Messy Winter Storm In Progress Today

Hello everyone!

A messy mix of modestly-melted meteorological meteors is falling across the area this morning as warm air streams into the region aloft but cold air hangs tough at the surface.

Getting a handle on precip types is tough, but by all available accounts the sleet/snow line has blasted all the way up to the Canadian border already this morning. This is definitely much faster than expected, and thus changes our expectations about how much frozen stuff will fall in various parts of the area.

Only a few spots have reported snowfall totals from the flakes that did fall overnight. Saddleback has about 5″ (phew says the guy who forecast 4-8!) while parts of the CT valley are reporting around 2″. So between what’s already fallen and another inch of sleet, it looks like totals will come in on the low end of forecast, but not by a whole lot up in the mountains. The foothills is a different story though as much less has ended up on the ground already, and precip is falling more as freezing rain than sleet. Closer to the coast, the original expectation of very little snow and much more sleet/ice seems to be working out well, but we will likely end up with much more ice than sleet.

So, just how much ice are we talking? For most of us, I still don’t think this will get to a power outage level of ice storm (0.4-0.5″). Isolated outages are very much a possibility especially in the foothills of NH up towards Fryeburg/Lewiston but most of us will probably end up with 0.1-0.3″ which will make things extremely slick and weigh down trees/branches but shouldn’t push too many of them to the breaking point.

Despite warm air arriving much faster than expected aloft, cold air is still hanging much tougher than model guidance (but not us humans!) anticipated. The York County shoreline as well as southeast NH all the way inland to Manchester/Concord is experiencing plain old rain with temps in the mid 30s. Elsewhere, we are comfortably below freezing and will probably stay that way for much of the day. The exception will be coastal/shoreline areas especially south of route one and east of Brunswick.

The steadiest/heaviest precip is ongoing right now and will taper off from southwest to northeast between 10 AM and 2 PM. With temps near/below freezing this afternoon and low-level moisture sticking around, expect freezing drizzle to keep roads on the slick side (especially those that are untreated).

High temps today will range from the upper 20s up north and in the foothills to the upper 30s along the NH Seacoast.

-Jack

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