Snow/Rain Mix Saturday Night In Smithfield Will Slicken Roads
Weather forecasters predict up to six inches, potential risk to power lines.
Estimates on the Saturday/Sunday storm vary, but they all predict less snow than the Feb. 9 blizzard - at most six inches.
But a less severe storm is still a storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. The local forecast calls for snow to begin Saturday afternoon, switch to a mix of rain and snow in the evening, and then return to snow overnight.
"As snow accumulation predictions begin to get a bit clearer, the Smithfield area can expect to see 3 – 7 inches of heavy, wet snow capable of downing utility lines and limbs resulting in scattered power outages," reported Todd Manni at the Smithfield Emergency Management Agency. Winds are expected to gust to about 30 mph.
The NWS warned the mix will slicken untreated roads.
Here is a look at the snowfall estimates for Smithfield as of Friday morning:
The best chance for highest snow totals is north of the Mass Pike, but the threat for a period of heavy, wet snow is a possibility throughout the region.
"Forecasters continue to teeter on determining the exact snow/rain line and temperatures associated with this storm are extremely sensitive," Manni said, "A shift in a degree or two could mean a longer period of cold rain and a shorter period of wet snow (or vice versa) for our area.
Manni reports computer models focus on the I-95 corridor for the snow/rain line, but forecasters are leaving room for this precipitation line to move more northward or more southward.
With about 1.0 - 1.5 inches of liquid associated with this system, localized flooding and street ponding may occur if we see more rain then snow, Manni said.