Weather Report ….
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One weather system is dumping more snow in New England. Another is ready to bring more snow and ice through the weekend into early next week.
(MORE: Expert Analysis | Winter Storm Central)
We’re sorry to be the messengers. We know snow fatigue is reaching epidemic proportions during what is approaching a record snow season in New England.
We know some are recovering from Winter Storm Octavia, a snowy, icy mess spanning more than 1,200 miles from the South to the East.
We’ve had six winter storms since Jan. 25 in just over three weeks. Snow may now be one of those four-letter words you shouldn’t say.
Unfortunately, the relentless cold continues. Any system moving into that cold air has the potential to produce at least nuisance snow and ice.
Here’s the latest on each of these systems, starting with a New England snowmaker.
New England Snow Forecast
System #1: Northeast Nuisance
Thursday, low pressure will wrap-up in the Gulf of Maine, then head northward into New Brunswick, later and less intense than expected earlier in the week.
Before that low gains strength, a band of heavy snow along a surface trough of low pressure will move slowly through Maine. This band produced a couple of 11 inch snow totals in Coos County, New Hampshire late Wednesday night and amounts up to 7 inches in southern Maine, as of early Thursday morning.
Then, additional heavy snow should wrap into northern Maine Thursday night into early Friday as the low intensifies, before tapering off.
(INTERACTIVE: Latest New England Radar)
The National Weather Service has posted winter storm warnings for all of Maine and parts of northern New Hampshire. As you can see from our snowfall forecast map, the greatest chance of at least 6 inches of additional snow will be in Maine, as well as in lake-effect snowbands off Lake Ontario.
(FORECASTS: Portland | Bangor | Eastport)
Any lingering snow in the Northeast should be light Thursday and Thursday night.
System #2: Widespread Mess
We mentioned earlier the record-setting February cold air in the East and South.
The jet stream will once again send disturbances and moisture rippling over this cold air.
We won’t see an intense low-pressure system spin up with blizzard conditions and two-foot-plus snowfall, as we saw in some areas with Winter Storm Neptune.
However, a mess of snow, sleet and freezing rain will blanket a swath from the Rockies to parts of the East Friday at least into the weekend, in somewhat similar fashion as Winter Storm Octavia.
Winter storm watches have already been posted for parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia in anticipation of this storm system.
In addition to the wintry weather threat, there may be some thunderstorms in parts of the south-central states Saturday from this system.
The lower three maps at right show our current forecast Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The exact lines between snow, ice, and just plain rain will likely shift a bit as we near the event and our forecast guidance comes into agreement.
Here is the general outlook:
- Mid-South/Tennessee Valley snow, sleet, freezing rain. Snow in Rockies, Front Range, western Great Lakes.
- Cities to watch: Little Rock | Memphis | Nashville
It appears the best chance of at least 6 inches of snow through Sunday with this wintry mess will be in two general areas:
- Eastern Ohio Valley, northern Appalachians into Upstate New York and northern New England
- Central and southern Rockies, Front Range, High Plains of Colorado and far northern New Mexico
As mentioned above, there will be a band of freezing rain and sleet. Forecast ice accumulations at this time suggest slick roads (not just bridges and overpasses), perhaps some additional power outages are possible particularly Friday in the Mid-South and Tennessee Valley and Saturday in the central and southern Appalachians.
That said, as mentioned above, temperatures should warm enough Saturday to change precipitation to rain and melt any ice that had accumulated Friday in the Tennessee Valley and Mid-South region.
If that wasn’t enough, with the cold air reinforced this weekend, and more upper-level energy lurking over the West, we can’t rule out additional rounds of snow, sleet and freezing rain from the southern Plains into the Southeast early next week.
Also, there’s a potential for another East Coast storm to bring more snow to snow-weary New England if the southern-branch jet stream is able to combine with another arctic front plowing southeast from the Great Lakes around the middle of next week.