Storm Coordination Message #4 – 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..
..An Ice Storm Warning is in effect through 7 AM Tuesday Morning for Western Franklin, Western Hampden and Western Hampshire Counties of Massachusetts for up to 2 inches of snow/sleet accumulation and ice accretion amounts of 0.50-0.75″ of ice with isolated higher amounts up to 1″ of ice. This area could see numerous pockets of tree and wire damage and numerous power outages particularly in the higher elevations..
..An Ice Storm Warning is now in effect through 7 AM Tuesday Morning for Northern Worcester and Northern Middlesex Counties of Massachusetts for up to 1″ of snow/sleet accumulation and ice accumulations of around 0.50″ of ice with higher amounts of .75″ of ice. This area could now see numerous pockets of tree and wire damage and numerous power outages presuming around a half-inch of ice or more from freezing rain occurs in this area particularly in the higher elevations..
..A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through 7 AM Tuesday Morning for Northern Connecticut, Eastern Franklin, Eastern Hampshire, Eastern Hampden, Central Middlesex, Western Essex and Southern Worcester Counties of Massachusetts and Northwest Providence and Western Kent Counties of Rhode Island for up to 1″ of snow and sleet and ice accumulations of 0.10-0.40″ of ice. This area could see isolated to scattered pockets of tree and wire damage and power outages if 0.40″ of ice or more is realized from freezing rain..
..A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through 7 AM Tuesday Morning for Eastern Essex, Southeast Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, North-Central Bristol and North-Central Plymouth Counties of Massachusetts and Eastern Kent and Southeast Providence Counties of Rhode Island for total snow and sleet accumulations of 1″ and a light glaze of ice causing hazardous travel. Winds may gust to 35 MPH in these areas..
..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. At this time, wind gusts of 40-45 MPH are expected here and possibly extending into the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island..
..SKYWARN Activation is likely for this storm event. Precipitation onset is expected Sunday Evening and will likely be handled via self-activation until around 530 AM Monday where Ops at NWS Boston/Norton will start lasting through late Monday Evening and then decisions will be made on any activation into Tuesday..
..ARES/RACES groups particularly in the Ice Storm Warnings areas as well as the Winter Weather Advisories closest to the warning areas should closely monitor the progress of this potential ice storm and heed advice from local leadership. HF Nets will also be on standby for this storm event. Eastern and Western Massachusetts ARES are on alert/standby for any needs if the significant icing conditions are realized..
..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 includes 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 Ice Storm Warning area could cause significant power outages. This is the area that is expected to get the most significant icing and the most prolonged period of freezing rain particularly in the higher elevations.
2.) The Winter Storm Warning area of Northern Worcester and Northern Middlesex Counties of Massachusetts has been replaced with an Ice Storm Warning and that means higher confidence that freezing rain will reach Ice Storm thresholds. There will also be a period of sleet but at this time it is looking like more freezing rain than sleet increasing the risk for significant icing damage. As mentioned previously, if more sleet occurs, the threat for tree and wire damage and power outages will be less but if more freezing rain occurs, the icing damage will be as stated. This will be monitored very closely. Higher elevations face the highest risk of significant icing damage.
3.) In the Winter Weather Advisories closest to the Ice Storm Warning areas, amounts of ice at this time are expected to be below warning thresholds which should keep tree and wire damage and power outages more isolated to scattered and would need to reach the high end of the ice total range to cause damage. That said, if more ice and freezing rain occurs in this area, that will result in a greater risk for tree and wire damage and power outages and will need to be monitored closely.
4.) The southern end of the advisory area will experience light icing causing hazardous travel but should eventually turn to plain rain in most of this area and could then see a wintry mix later at night into early Tuesday.
5.) Precipitation is expected to extend into Tuesday Afternoon as a coastal low develops along the cold front though the heaviest precipitation will be done Tuesday Morning. These hazards have been incorporated into the current advisories and warnings.
6.) Wind gusts are currently expected to be just below Wind Advisory levels on the Cape and Islands but any slight increase could result in Wind Advisories being posted. Winds in this area and possibly in South Coastal Massachusetts/Rhode Island may gust to 40-45 MPH.

SKYWARN Activation is likely for this storm event. Precipitation onset is expected Sunday Evening and will likely be handled via self-activation until around 530 AM Monday where Ops at NWS Boston/Norton will start lasting through late Monday Evening and then decisions will be made on any activation into Tuesday. ARES/RACES groups particularly in the Ice Storm Warnings areas as well as the Winter Weather Advisories closest to the warning areas should closely monitor the progress of this potential ice storm and heed advice from local leadership. HF Nets will also be on standby for this storm event. The Eastern Massachusetts HF net will go into standby mode at 6 a.m. Monday due to the storm. Eastern and Western Massachusetts ARES are on alert/standby for any needs if the significant icing conditions are realized. One note for operators with wire antennas on 80M, it is possible that they may be taken out by ice accretion. For safety’s sake, do not attempt to repair them until after the storm. Western Massachusetts ARES has also been placed on alert to monitor the ice storm/significant wintry mix conditions as well.

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.

This will likely be the last complete coordination message as we move into activation/operations mode. Below is the NWS Boston/Norton Ice Storm Warning/Winter Weather Advisory Statement, Hazardous Weather Outlook, Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook and Snow and Ice Maps:

NWS Boston/Norton Ice Storm Warning/Winter Weather Advisory 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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