How much snow will we get Sunday? It’s all about the timing

With the exception of a lone snow flurry, the weather looks dry through Saturday early evening. After that our weekend storm begins and continues through much of the day on Sunday. I want to reiterate there’s nothing unique about this particular storm: It just happens to be the first storm of the year and for downtown Boston, it’s the first time there’s been any measurable snow this season.

There are still questions as to how much snow we will ultimately measure when this is all done. The length of time that we see mixing Sunday morning and how quickly that mixing begins will have a tremendous impact on final snow totals. Precipitation will be falling so hard that just a two-hour difference could raise or lower snowfall by 3 inches. There’s no way any of us are going to be able to predict exactly when this change over occurs, but based on the latest information it seems like it’ll be around sunrise Sunday morning.

Dave Epstein/WBUR

Snow will be heavy overnight Saturday and early Sunday.

The snowfall map above is based on that time frame. If the cold air lasts a little longer, then the higher totals will be reached. If the mixing occurs several hours earlier, then some of those lower numbers may not even verify.

Timing of the storm

You’ll have no problems getting around early Saturday evening, but the deeper into the evening we go and especially towards midnight there will already be some snow on the roadways and it will be snowing very hard. That will continue through the early morning hours before the aforementioned mixing arrives. The precipitation may actually flip from snow to rain and then back to sleet and snow before ending between about 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Snow will overspread the area Saturday evening and then mix and change to sleet. (WSI RPM Model)

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If a colder storm materializes, Boston gets a foot of snow and much less sleet. This is still possible and would be the reason snowfall totals are increased later today.

Certain models keep all snow even into Boston. The white line, represents the leading edge of sleet and mixing. Notice it doesn’t reach Boston in this loop. (COD Weather)

South of Boston, you will likely have a lot of slush on your driveways and walkways, and it’s important that you remove it very quickly. On Sunday, Temperatures will crash through the teens into the single numbers during the day Monday. This means remaining slush will freeze rock-solid and you won’t be able to move it for days.

The skiing will be fabulous on Monday, but it will be very cold and there could be some lift holds with the wind. Nevertheless, it will be worth taking a few runs with all the fresh snow.

Temperatures Monday afternoon will fall into the single numbers.


Temperatures Monday afternoon will fall into the single numbers.

After Monday, temperatures will actually moderate quickly and by the middle of the week we’ll be well above freezing. There may be more precipitation in the form of rain as a new storm system moves in. Overall the pattern is cold and stormy, and I expect more arctic air and more snow threats into the first week of February. Winter really has arrived.

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