MEMA's release on Friday's winter storm

Posted: 02/06/13 at 11:25 am EST      Last Updated: 02/06/13 at 4:13 pm EST

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency released the following statement about Friday's major winter storm on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.:

The National Weather Service in Taunton has just issued the following update on the winter storm that will impact the state on Friday and Saturday. The most significant changes are that the Winter Storm Watch has been extended to include the southeast portions of the state and the predicted snowfall totals have increased - - the NWS is now looking for 14-18" of snow across the central and eastern portions of the state, with 10-14" extending into the southeast.

FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON:

The Winter Storm Watch has been expanded to include all of our forecast area. The expansion includes parts of Northern CT, all of RI, and all of SE MA including the Cape and Islands.

The updated statement and graphics (snowfall amounts and probabilities) can be found at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/box/StormTotalSnow/index.php

Uncertainty:

Computer models are converging on a similar solution. Uncertainty continues as to the depth of penetration of above freezing air in southeast MA and RI Friday afternoon, which would mix or change the precipitation to rain.

Regardless, colder air will be pulled south into these areas Friday night changing any precipitation to snow.

Timing and Duration:

Snow should start early Friday morning, become strongest Friday evening, then taper off Saturday. The snow could mix with or change to rain across south coastal parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts during Friday afternoon before changing back to snow by evening. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible.

Location:

All sections of Southern New England should be affected.

Hazards:

1. Heavy Snow...moderate to high confidence of 6 inches or more with at least a moderate potential for over one foot of snow accumulation.

2. Wind...Potential for Northeast winds gusting to 60 mph or higher along and near the coasts Friday night and Saturday morning. Greatest risk for this wind would be along Cape Ann as well as Cape Cod and the Islands.

Higher elevations inland such as Blue Hill and the Worcester Hills and Northwest Rhode Island...may also be at risk.

3. Coastal Flooding... Potential for minor to moderate coastal flooding.

Greatest risk would be along the Massachusetts eastern coast during the Friday night high tide and across northern facing beaches during the Sat morning high tide.

Marine:

Storm Force winds are likely on the coastal waters from Friday evening through Saturday morning.

Impacts:

Travel will become difficult, especially for the morning and evening commutes on Friday lasting through early Saturday. Snow covered roads and poor visibilities from drifting snow is possible. Strong winds and significant snow accumulations may bring down power lines and tree limbs, especially during Friday night and Saturday. Finally, minor to moderate coastal flooding around the time of high tide Friday night and Saturday morning.

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