Storm Coordination Message #3 – Saturday Night 1/19/19-Sunday Night 1/20/19

Hello to all…

..Winter has not forgotten Southern New England and it will be felt vigorously this weekend into early next week..
..Light snow for Friday quiet spotty in the coverage area with just a coating of snow in some locations..
..Major winter storm expected and on track for much of Southern New England late Saturday Afternoon into Sunday Night with heavy snow and significant icing both possible with snow and ice changing to heavy rain and strong winds along coastal areas then changing back to snow with a flash freeze before ending and the potential for minor to moderate coastal flooding at the time of high tide as we get into the Sunday Morning high tide cycle in East Coastal Massachusetts..
..A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Saturday Afternoon through Sunday Night for the entire NWS Boston/Norton Coverage Area except for Cape Cod and the Islands for 6″ or more of snow and 0.10″-0.30″ of ice with amounts up to 0.50″ of ice..
..A Coastal Flood Watch is now in effect for the Sunday Morning High Tide Cycle for East Coastal Massachusetts, Cape Cod and Nantucket Island for minor to moderate coastal flooding at the time of high tide..
..SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Boston/Norton are likely at some point Saturday Evening into Sunday Morning lasting through Sunday Evening. Activation plan will be updated as we get closer to the storm event..

The long quiet period of winter weather with only some strong wind, heavy rainfall events and a few very light snow and ice events is about to come to an end. The light snow for Friday dried out as it went through with a coating of snow in some locations. That brings us to our major winter storm from Saturday Evening into Sunday Evening. The headlines discuss the current potential with Winter Storm Watches expanded to include South Coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island and a Coastal Flood Watch for East Coastal Massachusetts. It is a bit early to get into more specifics in terms of snow and ice amounts though the NWS Boston/Norton Snow and ice maps cover this aspect. Some key factors to the upcoming storm include the following and have not changed much since the last update:

1.) The storm track will determine the area of all snow and where it will be a very heavy snow accumulation, where precipitation mixes with sleet and/or freezing rain with potential sleet and/or ice accumulations and where a changeover to rain occurs. Locations that changeover to rain or sleet and freezing rain will see a changeover to snow before ending with a potential for a flash freeze condition where all wet surfaces will become iced over.
2.) Strong winds will be possible to likely in coastal areas but currently expected to be wind gusts up to 50 MPH. Inland areas could see wind gusts to 35 MPH. Some of this could change based on the intensity of the storm system and the track. That could affect both wind speed intensity and duration of strong winds. There will also be strong winds as the storm departs Sunday Night into Monday Morning.
3.) The snow could be heavy and wet along with the potential for sleet and freezing rain. The weight of the snow and ice coupled with the winds to some extent may cause the potential for isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and power outages. This aspect will be monitored closely.
4.) Minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible on the Sunday Morning high tide cycle in East Coastal Massachusetts where a Coastal Flood Watch is now in effect. While winds are not expected to be as strong as some past nor’easter/coastal storm systems, there is a very high astronomical tide cycle for this weekend which will increase the coastal flood potential.
5.) How these key factors line up and turn into specific outcomes will be better defined after future model runs over the next 12-24 hours.

SKYWARN Activation with Ops at NWS Boston/Norton are likely at some point Saturday Evening into Sunday Morning lasting through Sunday Evening. Activation plan will be updated as we get closer to the storm event. The next coordination message will be posted by 1000 PM Friday Evening. Below is the NWS Boston/Norton Winter Storm Watch statement, Coastal Flood Watch Statement, Hazardous Weather Outlook, Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook, Snow and Ice Maps:

NWS Boston/Norton Winter Storm Watch Statement:
https://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.wwus41.KBOX.html

NWS Boston/Norton Coastal Flood Watch Statement:
https://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.whus41.KBOX.html

NWS Boston/Norton Hazardous Weather Outlook:
https://kamala.cod.edu/ma/latest.flus41.KBOX.html

NWS Boston/Norton Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook:
https://www.weather.gov/box/ehwo

NWS Boston/Norton Snow, Ice and Rain Maps:
https://www.weather.gov/box/winter

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
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