National Weather Service: Get ready for this year’s ‘first plowable snow event’ Thursday into Friday

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Weather Man says: “Yes, there’s snow in them thar hills.”

MANCHESTER, NH – Like all good thrillers, Wednesday morning’s brief flurry of flakes was a foreshadowing of the terror on the horizon. That’s right, the National Weather Service is predicting our “first plowable snow event,” which should begin Thursday night into Friday, making for a “messy” Friday commute here in Southern New Hampshire.

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But don’t take it from us – we got it right from National Weather Service meteorologist Derek Schroeter, stationed in Gray, Maine, who was updating NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center data, and checking it twice.

“We’ve got low pressure developing off the mid-Atlantic coast Thursday, which will track close to Cape Cod, and it looks like a pretty good swath of six-inches of snow for much of our forecast area – including New Hampshire,” Schroeter says. “We’re looking at four to six inches for everyone away from the coast, making travel difficult for Friday morning.”

Schroeter says snow will move in to southwestern New Hampshire by 9 p.m. Thursday and will continue into Friday, tapering off around noon.

Expect fluffy snow in the mountains, and wet snow for southern New Hampshire with a wintry mix turning to rain the nearer to the coast you are. 

Yes, it’s a little early for snow here, but according to the Climate Prediction Center data, we’ll be experiencing below-average temperatures through the end of November, which means any precipitation can end up as snow.

“I’m not sure if that correlates to lots of snow, but there is some confidence in seeing a rather cold November that it can happen,” Schroeter says.

As for the big picture, Schroeter says we’re entering a weak to moderate El Niño this winter, which means the odds are slightly favored for the Northeast to see overall above-average temperatures.

Is that good news for those rooting for a mild winter?

“Well, the caveat with that is that it could be a more active storm track, so here in the northeast if we average 1 degree above average with an active storm track, that’s enough for plenty snow,” Schroeter says.

In the near future, you can probably bet on a tricky commute for Friday morning, with snow centered around Southern New Hampshire. For commuters heading south, expect more of a wintry mix the closer to Boston you’re headed, with about 1-to-3 inches of accumulation, with snow turning to rain after 1 a.m. south of the border.

“But between Boston and Southern New Hampshire, it’s going to be messy,” Schroeter says.

The official NWS forecast as of Wednesday:

Thursday Night
Snow before 3 a.m., then sleet. Low around 26. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Rain, snow, and sleet before 4 p.m., then a chance of rain between 4 and 5 p.m., then a chance of rain and snow after 5 p.m. High near 36. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!