From the National Weather Service Taunton Office:
Area forecast discussion National Weather Service Taunton Massachusetts 1005 PM EST Tuesday Feb 5 2013
There is the potential for a very significant winter storm Friday
into early Sat…but the exact details remain uncertain. We will
say that the potential is certainly there for a foot or more of snow
in some locations…but a lot of things need to be worked out.
There appears to be an initial wave of low pressure that heads up
towards the Great Lakes Thursday night. The over running of the
cold dome at the surface should result in some light snow developing
by early Friday morning. Light snow will probably affect much of
the area Friday morning…but amounts should be rather light.
The main show looks to occur Friday afternoon into early Saturday.
Most of the models have all trended to the European model (ecmwf) idea of secondary
low pressure developing off the middle Atlantic coast. This storm then
tracks northeast somewhere near the benchmark as it rapidly
intensifies. There also is a decent high pressure system over
eastern Canada that will be supplying the cold air. This is a
classic setup for a major winter storm across southern New England.
The other concern would be for a period of very strong winds on the
coast with the tight pressure gradient. Some type of wind headlines
will probably be needed.
There are two main things we are a bit concerned with at this point:
(1) the first and probably the biggest concern is will there be any
mixing along the coastal plain. Given the current position of the
high and bombing low pressure system on the models…odds favor
mainly snow across most of the region. There could be some issues
for a time along the far southeast New England coast especially the
cape/islands. That is the scenario that the current models are
advertising…but a 50 or so mile shift in the track northwest will
make a big difference. If this were to occur…mixing issues could
affect a larger part of the coastal plain so something will have to
watch closely given that were still 72+ hours out.
(2) the other issue is does the heaviest precipitation make it back
across interior southern New England. The current models indicate
that the potential for heaviest snow will be along the coastal
plain. However…given the well defined middle level centers and
likely strong deformation zone we may see heavy snow affect even the
distant interior. However…its possible that the model track could
shift east which would limit the coverage of heavy snow that far
To sum up…everyone in southern New England should be prepared for
the potential of a very significant winter storm Friday into early
Saturday. While its too early to try to pin down specific snowfall
amounts and their locations…the potential is there for a foot or
more of snow in some locations.