Storm brings potential for snow Saturday

Early look at snow potential for Saturday

Update as of Thursday morning from Meteorologist Zack Green:

We're keeping a close eye on the models and trends for this weekend's potential wintry mix. The latest models are beginning to come to a consensus as to how this offshore system will effect southern New England. The track has stayed relatively consistent over the last few outputs with the core of the low pressure to the east of region by Saturday evening.

The European model (image 1) has been slow to adjust it's timing and intensity but is now on track to meet the American model's (image 2) thought of snow moving farther north. At this time, they are also agreeing on the timeline which is important into how much snow could possibly accumulate. Both of the images are from 06Z (1am) on Sunday morning.

Image above: European (ECMWF) model
Image below: American (GFS) model

If the timing stays consistent, temperatures will be in the 30s for most of the event. Those temperatures are conducive to snow sticking to the ground and accumulating in some instances. Coastal locations will likely see a mix of snow, rain, and sleet while colder inland areas have a better chance of flakes. The image below is an ensemble output with a mean snow total of 0.78" in Providence.

Both the European and American are suggesting some will see over 2", but doesn't take all dynamics into account. I'm leaning towards many seeing 1" with those down by the water measuring slightly less. The totals will likely vary over the next 24-hours, so be sure to keep checking this blog for the latest updates.

Previous Blog from Chief Meteorologist Mark Searles:

Still a few days away but we continue to look at the potential for some light snow or a light mix of snow and rain for Saturday. Both the American, GFS model as well as the European model are aligned with the scenario of a developing storm off to our east, placing us on the western ege of the preciptation shield.

There are some differences in the timing of the arrival of the snow and mix with the American model a bit faster, bringing the precipitation in early Saturday morning, ending during the afternoon:

The European model delays the arrival until the afternoon and as a result keeps the chance of light snow in the area through a part of Saturday night.

The time of day which the snow or mix falls is important since temperatures during the day on Saturday will likely reach near 40 degrees, limiting the accumulation potential. But if in fact the bulk of the precipitation arrives after sunset then there would be a better chance of some slippery travel, especially on secondary roads.

As it stands right now, this doesn't look like a major storm for us with small accumulation amounts possible -- by small, I mean an inch or 2 -- possibly slightly more if the track of the storm nudges a bit more to the west.

Of course there's still plenty to iron out with the timing, amount and track of the storm and that's exactly what Storm Team 10 will be doing over the course of the next few days.

Thanks for reading, Mark

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