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Forecast

Storm has moved out, setting us up for a partly sunny Wednesday

Scott Daniels walked down along a deserted Commercial Street tin Provincetown during heavy wind and snow on Tuesday afternoon.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

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Perhaps you awoke wondering where all the snow was, seeing only bare sidewalks and your winter-battered lawn out the window. We were supposed to get anywhere from 6 inches to a foot, right?

The dramatic shift in the forecast came about Monday night when updated models showed the storm heading more south, potentially bringing much less snow than was first forecast — only about 2 to 5 inches.

This is part of the forecasting process and one of the reasons why predictions are routinely updated with the latest information. Every six hours meteorologists get a set of new data — and by Monday morning and later on Monday night new data indicated a trend of the storm staying farther south. In fact, the European weather model eventually shifted the entire storm about 200 miles south.

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This didn’t mean we would miss the nor’easter, just that the heaviest snow would end up farther away from the Boston area. It turned out to be quite a different forecast than what the other models were showing in the previous 24 hours.

Rain will change to snow before quickly ending this afternoon with light to moderate accumulation, especially south of the Mass Pike.WeatherBELL

This fast-moving low pressure area will continue cutting south of New England, bringing a swath of rain and snow to much of the area Tuesday. Although we are not going to see the intensity of precipitation that was expected early Monday, there will still be some snow after a period of rain this morning.

In terms of accumulation, the roads are fairly warm so I think that they will be less on the roads than there is on the grassy surfaces. The map below shows what I expect, and most areas will be on the lower end of the scale, although you can always get a few spots that accumulate higher especially on the southern side of each zone.

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The heaviest snow has been in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Latest expected snowfall totals for Southern New England, as of Tuesday afternoon.Dave Epstein

Because this is a very fast-moving system, I expect it to be out of Boston perhaps even before sunset and clearing the rest of Southeastern Massachusetts by 7 p.m.

Skies will clear tonight as temperatures fall back into the 20s and any residual moisture will freeze. Wednesday is a typically cold February day with readings within a few degrees of 32. We’ve only had five days in Boston where the temperature has stayed under freezing. This makes this winter one of the mildest on record in keeping with several of the past few winters that have just been void of extended cold.

Rain will change to snow before quickly ending this afternoon with light to moderate accumulation, especially south of the Mass Pike.WeatherBELL

There’s another little weak system coming in for Thursday night with some light snow or mixed precipitation. This does not look like anything significant, with any accumulation on the lighter side, if at all. The weekend looks cold and dry with readings in the 30s. Arctic air remains locked up in Canada and for now I don’t see any definitive signs of it arriving here.