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Pre-Valentine’s Day Snowstorm Becoming More Likely

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Once again it is bright but cold. It was frigid this morning with temperatures falling below zero across western Mass. In fact, out at the Westover Air Reserve Base the temp. fell all the way down to -10! Only three degrees away from the record low of -13. We’ll continue to see plenty of sunshine through the remainder of the afternoon with temperatures only reaching into the low to mid-20′s. With the breezy it will feel like it’s in the teens.

High pressure will once again allow for the perfect set-up for radiational cooling tonight.  With the deep, fresh snowpack on the ground and a very dry, cold air mass in place, the wind should become calm overnight allowing some spots to dip below -10!  The record at Westover for tomorrow, like today is -13.  Tomorrow will be bright and sunny with highs into the upper 20′s. (Tomorrow will make the 8th day in a row that temperatures stay below 32 degrees)

A storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico will track through the Southeast tomorrow and then off the Mid-Atlantic Coast tomorrow night into Thursday morning, bringing areas of the south and Mid-Atlantic more snow and ice.  This system will slide by New England, as it strengthens  into a bona-fide nor’easter and slows down Thursday night.

It is becoming more and more likely that all of western Mass will see a significant amount of snow on Thursday. It looks as though snow will overspread western Mass around dawn on Thursday then slowly become heavier as the morning goes on.  Some of the data still  tracks the storm close enough to change the snow to a mix or even rain from Springfield south, late Thursday into Thursday night while all snow would continue north and west.  The snow or mix would end late at night or just after daybreak Friday.

The exact track, which is still up in the air will determine exactly how much snow  we end up with, however, the potential for a significant amount of snow is high.  If the storm track close enough to western Mass then enough milder air would be spun into the system causing a change or mix in the valley and points east. In areas that stay all snow 6-12 of snow seems likely with at least 3-6″ of snow even where there is a mix. The snow would start light and fluffy in nature then become heavier in nature as milder air works in, as temperatures inch towards freezing. As the storm strengthens and moves away the winds will start to increase as well.  The combination of SOME heavy wet snow or an icy mix along with SOME gusty winds may lead to a few scattered power outages Thursday night.

The storm will depart just in time for Valentine’s Day, so if you have big plans Friday night DO NOT CANCEL them! Temperatures on Friday will reach into the middle 30′. The higher February sun angle combined with temps. in the 30′s will lead to some melting of the snow, at least on the roads making them clear for the big night. Late at night there could be a touch of light snow but this system will be rather weak.

Have a great day!

Dan Brown

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