Rain to freezing rain and sleet make Friday more dangerous – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – For whatever reason, sleet and freezing rain don’t grab everyone’s attention like snow. I will show that in some ways, what we have on Friday may be more dangerous than our blizzard. The change from rain to freezing rain means all roads, sidewalks and driveways can be frozen in no time with little warning. Friday is likely to be one of those days with countless car and pedestrian accidents.

Typically, before a storm, road operators do a great job of “pre-treating,” applying a mixture that helps keep roads safer and less slippery. With precipitation before changing to ice with this storm, much of those useful chemicals will be swept aside. The crew will have to shovel sand and salt constantly, which can be a loss in many areas.

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Forecast wisely, the severity of the impacts is actually down to a few hundred feet of the atmosphere.

Let me explain. Think of the atmosphere above you as a layer cake, starting on a warm (above freezing) Thursday.

(WBZ-TV Graphics)

On Friday morning, a blast of cold air will pass through our cake, moving in first on the ground floor. The temperature can drop about 10-15 degrees within an hour. All that rain falls on the currently cold ground (streets, driveways, decks, etc.) and instantly freezes. This is called freezing rain. Freezing rain is the most dangerous type of winter weather. All of our most notorious ice storms (you know those when you’ve been without power for days or weeks) are caused by freezing rain. Freezing rain clings to tree branches, power lines, you can name it, and can cause massive damage and power outages.

Typically, you need around 0.25” of ice build-up to start having major problems. Here’s the good news – we’re unlikely to hit this threshold on Friday. While we should see a few hours of freezing rain, it probably won’t last long enough to cause major problems.

Let’s go back to our cake layer. As cold air continues to flow in, the bottom (cold) layer will become thicker and thicker. When this happens, the rain will pass through a much larger layer of cold air and thus have time to solidify into ice pellets. These tablets are called hail. Sleet hits the ground and tends to bounce off things and has that pinging sound. Snow oil, in large amounts, can accumulate but much less easily than snow. Most importantly, it doesn’t build up on trees and wires so the risk of power outages is minimal. Snow should be the predominant rain for most areas from weekend morning through Friday afternoon.

You can see why this forecast is a bit dangerous. A few more hours of freezing rain and we have a much more dangerous and dangerous situation. Definitely something to see.


By 5 a.m. Friday: switch around the MA/NH border, all locations north of there are ice and snow

By 8 a.m. Friday: transition far south to Mass Pike (including Boston and Worcester)

(WBZ-TV Graphics)

At noon on Friday: rain/ice stream has now poured over most of the South Shore and Southeast Mass. Leaving only Cape Cod and the Islands

(WBZ-TV Graphics)

By 4 p.m. Friday: all of southern New England is currently below freezing (except perhaps Nantucket)

Precipitation ends from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, with a slight chance of snow later in the day


As we forecast a rain with mostly hail, the accumulation will be low.

There will be an inch of snow and snow cover in the Boston metro area and Pike to Worcester. Also for most of Middlesex and Essex counties.

(WBZ-TV Graphics)

1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet is likely near the MA/NH border, as far north as Manchester, New Hampshire.

A little further north, 3 to 6″ is forecast from approximately Keene, NH to Concord NH and the Lake Winnipesaukee area.

This is great news for skiers.

(WBZ-TV Graphics)

The jackpot snow zone will be in the mountains, especially the northern Blues and whites. We expect 6 to 12” in those areas, perhaps up to 18” in some of the higher peaks, in the extreme north.


Temperatures dropped for teens in most of the area Friday night and stayed in teens and 20s on Saturday. Sunday is a bit milder, but most of us won’t see 32 degrees again until Monday. Even so, with a good amount of sunshine this weekend, some of the ice will break off and melt a bit on exposed surfaces.

We ask you to stay tuned for updated forecasts, we will continue to keep you updated as new data becomes available. Stay tuned to WBZ-TV, CBSBoston.com and CBS News Boston.

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2022/02/04/boston-weather-forecast-massachusetts-friday-snow-sleet-freezing-rain-ice-winter-storm-watch-school-closings-delays/ Rain to freezing rain and sleet make Friday more dangerous – CBS Boston

Dustin Huang

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