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Boston Weather: 51.0°F | Light Rain Fog/Mist

Weather: Weekend Snow

By Robert L.Korty
STAFF METEOROLOGIST -- A storm that swept across the country this week will reorganize and intensify off the Mid-Atlantic coast this afternoon. As it heads northeast, heavy snow will spread across southern New England. There will be a sharp boundary between dry air over northern New England and a storm intense enough to deposit a foot of snow. The numerical weather model output makes a major snow storm appear likely, but a complicating factor is the mild ocean temperature. As it is only early December, the water is still 46°F (8°C), which is warm enough to allow a rain and sleet to mix with any snow falling in Boston and along the coast.

Only on five occasions during the past 135 years has there been six inches or more of snow in Boston, largely owing to the relatively mild ocean temperature this time of year.

Snow will develop late Friday night, but may mix with sleet and rain and taper in intensity Saturday morning. By afternoon, precipitation should become heavy and turn to all snow as temperatures fall. Snow will continue to be heavy Saturday night before ending early Sunday. It looks fairly certain that the first sizeable snowfall of the 2003-04 season will begin tonight and continue through Sunday morning with accumulations between 6 and 12 inches across most of eastern Massachusetts; these could be a little less in the city if snow mixes with rain.

Extended Forecast

Today: Cloudy. High 32°F (0°C).

Tonight: Snow. Low 25°F (-4°C).

Saturday: Snow and sleet early, becoming heavy and all snow during the afternoon. High 30°F (-1°C), dropping into the 20s F (-1°C) late.

Saturday night: Snow, heavy at times. Low 25°F (-4°C).

Sunday: Becoming partly cloudy. High 36°F (2°C).