on Tuesday. At this point, I would recommend if you have air travel plans to move them to at least Wednesday afternoon, allowing for cleanup Tuesday night and things to get back to normal on Wednesday.

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Expected snowfall accumulation for Southern New England.Dave Epstein

Right now, it looks like we could see at least 6 to 10 inches of snow in the Boston area and central Massachusetts, northern Rhode Island and Connecticut; 3 to 6 inches in southeastern Massachusetts; and the Cape may see 2 to 5 inches.

This is going to be a quick-hitting storm and like other more significant storms we have seen over the past few years, the bulk of the snow is going to fall in a relatively short amount of time. This will not be the type of storm where the snow lingers for a couple of days; rather, most of it will fall in a 12-hour window between roughly 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Tuesday with lighter snow in the hours before and after the heaviest occurs.

Shorter range models continue to show some very heavy snow Tuesday morning into the first part of the afternoon, with visibility issues. I think it’s likely that many schools are going to be canceled on Tuesday as well, so plan accordingly.

A winter storm watch has been issued from late Monday night until Tuesday night for Greater Boston and the rest of Massachusetts, except the Cape. Rhode Island, Connecticut and southern New Hampshire and Vermont are also included in the storm watch.

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A fast-moving storm will become a nor’easter and impact Southern New England on Tuesday.TropicalTidbits.com

The snow likely arrives early Tuesday morning. The timing can still fluctuate by 3 to 6 hours on the start and stop times, but Tuesday itself is likely a slow travel day.

The snowfall rates could exceed 1 to 2 inches per hour for a time on Tuesday, making driving very difficult until the intensity lightens up in the evening. Since there isn’t any snow or snow banks around the area, clearing roads and highways and other areas will be relatively straight forward with plenty of room to move the snow even if we did receive more than 6 inches.

Tides are high around 1 p.m. on Tuesday and they are already astronomically elevated. This could lead to some moderate coastal flooding with the added storm surge from the nor’easter. Any flooding Sunday is minor and not associated with the storm that occurs two days later.

Tides are high in the afternoon on Tuesday and they are astronomically elevated already.NWS

Temperatures are going to be right around freezing during the start of the storm, which means the snow will be relatively heavy and wet. Also, with the wind, the area could experience scattered or even more widespread power outages depending on how the storm evolves. I do think it turns colder during Tuesday and the snow gets fluffier and easier to move.

Temperatures are forecast to be near freezing at the coastline Tuesday morning and in the 20s inland.TropicalTidbits.com
Forecast wind speeds for Tuesday.TropicalTidbits.com

There’s still roughly 60 hours or so before the storm arrives, meaning I will continue to get more data to be able to refine the forecast. This also leaves room for changes in potential snow totals.

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The storm hasn’t really developed yet and if the ultimate track is further south and out to sea, the current threat won’t materialize. Also, if the storm came too close to the area, rain would be more prominent, but as of now, that appears less likely.

Look for an update on Sunday and again Monday with more details. For now, enjoy the mild air, it is just a taste of spring, the main event is still weeks away.