Snowstorm sweeping through Greater Nashua

Accumulation anticipated statewide

File photo by Adam Urquhart The rapidly accumulating snow that hit Nashua Jan. 4 made roadways difficult for drivers to navigate. More snow, and possibly rain, is expected throughout the day making the evening commute a mess for drivers.

NASHUA – Today’s storm is expected to drop at least 6 inches of snow across the majority of the state, with the heaviest snowfall predicted to hit around the evening commute.

“It looks like the snow is likely to move into southwestern New Hampshire late morning with Keene, Jaffrey and those places seeing snow before noon,” said Tom Hawley, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Gray, Maine. “It will slowly spread to the east during the day and probably cover a good portion of the state by early afternoon.”

As far as accumulations are concerned, he said Nashua, which may be hit with snow around 1 p.m., may recieve about 7.8 inches.

“I think the evening commute will be really tough when it’s snowing the hardest in the 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., or 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. time frame,” Hawley said.

However, Nashua over to the southern parts of Rockingham County may see a bit of a mix, with possible sleet. There could be abrief period of rain approaching the Massachusetts border.

“Tomorrow is a tough storm in that the rain/snow line is very close, if not into the southern New Hampshire area late in the afternoon, into the evening,” said Doug Webster, senior meteorologist at Hometown Forecast Services in Nashua.

He said Burlington, Massachusetts, may only get 1 or 2 inches, whereas Manchester may get up to 8 inches and Nashua’s sort of right in the middle of that area.

“A range in Nashua for us would be 4 to 8 inches, although I’m not sure it will stay all snowy,” Webster said. “It may change to sleet or freezing rain late afternoon and that’ll cut into snow totals.”

If the storm is all snow, Greater Nashua may see up to 8 inches with the first few inches expected to be fairly powdery.

“As you get into later afternoon the temperature might creep

up to around freezing and the snow may become wetter,” Webster said.

“I don’t think it’s a major icing situation but if we get freezing rain it will only be for an hour or two,” Webster said. “That’s the uncertainty part of the storm, where the rain/snow line is and how far north it gets.”

He said the storm should run for about 12 hours, probably changing back to snow before it ends around midnight.

“It’s one of these storms that’s on the border of being a moderate to heavy storm,” Webster said. “I’d put it as a moderate sized storm, but it could snow heavily for a while tomorrow afternoon. Ten inches is what I call a heavy snowstorm.”

However, some parts of the state could see upwards of around 10 inches of snow.

“The storm is a fast mover and doesn’t have a ton of moisture to work with so it’s not a storm where anyone gets 2 feet or anything like that,” Webster said.

Two feet or not, any snowfall can make for difficult driving conditions. The New Hampshire State Police released warnings toanyone who will be traveling the roadways during today’s storm.

“The roads are greasy,” according to the press release. “Our troopers, in concert with the Department of Transportation, are working diligently on keeping our roadways safe for our commuting motorists. Please be patient and avoid excessive actions while braking, steering or accelerating to lessen the chances of losing control of your vehicle.”

According to that release, within the last 24-hours they reported a combination of approximately 94 vehicle crashes and vehicles off the road – with a higher concentration of these incidents on I-93 from Concord south to the Massachusetts border, the F.E. Everett Turnpike, I-89 and I-95.

Also, a snow emergency has been declared in Nashua from 10 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday. The snow emergency may be adjusted if weather conditions change.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.