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Vineyard Faces Storm of Uncertainty in Latest Weekend Forecasts

We can count on rain, wind and maybe an inch or two of snow on Martha's Vineyard, but not the accumulation expected north of the Cape. However, forecasters and government officials caution that conditions are subject to change.

It's looking as if Martha's Vineyard won't get hit with much snow in this latest winter weekend storm: Forecasters with the National Weather service say we can expect some wet snow and rain starting Saturday afternoon, with possible snow accumulations Saturday of 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch and Sunday of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.

Dukes County is not among the areas for which a winter storm watch is in effect. However, cautioned the NWS in a hazardous-weather statement early Friday,

  • Due to some uncertainty in the exact track and strength of the system, there is a possibility that winter storm watches may be extended farther southward. 
  • Snow type will be a heavy wet snow across the area allowing for the possibility of downed tree limbs resulting in scattered power outages. 
  • Untreated roadways will likely become snow-covered resulting in slippery and hazardous travel.  
  • Moderate probability of strong to damaging east-northeast winds for Cape Cod and adjacent islands Sunday into Sunday night. Gusts up to 46 mph will be possible. Wind advisory headlines may be needed.  
  • Moderate probability for coastal flooding and beach erosion along the eastern Massachusetts coastline, with the highest risk during the sunday morning high tide. 

Chuck Cotnoir, director of Martha's Vineyard Emergency Management, passes on a 9 a.m. update from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:

  • There still is a good deal of uncertainty in the snowfall amounts because temperatures will be near freezing in many areas and the location of the rain/snow line is uncertain.
  • The greatest likelihood of heavy snow is north of the Massachusetts Turnpike where 6 to 10” of heavy wet snow is forecast, with the potential for pockets of up to 12” in higher terrain.  
  • During the overnight, snow may fall at rates of 1” to 2” per hour in some areas.  
  • Snowfall amounts likely will drop off south of the Turnpike, with only 1-2” of snowfall on the Cape and Islands, and 4”-6” closer to and in Boston.  
  • To the north of the Turnpike, the precipitation is likely to be all snow.  
  • To the south of the Turnpike, the precipitation may start as snow, then switch to rain and then back to snow.  
  • A change in temperature of just a few degrees may significantly increase or decrease the snowfall totals.  There may be periods of heavy rainfall along the south coast and to the southeast of I-95 which may result in pockets of urban street flooding.
  • The snow is expected to be heavy and wet, which may result in downed trees and limbs and scattered power outages, particularly north of the Turnpike and in the northeast areas of the state.
  • Winds may gust to 40-50 MPH along the coastline, particularly from Plymouth County south to the Cape and Nantucket.  
  • Away from the coast, winds may gust to 30 MPH.
  • Minor coastal flooding and beach erosion is likely along the eastern coast during the Sunday morning high tide which is around 10 AM.  
  • There may be isolated pockets of moderate coastal flooding as well.

Click here for the latest snowfall accumulation graphic from the National Weather Service in Taunton.

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