Storm Coordination Message #2 – Sunday Evening 12/29/19 Through Tuesday Afternoon 12/31/19 Wintry Mix/Ice Storm Potential

Hello to all…

..A long duration storm system will affect the region Sunday Night into Tuesday Afternoon with the potential for a wintry mix, significant icing and an ice storm in Western, Central and Northeast Massachusetts, Northern Connecticut and potentially even into Northwest Rhode Island..
..A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect from Sunday Evening through Tuesday Afternoon for Northern Connecticut and Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester Counties of Massachusetts for a half-inch of radial ice accumulation with isolated higher amounts possible and a coating to 2 inches of snow/sleet. If icing amounts of a half-inch or more are realized, the potential exists for scattered to numerous pockets of tree and wire damage and scattered to numerous power outages and this will bear close monitoring..
..A Winter Storm Watch is now in effect from Sunday Evening through Tuesday Afternoon for Northwest Providence and Western Kent Counties of Rhode Island and Northern and Central Middlesex and Western Essex Counties of Massachusetts for icing of up to 1/2″ and a coating to 2 inches of snow. If icing amounts of a half-inch or more are realized, the potential exists for scattered to numerous pockets of tree and wire damage and scattered to numerous power outages and this will bear close monitoring..
..Wind Advisories maybe needed for Cape Cod and the Islands for Monday for wind gusts up to 50 MPH. This will be monitored in future updates.
..SKYWARN Activation is likely for this storm event. Precipitation onset is expected Sunday Evening and will likely be handled via self-activation until around 5-6 AM Monday where Ops at NWS Boston/Norton may start lasting through late Monday Evening and then decisions will be made on any activation into Tuesday. Additional details on activation planning will follow in future messages during the day Sunday..
..ARES/RACES groups in the Winter Storm Watch area should closely monitor the progress of this potential ice storm and heed advice from local leadership..
..Storm pictures and videos for this potential ice storm can be sent as a reply to this email, via our Facebook/Twitter feeds or via the email address pics@nsradio.org with credit given to the spotter/Amateur Radio Operator for the videos/pictures unless otherwise indicated..

A long duration storm system will affect the region Sunday Night into Tuesday. The storm system will likely bring a wintry mix and the potential for significant icing in portions of interior Southern New England and now could potentially include Northwest Rhode Island and interior Northeast Massachusetts. Across the remainder of Rhode Island and the rest of Eastern Massachusetts, a wintry mix at the start should turn to mostly rain across this area. The headlines depict the current thinking. Key factors include:

1.) Amount of freezing rain and ice accretion that is realized in the Winter Storm Watch area. Weather models appear to be coalescing around a prolonged period of freezing rain and icing. Some models even have icing amounts of greater than a half-inch to as much a 0.75″ of ice. If that were to occur, scattered to numerous pockets of tree and power line damage and power outages would occur. This trend will be monitored closely to see if higher resolution short range models have the same solution.
2.) As alluded to in item 1, several reliable models indicate a prolonged period of freezing rain and icing leading to ice storm and significant icing potential but there are a few models that indicate more sleet versus freezing rain. If that were to occur that would increase snow/sleet amounts versus freezing rain/icing and lessen storm damage potential but currently the expected freezing rain/icing potential appears to be the bulk of the precipitation.
3.) The southerly extent of the significant icing is an area of uncertainty that will be monitored. Current thinking is that this could extend into Northwest Rhode Island and interior Northeast Massachusetts and resulted in the expansion of the Winter Storm Watch to this area. This will be monitored in future updates.
4.) Precipitation is expected to extend into Tuesday Afternoon as a coastal low develops along the cold front. Where this low tracks will determine if freezing rain and icing continues, whether it changes back to snow and perhaps brings wintry precipitation to areas of Eastern Massachusetts that will see mostly rain or whether it allows for rain across much of Southern New England. As we get closer to this part of the prolonged event, more details will become known and we can better assess precipitation amounts and types of precipitation.

SKYWARN Activation is likely for this storm event. Precipitation onset is expected Sunday Evening and will likely be handled via self-activation until around 5-6 AM Monday where Ops at NWS Boston/Norton may start lasting through late Monday Evening and then decisions will be made on any activation into Tuesday. Additional details on activation planning will follow in future messages during the day Sunday. ARES/RACES groups in the Winter Storm Watch area should closely monitor the progress of this potential ice storm and heed advice from local leadership. Storm pictures and videos for this potential ice storm can be sent as a reply to this email, via our Facebook/Twitter feeds or via the email address pics@nsradio.org with credit given to the spotter/Amateur Radio Operator for the videos/pictures unless otherwise indicated.

Another coordination message will be posted by 10 AM Sunday Morning. Below is the NWS Boston/Norton Winter Storm Watch Statement, Hazardous Weather Outlook, Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook and Snow and Ice Maps:

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