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Weekend Forecast: Snowstorm Brings Messy Weather Saturday Night; Skies Clear Sunday Night02:54
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How much snow falls overnight and early Sunday is dependent on how fast the mixing begins. (Dave Epstein/WBUR)
How much snow falls overnight and early Sunday is dependent on how fast the mixing begins. (Dave Epstein/WBUR)

I feel like we've been talking about this storm for over a week, and in some ways, we probably have been doing just that. But today is the day the snow will arrive before eventually changing to a mixed bag of precipitation.

As I've written all week, this is not a major blockbuster storm, but because Boston hasn't even seen an inch of snow, it's carrying a lot of prominence.

Snow Totals Could Be Lower Than 3 Inches In Boston

The projected path of the storm is moving slightly west, and therefore, warmer air will help keep snow totals from getting over six inches in Boston.

Still, it's going to be snowing very hard for several hours, and if the change happens just two hours later there will be 2 to 3 inches more than you see on the map.

There's no way I'm going to get the exact time of the changeover right for everybody, so again, be prepared to see an inch or two more than the upper limit projected.

Snow changes to a mixed bag before ending as sleet and snow briefly. (Courtesy COD Weather)
Snow changes to a mixed bag before ending as sleet and snow briefly. (Courtesy COD Weather)

You won't have any trouble running errands during the day or in the first part of the evening today, even if the snow is already falling. It will take a little while for the snow to accumulate in Greater Boston.

Heavy Snow Will Fall Late Tonight

Once we get past the mid-evening hours and on to midnight, though, the snow will be coming down quite hard. It may be falling at a clip of about 1 to 2 inches per hour, and it's during this time that most of the snow will accumulate.

On Sunday, warmer air at 5,000 feet will rapidly change the snowflakes to raindrops that will then refreeze as they reach the ground. The precipitation will come in the form of sleet then. There will be a change to complete rain over southeastern Massachusetts on Sunday, and that rain line could make it to Boston.

Further inland, the storm will bring a mixed bag of sleet, freezing rain and perhaps a little bit of rain. Depending on your school of thought, you could wait until the whole storm is over to take care of the mess. But I'm in favor of getting rid of the snow, and then removing the sleet and slush.

Storm Ends Sunday Night

The storm will wind down late in the afternoon and during the early evening hours Sunday. It may end as a little bit of snow. Skies will partially clear Sunday night, which will make it possible for Bostonians to view some of the lunar eclipse. That special celestial event will peak around midnight.

Winds will not be particularly strong, but they will be noticeable. There could be some minor to moderate pockets of coastal flooding at high tide later this morning and again tonight.

Behind the system it turns very cold. High temperatures on Martin Luther King Jr. Day will only reach between 10 and 15 degrees.

The core of the cold will quickly move north and temperatures will actually moderate somewhat Tuesday and again Wednesday. Our next storm system brings some rain, perhaps ending as snow, before more cold air moves into the region at the end of next week.

You can follow my updates here and on Twitter @growingwisdom.


Saturday: Chilly and dry. Clouds thicken in the afternoon; some coastal flurries. Highs 25-30.

Saturday Night: Snow and sleet, changing to sleet, freezing rain and rain by sunrise.  Temperatures rising overnight to near or above freezing by morning.

Sunday: A mixed bag of precipitation likely. Heavy rain over southeastern Mass.; snow and sleet toward New Hampshire. A mixed bag for areas in the middle. Highs near 40 over Cape Cod and temperatures are just under freezing far north. Everything freezes at night.

Monday: Blustery and very cold. Highs 10-17.

Tuesday: Sun and some clouds. Highs in the mid- to upper 20s.

This segment aired on January 19, 2019.

Related:

David Epstein Twitter Meteorologist
David Epstein is WBUR's meteorologist.

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