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DAVE EPSTEIN

Winter has arrived, and snow could be just over the horizon

By Dave Epstein Globe Correspondent 

It’s a beautiful cold December day across the area, with bare ground and the feeling of the holiday season in the air. Thus far we have yet to see any snow, but that may all be about to change this weekend.

It will be challenging to forecast the upcoming storm’s strength and path. A shift 50 to 100 miles to the west could bring plowable snowfall into Eastern Massachusetts and could also drop rain or snow along the coast. If the storm moves eastward, only Southeastern Massachusetts would get precipitation, either in the form of snow or rain, with temperatures marginally cold enough for the moisture to take a frozen form.

The animation of the American weather model, the GFS, shows the precipitation moving into southern New England late Saturday afternoon and departing by Sunday morning. (Animation by Tropical Tidbits)

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If we are going to get into a snow situation, it would occur later Saturday and continue overnight. The models we forecasters use have trended slightly west in the past 12 hours, but that could change over the next day or so.

This does not look like a blockbuster snowstorm, but some parts of interior southeastern Massachusetts, from New Bedford up to Weymouth, could see more than two inches of snow.

Any snow or rain on Cape Cod would wind down during the evening on Saturday, most likely after about 9 p.m.

Sunday will feature a blend of clouds and sunshine and chilly temperatures. Another shot of Arctic air will be poised to move into New England in the middle of next week. There’s no getting around the fact that winter has arrived.